If the most of your driving is made up of relatively short trips in and around town, where space is tight and open roads are in short supply, subcompact city cars are still one of the best and most affordable ways of getting around. If you’re shopping in this segment, there are several things a city car must have to catch buyers’ interest. Good thing that the 2019 Chevrolet Spark checks most of these requisite boxes.
The Spark is small, nippy, maneuverable, affordable to buy, and cheap to run, and there’s more room on the inside than you’d expect looking from the outside. If you’re in the town or city and you want the peace of mind of an affordable new car with a full warranty, here’s what the 2019 Chevrolet Spark has to offer.
Buyers have four different grades of 2019 Chevrolet Spark to choose from. It starts with the LS, then goes up to the 1LT, ACTIV, and the range-topping 2LT.
With a starting MSRP of just $13,220, the Spark LS is a tempting option for young buyers or those looking for their first brand new car. Sadly, don’t expect too much in terms of standard features as Chevrolet has kept things pretty basic with this one to achieve such an affordable starting price.
Nobody is going to expect a big, powerful engine under the hood of a car like this, so Chevrolet is totally on-trend with the 98 horsepower 1.4-liter inline-four it uses here.
All trim levels send their modest power to the front wheels through a standard five-speed manual transmission, although most models you’ll find in stock at dealers will have the optional CVT instead.
If you want to throw the Spark into bends and corners at interesting speeds it can be a lot of fun, especially if you’ve got one with the standard five-speed manual. CVT-equipped models are not nearly as much fun, but they do make a lot more sense for continued use in congested towns and cities.
Manufacturers don’t tend to go overboard with the styling of their smaller, more affordable models, so the 2019 Spark doesn’t look anything out of the ordinary.
The exterior styling has had a bit of a refresh this year, but it’s still standard fare for a city car. Lower trim levels can be mundane in the looks department, but a vague element of ruggedness does come into play with the Spark ACTIV. Although it doesn’t have all-wheel-drive and it’s obviously no off-roader, the ACTIV rides almost an inch higher than other models and looks better for it.
The car is only 143 inches long from bumper to bumper, but its 94-inch wheelbase is one of the longer ones on offer in the segment and it does help with the Spark’s overall look.
Honesty is often the best policy, so Chevrolet deserves some credit in that area for not trying to make the Spark out to be more than it is. While some automakers would have squeezed a third seatbelt into the back seat to be able to claim their city car is a five-person model, Chevy makes no bones about the fact the Spark is strictly for four people.
Depending on the trim level chosen, the firm seats of the Spark can be wrapped in a variety of fun and funky synthetic upholstery options. The back doors open nice and wide to make getting in and out easy, but there isn’t a huge amount of room once you’re in the rear seats. The trunk space is quite small too. But considering this is a city car, many wouldn’t expect much more room than is already on offer in this class of car.
Entertainment and Functionality
At first glance, OnStar connectivity with an integrated 4G LTE Wi-Fi antenna, a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth compatible, and two USB ports makes it sound as though the Spark LS is well-equipped. Unfortunately, the price for all that comes at the expense of more fundamental goodies, such as electric windows, auto door locks, and alloy wheels.
Despite the base trim falling short, the Spark more than makes up for this lack of fundamental features with its higher trims. In fact, the 1LT trim level adds power windows and locks along with remote keyless entry and alloy wheels, while the Spark ACTIV goes much further with the addition of luxuries such as heated front seats and raised ride height.
Base Spark models don’t come with a raft of advanced safety tech, and the Spark has been yet to be subjected to the full volley of federal and independent crash tests either. However, for such a small and affordable car, there are a lot of advanced safety features available to buyers not always available with a car at this level.
Every model comes standard with 10 airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, and a rearview camera. You can add the Driver Confidence Package to the range-topping 2LT, which adds low-speed automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning.
- Affordable to buy and cheap to run
- Impressive advanced safety features available
- Excellent infotainment features
- Surprisingly spacious cabin
- CVT doesn’t impress
- A very basic entry model
The Last Word
Admittedly, small, affordable city cars are hard for most people to get too excited about, but they certainly do still have their place in the current market.
Instead of taking a risk on a used car someone else has discarded, why not pay a little more for a brand new 2019 Chevrolet Spark and enjoy the kind of peace of mind you only get from a brand-new vehicle with a full factory warranty?