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Chevrolet New Spark
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This Car Has Been Discontinued.
Customer Rating
: N/A
Expert Rating
: 7/10
Warranty
: 3 Yrs / 1,00,000 kms (Whichever is earlier)
Ex-showroom price in 
 help (Rs.Lakhs)
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Strong Areas

  • Good fuel-efficiency
  • Practical drive friendly car
  • Efficiently used interior space
  • Utilitarian and intuitive controls 
  • Excellent all-around visibility

Weak Areas

  • Poor quality
  • Limited boot space
  • No tacho in lower trims
  • Lesser numbers of features 
  • Limited service network
Chevrolet New Spark
 
 

Chevrolet New Spark

For Spark’s fifth birthday General Motors decided to give it a makeover and brought out the budget hatch with sharper looks to take on the competition posed by its stylish rivals.


Author

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ecardlr.com National

Like stars in the glitzy cine world, four-wheeled beauties are expected to remain fresh, lively and attractive while keeping up with their performance in a fiercely competitive automotive industry. Ever since its launch in 2007, Chevrolet Spark is known as an affordable car in the Indian market. But despite its practicality as a small budget hatch for frequent commuting, the little Chevy failed to impress the masses and lagged behind the blockbusters produced by Maruti and Hyundai. 
                   
 
By 2012 it also started looking dated and that’s when General Motors decided to give the Spark a much needed facelift. This resulted in some smart changes to its looks and features. The mechanicals were not played with. So the car still comes with its 995 cc 4 cylinder petrol engine mated to 5 speed manual gearbox. And how does it actually fare on roads? What are its major strengths and weaknesses? We’ll find out but let’s begin with a review of those ‘new looks’ after the nip and tuck: 
 
Exteriors 
 
Restyling is evident on the face of new Spark. The plain appearance of the old model has been transformed into more modish and bold looks. Stretching down to the new large bumper, the two piece front grille is the most prominent change that gets noticed. The Chevrolet bow tie logo that was earlier placed on the bonnet is now sitting in the middle of this new grille. The fog lamps on the 2007 hatch were housed in an oval sculpting on the front bumper but they have now been housed in a jazzy enclosure. Chrome lining around the front grille and on sides of fog-lamp enclosures also adds a premium touch. The swept back headlamps are sharper now and make this babe fashionable.  So that’s how the facelift works to give little Chevy a refreshed form and these also bring it closer to the rest of its family line up.
  
On the sides, the black plastic that lines the window sills is thicker as compared to that of outgoing model. Roof rails have been retained. Chevrolet still uses 155/70 R13 tubeless tyres for the new Spark. At the rear, circular tail lamps look trendier with a little touch of redesign. A broad black panel has been fitted on the lower part of body coloured bumper. Rear spoiler is also provided with top end – LT – trim. 
 
Even with subtle modifications, the new Spark does look more chic when viewed as a whole. The car comes in an array of vibrant colours - Velvet Red, Caviar Black, Linen Beige, Sandrift Grey, Switchblade Silver, Summit White and Misty Lake. 
 
Interiors 
 
Hopping inside we don’t see strikingly different features or changes in the facelifted cabin. The dashboard with hooded instrument console in its centre looks pretty much the same as in Spark 2007. What has changed nevertheless is the tone and texture of materials now used. Grey beige shade of the plastics and new fabric upholstery for the seats together give a slightly refreshed feel to the interiors. The large, two spoke steering wheel still has a staid design. With its new digital tachometer, the instrument cluster looks flashy.
 
                                                     
 
While working on this facelift, the designers at General Motors missed upon on a crucial factor – the front seat comfort. Cushioning on driver and front passenger’s seat is not very good in original Spark models and the seat base tends to slope down - this is again the same with the new version. But the back support is good and the driver’s seat is manually adjustable for height in all variants. At the rear, seat comfort and legroom is admirable when compared to some of its competitors in the budget hatch segment. Air conditioner is a standard feature in all Spark models and the integrated music system comes only with LT (Petrol; Petrol + LPG) trims. It has an FM radio, CD + MP3 player and is compatible with USB and Aux devices.
 
                                            
here is a volume of 170 litres in the boot and with the rear seat folded it goes up to 845 litres. Cubby holes on the doors, a small space sculpted on the driver’s side of dashboard and a glovebox make space for knick knacks. 
 
Basic safety attributes comprising seat belts, collapsible steering wheel, headlamp levelling system, brake booster, child safety locks at rear doors, and high mount stop lamp are common for all versions. Central locking and special anti glare day/night rear view mirror are standard features only with high end variants. 
 
Engine, Transmission and Performance 
 
As the ignition is turned on, the refinement of 1.0 litre, four cylinder petrol engine strikes a chord instantly – the purring is so mild you will hardly know if it’s on or off. The power delivery is linear and smooth. Spark is not characteristically a ‘fast car’ but its general performance is above average for a city hatch. It takes 6.02 seconds to go from 0 to 60 km/hour and the 0-100km/hour dash comes in 15.93 seconds. So in this category it does fare better than competitor Maruti Wagon R. With good acceleration in 0-60km/hour range, it is pleasant to drive on city roads.
 
                                                       
A feature that makes Chevy Spark simple to manage in stop and go traffic is its light clutch pedal coupled with a slick 5-speed gearbox.
 
                                                    
The engine loves to be revved up and even though the gear throws are pretty long, it has a nice engagement and feel about it. Clearly, as a city biased petrol car it does not have much power for enjoyable cruises on stretched, long highways but is not really bad for occasional trips. Another feature that makes Spark easy to drive in traffic is its well judged brake modulation.
 
Ride and Handling 
 
The ride quality is on the firm side. Spark is a small, curvy hatch and taking it around corners results in a good amount of body roll. There is not much of road feel and we tend to get an impression that the car has less grip and agility than it truly does. So simply bear with the roll rate and trust that the front end will bite - to a point it certainly will.
 
On the whole, it’s a fun car that does well in terms of driving dynamics. The car glides well on the tarmac and at low speeds in city it also deals with some bad potholes comfortably. Any lack of sophistication in suspension is felt only on more severe bumps or on a rough patch on road covered speedily. 
 
Some owners complain about the placing of the accelerator and brake pedals. Agree, they could have a little more gap in between but they don’t really cause a problem in handling. 
In terms of ergonomics for other features, the centrally mounted instrument console can take little time to get used to. 
 
With wonderful maneuverability and easy to handle power steering wheel, the Spark becomes appealing for first time car buyers. Making a U turn is a breeze. This General Motors hatch also displays good straight line stability to give confidence to the driver. 
 
Fuel Economy 
 
Another parameter on which a ‘practical city car’ would be particularly judged is its fuel efficiency. While the company claimed figure is 18.29 km/litre, Spark has managed to offer an admirable economy of 12.3 km/litre in the city and 16.7 km /litre on highways. 
 
Verdict 
 
Chevrolet Spark does have its set of merits – looks have clearly improved post the facelift, the rear cabin space continues to be better than most of the competitors in same price range - and it still is a simple, zippy to drive hatch. The principal areas where it loses some points are lack of refinement in cabin materials and somewhat dull performance with speed on highways. If your priority is an economical city runabout, Spark is certainly a sensible and dependable buy.  
 
Comfort: 4/5
 
Refinement: 3.5/5
 
Safety: 3.5/5
 
Ride: 3.5/5
 
Handling: 4/5
 
Value for Money: 4/5

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