As I pulled into the driveway my daughter came out of her house holding her hand over her eyes as if blinded by the glare.
“It is bright!” I agreed of the bright Jalapeno color.
The 2013 Chevy Spark, with its small size and quirky styling, would still attract attention if it were ivory or gray. With a few improvements over the current teeny-tiny cars, it has more to recommend it than just looks.
My daughter took only a moment to glance at the exterior before opening the rear door and climbing into the back seat.
“Wow! “ she exclaimed. “This is roomier than I expected. But I’ll bet you can’t fit much in the trunk space.”
Another surprise. While not cavernous, the space behind the rear seats would easily accommodate a variety of bulky items. In my daughters case, a stroller and portable baby bed. For my brother-in-law, a set of golf clubs; for myself a saddle and other tack; for anyone a couple of decent sized suitcases or a big days worth of shopping.
From outside appearance to inside comfort, the Spark is a contrast of impressions. You might climb in and out several times to try and figure out the magic! Four doors make this little vehicle very functional for the family, and the generous headroom and well-planned accommodations give it a deceivingly spacious feel.
Besides all that, it is just a blast to drive! The 5-speed manual transmission gave our test model a sporty feel, even with its 4-cylinder engine. There is definitely no bragging about how quickly the Spark can achieve 'zero to sixty', but it is certainly adequate for both town and highway driving. The two hour drive to my daughters home was comfortable and didn’t cause me any doubts or nervousness about safety, although the Spark has not yet been rated by the government for overall vehicle score, frontal crash, side crash or rollover risk.
Although I assume there is some optional equipment available, my test vehicle came with just the standard equipment. This was a very generous list, including hill hold feature, 6 months OnStar, stability control with traction control, power windows and door locks, remote key-less entry, heated fronts seats, Chevrolet MyLink hands free smart phone integration with Pandora and Stitcher Bluetooth audio streaming and steering wheel mounted audio and phone controls, and much more.
Fuel economy for my trip came to 36.5 miles per gallon, with the estimated being 32 city and 38 highway. The standard vehicle price is $15,045 with a destination charge of $750, bringing the total to 15,795. I tend to be a little hard to please about cars. It is difficult to have all the style, sport, speed, comfort, utility and economy I like all in one vehicle. But for what it is, the Spark encompasses a whole lot. I liked it, and would recommend it to anyone looking for fun and economy.
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