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#27

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $12,170 - $16,385
Invoice: $11,805 - $15,730
MPG: 31 City / 39 Hwy
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Chevrolet Spark Review

The 2014 Chevrolet Spark ranks 27 out of 40 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Chevrolet Spark, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 Chevrolet Spark is ranked:

Though rivals offer more power, test drivers say that the 2014 Chevrolet Spark offers a spacious, attractive interior and a low starting price.

Although it isn't the most powerful car in the class, automotive critics say that the 2014 Chevy Spark has adequate power for most commuters and is capable of holding its own on the freeway. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and reviewers say it makes good use of the engine’s power. An available continuously variable transmission (CVT) helps the Spark earn an EPA-estimated 30/39 mpg city/highway, which is great for an affordable subcompact car. Test drivers say the Spark has responsive steering and handles well overall, especially in tight spaces. However, they add that due to its small stature, the Spark doesn’t have the most comfortable highway ride. Reviewers also note that some rivals like the Ford Fiesta and Kia Rio are more fun to drive. The Spark comes with 10 air bags, including driver and front passenger knee air bags, which is notable for the class.

Reviewers say that bright interior colors and modern styling make it easy to overlook the use of hard plastic materials in the 2014 Spark. The four-door cabin is roomy and it’s easy for passengers to get in and out, reviewers say. All seats are comfortable and offer adequate head- and legroom, test drivers report, adding that though the rear seats are predictably tight, they’re roomier than in other subcompacts. The cargo bay is a decent size for the class and test drivers appreciate the Spark’s numerous available features. Standard features include a four-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input and OnStar, which can provide turn-by-turn directions and emergency assistance. Options include steering wheel-mounted audio controls, keyless entry, six speakers and Chevy's MyLink infotainment system featuring Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a USB port, satellite radio, voice commands for your phone and a 7-inch touch screen that integrates with mobile apps like Pandora Internet radio. Auto writers praise MyLink for its sharp graphics and simple on-screen menus. They also say it’s easy to connect to a compatible smartphone.

  • "They cost more, but Chevy's own Sonic, along with the Ford Fiesta, Kia Rio and Nissan Versa Note are more substantial and appealing to drive. But the 2014 Chevrolet Spark is tops at the bottom line, and it's refined enough to make you proud of your new ride." -- Edmunds
  • "For something with a starting price of $12,995, the Spark feels surprisingly upscale.” -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "With 10 airbags, a sufficiently solid feel, and a cheap and cheerful interior, the Chevy Spark is plenty of car for used car money." -- Motor Trend (2013)
  • "Affordable, in this case, does not mean cheaply assembled, poorly designed or unsafe." -- The Washington Post (2013)
  • "In addition to stylish looks, the all-new Chevy Spark has a very attractive starting price and a surprising amount of storage capacity. City-dwellers will like the Spark's ability to fit into the smallest of parking spaces." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)

Other Cars to Consider

Though it costs a bit more than the Spark, reviewers say the Fiat 500 has an attractive, retro-inspired interior. The base engine is more powerful than the Spark’s and options include a premium audio system and a more powerful turbocharged engine.

The Ford Fiesta is one of the top-ranked cars in the class and test drivers praise its upscale interior and comfortable seats. They also say it has excellent handling and is very engaging to drive. The Fiesta gets great fuel economy, and unlike the Spark, you can get it with an optional moonroof.

Compare the Spark, 500 and Fiesta »

Details: 2014 Chevrolet Spark

The 2014 Chevrolet Spark is a four-seat hatchback that’s available in three trims: LS, 1LT and 2LT. A 1.2-liter, four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission are standard. A CVT is available on all trims. The Spark EV is reviewed separately. The Spark was an all-new model for the 2013 model year and hasn’t seen many changes other than the new CVT, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013 and 2014 model years.

See the full 2014 Chevrolet Spark specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/16/14

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