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2018 Chevrolet Spark Overview
The 2018 Chevrolet Spark proves that great value can come in small packages. More specifically, it proves that you can get a subcompact car with many of the amenities you’d expect to find in a larger car.
The Spark has an outward appearance that blends economy and fun when driving through a city. It features large styling cues, like headlights that run from the grille nearly to the windshield, and an upright, spacious layout.
The cabin is also nicer than one might expect from one of the most affordable vehicles on the market. It’s modern and high-tech, and it comes with plenty of cubby space. A tray at the base of the center console provides an ergonomically sensible spot for a phone that also offers good access to a USB port. There’s another tray on the passenger side above the glove box, and features like these small trays make the Spark an incredibly livable car for daily driving.
The Spark has a surprising amount of head- and legroom in the front row. Rather than trying to squeeze in five passengers, the Spark offers four-passenger seating, utilizing the space in the middle of the second row for another tray and cupholder. Second-row headroom is just as good, though legroom will be tighter for full-size adults. Behind the rear seats, the Spark has 11.1 cubic feet of cargo space. The 60/40 split-folding second row drops, allowing for up to 27.2 cubic feet of cargo space.
Trims for the Spark include LS, LT, ACTIV, and 2LT, each of which is available with a manual or automatic transmission. The base LS comes standard with a rear spoiler, tinted rear and side glass, a USB port, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot capability, 4-speaker stereo system, a tire pressure monitoring system, and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity.
The LT is the midrange trim, adding fog lights, remote keyless entry, SiriusXM satellite radio, a multi-function steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, and two speakers to bring the total to six.
The ACTIV trim lives up to its name by taking the Spark in a more rugged direction. It adds black plastic body molding and wheel wells with gray inserts, unique 15-inch alloy wheels with red or black inserts for a pop of style, and integrated roof rails. Inside, the ACTIV adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and heated front seats.
Above the ACTIV in the range is the 2LT sub-trim of the LT. It ups the style with chrome liftgate trim, beltline moldings, and door handles. Inside, it adds heated seats for the driver and passengers, a color information display in the middle of the instrument cluster, and the option of a power sunroof.
Every trim of the Spark comes standard with a 7-inch MyLink infotainment screen. MyLink is one of the best infotainment systems on the market and features large icons, vivid fonts, and logical menu navigation. MyLink also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, allowing for enhanced access to your smartphone’s features. Drivers can use their smartphone’s maps app for navigation and compose text messages via voice control.
No matter the trim, the Spark comes with a 1.4-liter inline 4-cylinder, creating 98 horsepower and 94 pound-feet of torque. Power gets sent to the front wheels through either a 5-speed manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT). Ninety-eight horsepower might not seem like much, but it’s enough to move the slightly over 2,200-pound Spark around well.
Fuel economy with the CVT is 30 mpg city, 38 highway, 33 combined, and the manual returns 29, 39, 33. The Spark ACTIV’s fuel-economy numbers are slightly different, at 30, 37, 33 with the CVT and 29, 38, 32 with the manual.
Standard safety features on the Spark include front and side impact airbags, electronic traction control, stability control, the LATCH child-seat anchoring system, tire pressure monitoring system, and hill-start assist. The Spark also comes standard with a reversing camera that projects its view through the large MyLink screen. Drivers can also get the Spark with available high-tech safety features such as blind-spot monitoring, rear parking sensors, and forward-collision warning.
Base MSRP for the 2018 Chevrolet Spark with a manual transmission is $13,925. With an automatic the base trim jumps to $15,025. The LT starts at $15,750, while the 2LT starts $17,250. The Spark ACTIV starts at $16,995. A Driver Confidence Package ($195), available on the 2LT, adds forward-collision avoidance and lane-departure warning. Available
15-inch silver or black alloy wheels add another $1,100. Even with every package and option selected, the Spark barely cracks $20,000.
Be it the nimble, subcompact layout, the efficient powertrain, or the high-tech standard features, the 2018 Chevrolet Spark proves drivers don’t have to sacrifice quality to get an affordable daily driver.
From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.
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