2017 Chevrolet Spark

Hatchback

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2017 Chevrolet Spark

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The 2017 Chevrolet Spark is what used to be called an "urban runabout." It's small enough to squeeze through almost any hole in traffic, park practically anywhere, and it's available in bright colors so you can quickly find it in a crowded parking lot.

After a serious updating for 2016, the Spark comes into 2017 with only a light dusting of updates. Still, what returns includes plenty of technology including a rearview camera, a 4G-LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and a 7-inch touchscreen in the dash that can be fed information from your smartphone: The Spark offers both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

If you opt for the top-of-the-line Spark 2LT, the available options expand to include lane departure warning and forward collision alert systems — technology that's uncommon in cars of this price range.

There isn?t a lot of rear legroom or cargo capacity in the Spark, so families with kids may want to look at other subcompacts before settling on one. But it's tough to beat the Spark's keen pricing; particularly when equipment level is taken into account.

While many of the its competitors have been sportier in their abilities and attitude, Chevrolet is introducing a new "Spark Activ" (no "e") to add some zest to the mix. The Activ will get its own grille texture, a higher ride height, special 15-inch wheels, and several other trim pieces to give the tiny hatchback an SUV-like aura.

All Sparks are powered by a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 98 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard while a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is the offered automatic. Both are front-wheel drive. While this small car moves well, it isn't quick.

The five-speed Spark is EPA-rated at 29 mpg in the city, 38 mpg on the highway and 33 mpg combined. Go for the CVT and the city rating rises to 30 mpg while the 38 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined stay the same. If you choose the new Activ model those numbers drop about 1 mpg.

It pays to be a smart shopper. So use Edmunds to research your choices and then get a great deal on a new subcompact. We're here to make your purchasing experience more satisfying.

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