Chevrolet Spark 1.0 LS Review
Chevy's Big-Little Movie Star

Story and Photos by Justin Lee
13 May 2011

For a small 1.0-litre car, the new Chevrolet Spark has had mega-sized launch campaign that includes a worldwide internet voting campaign, a major part in the movie “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”, and star-billing at all the major international motorshows in the United States, Europe, India and China. This much-hyped little car has now arrived in Singapore, and drives one of only two Sparks on the island.

Dramatic looks, inside and out

While the Chevy Spark has always been a stylish little car, in a cutesy, feminine way, its replacement is a macho and aggressive design, befitting a character that made its debut in a major blockbuster film. From the exaggerated angular headlamps that flank the over-sized grille with a bow-tie, to the dramatically wedged and sloping belt-line, and ending with the bright chrome surrounds around the tail lamps, the new Spark is larger-than-life, and certainly makes an impression.

Styling-wise, the Spark is refreshingly bold and even futuristic. It is quite obvious that no effort was spared in giving this, the littlest of all Chevrolets, the looks and appearance of a winner, at least in the 1.0-litre category. Take for example the concealed rear door handles on the Spark, even though this is a feature found on certain Alfa Romeo models, it gives the Spark a sense of style not usually found in a car this class and size.

The previous Spark, even though it looked good, was always criticized for being a nominal Chevrolet since it was too small to be sold in the United States. The closest was it being sold in US was it being available in Mexico, but as a Pontiac! Although it hasn't been launched in the US yet, with the price of oil continuing to rise, it should only be a matter time before the Spark makes its US debut.

The sense of drama continues on the inside as well - in a complete break from the centrally-mounted instrument binnacle on the previous model - the new Spark gets a handsome and futuristic motorcycle-inspired analogue/digital pod-like binnacle mounted directly in front of the driver. The speedometer read-out is convention, analogue and round, but the tachometer, fuel gauge and trip meters are all LCD readouts in an adjoining square module. This design doesn't really make it easier to read than a conventional instrument panel, but it certainly looks cool, especially at night.

The other significant addition to the Spark's interior is the standard NavTrak sat-nav system, the same one found on the Cruze. Unlike the larger Chevy however, the unit in the Spark is installed where the in-car entertainment unit would be, which means it is a little low for quick referencing while driving. Nonetheless, it is quite impressive to have sat-nav on such a small car - it certainly enhances the little Chevy's space-age capsule image.


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