Chevrolet Spark (2010 – 2015) Review

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Chevrolet Spark (2010 – 2015) At A Glance

3/5

+Enjoyable and easy to drive. Easy to get in and out of. Decent engines. Good rear space. Good ride quality.

-Entry level models on small wheels don't look great. Not especially fun to drive.

Insurance Groups are between 1–10
On average it achieves 84% of the official MPG figure

The Spark replaces the Matiz - a particularly underwhelming car that was well past its best by the time its successor arrived. Thankfully the Spark is a much, much better car which manages to improve on its predecessor in every way that matters.

The styling is more up-to-date, with angular light clusters and neat, hidden door handles for the back doors – yes, it is a five-door car. The cabin is far more interesting than the old Matiz, too, with hardwearing, solid plastics where they’re needed and nicer glossy materials for looks.

The drive is fine, too, although it’s a stretch to call it anything more. The steering is nicely weighted, the gear change is adequately smooth and the handling is perfectly safe and sensible, although you wouldn’t take it over a twisting mountain pass or out on a racetrack at any speed unless you were a masochist.

It’s practical, with a tall cabin to give decent head room and more space in the back than you’d expect, given the tiny external dimensions. The boot is fine for a small weekly shop or a couple of suitcases, too, so there’s little to fault with the Spark as an everyday car.

Chevrolet offers the choice of two engines – a 1.2 and a 1.0-litre. Both have four cylinders but the 1.2-litre offers better acceleration and more in-gear torque. Both are reasonably economical, too – the smaller engine offers 55mpg compared to 57mpg for the 1.2. Neither offers groundbreaking emissions, though – both are over 110g/km. 

Road Test and Video Chevrolet Spark 2010

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Real MPG average for a Chevrolet Spark (2010 – 2015)

RealMPG

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

84%

Real MPG

35–59 mpg

MPGs submitted

73

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

Best small/city car £4500?
"My girlfriend needs a small/city car to replace her ageing Ford Ka. She has £4000 to spend plus whatever she can get for her Ka (circa £500). I'm thinking of a 2012 Chevrolet Spark with around 10,000 miles. It seems cheaper than the Kia Picanto/Hyundai i10 and has the long balance of warranty. She needs something with low predicable running costs and reliability. Is the 1.2 worth an additional £500 over the 1.0? She drives 80 per cent city, 15 per cent country A-roads, 5 per cent motorway. Any other cars you think may suit?"
Not a bad idea. Nice little chain cam engines. The best ride quality of a car this size. Test and video here (in the snow): http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/chevrolet/chevrolet-spark-2010-road-test// Just remember that Chevrolet packs up in Europe in 2015 and that may affect the remaining warranty. Also worth checking out a Hyundai i10 1.2 (but not an i10 1.1).
Answered by Honest John
Which city car should I buy?
"I bought a Chevrolet Spark from a main dealer (4 miles on clock and £3800 off list + great p/x on my car) a year ago and car has been no problem at all.I have now done 16,000 miles and will probably p/x for another make of citycar next year - is this wise or will depreciation take a bigger hit when Chevrolet pull out of UK market next year? Was thinking of new Vauxhall Viva or Adam/replacement Suzuki Splash or maybe a Renault Twingo - better to go for pre-owned Up/Hyundai 110 maybe? What do you think? "
No reason not to hang on to the Spark if you like it. Vauxhall dealers will take over servicing. Lot of choice in this category: C1, 108, Aygo, Up, Mii, Citigo, Picanto, i10, Panda, 500, Twingo, Celario (that's the replacement for the Alto and Splash).
Answered by Honest John
We're pleased with our new Chevrolet Spark but why doesn't it have a spare wheel?
"We have recently acquired a new Chevrolet Spark 1.0. We are quite pleased with it, especially with the ride quality. It was a toss up between that and the Hyundai i10 1.2. I would have gone for the Hyundai, but as she is controlling the purse strings, who am I to argue? Chevrolet does not supply even a space saver spare wheel with the Spark, just a kit to inject gunge if a tyre gets punctured. We bought a full-size spare wheel and feel more comfortable knowing we will have one on a journey. We haven't a jack and tools and we'd call the AA to change a wheel if necessary."
I rate the Spark as having the best ride quality in its class and, like the i10, it comes with a 5-year warranty. You're right. No spare saves money and it can make a difference to the CO2 and therefore the tax. But they are usually offered as an accessory. I'd buy the tools as they're useful for other jobs, such as swapping the tyres around, checking the brakes, etc.
Answered by Honest John
Should I purchase an extended warranty for our Chevrolet Matiz?
"The manufacturer's warranty on our Chevrolet Matiz 995cc model expires at the end of March. I was wondering if it is worthwhile buying a used car warranty as we intend to keep the car for another three years. I have had a quote through Warranty Direct of £703.38 for a three year warranty. My wife thinks this is a lot of money and I agree with her. I'm inclined to think that used car warranties are only worthwhile on high mileage cars. The total mileage since new is just under 20,000 and we expect a similar figure over the next three years. We have had the car since new and never had any problems with it. Do you think it is worth buying a warranty on a car that has this kind of annual mileage?"
WD premiums are based on perceived risk. I'd reckon that £700 for three years signifies quite a high risk for a small car, and this engine is belt cam, so it will need an expensive cambelt change anyway, at your expense. The later Chevrolet Spark has a more robust chain cam engine. What this all adds up to is a recommendation to swap the car rather than spend a lot of money on it and a warranty.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Chevrolet Spark (2010 – 2015) cost?