Review: Chevrolet Spark (2010 – 2015)
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.
Recently Added To This Review
Apparently bonnet catches of Chevrolet Sparks sold in Europe from 2009-2014 are prone to fail. Under certain conditions, corrosion may cause the secondary hood latch striker to stick in the open position.... Read more
Just-Auto.com alerted us to NHTSA Recall No 14V-593, Manufacturer Recall No: 14456, date 23-9-2014 of 89,294 2013-2015 model year Chevrolet Spark cars in the US to fix a bonnet (hood) catch fault... Read more
Just-Auto.com alerted us to a Reuters report that GM will recall 27,051 Chevrolet Spark cars in South Korea due to a defective transmission mount. The gearbox mount may destabilise and cause a drop... Read more
Chevrolet Spark (2010 – 2015): At A Glance
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.
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Chevrolet Spark (2010 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?
Firstly, it has the best back seat access of any small car. Your body simply inserts itself without any unnecessary bending. Front seats are easy too. So that’s two benefits for retired people who are getting a bit stiff and whose friends are as well.
The back seat squabs yank over and the backrests fold flat, which is another advantage not shared by the likes of the Ford Fiesta. There are five proper three-point seatbelts, built into the seats, not the roof, making the back seat perfect for three small adults or children and the car rather more sensible for the school run than the usual Q7, XC90, Disco or X5. (It needs half the parking space.)
Sit in the driver’s seat and you’re confronted by a speedo flanked by a funky LED display showing engine revs, time of day, distance travelled and fuel left in the tank. That and the speedo both go up and down with the height-adjustable steering wheel, so you never lose sight of them. The rev counter isn't as easy to read at a glance as a traditional analogue clock, but it's not really a big issue.
Child seats that fit a Chevrolet Spark (2010 – 2015)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Chevrolet Spark (2010 – 2015) like to drive?
The little 1.0-litre engine produces 69PS and 93Nm of torque, which isn’t a lot. Nonetheless it’s a perfectly sweet little engine that settles down quietly at motorway speeds. It gives its best when pushed hard, owing to the fact peak torque and peak power arrive later in the rev range – but that’s not great for fuel economy. The 1.2-litre engine is similar in character to the 1.0-litre but has a bit more to give, making it a better choice for those who do more miles out of town and on A-roads.
Regardless of engine choice you get the same suspension set up, which is softer than the average modern small car – good news if you’re surrounded by potholes. There is a disadvantage and that’s a tendency to roll around when cornering at speed – but that ought to be no problem at all in and around town and would likely only pose issues to those who spend time on country lanes.
The major controls are all decent – steering isn’t too light or too heavy and the gear change is smooth enough. However it can be tricky, at least first, to balance the throttle and clutch nicely when pulling away, so you might find yourself stalling until you get used to it.
|1.0||55–57 mpg||15.3–15.5 s||118–119 g/km|
|1.2||55–57 mpg||12.1–12.7 s||118–119 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Chevrolet Spark (2010 – 2015)
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.
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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