If you are looking for an affordable but well equipped and frugal subcompact car, look no further than the new 2017 Chevrolet Spark. The Spark looks more enticing than ever courtesy of a host of upgrades which includes a more stylish exterior look, a revised cabin and an upgraded drive-train. The model also features a new architecture. With the upgrades, Chevrolet has taken the battle straight to the doorstep of its rivals. Read along to find out more:
2017 Chevrolet Spark Exterior
The outgoing Spark was not as impressive as I had expected of Chevrolet. However, I gave the automaker the benefit of doubt since the outgoing model was the subcompact car’s first generation. I was not thus much surprised when I saw the new Spark looking all stylish and mature.
However, the automaker caught me off guard with the reduced dimensions of the new Spark. For compact cars, you only expect the size to be expanded but Chevrolet did quite the opposite. The new model is shorter than the outgoing Spark. The Spark ‘s length has reduced by 1.6 inches, width by 0.1 inches and its height has reduced by 0.4 inches but its wheelbase has increased by 0.4 inches.
The model also features a longer wheelbase and a lower roofline which makes it appear more stable and proportional. Other exterior features include a larger grille flanked by stylish headlight housings. The rear door handles are now placed higher on the doors making the rear profile coupe-like.
Due to the reduced exterior dimensions, the second row space has reduced by 3 cubic feet to 35 cubic feet. Cargo space with the seats folded has reduced by 4 cubic feet to 27 cubic feet but remains unchanged when the seats are up. Although the height was reduced, the automaker accordingly reduced the H point on the seats to preserve the model’s headroom.
The new Spark will feature three new exterior colors which are the Splash, Toasted Marshmallow and Kalamata.
2017 Chevrolet Spark Interior
The interior has been upgraded making the Spark to look better than ever. The dashboard looks more stylish while the seats are wrapped in a more quality cloth. The instrument cluster features a new capacitive touch-screen while the center stack looks more upscale.
Technologies have also been revamped and the model will feature an upgraded infotainment system, up-to-date connectivity features like the GM sourced 4GLTE Wi-Fi connectivity, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Other features include steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a sunroof. I think the Spark is the most equipped subcompact car in the market today. It can rival many cars with a higher price tag.
Safety is also well taken care of. The Spark features anti-lock brakes, traction control, an upgraded package of airbags including side-curtain airbags, traction control and a host of driving aids. The new driving aids include parking sensors, forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning among others. Most of these technologies are not common in most subcompact cars.
Engine specs and performance
Under the hood, the Spark is offered in a choice of two drive-trains i.e. a conventional and an electric engine. The conventional engine is a 1.4 L, 4-cylinder mill which is rated at 98 hp at 6200 rpm and 94 lb-ft of torque at 4400 rpm. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard but one can opt for a CVT system.
This engine is pretty frugal as it returns 29 mpg in city and 38 mpg on highway for models with a manual gearbox and 30 mpg city and 38 mpg on highway drives for models paired with an automatic transmission.
Moving over to the Spark EV electric vehicle, you will find a 19 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that is capable of producing 140 horses and 327 lb-ft of torque. The battery pack provides a range of 82 miles. Once depleted, the battery can be replenished in 20 hours using a standard, 120-volt line and within 7 hours with a 240-volt line. A SAE Combo DC Fast Charger can “juice” the battery from 0%-80% in only 20 minutes.
Price and release date
The 2017 Chevrolet Spark has an MSRP of $13,875 (LS trim manual transmission). However, if you want extras you will have to spend more. The Spark 1LT has a starting price of $15,700 while the 2LT fetches $17,200, for models with automatic transmission should add $ 1.100 more at this prices.
If you want the Spark EV, you will have to spend $26,000 which is much less than the outgoing model. Factoring in incentives takes the price to less than $20,000 meaning it is more affordable than the Smart ForTwo Microcar and Fiat 500.