Chevrolet has long been a versatile brand that offers a variety of options to drivers of all walks of life. From their incredibly capable trucks and SUVs to their iconic muscle cars and strong family sedans, Chevrolet most likely has a model for your specific application.
The 2018 Chevrolet Spark isn’t new to the scene, but still young in its legacy. Though much smaller than its 4×4 counterparts, the Spark is a hot hatch that gets the job done and doesn’t take up too much space while doing it. Fans of the tiny transportation movement will like the Spark. However, there are some sacrifices to be made for such a small vehicle.
The 2018 Chevrolet Spark is powered by a 1.4-liter ECOTEC four-cylinder engine capable of 98 horsepower and 94 lb-ft of torque. Customers can choose from a five-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission on any of the four available trims.
Customers can choose from the following colors for their 2018 Chevrolet Spark:
- Silver Ice
- Summit White
- Mosaic Black
- Red Hot
- Nightfall Gray
- Toasted Marshmallow
Kelley Blue Book gives the 2018 Spark’s fuel efficiency as 31 city and 38 highway EPA-estimated mpg for automatic transmission models, and 29 city and 39 highway mpg for manual transmission models. Spark ACTIV models are rated at 30 city and 37 highway mpg for automatic transmission models and 29 city and 38 highway mpg for those models equipped with a manual transmission.
It’s important to know that the 2018 Chevy Spark does not have a hybrid powertrain option. Due to its smaller stature, it can achieve a higher fuel efficiency rating based simply on weight and engine efficiency alone. This is one of the biggest benefits of owning a smaller vehicle.
Entertainment and Safety Features
Though the 2018 Spark has not yet been evaluated by the NHTSA, the IIHS has rated it “Good” in its “Moderate Overlap Front” and “Side” tests. Beyond earning a “Basic” score in “Front Crash Prevention,” the 2018 Spark has not been further evaluated by the IIHS.
All 2018 Spark models are front-wheel drive capable. Safety features include Rear Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert, and Lane Departure Warning. Customers will also enjoy a seven-inch touchscreen, along with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The 2018 Chevrolet Spark is available in four basic trim levels, each of which is offered as either an automatic or a manual model.
The first trim is the LS, which starts at $13,925 for manual transmission models and $15,025 for models equipped with the CVT. Features include the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), a rear spoiler, Bluetooth, OnStar, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
The 1LT model is a step above, offering SiriusXM radio, electronic cruise control, steering wheel controls, fog lamps, and remote keyless entry. A power sunroof is available as well.
Customers who choose the 2LT model receive a leather-wrapped, three-spoke steering wheel, chrome trim accents, and heated front seats. The optional sunroof can be added on, too.
Finally, we have the ACTIV trim level. Designed with unique 15-inch alloy wheels, black leatherette heated seats, plastic front and rear bumpers, off-road skid plates, a luggage rack, and a unique suspension package, the ACTIV trim is sportier and suited to those who love bringing their car on a myriad of adventures. Manual transmission models cost about $17,000, while automatic models are $1,000 higher in price.
How the 2018 Spark Compares to the Competition
Much like the crossover segment, the subcompact niche has begun to grow as gas prices and maintenance costs continue to rise. For anyone living in a big city with small parking spaces, the tiny hatch and sedan market offers everything you’re looking for, from a compact body to high mpg ratings. Far from a luxury sedan with room enough for a family gathering, the 2018 Spark does check a lot of boxes for working people and adventurists alike.
Kelley Blue Book noted the 2018 Spark is a great buy for under $15,000. Really, it’s only the manual base model that’s available below this mark, but for only $3,000 more, customers will get a decent package that does its best to move into the off-road market. Though the ACTIV trim level isn’t much more than a few extra accessories, Chevrolet is doing their best to answer the call of outdoor thrills. This puts it almost in the realm of vehicles like the Subaru Crosstrek, but as a front-wheel drive automobile, it can’t compete with Subaru’s reputation for all-wheel drive.
All the same, the Spark does compete with some great models from manufacturers like Mitsubishi, Toyota, and Nissan. While the Toyota Prius and Corolla are strong competitors in this realm, Honda has also placed their Insight into this segment as well. Nissan’s Versa and the Mitsubishi Mirage have a list of pros and cons all their own. Ford’s Fiesta and the Kia Rio round out this subcompact segment with strong features.
If you’re looking for a vehicle with “surprisingly spry bursts of acceleration,” Kelley Blue Book recommends you pick up the five-speed manual models. Edmunds experts appreciated the 1LT trim model, noting that it was sparse, but the benefits outweigh the costs.
Narrowing down your search to knowing you want a sturdy, reliable vehicle that won’t gouge your budget at the gas station and will be easy to park on busy streets will most likely lead you to the 2018 Chevy Spark. While it’s no tiny turbo rocket, the Spark does offer a lot of great features.
- Fuel efficiency
- Safety features
- Stylish and sporty
- Standard features on other makes not available on base Spark models
- Not the quickest, quietest, or roomiest model available in price range
- Not much power
When you really think about it, many customers in the market for a vehicle search out the best deal in terms of their desired features. Whereas in the past that might have been all-wheel drive capabilities, a rugged exterior perfect for trekking around the mountains, and tires in excess of 18 inches, nowadays customers are looking for smaller, reliable, and budget-friendly mobiles. The 2018 Chevrolet Spark fits all that criteria, at an affordable price.
So, if you’re looking to pick up your teen’s first car or simply want a city cruiser you don’t have to drop by the gas station all that often, check out the 2018 Spark. Because sometimes that which comes in a small package is capable of much more than meets the eye.