These days affordable transportation is the foundation of some of the most successful car models and the Chevy’s new 2013 Spark is one of the least expensive as well as one of the smallest options available.
Given that it’s only 12 feet long with a flat and abrupt rear-end, at first glance it appears obvious that the 2013 Chevrolet Spark is another electric car model option. However, there’s no plug and the gas-sipping, internal combustion, four-cylinder engine also has no problem with fueling.
While not quite producing the fuel economy of an electric car, the Spark offers an impressive EPA estimate of 32 miles per gallon in the city and 38 miles per gallon on the highway—surpassing of many of its rivals. In addition, Chevy’s only subcompact car comes with the lowest starting price of its brand as well.
Also exciting, the Spark can be available with a collection of high-tech features such as smartphone integrated navigation, Pandora personalized Internet radio, Stitcher Internet news broadcasts and Bluetooth audio streaming.
Chevy's all new Spark seats four and though they are not clearly visible, there are two rear doors for access to the back seats. These doors are placed almost seamlessly into the styling and the door handles are positioned in the back-upper part of the windows. Another nice touch, the rear-door windows go down nearly all the way.
The Spark’s interior displays an uncomplicated, clean design with style and color that gives off a tasteful appearance. While the base model is somewhat simple, the higher trim levels present additional electronics and conveniences.
Standard LS features include 15-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, power windows, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-only steering wheel, a trip computer, OnStar telematics and a four-speaker radio with an auxiliary audio jack.
If you go for the 1LT trim you’ll get power-adjustable mirrors, cruise control, remote keyless entry, floor mats, the MyLink touchscreen interface, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, steering-wheel-mounted audio and phone controls, a six-speaker audio system with USB/iPod integration, satellite radio and Internet radio from integrated smartphones.
Selecting the 2LT top-trim level will add foglights, roof rails, sporty front and rear fascia treatments, chrome exterior trim, faux leather upholstery, front heated seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The dashboard is broad and the steering column includes a cluster of gauges that move up and down when the steering wheel is adjusted. A nice seven-inch display screen is easy and convenient. Sporty gauges add more flair, featuring both a traditional speedometer and a digital multifunction display. MyLink touchscreen is available and adds to the modern touch with nice graphics and menus
The back seat space is much better than expected offering a full 37.3 inches of headroom in the back seat and more than 35 inches of legroom. Also, unless the front-seat passenger has their seat completely reclined, the back-seat passenger’s knees won’t even touch the front seatbacks
Cargo space in the Spark is 11.4 cubic feet with a roomy 31.2 cubic feet when split rear seatbacks are folded down.
The 2013 Chevrolet Spark is powered by a 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 84 horsepower and 83 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic transmission.
Chevrolet estimates a Spark with a manual transmission will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 10.5 seconds, while the automatic will require more than 12 seconds. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 32 city/38 highway and 34 mpg combined for the manual and 28/37/32 mpg for the automatic.
The Spark’s horsepower gives drivers ample acceleration while at the same time road and wind noise are not markedly noticeable. This compact Chevy manages to deliver an overall pleasant driving experience.
Standard safety features on the 2013 Chevy Spark include four-wheel antilock brakes (front discs, rear drums), hill-hold assist, stability and traction control, front and rear side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front-seat knee airbags. OnStar is also standard and includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.