Chevrolet Spark at Tint Magic Window Tinting
The Spark’s persona is less shocking than its name, but those seeking basic urban transportation will be happy. The 98-hp four-cylinder pairs with a standard five-speed manual or an optional CVT. Being small doesn’t mean unsafe; with room for four on the inside, there are 10 airbags while lane-departure alert and forward-collision warning are available. Onboard Wi-Fi with 4G LTE are standard, as are Apple Car Play and Android Auto. An all-electric Spark—reviewed separately—is also available.
Typically, if an automaker were to brag that it bumped one of its redesigned models’ output by 17 percent, we’d be fairly impressed. But as with, well, pretty much every aspect of the super tiny Chevrolet Spark, a size-driven relativity check is in order. For 2016, the Spark is all-new, and it arrives packing 17 percent more power than before, having jumped from an 84-hp minicar to a—wait for it—98-hp minicar. Of course, this left precisely no one reeling at the 2015 New York Auto Show where the new Spark debuted, but like we said, everything’s relative, and compared with the old Spark, this new one is significantly improved.
Like the last Spark, the majority of this new model’s design and engineering work took place at GM’s technical center in South Korea. This is a good thing, because cars of this size are far more common there than here in the U.S. As such, the Spark appears to be just as surprisingly roomy on the inside as the previous version, at least for four occupants. The designers kept the body-colored interior accents that lent a sense of whimsy and fun to the old car but also added the latest from GM’s tech drawer. OnStar with a 4G LTE data connection and onboard Wi-Fi are available, as are rear parking sensors; a backup camera is standard. A new, capacitive-touch seven-inch MyLink infotainment screen works with new volume and accessory hard buttons on the dashboard to make its use more intuitive (the old Spark’s volume could be adjusted via an on-screen slider that could be finicky), and there’s now an “advanced” dot-matrix LCD digital gauge cluster. We’re pretty sure the words “advanced” and “dot matrix” haven’t been used in the same sentence for promotional purposes since 1987, but at least the little gauge screen is more interesting than an analog cluster.