2013 Chevrolet Spark Review
With accurate steering and a surprisingly spacious cabin, test drivers say the 2013 Chevrolet Spark makes a great car for the city, but feels unstable and underpowered on the highway.
With a four-cylinder engine that makes 84 horsepower, the 2013 Spark is far from powerful, but auto writers say it will meet shoppers’ commuter car needs. Most test drivers report that the Spark handles city environments well, and its ride isn’t harsh over large bumps in the road. However, the story changes when they take the Spark on the freeway. It struggles at faster speeds and is tossed about when larger vehicles cruise by. Some reviewers are also disappointed with the Spark’s fuel economy ratings, which average 28/37 mpg city/highway with the automatic transmission. Those figures are good for the class, but some critics expect more from a subcompact car with such a small engine. Fuel economy ratings are 32/38 mpg with the manual, and reviewers also favor this transmission because it shifts gears smoothly.
Many test drivers are amazed that a subcompact car can have such a spacious cabin. The 2013 Chevrolet Spark only seats four, but reviewers say that the front seats have plenty of space and great outward visibility. They’re also surprised that adults can sit comfortably in the second row. Although few critics comment on the Spark’s available cargo space, the small car offers more room than many of its competitors. The Spark doesn’t have many interior tech features. A stereo system with an auxiliary input is standard, and a USB port and Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system are optional. A navigation system is unavailable.
- "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
- "From the steering feel and body control, to the splash of body-colored plastic on the dashboard and those swept-back headlights, the Spark is stylish and a solid bargain." -- Road and Track
- "Affordable, in this case, does not mean cheaply assembled, poorly designed or unsafe." -- The Washington Post
Other Cars to Consider
The Fiat 500 offers a lot of customization options and many powertrain choices. The 500’s base engine is a lot more powerful than the Spark’s, and it also offers sporty Turbo and Abarth models, as well as a convertible. While the Fiat 500 offers less cargo space than the Spark, the 500 has good safety scores. The 500 has a starting price that's several thousand dollars more than the Spark's.
If you want a lot of standard features, the Scion iQ has significantly more than the Spark. The iQ comes with amenities like a USB port, Pioneer stereo, Bluetooth, HD Radio and 11 airbags. Though the iQ is packed with standard equipment, reviewers say its second row is very cramped, and it has considerably less cargo space than the Spark.
Details: 2013 Chevrolet Spark
The all-new 2013 Chevrolet Spark hatchback seats four and is available in LS, 1LT and 2LT trims. A four-cylinder engine is standard, and there’s a standard five-speed manual transmission and an optional four-speed automatic. The Spark doesn’t offer many interior upgrades, but features like Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system and heated faux-leather seats are optional.