2016 Chevrolet Spark Review


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2016 Chevrolet Spark Overview

For urban-dwelling commuters who want a downsized hatchback, Chevrolet offers its subcompact Spark with some hefty upgrades for 2016. This 5-door, 4-passenger paragon of value sports a new look for the upcoming model year, as well as more power, improved safety technology, and a number of upgrades to interior styling and features.

Again offered in 3 trims—the base LS, the midlevel 1LT, and the top-shelf 2LT—the 2016 Spark stable deviates somewhat from Chevy’s re-ordered branding for the upcoming model year in keeping the numerically differentiated LT trims.

Look for the 2016 Spark to debut a new grille and front fascia design, as well as a new headlight configuration. Also new for the 2016 model year, the Spark will ride on a slightly longer wheelbase, which Chevy claims increases passenger room. As yet, however, cargo space has not been claimed to be any larger than the current generation’s 31.2 cubic feet (with the rear seatbacks folded). A further disappointment for the upcoming Spark variants, at least in the minds of most reviewers, is the continued frustration caused by trying to fold those rear seatbacks.

Also expected to debut in the 2016 Spark is a more conventionally styled interior that boasts a redesigned dashboard and instrument-cluster arrangement that Chevy claims to be more ergonomic than the current version. Included in this interior upgrade are seats that are significantly more comfortable than the current ones.

Also coming next year is an up-powered version of the 1.4-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine stashed in the current Spark. The new mill is slated to put out 98 hp under the management, once again, of either the standard 5-speed manual shifter or the available continuously variable transmission (CVT). The folks at Chevrolet additionally claim a marginal bump in mileage from this reworked 4-cylinder for next year, to go along with its 14 extra ponies.

Scheduled to return boasting 15-inch alloy wheels and a standard rear spoiler, this reworked hatchback should also again feature, depending on the selected trim, cloth or leatherette upholstery, tilt-wheel steering, and manual air conditioning. Additionally, select Spark variations will debut a standard rear-view camera and rear parking sensors for 2016.

Meanwhile, the 1LT and 2LT will again feature such added standard bling as heated power-adjustable mirrors, cruise control, and full power accessories, with the 2LT additionally sporting heated front seats and Bluetooth hands-free communications.

Techno-goodies slated for the next-gen Spark include, besides the upgraded OnStar telematics (which boast the 4G LTE WiFi connection that debuted for 2015), improved MyLink infotainment, now with a 7-inch color display, a CD player with 4 or 6 speakers depending on the trim chosen, and an auxiliary audio input. Higher trims will also return toting standard satellite radio.

Options for the 2016 Spark, unfortunately, are not available at the moment, but expect them to remain comparatively sparse.

Finally, standard safety equipment in all 2016 Spark trims will remain 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head curtain airbags, hill-hold assist, and OnStar emergency alerts and communications. The Spark 2LT, furthermore, is also slated to return with standard front fog/driving lights and turn-signal-integrated mirrors. Some brand new available safety stuff scheduled for next year’s editions includes blind-spot alerts, lane-keeping assistance, and forward-collision warning.

The current Spark lineup gets 4 out of a possible 5 stars for overall safety from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the 2015 versions a score of Good in all safety tests except small-overlap frontal-offset testing which gets a second-best Acceptable rating.

Look for the 2016 Spark to debut in the late fall of this year, when it will again take on such capable rivals as the more expensive Fiat 500 and Scion iQ, along with its somewhat larger competitors like Ford’s Fiesta, Honda’s Fit, and Kia’s surprisingly sprightly Rio.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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