2013 Chevrolet Spark: Car Seat Check

2013-chevy-spark
Chevy's smallest car was made with the Millennial generation in mind, so chances are slim that this four-passenger hatchback will regularly pull family duty. Since ours was bubble-gum pink, moms and dads are probably even more likely to steer clear. However, since it has a backseat, we test it. Surprisingly, the Spark's tiny size wasn't the biggest hurdle to our child-seat installation — super firm seats and awkward tether anchors made getting the seats in difficult.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 rear-facing infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible child-safety seat and Graco high-back TurboBooster seat.

2013-chevy-spark-booster
The front seats are adjusted to a comfortable position for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver's seat, and the infant seat and convertible seats are installed behind the passenger seat. We also install the infant seat in the second row's middle seat with the booster and convertible in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit. If there's a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible.

Here's how the Chevrolet Spark did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:

2013-chevy-spark-latch
Latch system:
There are two sets of Latch anchors in the outboard seats. They're not buried that far down into the seat bight, but the cushions are stiff, so it takes a lot of force to attach the connector to the anchor. The seat belt buckles are also positioned too closely to the anchors, further complicating access.

2013-chevy-spark-buckle
Booster seat:
The Spark's seat bottom cushion is a little narrow for our booster, so we really had to wedge it in there to buckle up. Because of this, it didn't sit flat and instead leaned a little toward the middle of the car. We also had to remove the head restraint, which was tricky because it only comes out when the seatback is leaned forward.

2013-chevy-spark-r-conv
Convertible seat:
There was enough room for the rear-facing convertible, but barely. The front passenger seat had to be moved all the way forward, and the tester's knees were jammed against the glove box. Connecting the seat was also tough thanks to the blocked inboard Latch anchor.

2013-chevy-spark-tether
The forward-facing convertible had enough room, but we again ran into trouble connecting with the anchors. The top tether placement didn't help; it's located in the cargo area's rear lip. When connected, the strap spans the length of the cargo area and prevents a part of the valuable storage space from being used. Also, the cargo cover can’t be installed when the tether anchor is being used because the strap is in the way.

2013-chevy-spark-infant
Infant-safety seat:
This seat's traditional connectors were a better match for the Spark's anchors. They're narrower, so getting them past the stiff cushions required less of a fight. We again had to move the front passenger seat all the way forward to accommodate this rear-facing seat. The front passenger was again uncomfortably close to the glove box.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

Editor's note: For three car seats — infant-safety seat, convertible and booster seats — to fit in a car, our criterion is that a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat.

Related
Research the 2013 Chevrolet Spark
More Car Seat Checks on Cars.com
More Safety News on Cars.com

Comments 

Safety?

I would not even allow children to carried in this "thing" Just imagine a suburban or somthing thats in that class coming at you head-on. Can we say nice knowing you!

I agree, it doesn't look safe. But look at that new car that's half the size of a compact parking stall. It's basically the size of bike but it has a shell. Probably gets great gas mileage though. Do we really have to compromise our safety just to be able to afford driving these days?

J

It is called Techno Pink, not bubble gum pink. GM spent tons of money to get that name.

John

If a suburban is coming at you head-on, it doesn't mater what car you're driving in, you're dead. Living in fear that "the other tank is going to hit me" is not reason to go out and buy a tank+1.

Thank you for adding some logic into this conversation John. For anyone who has been to a foreign country, it's an eye-opener that we Americans have an obsessive paranoia of getting hit by that dreaded "Surburban." I hate to break it to you all, but as long as there's semi trucks and buses on the roads, there will always be someone bigger.

During a recent trip to Japan, I noticed vehicles that are smaller than the Spark are often used as family cars. In fact, the majority of all cars on the road are smaller than the Spark. So all of the soccer moms, and even the drunk drivers, are all in tiny cars. There's no insanity in having to have "tank+1"

Driving smaller really is smarter (better fuel economy and just taking social responsibility by not hogging up as much public space). Instead of trying upsize each other, we should accept that cars like the Spark and Fiesta can serve most of our daily needs

sian

I infact have this car and it works fine with my step son and we are looking at expanding the family you just have to think its a compact car yes but i live in a city with not much parking and terrible public transport i love my car and so does my family. mine is bluebell blue

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