The Chevrolet Spark is offered in three different trims: LS, 1LT and 2LT. Standard equipment even on the base LS includes air conditioning, power steering, power windows, tilt steering-wheel adjustment, a rear defogger, variable intermittent wipers and a 4-speaker AM/FM radio. Spark 1LT adds some popular equipment, including keyless entry, power locks, cruise control, power side mirrors and upgraded 6-speaker audio with USB and aux inputs, satellite radio and Chevrolet's MyLink Touch system, which has a 7-inch color touch screen and allows hands-free and audio-streaming capability, as well as access to apps such as Pandora and Stitcher.
Top-level 2LT models get an upgraded look with leatherette seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, steering-wheel controls, alloy wheels and fog lamps, plus special front-end details, chrome trim, a chrome exhaust tip and bright-painted roof rails.
Standard Sparks are powered by an 84-horsepower, 1.2L 4-cylinder engine, mated to either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a CVT transmission. The engine has dual overhead cams and dual continuous variable cam timing, promising both low maintenance and strong fuel economy.
The Spark EV is powered by an electric motor producing up to 400 lb-ft. of torque. This unique drivetrain is backed up by an 8 year 100,000 mile battery warranty helping to alleviate fears about batteries going bad after a few years. Spark EV models are available in 1LT and 2LT trims.
On the outside, the Spark looks sportier than you might expect for a simple urban hatchback, with 'hidden' rear door handles and flamboyant exterior finishes in colors that include Denim, Jalapeno, Lemonade, Salsa and Techno Pink, as well as traditional colors.
Inside, a dash design that's motorcycle-inspired. The look inside is far from economy-car drab. The Spark has space for four, with an upright seating position and a good view out from the front seats, combined with the space to fit two smaller adults in back.
The Spark's layout is quite typical for a very low-cost, front-wheel-drive small car. The suspension follows a MacPherson strut-type arrangement in front, with a torsion-beam setup in back. Stops are provided by front-disc, rear-drum brakes; there's electric power steering; and the Spark runs on low-rolling-resistance tires, which also boost mileage.
Safety is taken seriously and Chevrolet has included a strong roster of safety features that would be impressive in a mid-size luxury car. StabiliTrak stability control is included, as are anti-lock brakes. There are ten standard airbags in the Spark, including front side bags, side-curtain bags and front knee airbags. The Spark even includes GM's OnStar emergency and concierge services.
Chevrolet introduces the brand new Spark EV in 2014. The all-electric version of the spark has a range of about 80 miles and is good for a 0-60 time of just 7.6 seconds, making it far from slow. Equipped with a new DC "combo charger" the spark EV is able to charge the batteries up to 80 percent in a scant 20 minutes. Also new for 2014 is a continuously variable transmission, which boosts fuel economy on gasoline engine sparks up to 30 mpg city and 39 mpg on the highway.