For most people, purchasing a new car means signing up for a hefty amount of debt. Whether it’s your first brand-new car or simply the vehicle you purchase after trading in last year’s model, a new car brings with it more than just monthly payments. You also get to enjoy the latest and greatest in terms of technology and safety. Plus who can forget that new car smell?
However, did you know that it’s also possible to purchase a brand-new car and not have to worry about four-to-seven years of monthly payments? Chevrolet has priced the 2021 Spark below $15,000! Despite the low price, it still features quite a few modern technologies. If you’re hankering for a new set of wheels but are hesitant to take on $20,000+ of new debt, Chevy has the car for you.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the 2021 Chevrolet Spark. It’s a subcompact hatchback that blends the best of a sedan with some of the features of a small SUV. You’ll learn all the specifics about horsepower, safety, and fuel economy. By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll know whether or not you should hop in your current vehicle and head down to the Chevy dealership. You may just drive home with a new Spark.
Chevrolet’s small-but-mighty Spark seats up to four passengers and comes in front-wheel drive configuration only. Though a five-speed manual transmission comes installed straight from the factory, you can choose a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) as well. This makes the Spark one of the few models left with a stick shift — and definitely one of the cheapest.
What you can’t choose, however, is the engine. You are stuck with a 1.4-liter inline, four-cylinder Ecotec powerplant. It’s capable of making 98 horsepower and 94 lb-ft of torque. Don’t let such a diminutive set of numbers dupe you into thinking the Spark putts around like a hyped-up go-cart. There’s more to this subcompact hatchback than first meets the eye.
Are you ready to see the available paint colors for the 2021 Chevy Spark? Here they are.
- Caribbean Blue
- Silver Ice
- Summit White
- Mystic Blue
- Mosaic Black
- Red Hot
- Passion Fruit
- Cayenne Orange
- Nightfall Gray
- Toasted Marshmallow
Note that Orange Burst and Raspberry are no longer available.
Trimlines and Pricing
When it comes to trim levels, there are four to choose from. For all the details, check out Chevy’s website. Once there, you can see every last detail about your preferred Spark and even customize your own.
Starting at $13,400, this base model will be your budget’s best friend. Standard features include the bare minimum, however, such as 15-inch steel wheels, cloth seating, black plastic mirror caps and door handles, manual windows and door locks, a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.
If you don’t like rolling down your windows manually, choose this model. You’ll enjoy power door locks as well, along with keyless entry, heated power mirrors, LED daytime running lights, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted controls, and SiriusXM satellite radio. You’ll also upgrade to 15″ alloy wheels. This model starts at $15,300.
Faux leather is featured on this trim, in addition to “unique bumpers and rocker panels along with a unique front grille and a pair of fog lights.” Heated front seats are complemented by a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Off-road skidplates, roof rails, and “touring-tuned suspension” round out this trim level as well. The Spark Activ starts at $16,400.
Besides a healthy offering of safety features that we’ll discuss below, this top trim level includes chrome accents, keyless entry and push button start, and an “enhanced driver info display.” This top-of-the-line trim comes in at $16,800. That’s still an excellent price for a brand new ride, no matter how you look at it.
Chevrolet equips the 2021 Spark with a short list of standard safety features. This list includes a rearview camera and ten airbags situated about the cabin. You’ll have to pony up for the 2LT model (with the CVT) if you want to increase the safety features list to include automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and rear parking sensors. Chevy doesn’t offer more than that when it comes to keeping occupants of the Spark safe.
However, the 2021 Spark did rate “Good” in the Moderate overlap front and Side tests when the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested it. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not yet rated the 2021 Spark.
With only one engine and such a small frame, it’s easy to guess that the 2021 Spark isn’t going to guzzle gas the way larger vehicles might. That said, Kelley Blue Book reports the Spark achieves 30 city and 38 highway EPA-estimated miles per gallon (MPG) with the
CVT. Choose the manual and you’ll only drop a point of mileage within city limits. Spark Activ models achieve 30 city MPG and 37 highway MPG with the CVT. It drops to 29 and 37 MPG with the standard transmission, though.
Given the minimalistic approach Chevrolet took with the 2021 Spark, it’s no surprise the experts were divided in their reviews. CarAndDriver commented that “interior quality transcends price point,” which is good to hear on one of the cheapest new cars you can buy right now. CarBuzz agreed, noting “the cabin looks good because the design is fresh and modern.” An above-average predicted reliability rating reported by U.S. News should give buyers confidence in the longevity (and also resale value) of this small hatchback. Fuel economy numbers and “generous standard infotainment tech” impressed reviewers as well.
However, there were times where the 2021 Spark did come up short. The most glaring of those comes in the field of safety, where most buyers are focused when it comes to a smaller vehicle. Some experts felt the engine lacked power. CarAndDriver even cautioned that “highway passes require premeditation.” With such tight quarters and not much adjusting ability, this subcompact hatch is hardly best for long road trips. It even earned the descriptor “unexceptional” from MotorTrend. Then again, what more were you expecting from a brand new car for $16,000?
The Mitsubishi Mirage hovers around the same pricing as the 2021 Spark, but reviews are even more mixed with that model. CarBuzz recommends the Hyundai Veloster, but a car-like hatchback may not fit the bill for those considering the slightly taller Spark. You can also look into a used Spark, as 2021 brings no significant changes to the model. Kelley Blue Book found the Nissan Versa more comfortable to drive in and the Toyota Yaris “more athletic and fun” behind the wheel. You can also choose from the Kia Rio, Honda Fit, or Chevrolet Sonic.
The Last Word
The 2021 Chevrolet Spark appeals to anyone looking for a small platform to get them around town and also respect their budget. While this may require a few sacrifices here and there, that’s not to say the Spark isn’t capable of being a fun ride. We recommend stopping by your local Chevrolet dealer to learn more about the 2021 Spark. Maybe test drive a few models. After all, it’s one thing to look at a vehicle online. It’s quite another to get behind the wheel and enjoy the ride.