2013 Chevrolet Spark Video

At first glance, the Chevrolet Spark might seem like an odd move for GM after recently releasing its entry-level Chevy Sonic, according to Cars.com Industry Analyst Kelsey Mays. After a closer look, the differences are stark. The Spark is much smaller compared with the Sonic, and its interior isn’t as nicely appointed. The small footprint doesn’t leave much room for cargo, which means you’ll have to fold down the rear seats to move anything, and folding the seats is a surprisingly difficult thing to do.

Comments 

sheth

So how much utility and material refinement and space were you expecting in a tiny, $12k "city car"? Isnt the point of the car to be very small, light and cheap? It has few direct competitors so Im not sure how it can be called lacking in this class already. The Fiat 500 isnt a cheap car considering its size. There is no way this will be priced like the Fiat. The Scion doesnt look any richer than this inside or out and its DEFINITELY no more spacious.

Eddiedi

Was he expecting a Cadillac interior? Reviews would be helpful if put into context. Do not try to show us how smart you are. This should be good value for money, and very good in large cities like new York, chicago, Philly, Boston etc...

Ken L.

Maybe the reviewer is a Hedonist? You can't fault him for that.

cody

the only real problem i see is the lack of padding on the door panels where the elbows rest. it's a problem that most sub-compacts (and some compacts) have....so i don't see chevy changing that until a redesign takes place.

i thought the interior looked nissan versa-cheap in the photo gallery posted last week, but it looks better in the video. kelsey's commentary was no different from his earlier post on the car...clearly he hates it.

compare apples with apples. try folding down the backseats in a smart (oops), or even the scion iQ, or the fiat 500...somehow i doubt it is a) much easier or b) creates a flatter load floor....especially since this has convenient back doors instead of just two to work around.

if you hate small cars (and you're such a small dude!), then just review SUVs/crossovers/minivans.

i still think that if this comes in around the same price as an entry-level versa it will do well. with the available features (info-tainment system, numerous airbags, bluetooth, steering wheel controls, etc) it actually has more features than i think one would expect at that price point, and more than you could find in a used car.

Carma

I hope the sticker starts about $9,500 or they will have trouble moving these.

Amuro Ray

@ Cody,

By saying that "the only problem..." I take it that you've extensive drive time on a Spark somewhere?

The interior quality is definitely a problem. I don't have experience with the MY12 Versa sedan, but I did have extensive experience with the current H/B model and previous sedan model, thanks to Enterprise and my personal ownership. It was actually ok. Not great, but acceptable for that price, and at least no non-matching gaps like that you see in the Spark pictures.

The concerns I have in addition to the quality are that this will be a super noisy vehicle (i.e. poor sound insulation - part of the result of the mismatch gaps and thin paddings), and price. More likely than not, this will be more expensive than the Versa, thanks to our strong US$, cheap diesel on transport ships, and our love for sub B-segment vehicles, which all adds up to high cost and low sales volume.

As for your comparison toward other premium brands or Nissan Versa / Toyota iQ, I think that you've utterly missed the point. Folding seats is just a small part of it; after all, you don't spend every single trip folding the back seats, do ya? The problem is really with the available trunk space and the ease of folding the seats, and most importantly, comfort of front & rear seats passengers, which in the case of Spark, lacking.

Though not a betting man myself...anymore, I would bet that if the Spark is about the same price as the Versa, then it'll be disaster for this vehicle. Think 'bou it - you pay almost same price, but you got less - space, comfort, power, fuel efficiency (roughly identical I guess), but most crucial of all - technological advances: Spark is a 2008 vehicle, whereas the Versa is brand new redesign in MY12.

Sell it @ $8000, and fully loaded @ $11K, then sales won't be limited mostly to fleet and rentals...

sheth

The criticisms would make more sense if a) he actually knew the price of the car b)he mentioned which sub $13k cars had all the features and space he demands and c)if he could actually explain why anyone buying such a small car would expect lots of space and soft plastics. Instead he seemed to review this car as if its primary competition was the Cruze or Focus. This is a much smaller, cheaper car. Unsurprisingly it offers less space and less luxurious materials. Not rocket science.

The current Versa has an incredibly cheap interior and has been panned in almost all reviews I've seen.

cody

@AR,

you left out the most important part of your quote of me....the "i see" part...meaning i was speaking from the photos and vidoe.

i don't see the poor fit and finish that you see. i think the design is creative, but it does appear to lack padding on the doors. imo, the door panels and arm rests are the only real places that need padding...not the dash. that's a waste of expensive material. the reason cars used to have padded dashes was because you'd HIT them in a crash (because you weren't wearing a seatbelt...). nowadays we have seatbelt laws and airbags.

the reason i made the comparison to lowering the seats in those other micro-cars was because that's the segment this car is in, and because kelsey made such an embarrassing show of putting them seats down...i'm pretty sure it's not easier in those two-door micros...or the load floor will not be flat.

the old versa was a decent deal, but the new versa is an utter embarrassment, and i think it will continue to hold the bottom position for interior quality, noise, and driving dynamics even after this hits the market. every review of the new versa highlights the cost cutting that went into making it the cheapest car in america...and a few point out that adding features makes it ridiculous to consider.

Belly

Cody - is your opinion of the new Versa based on what you've seen of the car?

Not that I really think differently, just asking.

Shet, on the other hand, knows it just takes a few pictures of a GM car to know it will be the best out there... its so funny to hear a GM guy make excuses for poor quality.

I just can't get over how ugly this car looks in production. Of the three choices from 07, who could have chosen this look over the Groove?

WTF

But it "just takes a few pictures" for you to know it's poor quality? Is it okay to be a hypocrite?

Amuro Ray

@ WTF,

Were u there when cars.com staff personally LOOKED @, FELT, and TOOK PICTURES of the vehicle?

Also, it's definitely valid to have just a few pictures to show something is of poor quality, well, because the bad quality stuff shows up in the pictures. If that's not bad quality, then what is? It's the same as saying, "it's just impossible to know whether an apple tastes good or fresh by just looking at a picture, but if you do see mold coming out from the apple, or a big black hole on the apple, then the apple is bad."

What's so tough for the expert to understand?

sheth

Where is the poor quality? The interior doesn't look bad or poorly built. The revewier indicates its crap without telling us what comparable cars aare better. Fiat 500? That's a more expensive car priced like the sonic or cruze. Its a cheap city car, not a luxury car.

WTF

Again you can't diassociate what I say from what you think my motivation is.

J

The dash reflects sunlight like hell is all that I know...

Amuro Ray

14 words, NOT ONE about Chevy Spark, or why you think that it's good or bad...

This is a car blog, not Dr. Phil's blog, you know...

WTF

Again no need to comment on the vehicle because I haven't seen it, driven it or know the price of it.

I can comment on Kelsey's histrionics though. Oops, just did.

cody

@Belly,

my opinion of the interior of the versa is based on one that i saw at work that one of my co-workers recently traded his old echo for. honestly, it reminded me of a car from the early 90s. it is roomy, but it's kinda sad and stark looking.

i did not get the chance to ride in it or drive it, so my comments about its driving dynamics and noise are based on several reviews that i've read.

i did see quite a few sparks in korea back in august, and i can say that they are nice looking cars (at least to my eye).

Amuro Ray

Interior quality is not good. That's nothing to debate about. The gaps showed up in the pictures from cars.com visit. More importantly, check out websites on Chevrolet worldwide as well as Spark/Beat/Martiz owners' forums and you can see it for yourself. Mind you, some of the have photoshop touch-up...

OTOH, the biggest issue of this vehicle is not about the quality; one can overlook that if it's priced cheap. The problem is that this is a 2008 vehicle - kinda like the Cruze. Thus, when it goes on sale next year, the vehicle is already 5 years old (08, 09, 10, 11, and 12). The flip side is that, most bugs have already worked out at this point, so reliability should be fine.

In addition, mileage #s are actually available through the European sites, as the Martiz there uses the exact same engine as the USDM. They have 2 different reporting standards, but wiki will explain what they mean. Based on the #s shown, the highest # Spark can achieve - based on European test cycle - is 50 mpg based on the old test, and 40 mpg based on new test. However, EPA # will most likely drop that to a lower #, from what I've seen with other makes and models.

Frankly, I DON'T see the point of Spark here from a US marketing standpoint. 3 vehicles under the compact (Cruze), Subcompact (Sonic) and Mini (Spark), and they are all priced extremely close. It's too crowded since we don't tax vehicles the same way European and Asian countries do it - based on engine size, CO2 emission, extremely expensive gasoline tax, etc. - which is why the 3-tier structure exists and works fine in the other 2 continents. Just FYI - a 2000cc or larger engine is taxed much heavier than a 1200cc, and if it's under 1000cc, then a lot of exemptions.

sheth

This vehicle has not been on sale for 3 years. Flat out lie. I believe it debuted in 2010 in other markets.

Also, this car hasnt been priced. I question the point of all these cars, not just the spark. Chevy isnt the only one making a potential mistake with this class of car so stop acting like its a Chevy specific issue. Again, lets relax with all the predictions about mileage and price. That info will be revealed eventually.

Amuro Ray

See, WTF, what did I tell ya? Once a liar, always a liar - I wonder how many pants this person has...

http://www.autos.ca/general-news/gm-daewoo-launches-all-new-global-minicar

Started selling @ 2009, which means it needs to be production ready sometime by 2008, the latest.

2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 - 5 years.

You still want to defend this liar, WTF?

cody

@AR,

thanks for all the good information. i mean that sincerely, good data mining.

i do disagree with your statement that it's been out since 2008. based on the link you provided, it was launched in 2009. i know wikipedia is not a great source, but in this case it has great chronological data.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daewoo_Matiz

the matiz was released sept 1, 2009 in south korea (the first market to receive it), making it two years old at this point.

i agree with your counterpoint about the bugs being worked out before it hits the u.s. hyundai and kia used to release cars in korea years before they made it to the states. (i've spent 7 years in korea off and on since 1998 so i've witnessed this practice) they still do it, but it's not quite as extreme.

cody

@AR,

i reread your post and noticed that you did say that it was first sold in 2009, but backed up a year to allow it to be 'production ready'. i think this is speculative at best, but even if true could be said about every car on the market.

Amuro Ray

@ Cody,

Actually, the concept was revealed in 2007, which means that the idea came on in 2006/7 timeframe (what it looks like, what needs to be enhanced, etc.) The vehicle was ready for sale @ 2009, Sep 1st. This means that the production planning phase needs at least 2 quarters prior, which points to 01/01/09 to be the latest.

Same applies to other major manufacturers. That's why you are seeing on the road test mules on various 2013 model year (to be released in 2-3rd Q of 2012) right now. Bear in mind, there were tests done repeatedly in their internal test grounds too, before on the road, camo tests...

Thus, for a vehicle to be shipped to dealership @ end of 2nd Q, 2009, the vehicle was already in test phase in 2008. That's why I said, the vehicle is already 5 years old (4 years on official sales) by the time it hits N. American shores.

cody

@AR,

my point is if you want to start determining age of a car from the time it was first released as a concept in a car show, you're going to have to tack on a few years to every car on the market.

the production car was released in september 2009, probably as a 2010, making the car less than 3 years old as a production car on the market by the time it hits our shores.....not 5 or 6.

i have no problem with this car being released in korea first, just as i didn't mind it happening with the cruze....or any other compact/sub-compact from every other manufacturer on the planet...they release in either their home markets, or the markets where the size is most profitable first.

compacts and sub-compacts are hugely important (and sell for much more money) everywhere else in the world. it makes sense that they would get these cars first...if their status changes in the status (it seems like they slowly are), then maybe we'll see the same attention paid to them that midsize sedans/crossovers/trucks receive.

Becca Steinherz

I cant understand why anyone would want to buy a Sub-Compact (any of them) when their compact cars get the same or better gas mileage with much more room and power! I understand that some people just want a Small Compact City Car, but you give up so much for so little in return! In the case of the Sonic you could go up 2 Sizes Bigger of car and get better Gas mileage and still have Compact Car that fits into city life just fine.

pink slip loan Los Angeles

Shawn

The car's much better than the reviewer. He doesn't seem to understand that it's not a luxury car. I'm glad to see a car maker taking some of the non-essentials out of a car so it can be more affordable. Good job Chevy! Oh and Cars.com: Fire that clown!

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