Looking for a high-tech, low-cost hatchback that's inexpensive, easy to maneuver and offers plenty of amenities and safety equipment? The 2017 Chevrolet Spark might be worth checking out. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
BRYN MACKINNON: I'm Bryn MacKinnon from Edmunds, and this is an Edmund's expert rundown of the 2017 Chevrolet Spark. Whether you're looking for your first car, or you're just looking for something small and agile to motor around town in, the 2017 Chevrolet Spark is worth a look. The Spark was just redesigned last year so there aren't any changes for 2017. Right up front, it's worth noting that the Spark is one of the slowest cars in its class. If you're looking for something peppy, this probably isn't the ride for you. Despite that lack of power, this is a pretty good subcompact car with some nice available tech and impressive fuel economy. The Spark is rated by the EPA at an impressive 41 miles per gallon on the highway. And if you're driving the Spark in a crowded city, the small exterior dimensions will definitely help you squeeze into tight parking spots. That size means it's tight on the inside though, with limited hip and shoulder room, both up front and in the back seat. Legroom and headroom in the back suffer too. So four adults will have a hard time squeezing in. The trunk isn't very large either, even by class standards. It should be enough for at least one or two suitcases, but for big road trips you might need to fall down one of the rear seats. Bottom line with the 2017 Spark is that you're looking at a low-cost hatchback with a few nice available tech amenities, but it's not that impressive out on the road. Rivals like the Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent, and Ford Fiesta are worth checking out before you make your final choice. For more Edmunds' expert rundowns, click the link to subscribe.
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.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.