2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com
 

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Hatchback

 
 
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What Others are Paying: 1LT 4dr Car with no optional equipment

Pricing & Edmunds True Market Value®


  • $26,962*
  • Dealer
  • Invoice

  • $27,495
  • Sticker Price
  • (MSRP)
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The True Market Value® (TMV®) price is our exclusive method for calculating what others are paying for a 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Hatchback in Seattle, WA (based on actual sales data from your region).

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Chevrolet Spark EV Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine .0 L 0-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 1-speed Direct Drive
  • Horse Power Info is not yet available.
  • Fuel Economy 128/109 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes
 

Review of the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • Stout performance and competitive pricing make the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV an intriguing option for an urban runabout, provided you can work around its long recharging times.

  • Safety | Reliability | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Energetic acceleration; eager handling; impressive range relative to some other electric vehicles in this price range; cheerful interior design.

  • Cons

    Takes a long time to recharge, even at a 240-volt charger; sales limited to California and Oregon.

  • What's New for 2014

    The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV is a new, all-electric version of the Spark hatchback.

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (4 total reviews)


Spark ev

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV 2LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)

Read the comparative C&D review of all electrics that rated Spark #1, then bought it 4 weeks ago, haven't driven our other cars since, it is a blast, fast, great handling, amazing interior space given tiny outside (I am 6-3). 85 miles range at 65, tried fast freeway trip at 75 to 80, range drops to 65 or so. Why doesn't Chevrolet push this car, it is excellent value with fed rebate, a modern day VW bug.




Excellent commuter car upto 40

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV 1LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)

I'm using this for 2 weeks now, to commute 20.13 miles each way. After driving 30 miles on freeway at 65-70 mph and then another 10 miles on expressways and 35-40 mph roads, I'm left with nearly 60 miles of range! The range is way better than the 82 miles they show. I'm only charging at my work, as it is free and more convenient. The car is updated with technology (as almost all new sub compacts are now-a-days), and comes with some leather + cloth combo seats. Includes tilt, cruise, on-star , hands free calling, and other amenities seen only in premium cars few years back. It is a pity GM doesn't advertize this car at all. Bought this after seriously considering Leaf and Volt.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

A good commuter car.

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV 1LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)

Have had the car since August. Over 2000 miles on it so far.Acceleration is brisk and satisfying. Quite comfortable over bumps despite its small size and you can certainly appreciate the battery pack being slung low which really improves the handling and it feels solid and not chintzy. Be aware that using the heater really sucks the battery life very quickly, just use the seat heaters. I commute 45 miles a day and there is plenty of battery life in at at the end of the day, just plug into 110 and its ready for work fully charged the next morning. Sound system is just OK. Interior plastics are hard, doors sound flimsy and takes practice in closing them 1st time, everytime.



   
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 128
  • cty
/
  • 109
  • highway
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Full 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Review

What's New for 2014

The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV is a new, all-electric version of the Spark hatchback.

Introduction

The variety of electric vehicles is mushrooming and the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV is a good example of why: The compromises required to liberate yourself from gasoline are becoming a lot easier to swallow. The battery-powered version of Chevy's subcompact Spark mixes "real car" performance and driving dynamics with a high-utility hatchback package ? and all at a price that makes it relatively affordable to get into a full-fledged electric car.

Indeed, when you factor in a federal tax credit of $7,500 and additional state tax credits from California and Oregon (the only states in which the 2014 Spark EV is currently sold), the net purchase price of a new Spark EV can actually dip below $20,000.

So why not automatically buy the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV over the conventional, gasoline-powered Spark, or other similarly priced small cars? Limited driving range is the familiar refrain, as the Spark EV is rated to deliver only 82 miles of range. This is actually more range than some other EVs offer, but if you have a long commute, the Spark EV, like most other battery-electric vehicles, probably won't fill the bill. Still, the main knock against the electric Chevy Spark is its lengthy recharging time. Even at 240 volts, it takes 7 hours to regain a full charge, and if you plug it into a 110-volt household outlet, you're looking at 20 hours.

Apart from these practical considerations, the electric Spark is in many measures a better-performing car than its gasoline counterpart. The Spark EV accelerates more quickly and effortlessly handles the pace of urban traffic. As we noted in our 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV rating, this is easily the best-driving EV in this price range.

The options for city-oriented electric vehicles are expanding, and the 2014 Spark EV is one of several models to consider if you want an EV. The Fiat 500e has less interior room and utility but has its own unique style and is quite satisfying to drive. Larger all-electric models such as the Ford Focus Electric, Honda Fit EV and Nissan Leaf provide more room for passengers, but cost more and aren't as enjoyable to drive. However, all of these cars recharge more quickly at 240 volts, which, depending on your driving habits, could make them more convenient to own than the electric Chevy Spark.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV is an all-electric, subcompact, four-door hatchback with seating for four. There are two trim levels, 1LT and 2LT, differentiated only by minor upgrades in interior trim.

Standard equipment for the 1LT includes 15-inch alloy wheels; EV-specific aerodynamic bodywork; keyless ignition/entry; cruise control; air-conditioning; power accessories; a height-adjustable driver seat; heated front seats; a tilt steering wheel with audio and phone controls; an AM/FM six-speaker audio system; Chevrolet's MyLink interface with a 7-inch touchscreen, smartphone app integration and Siri Eyes Free voice-recognition capability; Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity; USB and auxiliary inputs; satellite radio; OnStar telematics; and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat.

The 2LT trim adds leatherette premium vinyl upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

A DC quick-charger (late availability) is optional for any Spark EV. Connected to the proper power source, the DC quick-charger can recharge the Spark EV's batteries to 80 percent of capacity in 20 minutes.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV is an electric vehicle motivated by a 105-kilowatt electric motor (140 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque). Power for the motor comes from a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack with 21 kilowatt-hours of capacity. It takes the Spark EV seven hours to recharge at 240 volts, which is considerably longer than other similarly priced EVs. If you're only able to plug into a 110-volt outlet, the process could take as long as 20 hours. An optional SAE combo charger promises quicker turnaround times (up to 80 percent charge in 20 minutes) but only if you have easy access to a faster DC charger.

The EPA rates the 2014 Spark EV for 82 miles of driving range on the combined city/highway driving cycle. This is on par with the Honda Fit EV and surpasses the range estimates on the Focus Electric and Leaf. The EPA also rates the Spark EV's energy consumption at 28 kWh used per 100 miles (the lower the number here, the better), which is slightly more frugal than most rivals. This translates into MPGe figures of 119 mpg combined (128 city/109 highway).

In Edmunds testing, a Spark EV made the dash to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, an excellent time for a subcompact car. By comparison, a conventional gasoline-engine Spark with an automatic transmission took 12.2 seconds to hit 60 mph, while a Nissan Leaf required 10.2 seconds.

Safety

Standard safety features for the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, rear-seat side airbags and front-seat knee airbags. Six months of OnStar is also standard and includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.

In track testing, Edmunds.com got the Spark EV stopped from 60 mph in 122 feet, which is an outstanding distance for an electric car, as they typically weigh considerably more than similarly sized gasoline cars.

Interior Design and Special Features

The minimalist design of the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV's interior isn't a bit luxurious, but there's a refreshing simplicity to the dashboard's simple lines, the motorcycle-like instrument cluster and the large central touchscreen.

The Spark EV's gauges are altered from the conventional Spark's in order to better provide the data unique to electric propulsion: Simple graphics keep you up to speed on the battery pack's state of charge and remaining driving range. The standard MyLink touchscreen infotainment system features sharp graphics and intuitive menus. It also boasts strong smartphone app integration, including Internet radio, text message translation, voice commands and available navigation. Still, like a lot of similar systems, it's not compatible with all smartphones, and the screen sometimes fails to register touch inputs, which can be frustrating.

Thanks to the Spark's tall roof, there's also a general impression of roominess, particularly for those up front. The front seats are comfortable enough for the distance you're able to travel in one sitting and the only real negative is the lack of a telescoping steering wheel.

Those in the two-passenger rear seat also enjoy a refreshing amount of headroom, but there isn't an abundance of leg- and hiproom. The rear seatbacks offer a 60/40 split, but because of battery packaging constraints, the seats don't fold fully flat. The Spark EV offers 9.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, and folding them provides 23.4 cubic feet of capacity -- down from 31.2 in the gasoline Spark.

Driving Impressions

Compared to the gasoline-powered Spark (or any other conventional subcompact car), the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV accelerates quite briskly. Cut-and-thrust maneuvers through suburban traffic are no problem at all, given the car's immense low-end torque.

The Spark is rated for 82 miles of range, but in our testing, we've found this estimate conservative. With little effort, we were able to achieve ranges that varied from the mid-90s to the low triple digits. The Spark's regenerative braking system is also more receptive than most rivals' systems to range-increasing driving techniques like cruising with your foot off the accelerator pedal.

The electric power steering responds quickly, even if its light effort guarantees there isn't much in the way of feedback. The Spark EV feels nicely planted when going around turns, and unusual for a car with such a small footprint, it has a relatively composed highway ride with minimal choppiness over seams and ruts.

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† The True Market Value® (TMV®) price is Edmunds’ estimate of this type of vehicle’s current average selling price in your area – that is, what others are paying. This TMV® price is based on information concerning this vehicle provided by the dealer, and the accuracy of this price is dependent on the accuracy and completeness of that information.