The most enjoyable aspect about the 2014 Chevrolet Spark is without a doubt its small size.
On the one hand the entry-level subcompact is roomy enough to seat four people, and on the other it is small enough to slip into tight parking spaces. Its under $15K base price should also prove intriguing for city dwellers and first-time car buyers.
The 2014 Chevrolet Spark is the least expensive vehicle in the Chevrolet lineup, and is relatively new to the Canadian market since it was introduced in North America as a 2013 model. Like its competitors, the Spark meets the basic requirements that one expects from a subcompact car of its nature: affordable at the base, fuel-efficient, and well adapted to the city.
With a starting price of $13,745 (including freight, A/C tax and dealer fees), the 2014 Spark is certainly inexpensive, and its diminutive size and sprightly driving manners, as well as its ability to slip into parking spaces that most vehicles would not even attempt, make it well suited for the urban environment.
Power and performance
Subcompact cars like the 2014 Chevrolet Spark hatchback are, however, not incredibly exciting to drive. The city is their natural habitat, and therefore their agility and often-moderate acceleration power is all you will really need.
The Spark is equipped with a 1.2-litre inline-4 engine delivering up to 84 horsepower and 83 lb-ft of torque, and paired to a standard 5-speed manual transmission, or a new optional Continuously Variable Transmission that replaces last year’s 4-speed automatic. Acceleration is slow with the CVT, and decent for merging on the highway and passing another vehicle when equipped with the more entertaining 5-speed manual.
In the city, the Spark feels nimble, and the urge to zip from one place to another, hastily slipping behind a car and just as quickly getting into the next lane, is a temptation that will be difficult to subdue. When entering curves, the Spark feels less stable, and on the highway wind and road noise is noticeable – a similar case for most rivals.
The combined city/highway fuel economy rating for the 2014 Spark is 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres when equipped with the manual transmission, and 5.9 L/100km with the automatic, via the automaker.
If Chevy’s small car is on your radar, know that it comes standard and available with several features, including climate control with air conditioning and air filtration, cruise control, and Bluetooth with cruise and audio controls, optional on the base LS model.
OnStar controls, remote keyless entry, remote keyless entry, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel are available, depending on the trim. Heated front seats and bucket seats with leatherette seating surfaces are standard on the top 2LT model.
Entertainment features like satellite radio, MyLink infotainment system with elements like a7-inch colour touchscreen display and voice-activated technology for audio and phone, and a six-speaker audio system are standard as of the mid 1LT trim.
Interior space and comfort
Inside the 2014 Chevrolet Spark, the front seats are bench-like and do not offer lateral support, but even then most people will likely consider comfort to be decent. In back, you may notice something different from many of competitors: actual four-passenger seating capacity. Although still not ideal for anyone within a few inches of the 6-foot mark, the Spark provides roomier rear seat space than most subcompacts in its segment, such as the Fiat 500, Scion iQ, and Nissan Micra for example. Cargo room is not phenomenal, as one would expect, as there is just enough space two or three bags of grocery. The rear seats do fold to provide more space, but it’s a hassle.
To buy or not to buy?
Like most rival subcompact hatchbacks in the segment, the 2014 Chevrolet Spark offers an affordable base price, and its diminutive size and nimble movements are exactly what we would expect from this small city car. Its relatively roomy rear seat gives it an edge over other competitors, but fuel economy could be better.
Fuel consumption ratings have improved over the previous 2013 model when considering the automaker’s ratings, as the Spark CVT is slightly more fuel-efficient. However, our combined, observed fuel economy rating at the end of one week with the Spark CVT was 7.7 L/100km over 294 km, which could be better considering its size and weight.
In terms of winter driving, as a small and light front-wheel drive car, the 2014 Spark is not the most ideal vehicle to drive over low-traction surfaces, but standard stability and traction control, and brake assist should help a bit.
Overall, the 2014 Chevrolet Spark is a solid choice for a subcompact car due to practicality and an under $15K at the base. Its sprightly driving behaviour, easy-parking abilities, and roomy back seat that is great for short and long trips should serve you well.
2014 Chevrolet Spark gallery