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2014 Chevrolet Spark

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2014 Chevrolet Spark Review

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The Spark is Chevrolet's U.S. entry into the minicar market, a niche that's slowly growing as more buyers look for high-mileage, low-cost vehicles that feel at home in crowded cities. Though it only debuted in 2013, Chevy has enhanced the Spark for 2014 with a new automatic transmission that increases fuel economy to 39 mpg in an effort to top rivals such as the Scion iQ, Fiat 500, and Smart Fortwo. For those never wanting to visit a gas station, there's the all-electric Spark EV initially for sale in California and Oregon. With two rear seats and slightly larger dimensions than its rivals, the Spark is easier to live with. It's at home in the city, but those who log many highway miles should look to something larger.

You'll Like This Car If...

Numbers are appealing here, specifically a sub-$13,000 starting price and 39-mpg highway fuel-economy rating. Equally appealing are the Spark's style and a size that's big enough to hold four passengers yet tiny enough to park where other cars can't.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Tiny cars often get nervous at higher speeds. If you spend a lot of time on the highway, take a look at slightly larger but still budget-friendly and fuel-efficient cars like the Ford Fiesta, Kia Rio, or the Spark's larger sibling, the Sonic. All feel more stable on freeways.

Consumer Rating

8.6 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Chevrolet Spark Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

A more efficient CVT (continuously variable automatic transmission) replaces the 4-speed in models with an automatic transmission, and all Spark minicars gain automatic headlight control. Navigation is now available through a smartphone-enabled app. The all-electric Spark EV is new for 2014 and has a range of 82 miles.

Driving the Spark
2014 Chevrolet Spark Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions Thanks to its small size and low weight, the Chevy Spark feels zippy and nimble. The Spark's 83 horsepower from its tiny 1.2-liter engine may not sound like much, but...

it's enough to move this sub-2,400-pound car in and around traffic. The Spark is tossable in corners, but body roll is present. Wind and road noise are apparent in the cabin, but we didn't have to shout to carry on conversations. At higher speeds such as freeway driving, the Spark can feel jumpy. The Spark EV packs a powerful punch with a whopping 400 lb-ft of torque coming from its electric motor. That kind of oomph is enough to make the electric car zip to 60 mph in just 7.6 seconds, while its heavier curb weight and sport-tuned suspension make it feel more planted.
Favorite Features

CHEVROLET MyLink
Chevy's MyLink telematics system boasts a 7-inch touchscreen, SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth streaming audio and telephone with voice recognition. Those with iPhones can even use a specialized version of Siri voice command with it.

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 analog speedometer illuminated by a blue glow.

2014 Chevrolet Spark Details
2014 Chevrolet Spark Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The Spark's cabin is small, but there is enough room for four adults. The rear seats are easier to access and offer more legroom than those of the Fiat 500 and Scion iQ (the Smart Fortwo seats just two). The 11.4-cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seat isn't vast, but it's more than what's offered in the 500 and iQ. Fold the 60/40-split seats, and that space nearly triples. Style-wise, the Spark aims for hip with a motorcycle-like instrument panel and luminescent dials. Plastic and cloth are the materials of choice in base models, but visual and tactile pop can be gained with colorful trim kits, a 7-inch touchscreen display and faux leather seating. EV models have an additional high-resolution screen in front of the driver to show range and other pertinent info.

Exterior
2014 Chevrolet Spark photo

From a distance, you may have trouble telling the Chevy Spark apart from its Sonic hatchback sibling. Like that also-diminutive car, the Spark is has a wedge-like design and unique details such as hidden handles in the rear doors. Step closer, though, and you'll notice the Spark's taller profile, larger headlight housings, and even-smaller dimensions. We think the Sonic has the edge in aesthetics among Chevy's subcompacts, but it's also over $2,500 more. Spark EV 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 Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2014 Chevrolet Spark isn't as Spartan as some may surmise. Even a base Spark minicar comes with air conditioning, power windows, 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. Missing in action on all forms of Spark is a telescoping steering wheel. And sadly for those among Gen X or beyond, a CD player isn't even an option as younger drivers store music on devices, not discs. Spark EV models have a DC fast charging unit that allows an 80 percent charge in 20 minutes. Safety features include 10 airbags, traction and stability control, and OnStar emergency services.

Optional Equipment

The options list is rather short for the 2014 Spark, with major additions linked to the car's six trim levels. Add-ons available are an engine block heater and dealer-installed accessories such as fog light kit, sport grille, and colorful interior trim kits. Navigation is now available in the Spark, purchasable via the downloadable BringGo app that works with smartphones.

Under the Hood
2014 Chevrolet Spark Engine photo

2014 Spark models use a 1.2-liter inline 4-cylinder engine that makes 84 horsepower and is linked to a 5-speed manual transmission or a new CVT automatic. All Spark models are front-wheel drive and can run on regular unleaded gasoline. Spark EV models use an electric motor that makes 130 horsepower and a prodigious 400 lb-ft of torque. On a full charge it has a rated range of 82 miles. Charging times range from a mere 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 7 hours on a 240-volt line.

1.2-liter inline-4
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)

Electric motor
21kWh lithium-ion battery pack
130 horsepower
400 lb-ft of torque
Projected range per charge: 82 miles

Pricing Notes

The 2014 Chevrolet Spark has a tantalizing Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) price starting just under $13,000. That's not the very lowest price for a new car, but it's close. (The 2014 Nissan Versa sedan wears the budget crown with a starting price of $12,780.) Go for a top-line Spark with automatic transmission, and you're still looking at a number just over $17,000, which enters the territory of the larger Chevy Sonic. The Spark's starting price is a couple hundred less than that of the Smart Fortwo and about $3,000 less than the Fiat 500 and Scion iQ. A Spark EV also looks like a bargain among electric vehicles, with a starting price of $27,497 that drops to $19,995 when factoring in the $7,500 federal income tax credit. The Spark's resale value is expected to be slightly above that of the Fiat 500, but below the leader in this tiny class, the Scion iQ.

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2014 Chevrolet Spark Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 78 Ratings for the 2013 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

great car

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "torquey motor, 4 doors, quite 15" rims"

Cons: "none yet"

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

"The spark is new but i do love it so far, i have the ls with manual and cruise added. the motor is suprisingly tight and alot more torque than i expected. set the cuise at 35 in 5th gear and it hold even on hills with ease. at 75 it runs the same rev's as my old saturn did. i live in mn so the heat is still on and it will make the car a sauna if you let it. the hill assist on the manual is great, gives you plenty of time to get the throtle on and clutch out."

great car

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "torquey motor, 4 doors, quite 15" rims"

Cons: "none yet"

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

"The spark is new but i do love it so far, i have the ls with manual and cruise added. the motor is suprisingly tight and alot more torque than i expected. set the cuise at 35 in 5th gear and it hold even on hills with ease. at 75 it runs the same rev's as my old saturn did. i live in mn so the heat is still on and it will make the car a sauna if you let it. the hill assist on the manual is great, gives you plenty of time to get the throtle on and clutch out."

great car

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "torquey motor, 4 doors, quite 15" rims"

Cons: "none yet"

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

"The spark is new but i do love it so far, i have the ls with manual and cruise added. the motor is suprisingly tight and alot more torque than i expected. set the cuise at 35 in 5th gear and it hold even on hills with ease. at 75 it runs the same rev's as my old saturn did. i live in mn so the heat is still on and it will make the car a sauna if you let it. the hill assist on the manual is great, gives you plenty of time to get the throtle on and clutch out."

great car

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "torquey motor, 4 doors, quite 15" rims"

Cons: "none yet"

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

"The spark is new but i do love it so far, i have the ls with manual and cruise added. the motor is suprisingly tight and alot more torque than i expected. set the cuise at 35 in 5th gear and it hold even on hills with ease. at 75 it runs the same rev's as my old saturn did. i live in mn so the heat is still on and it will make the car a sauna if you let it. the hill assist on the manual is great, gives you plenty of time to get the throtle on and clutch out."

great car

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "torquey motor, 4 doors, quite 15" rims"

Cons: "none yet"

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

"The spark is new but i do love it so far, i have the ls with manual and cruise added. the motor is suprisingly tight and alot more torque than i expected. set the cuise at 35 in 5th gear and it hold even on hills with ease. at 75 it runs the same rev's as my old saturn did. i live in mn so the heat is still on and it will make the car a sauna if you let it. the hill assist on the manual is great, gives you plenty of time to get the throtle on and clutch out."

GREAT purchase, would buy again!!!

By on Saturday, March 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

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

Pros: "MPG, seat comfort/driving position, roomy, fun"

Cons: "CVT is jerky/hesitates at times, radio sound"

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

"Actually looking at the Sonic, and kept hesitating as it just was not a "fun" car to me. Thought the Spark would be too small, but salesman (luckily) pulled one around to drive. One test drive and I was SOLD! PROS: Very roomy inside, the driver's seat is comfortable for me with my bad back; a rarity anymore! Seats high enough for my 94 y.o. mother to easily enter and exit. FUN to drive!!! Scoots around nicely, takes turns well-planted and with glee. Touch-screen audio is awesome, OnStar is there (just in case), back split seats fold mostly flat (another rarity anymore!), MPG is averaging a wonderful 39.4 in mixed suburban and city driving (little to no hwy). Nice paint job, alloy wheels standard, sporty interior that does not look cheap, love the iridescent glow of the HVAC knobs at night! Has Bluetooth, but no voice recognition, but with the large touchscreen, it's not needed. (Had a car with the Ford Sync voice and it NEVER worked right and was a pain... this system is WAY BETTER!). Cons: The CVT transmission is, like most CVT's I've driven (Sentra, Suzuki SX4) quirky and not good for immediate speed. Lags at heavy throttle, but you just need to learn how to control that with more gradual pressure on accelerator rather than flooring it. The a/c, so far, is o.k., but will see when HOT, HUMID Florida summer comes along! It is noisy and rides firmly, but hey, it's a little car... so that is to be expected (hate when people compare this car to, like, a compact sedan... it's comparing apples to oranges). Radio has so-so sound at best... needs optional upgrade (like a Bose system... WOW!) Overall... I would HIGHLY recommend this car. I can buy two Sparks for the price of one SUV! Drive one and see for yourself. Everyone has their own opinion and preferences... I loved my old Chevy Metro, so to me, this is a spunky, fun, roomy, and tech saavy little bugger! And SAFER!!!! (see IIHS crash test ratings)"

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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