Vehicle Profile: 2013 Chevrolet Spark

Big value, fuel efficiency and fun, to go.

The 2013 Chevrolet Spark is the first mini-car to wear the bowtie badge in the U.S and Canada and is available here Jack Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington, Ohio. Already popular around the world, the sprightly Spark was designed with an international flair and an emphasis on maneuverability, fuel-efficiency and affordability, offering more room and better mileage than competitors for less money.

The sporty, four-passenger Spark (MSRP $12,185) is a five-door hatchback that offers bold styling in a wide range of colors, standard features that include air conditioning and power windows, and available advanced technology that includes the Chevrolet MyLink connectivity system with streaming audio, video and hands-free phone through a seven-inch color touch-screen radio that also offers voice-recognition.

Under the hood, all three 2013 Chevrolet Spark trims––LS, 1LT and 2LT––feature a feisty, 1.25-liter dual-overhead cam four-cylinder engine that puts down 84 hp to the front wheels through either a standard five-speed manual transmission or an available four-speed automatic. The Spark returns 38 mpg highway and 32 mpg city and highway (one highway mpg more than the Scion iQ, which doesn’t offer a manual transmission, and one city mpg more than the Fiat 500); unlike other mini-cars, like the Fiat 500, that require premium-grade fuel, the Spark runs on regular unleaded, saving even more money at the pump.

The Spark adds to its value-oriented nature by being the only mini-car to offer a five-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. It also features a no-maintenance timing chain and transmission fluid, 100,000-mile spark plugs and an electronic power steering system that never needs fluid changes. All of these little details add up to big savings over time.

The Spark is as fun to drive as it is to look at. At 93.5 inches, the Spark wheelbase is 14.8 inches longer than the Scion iQ’s and 2.9 inches longer than the Fiat 500’s, and the Spark features a lightweight body structure, electronic power steering and a MacPherson strut front suspension system for tight handling characteristics and outstanding stability in all driving conditions. Hill Start Assist prevents roll-back when starting uphill from a stop, and with a turning circle of just 32.5 feet, the Spark can maneuver easily through even the tightest urban areas.

While other mini-cars try to appeal to buyers by being “cute,” the Spark has a muscular and powerful appearance. The Spark design cleverly disguises the rear doors by incorporating the door handles into the C-pillars, giving the car the look of a three-door hatchback without sacrificing interior space and utility. Fifteen-inch alloy wheels, a stretched windshield, body-color front door handles and clean, crisp body sides add to the sleek, upscale appearance of the Spark.

To make the Spark stand out even more, dramatic exterior color options include Denim, Jalapeno, Lemonade and Techno Pink in addition to more traditional Black Granite, Silver Ice and Summit White.

The Spark might be small, but don’t let its compact size fool you; it’s engineered with high-quality components and materials that deliver comfort for all four passengers and a hushed interior on par with much larger vehicles. Using thicker glass, hood seals, expanding foam in hollow sections of the body, an acoustic headliner and damping patches throughout, the Spark delivers a quiet ride even on the highway, adding to the feeling of quality and refinement.

Defying its compact profile, the Spark gives occupants generous amounts of space to stretch out in and an 11.4 cubic foot cargo area that expands to a maximum of 31.2 cubic feet with the 60/40-split rear seats folded flat. The Scion iQ offers maximum cargo space of just 16.7 cubic feet and the Fiat 500 has a paltry 9.5 cubic feet. Drivers will appreciate the fun and engaging instrument cluster that takes inspiration from motorcycles and features a large, full-color LCD screen with digital readouts. All occupants will enjoy the ice-blue ambient lighting at night, as well as the leatherette seats that are standard in the 2LT trim. Also standard in the 2LT, heated front seats keep the chill at bay on cold days.

The aforementioned Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system is standard in 1LT and 2LT trims. In addition to its seven-inch color touch-screen, Bluetooth streaming audio and phone with voice recognition, it comes with a three-month trial subscription to SiriusXM Satellite Radio and six powerful speakers. There is even a GPS navigation option. The Spark does away with a traditional CD player, opting instead for MyLink integration with compatible smartphones and stored media via Bluetooth or USB for simple and safe connectivity. MyLink also features embedded Pandora Internet Radio and Stitcher Smart Radio apps for streaming tunes.

The Chevrolet Spark has already garnered global awards for occupant safety in Europe and Korea, thanks in part to the high-strength steel across more than 62 percent of the its underbody and 42 percent of its upper body. Equipped with 10 standard airbags, the Spark also features standard safety technology like StabiliTrak® Electronic Stability Control, Antilock Braking System, rollover detection, a collapsible steering column for added driver safety and the popular OnStar system that automatically notifies authorities in the event of a collision and provides a long list of additional safety, security and convenience features and services. Unlike any other mini-car, the Chevy Spark also features a handy OnStar RemoteLink Mobile App that allows smartphone users to remotely control vehicle functions and access vehicle information.

With three well-equipped trims and an MSRP that’s $4,065 less than the 2013 Scion iQ’s and $3,815 less than the Fiat 500’s, there’s a Spark to fit a wide range of needs and budgets. Offering unique style, bold colors, a high-quality interior, advanced technology and award-winning safety, the 2013 Chevrolet Spark should be at the top of your list of new mini-cars. Stop in today to see and drive this endearing little machine for yourself. You’ll find it hard to resist.

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