The main appeals of subcompact cars are practical and budget friendly. They are cheap, thrifty and, most importantly for city dwellers, it’s easy to park. The 2018 Chevrolet Spark has all these properties but also adds a good list of standard and optional features to the mix.
Even with the lowest trim, the 2018 Chevrolet Spark comes with modern conveniences that rival more expensive and bigger cars. The folded rear seats enhance the functionality, just like standard smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s also agile around the turn and still comfortable for long trips.
Overall, you should be pleased with the Chevy Spark if you’re looking for affordable urban-oriented transportation.
Trim and Features
The 2018 Chevrolet Spark is a four-door, four-passenger subcompact hatchback that available in four trims: LS, 1LT, 2LT and Activ.
Standard features for the LS trim include 15-inch steel wheels, automatic headlamps, a rear spoiler, air conditioning, a rearview camera, a tilt steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a trip computer, carpeted floor mats and outside temperature display. Tech features includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen display, a USB port, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, smartphone app integration, a four-speaker audio system with an auxiliary jack and Chevy OnStar telematics system with a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot.
The 2018 Chevrolet Spark 1LT adds 15-inch alloy wheels, foglights, cruise control, remote keyless entry, foglights, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, heated power-adjustable mirrors, cruise control, steering-wheel-mounted audio and phone controls, satellite radio, a theft-deterrent system and a six-speaker audio system.
The Spark Activ trim adds special 15-inch wheels and bodywork, roof rails, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, simulated leather seating surfaces and a raised suspension that provides 0.4 inch of additional ground clearance.
Compared to the 1LT, the 2LT adds keyless entry and ignition, chrome door handles and trim, rear parking sensors, push-button start, an upgraded driver information display, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats and simulated seating surfaces.
A sunroof is optional for the 1LT and 2LT trims. The optional Driver Confidence package for the 2LT adds forward collision warning and lane departure warning systems.
The 2018 Chevrolet Spark is powered by a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 98 horsepower and 94 pound-feet of torque. The engine drives the front wheels through a five-speed manual transmission or continuously variable transmission (CVT). This CVT features a unique design that can regulate engine power through one of two settings, rather than the single output design of most CVT. One setting simulates lower gears when the driver demands quicker acceleration, while the other mimics higher gears for open-road cruising.
In performance testing, the 2018 Chevrolet Spark with CVT accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 11.3 seconds, making it one of the slower cars in its class. With the manual transmission EPA estimated fuel economy rated at 33 mpg combined driving (29 city/39 highway). The CVT model stands at 33 mpg combined (30 city/38 highway). The Activ trim level returns 32 mpg combined with the manual and the automatic-equipped is good for 33 mpg combined.
Up front, the 2018 Chevrolet Spark surrounds you with a modern, clean and simple interior, but it’s hard to ignore the large stretch of painted plastic pieces, though this is a common sight for cars in this price range. Color-accented door panels and dashboards, well-textured trim pieces, and smooth sculpting help you ignore some hard plastic surfaces. The sporty gauge featuring a traditional speedometer and a multifunctional digital display further adds visual appeal.
MyLink touchscreen infotainment system gives the 2018 Chevrolet Spark modern feels. It has sharp graphics, intuitive menus and a 7-inch touch screen that supports the motion of imitating a smartphone. Apple CarPlay lets you run your iPhone from the touch screen, while Android Auto does the same for smartphones using Google-based operating systems.
Despite its small size, the 2018 Chevrolet Spark provides ample seating for most adults to feel comfortable, even for longer trips. However, the upright position of the front seat gives the impression that you are sitting in a chair rather than inside, and there is no real lateral support. Although the 2018 Chevrolet Spark rear seat is larger than most competitors in the subcompact segment, they are best suited for smaller passengers. Adults with average size may complain about low seat cushions and headrests.
Behind the rear seats, there are 11.1 cubic feet of cargo space and 27.2 cubic feet with rear seats folded. Both numbers are below average for this class. For comparison, the Honda Fit offers 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space.
Release Date and Price
Official pricing for the base Spark LS starts from $13,925 (including $875 destination charge), making it the cheapest car GM offers. The 1LT trim starts at $15,750 and the 2LT trim cost of $17,250. The range-topping Activ start at $18,495.