Great Choice For High Mileage, Cool Tech & Parking
I am a simple kind of guy, and my goal with getting another vehicle was very simple – get a new vehicle at a reasonably low price. Happily, the 2017 Spark is simple in all the ways I like – I got the base LS model because I’m not a fan of power anything (power stuff breaks first). The only “power” options I wanted and got on the Spark were power steering and an automatic transmission. The most common descriptor my friends use for the Spark is “cute.” It’s quite a small vehicle, but it’s one I have no problem fitting my 5’ 11”, 230-pound frame into. The seats, while not easy-chair material, are sufficiently comfortable. The Spark is good with mirrors and window space – blind spots on either side of the car have been kept to a minimum. The rear-view mirror inside the cabin could be a little wider, but it’s adequate. And the rear window is wide enough to monitor tailgaters. Internal storage space, as has been widely written about, isn’t very much, but you can fold the rear seats down for additional space. It also has two rear doors which might be suitable for loading large items as well as associates. Much has also been written about the Spark’s 98-horsepower engine and that it takes 10 seconds to get to 60 mph. I have not found it to be a problem. I would not call it underpowered at all. If you’re an angry, pushy driver who loves to tailgate others, the Spark will exhaust your patience. But if you’re a judicious, considerate driver, the Spark’s acceleration won’t be an issue for you. I was a little surprised to find out the Spark has a 9.2-gallon tank – the smallest in any vehicle I’ve ever owned, but that’s offset by its high-rated fuel mileage of 38mpg (highway) and up. If you do the math, that’s a cruising range of at least 340 miles. This is not a “touring” car, but for 180- to 250-mile trips that I take on occasion, I’m confident the Spark can handle the pull. The deal clincher for me was under the hood – the EcoTec engine, this one a 1.4-liter jobbie – is the centerpiece of the Spark. I became a huge fan of EcoTec with my last car which lasted over 296,000 miles with that original engine. Unlike the Fiat 500, you can use 87 octane fuel with the Spark. Compared with what I’ve read about similar subcompacts, the Spark’s instrument panel and dash are welcomingly simple and very nicely designed. No screen is too “busy”. If you have an Android or iPhone smartphone, you can plug either device into the USB jack and access music and certain mobile apps from those devices on the touch-screen display. The semi-digital dash on the base model is the carries a nice amount of information including mpg, miles to empty, and average speed. The 1LT and 2LT models are supposed to be even better on this point. The radio does NOT pick up HD channels (at least not in the base model), so get your premium stations thru your Bluetooth enabled smartphone and apps like Sirius XM or Pandora. The Spark includes several modern conveniences and safety features such as a rear backup camera and the MyChevy touch-screen control system with Bluetooth. You get a 3-month trial of OnStar remote monitoring and assistance free, too, as well as built-in 4G wi-fi service you can add on for as little as $10 a month (1 GB). Automatic lights, cup holders, and too many other features to include in this short review. The Spark is a good, simple little car that has in reviews been compared favorably in specific ways to the pricier Honda Fit, the trendy Fiat 500, the practical Nissan Versa, and the equally reliable Toyota Yaris. The Spark stands out, though, for its integrated OnStar service and onboard technology. If you’re in a precarious situation with savings or credit score, and you need basic transportation, you’ll like the Spark a lot. If you’re a road hog, or a gearhead, look elsewhere. The Spark is most certainly not a ride for hipsters (unless they’re driving it ironically). For its high fuel mileage, its maneuverability in tight parking spaces, its safety features, and its integrated smartphone technology, not to mention its low price relative to other vehicles in its class, the Spark earns its overall 5 stars. Just a few things keep it from being an absolutely perfect subcompact, but no one has made one of those yet! Take a test drive! You’ll love it!
I would recommend this vehicle to a friend: YES