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2013 Chevrolet Spark

Overview
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2013 Chevrolet Spark Review

By

Cars seem to be downsizing in the name of price, fuel efficiency, and perhaps, novelty. But while cars like the Scion iQ and the Smart Fortwo may be undersized afterthoughts for many car shoppers in the market for a small car, a real 5-seater like the 2013 Chevrolet Spark could be on the radars of anyone looking for an inexpensive sub-compact that can comfortably fit more than 2 people. The Spark's tiny 1.2-liter engine, eye-catching aesthetics and low price make it a gem in the new-car market, but what also makes this micro-cruiser stand out is that it's available with high-tech features that ride along with the ever-growing wave of technology.

You'll Like This Car If...

In addition to stylish looks, the all-new Chevy Spark has a very attractive starting price and a surprising amount of storage capacity. City-dwellers will like the Spark's ability to fit into the smallest of parking spaces.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Tiny cars can get jittery at higher speeds. If your commute involves a significant amount of freeway driving, you might want to step up to a slightly larger vehicle like the Ford Fiesta, Kia Rio 5-door or Chevy Sonic, which are all more high-speed stable than the Spark.

What's New for 2013

The 2013 Chevy Spark is the latest entry into the A-segment market of micro-compacts. Although it's new to the U.S. market, Chevy has actually been building the Spark in South Korea for the Asian and European markets over the past few years. America's rising gas prices have made this model more relevant. That being said, the Spark's miniscule size, edgy styling and smart packaging are what really make it stand out.

Driving the Spark

Driving Impressions On the road, the Spark drives like a glorified motorcycle: It's quick and nimble, but also loud and buzzy. The 1.2-liter engine adequately moves the sub-2,300-pound car through and around...

traffic and although 83 horsepower doesn't seem like a lot, it's enough to adequately power the car up steep hills. As far as handling, the micro-car is tossable, but body roll is present thanks to the headroom-creating high roofline. We also detected a lot of wind and road noise in the cabin, but still found it easy to carry on conversations with other passengers. The Spark has a very short wheelbase, so don't expect comfortable highway cruising. If the bulk of your commute is done on busy inner-city streets where tight parking spaces and traffic merges are prevalent, however, then the Spark's diminutive size will outweigh its jumpy ride.

CHEVROLET MyLink
We like the Chevy MyLink with its 7-inch touch screen, Sirius satellite radio, Bluetooth streaming audio and telephone with voice recognition. But what we like even more is that the system doesn't have a CD player but instead seamlessly connects to the owner's smartphone for personalized integration.

MOTORCYCLE-INSPIRED INSTRUMENT PANEL
Complementing the Spark's futuristic design is the motorcycle-inspired instrument panel that displays a digital tachometer and trip odometer as well as a large, blue-illuminated analog speedometer.

2013 Chevrolet Spark Details
2013 Chevrolet Spark photo Interior

The Spark's interior is small, but it's roomier than you might think. It has enough room for four adults and the rear seat is easier to get into than those in the Fiat 500 and Scion iQ. In addition to a surprising amount of space, the Spark's interior is as modern as the outside thanks to the body-colored trim pieces and motorcycle-inspired instrument panel. There are plenty of plastics and cloth surfaces in the base Spark, but things get more interesting when stepping up a trim level and opting for the available 7-inch touch screen in the center console area and leatherette upholstery. There's not much cargo room with the rear seats up (11.4 cubic feet), but with the seats folded, the Spark offers 31.2 cubic feet of volume – much more than its rivals.

Exterior
2013 Chevrolet Spark photo

The 2013 Chevrolet Spark has a lot in common with its Chevy Sonic stablemate. In fact, it's almost hard to tell the difference between the two, until closer inspection. Aside from the similar hatchback shape, the Spark delineates itself from its sibling with its sharply angled headlights and taillights and even smaller size. For the Spark, opting for higher trim levels includes a few exterior enhancements, including chrome trim pieces, body-color front and rear bodywork, fog lights, and unique 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Considering the economy-minded class it competes in, even the base 2013 Chevrolet Spark comes with a host of convenience features. Some of the most notable include air conditioning, power windows, 15-inch alloy wheels, an AM/FM stereo system with 4 speakers, OnStar, and a 60/40 split/folding rear seat. And since an extremely small car calls for extreme small-car safety features, the Spark has 10 airbags (including a driver-side knee airbag), hill start assist and Stabilitrak stability control with brake assist to keep help you panic-stop quicker.

Optional Equipment

Some of the most notable options for the 2013 Chevy Spark include a 7-inch color touch-screen radio with Chevrolet MyLink, leather seating, Bluetooth connectivity for select smartphones, a 6-speaker audio system, cruise control, and steering-wheel audio controls. These features are available when the higher trim levels are selected.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Chevrolet Spark is powered by a 1.2-liter 4-cylinder engine good for 84 horsepower and 83 lb-ft of torque. While one might harbor low expectations for such a low-power engine, we found that it propelled the minicar with ease and was much quieter and smoother than we initially expected. Power is sent to the Spark's front wheels via a standard 5-speed manual transmission, but a 4-speed automatic is also available.

1.2-liter inline-4
84 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
83 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 32/38 mpg (manual), 28/37 mpg (automatic)

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Buying this car?

2013 Chevrolet Spark Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 92 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Worst vehicle I've ever owned

By on Monday, September 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,600

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Easy to park"

Cons: "Everything else"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"This car, much like any economy car doesn't have enough power to get out of its own way, but unlike others in this class, it is geared improperly for anything over 50 mph. On the interstate, the car drones at about 3750 rpm. The road noise is ridiculous, the steering is numb, and the seats are uncomfortable. The cabin is filled with cheap, hard plastics that make trash cans seem luxurious. Also, unless you want the dash to be scratched, don't own a dog that enjoys car rides."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Great value for the money on a new car

By on Monday, September 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Price, value, gas mileage , easy to drive."

Cons: "no power door locks on the LS, but did you?"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Bought a demo 2014 Spark for our daughters first car, got the car with 4200 miles on it ,but was never titled and was in the Chevy Showroom. Got the car for 10, 500. We put a little down payment and made it affordable for her to make car payments and learn what life is really about to own a car. With a 3 year, 30,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty and free maintenance for 2 years, getting a new car she can take to any Chevy Dealership it was a no brainer. Perfect first car for a teen in school and going to collage. So far so good with no complaints.She Uses 89 octane to get over 40 MPG on the HWY."

This is the biggest bang for your auto buck ...

By on Friday, August 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I now have 13000 miles on this Spark with excellent performance under all conditions.including Pennsylvania pot hole roads ... Have read of some criticisms on this site which I have found to be totally false .. I have a stick model and get nearly 45 miles per gallon using Mobil 1 . 0W-20W synthetic oil.. I have driven more than a million miles in the last 30 years and this is one of the best cars I ever owned , out of about 15..... 4 cylinder front wheel drives.. Excellent bargain priced nice AUTO...I am very pleased with .."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Two Sparks in the family with manual transmissions

By on Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "everything it does it does well, instrumentation"

Cons: "back seats don't fold flat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We bought one new and 10 months later found a used one. They both have manual trannies. The biggest knock I read about the Spark is acceleration. The 5 speed manual resolves that issue. If you want one, you will probably have to test drive an automatic, then hound your dealer until he can locate a stick. They are hard to find. When we bought the new one I had three dealerships competing and it took three days before one was found. For the used one I had to drive 170 miles to Chicago for the closest used one on the market. Was worth the drive."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

great car

By on Sunday, August 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great car"

Cons: "ac"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"took family trip to Tennessee great gas mileage moved right along only complaint was ac but just received a recall on ac very happy with car had a lot of compliments"

Perfect for the price (LS automatic)

By on Friday, August 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fuel-efficient and sporty-looking for little $"

Cons: "needs mid-grade gas to avoid sputters"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Sparky is the perfect car for me. I commute 130 miles round trip--half highway, half city--and average 41 mpg combined. When I first bought it, the car sputtered a bit climbing up out of underground parking garages and accelerating up steep on-ramps. Now, I feed it mid-grade gas and have no problems whatsoever, easily hitting 70 before I have to merge with interstate traffic. I have had no trouble cruising at 80 mph, as long as it isn't too windy. But with strong gusts at high speeds, it's Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (fun and not too scary). Rides high, so I don't feel like I'm in a tiny car. I love that it can U-turn in a narrow street or tight parking lot. Color options are odd, but salsa red looks sporty, and no one believes I bought it new for only $12,000. The rear seats fold down to create more cargo space, but my bike doesn't fit. However, I have strapped a 10-ft kayak on the roof to drive 8 blocks to the river--giving onlookers a good laugh."

10 people out of 13 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?