2015 Chevrolet Spark EV Hatchback Review, Pricing & Pictures | Edmunds.com

2015 Chevrolet Spark EV Hatchback

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Review of the 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV

  • Stout performance and competitive pricing make the 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV an intriguing option for an urban runabout, provided you can work around its long recharging times.

  • Safety | Reliability
  • Pros

    Energetic acceleration; lots of standard features for a relatively low price; eager handling; quiet interior.

  • Cons

    Takes a long time to recharge, even at a 240-volt charger; no telescoping steering wheel; small backseat; only available in California and Oregon.

  • What's New for 2015

    The 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV has had adjustments made to the drivetrain that bring quicker acceleration while keeping the same mileage range. Also, OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in Wi-Fi will be added as a late-availability item.

  Average Consumer Rating (7 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Very compitent vehicle all around

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Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

I am driving this car for almost two moths now and only got a bit over 1000 miles on it because I do have another vehicle(s) to drive when I have to be concerned with range. I belong to one of the electric vehicle forums and pretty much everyone there, describes their relationship to this car in one word - Love! I have researched all electric cars available on the market at the moment and this one was a hands down winner for me. So far my expected range of miles to be driven keeps increasing, this morning it said that I have 103 miles to drive, so in my opinion the rating of 82 miles of range is very conservative, unless you a lead footed. My June power bill went up $38 v last year's.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Who needs a mini cooper???

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Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

After looking around at EVs for a second car (my commuter) we settled on either the LEAF or the Spark EV. Because the Spark EV retails for $5k less than the LEAF we ended up at the Chevy dealer in town. With the Federal incentive and our trade-in we got a lease for less than we spend on gas each month for my '07 Civic we traded in. What really sold me on the Spark was how much fun it is to drive. We got rid of our FJ because of rising gas costs and got a Prius, which is economical, but 'blah' to drive. No oomph, no giddy-up. The Spark blew my mind in terms of what it can do. It flies. No transmission changes and instant torque mean this thing can go. It's the most fun vehicle we've owned.




Spark ev 2lt

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Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

I leased the Spark EV in Feb 2014 and it's a secondary car and I travel about 30 miles roundtrip to and from work and this is on freeways mostly and I travel at about 70mph. No issues getting up to speed in fact I often catch up to the cars in front. I've come to really enjoy the quiet ride. Once home I usually have about 58 miles of range left, I charge with a level 1 charger at 12amps which is fine for me. I did get a Level 2 charger for free from Bosch but haven't used it yet. I would recommend driving this vehicle in mixed driving and see how you like it. Range will be impacted if you live or commute over a lot of hills.




Spark ev

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Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

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

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Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

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.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

A good commuter car.

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

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.



Full 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV Review

What's New for 2015

The 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV has had adjustments made to the drivetrain that bring quicker acceleration while keeping the same mileage range. Also, OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in Wi-Fi will be added as a late-availability item.

Introduction

The benefits of owning an electric vehicle are pretty obvious: never having to buy gas, a lower carbon footprint for the planet and the financial perks that come with government tax credits. But the downsides of EV ownership are also pretty obvious. If you've balanced these pros and cons and still think an EV is for you, the 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV is one you'll want to look at.

Undoubtedly, one of the first concerns with any electric car will be its range. So how far can the Spark EV go on a full charge? The EPA rates the Spark EV as having an 82-mile range, which is pretty close to what you get from other EVs. Performance is another chief concern among electric-vehicle shoppers. Pleasingly, the Spark EV is one of the quicker electric cars we've tested, and it should be even quicker this year thanks to new powertrain enhancements The Spark also comes well equipped with features, and its MSRP is typically thousands less than those of rival EVs.

The Spark EV is less competitive when it comes to charging times, though. It has a 3.3-kilowatt onboard charger, while most competitors have double that (a 6.6 kW charger) onboard. It's not necessarily a deal breaker for the Spark EV -- its approximate 7-hour full charging time with a 240-volt power source is still well within the typical time window of recharging at home overnight -- but it's something to consider nevertheless. There is available equipment that allows you to connect to a DC charger to quicken that pace, but finding the correct charging port is difficult.

Another downside is that the Spark EV is sold in only two states: California and Oregon. If you live elsewhere, you should check out the 2015 Nissan Leaf. It's slower but offers a roomier cabin and similar range, along with well-established reliability. We also recommend the sporty Ford Focus Electric, the nimble (but California-only) 2015 Fiat 500e and the new Volkswagen e-Golf. Overall, though, we think the Edmunds.com "B" rated 2015 Spark EV has pros that certainly outweigh the cons.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2015 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 and entry, remote start, cruise control, air-conditioning, power accessories, a height-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a tilt-only steering wheel. Electronic features include a 7-inch touchscreen, OnStar (late availability for 4G hotspot functionality), Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, smartphone app integration, Siri Eyes Free voice-recognition capability and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface.

The 2LT trim adds leatherette premium vinyl upholstery.

A DC quick charger is optional for any Spark EV. Connected to the proper power source, a Spark EV fitted with this option can recharge its batteries to 80 percent of capacity in 20 minutes, Chevy says.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV is an electric vehicle powered by a 105-kilowatt electric motor (140 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque). Power for the motor comes from a 18.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. 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 and a full charge in 45 minutes) but only if you have easy access to a faster DC charger.

The EPA rates the 2015 Spark EV for 82 miles of driving range on the combined city/highway driving cycle. This is just a few miles shy of the range estimates on the Fiat 500e and the Nissan Leaf. The EPA also rates the Spark EV's energy consumption at 28 kWh used per 100 miles (the lower the kWh number here, the better), which is slightly more frugal than most rivals.

We last tested a 2014 Spark EV, and it accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a quick 7.5 seconds. Chevrolet estimates a 2015 Spark EV will go from zero to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds.

Safety

Standard safety features for the 2015 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. OnStar's services include automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance.

In Edmunds testing, a 2014 Spark EV stopped from 60 mph in 122 feet, which is a shorter than average distance for an electric car.

Interior Design and Special Features

The interior of the 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV is minimalist at best, but there's a refreshing simplicity to the dashboard's clean lines, the motorcycle-like instrument cluster and the large central touchscreen.

The Spark EV's gauges are altered from the conventional Spark's 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, the screen sometimes fails to register touch inputs, which can be frustrating.

Thanks to the Spark's tall roof, there's 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

Quick acceleration is one of the first things you'll notice with the 2015 Spark EV. Almost all EVs can feel snappy around town thanks to the nature of their electric powertrains, but other than some luxury-branded EVs, you're not going to find anything quicker than the Chevy.

The Spark EV feels nicely planted when going around turns. It has a relatively composed highway ride with minimal choppiness and road noise over seams and ruts -- unusual for a car with such a small footprint. 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.

Talk About The 2015 Spark EV

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Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com
06-27-2014
2015 Chevrolet Spark EV Starts at $27,495 | Edmunds.com The 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV starts at $27,495, reflecting no price increase over the 2014 Spark EV, GM said on Wednesday....



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