The 2015 Chevrolet Spark is a small yet efficient vehicle that manages to pack just enough features to offer more value than its miniscule price would suggest. However, the hatchback’s small size is both its greatest weakness and strength. It’s nimble and fuel-efficient, but its cabin is cramped and underwhelming. Those looking for a low-priced new car will find much to like about the Spark, but in the end, it is cheap.
The 2015 Chevrolet Spark is a five-door hatchback that also happens to be Chevrolet’s smallest offering. Given its size, the Spark’s biggest perks are its efficiency, value and nimbleness – especially when it comes to parking. Unfortunately, its small size also carries with it a set of disadvantages, such as slippery acceleration, lack of space and cheap materials. The amount of useful high-tech features is astounding though, so that’s another benefit that we’re sure many car buyers would appreciate. Another perk that might impress some is the presence of the Spark EV – an all-electric version of the vehicle.
In terms of its exterior design, the Chevy Spark is very similar to the Sonic hatchback – at least from afar. Like that vehicle, it features Smart-car-like design and details such as hidden handles in the rear doors. Upon closer inspection, however, you will see that the Spark is actually taller, containing larger headlight housings and slightly neater overall proportions. In general, the Sonic is one of the finest-looking subcompacts on the market – but it's also more expensive than the Spark, so there’s that. The Spark EV models get a closed chrome two-tier grille that offers reduced airflow, as well as a rear spoiler and aero-optimized mirrors for better fuel efficiency.
Inside, the 2015 Spark can properly fit in four adults, which more than we can say for the FIAT 500 and Scion iQ. The rear seats also happen to be easier to access and provide more legroom. With those seats up, the Spark offers 11.4 cubic feet of cargo room, but if you fold them, you can expand that space even more. At the front, the Spark sports simple but strangely stylish looks – particularly if you look at its motorcycle-inspired instrument panel. That said, there is a certain level of “cheapness” to the whole thing. For instance, the steering wheel tilts, but does not telescope, while all the plastics and upholstery are both low-quality and visually plain. If you go for one of the higher trims though, the vehicle will gain a bit more appeal thanks to the colourful trim kits, a seven-inch touchscreen display and faux-leather seating.
Under the hood, the regular Spark has a 1.2-litre inline four-cylinder engine, which produces 84 horsepower and 83 pound-feet of torque. You can connect it either to a five-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). That said, there are no options when it comes to power distribution – since all Spark models are front-wheel drive and run on regular unleaded gasoline. On the other hand, the more ecologically-friendly Spark EV model comes with an electric motor that generates 140 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque. The latter is actually down from last year, while the 18.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack connected to the motor is lighter. When fully charged, the EV’s range is 132 kilometres. As for charging time, it will all depend on your charging unit. If you get, the DC Fast Charging unit, it will take about 20 minutes. However, if you go for the standard 120-volt option, then get ready to spend 20 hours.
Overall, the 2015 Chevrolet Spark is a decent car, but given its limitations, we cannot wholeheartedly to recommend to everyone. If you are looking for a low-priced new car, then this is it. However, if you prefer more upscale vehicles, then we recommend going for a slightly pricier compact hatchback – like the Chevrolet Sonic.
2015 Chevrolet Spark
Reviewed by Unhaggle on .
Rating: 7 / 10
|Trim / Style||MSRP||Est. Monthly Payment||Average Price||Invoice Price|
|1LT||$15,795||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|1LT CVT||$17,245||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|2LT||$17,770||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|2LT CVT||$19,170||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LS||$12,145||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|LS CVT||$15,095||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|Number of Doors||5|
|Drive Train||Front Wheel Drive|
|Power and Performance:|
The 2015 Chevy Spark is powered by the smallest engine General Motors puts in any passenger vehicle, an 84-horsepower, 1.2-liter Ecotec four-cylinder that provides throwback economy-car performance. The base Spark comes with a five-speed manual gearbox, and it's the best way to get the most out of the limited power. Drive the Spark aggressively, and you'll feel sporty while (mostly) keeping up with traffic.
Last year, a new continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) superseded the deficient four-speed automatic transmission with which the Spark was launched in 2013. The CVT is a notable improvement, both in smoothness and in fuel efficiency, aided by an unusual "two-step" function that multiplies the range of available ratios by two different output ratios--giving the transmission a much broader range of speeds in a more compact package. The throttle mapping is good enough to hide most of the "CVT effect" in which accelerating causes the engine to rev to high speeds while the car slowly gathers speed.
Read more on The Car Connection.
|Interiors and Special Features:|
The 2015 Chevrolet Spark can seat four adults, and unlike the Fiat 500 and Scion iQ, the rear seats are easier to access and offer more legroom. In addition to its ability to haul a surprising amount with the rear seats folded, the Spark offers a decent 11.4 cubic feet of room with them raised. Up front, the Spark is simple, but slick, with a motorcycle-inspired instrument panel. The steering wheel tilts but does not telescope. Plastic and cloth are the standard in base models, but visual and tactile pop is gained with colorful trim kits, a 7-inch touch-screen display and faux-leather seating.
Originally appeared on Kelley Blue Book.
Like its larger Sonic and Cruze siblings, the Sparks comes from the factory with 10 airbags, including front knee airbags, side seat airbags and side curtain airbags. Traction and stability control systems are also standard.