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2013 Chevrolet Spark

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2013 Chevrolet Spark Review

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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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2013 Chevrolet Spark Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 128 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

after 3 years of ownership I have no regrets

By on Monday, May 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "really fast, and pulls hard right to 90 MPH"

Cons: "ride can be bumpy at times"

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

"After 3 years of trouble free miles I am turning in my Spark EV; lease over. I will be at 36K miles. My only expense was for 2 front tires and wiper blades. Maintenance meant checking tire pressures and washer fluid level; that's it! Range is still about 89 miles +/- 3 miles. It is still a rocket! I love to race "faster cars". I am going to lease another. You should know that after lease costs and rebates the car is just about free to own, compared to driving a gas car. This is the perfect car. I have never used a charge station only the cord that comes with the car; 110V. Maybe 30-35 miles per day. the heater will suck up juice/ AC just a little."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Chevy Spark excellent condition 35/40 mpg

By on Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great gas mileage, very roomy and comfortable"

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

"I purchased this great car for my daughter to commute back and forth to college, it is in excellent condition with low miles. please contact us if you are interested in hearing more."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Surprisingly large inside

By on Monday, March 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive, excellent specs for the price"

Cons: "horsepower is just right for city and highway"

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

"This car has many positive aspects and only a couple of things to improve (one already corrected in the 2016 model: more horsepower, the other one is some sort of nervousness when you turn and have to accel at the same time like in a traffic light). To start, the interior with a sophisticated design and bright and fancy colors (black and silver panels and black leatherette trims). It is comfortable enough for a ride up to 6 hours (Phoenix - Los Angeles - San Diego without complications) and the ergonomic design helps the driver to keep posture. The equipment of a 1LT is far superior to any other car in this segment: Honda Fit, Mitsubishi Mirage or even Smart and Mini Cooper have boring interiors compared to the Spark. The LCD 7-inch screen lets you view video while you wait for your date, you can choose a song from your USB thumb drive (mine, 32 gb works perfectly!) and also has Sirius XM, FM / AM autoscan and even GPS navigator that connects cleverly with your Android or iPhone. OnStar is great and gives you detailed statistics month after month about all your car, from tire pressure to emissions and oil life. It really is comparable with other more expensive GM cars at a fraction of the price. In 2016 the engine was upgraded and I still have to taste its horsepower but I have a 2014 and it still has a lot of energy and good vibes to travel across the city or across the state border!"

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Fun for the young, avoid the road trip

By on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I don't own this car

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "for the young, electronically connected driver"

Cons: "stick with the city, avoid the highway"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"This was the rental they gave me for a week long 1600 mile road trip. Oddly enough they thought it was a step above their smallest. Almost all my miles were highway. It is roomy, although not comfortable for a 6'2" driver like me. Visibility was good. The seats are barely adjustable and not that comfortable for many hours. Almost no luggage space. The instrument cluster and electronics looked like it is aimed for the young electronic crowd. Every time you start the radio tries to pair with your blue tooth phone even if you don't have one. It doesn't even have a CD player, although there is a USB connection. For my road trip this car was severely under powered. With a strong headwind and 80 mph speed limit, the tach was consistently reading over 4000 rpm, jumping to 6000 on any sort of rise, let alone hill. With that much engine and wind noise, this is a noisy car. It didn't feel that stable either, any extra gust and it would move several feet to the side. When going slower through the cities, the CVT made it feel like there was a transmission problem. It seemed to always be jumping around and not a smooth ride. To summarize, it is like this car is not sure what it is trying to be. A cheap commuter for the electronically connected crowd, but with a poor city feel with the CVT, it is not fun to drive. The gas mileage is great, but at the expense of really lacking power. Plus out west where most guys drive trucks there were actually people pointing and laughing at me for driving this. I suppose if your daughter needs a first car, she might think this is kind of cool."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great car

By on Sunday, January 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,500

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great price for hatchback plenty room"

Cons: "none"

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

"I'm currently driving a 2013 spark manual trans 5 speed no problems all I changed was the air filter and oil changes. But I keep reading the seat in back doesn't go all the way down Yes it does you remove the headrest put between back seats and it lays flat . I even put a snow blower or a lawn mower handles down in back. Same in all sparks I've seen 2013 on up"

6 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Perfect Around Town Runabout

By on Monday, January 4, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good price, fun to drive, very economical"

Cons: "Needs better rear speakers, floor carpets too thin"

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

"The Chevy Spark replaced a Pontiac Grand Am, which was a great car, but too thirsty for just running around. The Spark returns 35+ miles per gallon in town, even with the automatic transmission. The 1LT is heavily equipped for a car this size, including having four doors! Having all of the "toys" makes it a fun little car. On the "My Link" infotainment system, you can even play video via USB drives. The one improvement I would recommend is better bass response for the rear speakers. It has a good ride for a car its size and the cheeky styling makes me smile when I look at it. It has a huge front glass area which makes the car feel much larger. The seats have good lateral and lumbar support and the driver's seat can be adjusted for height. It has loads of nooks and crannies for interior storage. A big plus is the small amount of space it takes to park. Fit and finish is very good and the exterior paint is much better than expected for the moderate price charged. I am very happy with the Spark and can recommend it for what it is: Good, sensible, economical around town transportation with personality overload, good road manners and great fun factor."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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