The 2015 Chevrolet Spark can seat four adults, and unlike the Fiat 500 and Scion iQ, the rear seats are easier to access and offer more legroom. In addition to its ability to haul a surprising amount with the rear seats folded, the Spark offers a decent 11.4 cubic feet of room with them raised. Up front, the Spark is simple, but slick, with a motorcycle-inspired instrument panel. The steering wheel tilts but does not telescope. Plastic and cloth are the standard in base models, but visual and tactile pop is gained with colorful trim kits, a 7-inch touch-screen display and faux-leather seating.
From a distance, you may have trouble telling the Chevy Spark apart from its Sonic hatchback sibling. Like that subcompact, the Spark has a wedge-shaped design and unique details such as hidden handles in the rear doors. Step closer and you'll notice the Spark's taller profile, larger headlight housings and tidier dimensions. We think the Sonic has the edge in aesthetics among Chevy's subcompacts, but it's also over $2,500 more. Electric Spark models have a chrome 2-tier grille that is closed to reduce airflow, a rear spoiler, and aero-optimized mirrors for the greatest efficiency.
Notable Standard Equipment
Even at around $13,000 in base form, a 2015 Spark LS offers more than you might assume. For example, while some other bottom-dollar cars still require you to crank your own windows, that's not the case here. Also included are air conditioning, a 4-speaker AM/FM radio with auxiliary input and 15-inch wheels. Higher trims add a 7-inch touch-screen command center, cruise control, power door locks and mirrors, and leatherette on top trims. In addition to OnStar as standard in all models, higher trims include a 6-speaker audio system with USB port and Bluetooth streaming (a CD player is not available). Safety features include 10 airbags, and traction and stability control.
Notable Optional Equipment
Options are limited on the 2015 Spark, as most upgrades come by moving up trims to the mid-tier 1LT or top-line 2LT. As such, add-ons are limited to features like colors of interior details, fog lights, a unique grille, and an engine block heater. Navigation is available through the BringGo smartphone app, as are audio-streaming services such as Pandora, Stitcher and TuneIn global Internet radio. Drivers with compatible iPhones can use the Siri Personal Assistant. Spark EV models can be fitted with a fast-charging port.
Under the Hood
The 2015 Spark uses a 1.2-liter inline 4-cylinder engine that makes 84 horsepower and is linked to a 5-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). All Spark models are front-wheel drive and can run on regular unleaded gasoline. Spark EV models use an electric motor that makes 140 horsepower. Torque in 2015 Spark EV models is down from last year – as is the weight of the battery – but it's still prodigious at 327 lb-ft. On a full charge hatchback EV has an EPA-rated range of 82 miles. Charging times vary from 20 minutes using a scarce (for now) DC Fast Charging unit, to 20 hours on a standard 120-volt outlet. In between is a more reasonable seven hours on a 240-volt line.
84 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
83 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 31/39 mpg (manual), 30/39 mpg (automatic)
18.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack
327 lb-ft of torque
Projected range per charge: 82 miles
The 2015 Chevy Spark minicar comes with an appropriately miniature Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) price starting around $13,000. It's not the lowest price for a new car, but it remains close to the one that wears that humble crown: the Nissan Versa and its $12,800 starting tag. Decked out in top trim with an automatic transmission, the Spark can reach about $18,000. At its starting price, the Spark continues to undercut rivals in the minicar segment. It's a couple hundred less than the Smart Fortwo, and several thousand below the Scion iQ and Fiat 500. The 2015 Spark EV, available in California and Oregon, starts under $28,000 before factoring in the $7,500 federal income tax credit. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their Chevy Spark. The Spark is expected to have strong resale value, outperforming its Fiat and Scion rivals.
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