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2013 Chevrolet Spark: Small Car, Big Spec For U.S. Buyers

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2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet Spark

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It may only be small, but Chevrolet is packing its 2013 Spark with plenty of equipment in an effort to target urban millennial buyers.

Already sold in 100 countries worldwide, U.S. customers will be able to buy the Spark later this year.

GM has tailored several of the car's specifications to the U.S. market, taking it away from its bargain-basement roots. It'll sell, says Chevrolet, as the Spark is "the perfect urban car... easy to drive, easy to park and easy to own".

As part of the model's wide array of equipment, U.S. Sparks will get Hill Start Assist, which holds the car on the brake as the driver switches from brake to gas pedals, and Panic Brake Assist. The latter detects an emergency braking situation and applies maximum braking pressure, more so than the driver may be capable of.

It'll also be loaded with connectivity tech, including a 7-inch touchscreen for the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system. This comes with Pandora internet radio, Stitcher on-demand radio, Bluetooth, and navigation.

The Spark also gets more power than its worldwide counterparts, with 84 horsepower from its 1.2-liter gasoline engine, and standard 15-inch alloy wheels, a first in the sector.

EPA fuel economy figures aren't yet available for the automatic, but the manual-transmission Spark gets 32 mpg city and 38 mpg highway, for a 34 mpg combined figure.

And if you want a Spark that's greener... well, you'll just have to choose the vivid Jalapeno metallic paint from the images...

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Comments (10)
  1. Comment disabled by moderators.

     
  2. Getting above 30 for city mpg is good but only 38 for hwy is horrible for such a small car. Combined mpg is still good for a conventional vehicle...like the smart n IQ cars.

    You are wrong about all domestics though. I rented a Fiesta hatchback automatic a few months ago n averaged over 40mpg in mostly hwy driving. It was a great little car.
     
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  3. Another green option for the Chevy Spark: the EV version!
     
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  4. @Nick: Although, sadly, the Spark EV is solely a "compliance car" and will be sold only in limited numbers in a small handful of states:
    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1068832_electric-cars-some-are-real-most-are-only-compliance-cars--we-name-names
     
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  5. Is that the official word from Chevrolet? Keep in mind that unlike the Volt, which handles any-distance-driving, the Spark EV is really only meant to be sold in urban areas. This will limit its geographic appeal. Probably won't sell in Montana or North Dakota. I would give GM a pass on it if it sells it only in the bigger cities in many states, albeit not bothering to sell it in rural Wyoming. I doubt there will be much demand for it outside the places with lots of charging stations, such as the four major metropolitan areas of California and perhaps Texas, the Washington DC metro area perhaps.
     
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  6. @Anton: Although neither would go on the record, two separate GM employees confirmed to me in person that the Spark EV is solely a compliance car. It will be built and sold *only* in sufficient volume to keep Chevy legal under the new California ZEV mandate. Sorry.
     
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  7. This is aimed at Prius C which will cost more than the Spark but has better city mpg...
     
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  8. When it comes to price - a lower buying price is attractive, sometimes better than the mpg. Helps lower lease prices too. A few math computations and a 32mpg car for 10,000 miles = 312gallons. A 40mpg car is 250 gallons. A 50mpg car is 200 gallons. Difference per year of $248 and $448 (@$4/gal gas) per year if you drive 10K miles. If the MSRP is $5K more for the Prius, then you know that it's a bad financial choice to get slightly better city mileage, especially if leased. But you know people will buy the Prius over the Spark because of the cult-like following. Make sure we tell them the Spark is also an import and that may help :)
     
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  9. The Chevy Spark is built in GM's plant in Lake Orion, Michigan. It is the only sub-b car (or b-car for that matter) produced in the U.S.
     
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  10. I've been reading everything I could find about the Spark since before it went on sale in 2010 internationally. I just saw the epa listing mpg numbers for the U.S. Spark as 32city/38hwy/34combined for the manual 5sp nd 28city/37hwy/33 combined for the 4sp auto. That is waaaayy below the U.K. figures, which have the combined rate at 46mpg(U.S) and hwy numbers somewhere in the 50s. I noticed other small cars with the same engine/tranny combo for U.S. and UK models test about 18 to 20% lower in the U.S. tests. Add to that the fact that the U.S. Spark is to weigh some 300lbs more, and we start to see where those epa #s come from. The Fiesta is also rated at 38hwy but can do better. I bet the Spark will to. Just drive it sanely.
     
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