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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.

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

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.

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 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 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

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2014 Chevrolet Spark Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 124 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

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"

Perfect Around Town Runabout

By on Monday, January 04, 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."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Best New Car I've Ever Bought

By on Wednesday, November 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "So much fun to drive. It's like a little friend."

Cons: "No cons."

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

"I cannot say enough good things about this snappy little vehicle. I've never had one bit of trouble with it and the storage capacity when the back seat is folded down is unbelievable. The color of mine is Blue Denim. I've had so many people stop me and say hey that's a great looking little car, do you like it? I have nothing at all negative to say about my Spark. I rarely have to buy gas and when you go through an automatic car wash, it's like getting two washes for the price of one! Since I bought my Spark in February 2013, four of my friends have bought a Spark and they are equally happy with their purchase. Buy one. You won't be sorry!"

12 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Peppy, fun, roomy.

By on Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Peppy, stable in wind. Great interior."

Cons: "Could use a passenger armrest."

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

"I declined buying the Prius I had been leasing in order to buy this little car. Absolutely no regrets. The Spark averages 42 mpg combined hwy and city driving, somewhat less than the Prius. But the interior of the Spark is fantastic. I get 6 paper grocery bags (Full) across the back storage compartment with the rear seats up -- not folded down. With the seats folded down my two LARGE dogs can lay down or sit up and ride comfortably together. The design is great! I also use it to transport chicken feed and fence posts! So versatile. Car is peppy, no problem accelerating onto highway. It just requires that you actually drive and anticipate. I am constantly leaving other sleeping drivers at stoplights without trying...it just goes good! Only ding--it would be nice to have two arm rests. I have no problem with A/C even in Florida summer at traffic lights...but I don't expect to be in a meat locker either."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Love my little Spark

By on Sunday, August 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "size, gas mileage, radio"

Cons: "not sure"

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

"I live in upstate NY with snow over my head in the winter and my little spark gets me right to where I want to go. Just yesterday went to an event where the parking close by wss $40, I saw the tiniest space half a block away no one could fit in it. I got my spark in it and had room to spare. My friends say "you won't fit that in your car" I say watch me. I get my tools ladders, my bike no problem. I call it my little truck. Plus I have 3 large dogs that go all over with me everyone has their spot. I researched this car for awhile and finally went and got it. I know they say there is road noise but honestly I am never bothered, and I just drove 600 miles last weekend on busy highways and I pass other cars no problem. I had a guy at the gym ask me about it and a week later he comes in and tell me he bought the exact same car color and all!! and he Loves it too. I picked up my new car Jan 24,2014 it started snowing on my way home and didn't stop so my new car was clean that winter for about an hour."

15 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Decent car for the price

By on Thursday, July 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I bought this car in a rush before winter was to hit. It drove fine, I was able to afford the payments and keep up with whatever it needed. However, I do wish that I had purchased a car with a bit more speed, but that is okay because the gas mileage really makes up for it. In the future I am definitely planning on a prius because if i decide to stay with the fuel efficient vehicles over power then I mine as well get even better gas mileage doing it and having to pay more for it seems reasonable as well. Overall it has been a good small car that has gotten be places!"

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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