The Drive (Cont'd), Conclusion

Although four-speed gearboxes may sound rather ancient in 2014, I found very little to complain about it in the Spark. It shifts gears rather quickly and effectively, making good use of whatever the engine can muster, and is responsive enough when you require a kick down on overtaking. If you turn off over-drive, it becomes even more responsive as it locks out the fourth gear and only uses the first three, with some detriment to its fuel consumption of course. There are no paddle shifters here, but this comes largely unnecessary in this commuter vehicle.

Conclusion

In fact, there are a couple of things you may deem unnecessary in a basic vehicle that comes standard in a Spark. Although the car has no automatic headlights, automatic wipers or electric side mirrors, it does come with a very comprehensive infotainment system that is packed with Bluetooth, navigation (with a live traffic feed!), a micro-SD card reader and a DVD player. I tried using the navigation, which is easy to use and responsive, although when I tried synching my iPhone 5 with the Bluetooth I could not figure out how to find out the pairing code in the system, and gave up. Other notable features include a digital tachometer, a trip computer reading range and average speed, leather seats and steering-mounted radio & volume controls. All in - all of this equipment is generous for a Spark, and gives you bang for the buck in that regard.

If the Spark was given a test in school to determine its suitability as a city car, it will do very well indeed. It ticks all the right boxes, and its foibles are considered relatively minor as it does very commendably in the important, salient things that matter. Sadly, in the current market conditions the Spark is unlikely to sell very well given the current loan restrictions in place. Which is a shame, because apart from the hidden door handles, I like the rest of the car quite a fair bit too.  

In Summary

We Like

It's a great city car that has big car qualities, with an impressive list of standard equipment that will put to shame many hatchbacks at higher asking prices

We Don't

The air-conditioning is weak and smells funny, and the boot is small - it doesn't help that the rear seats don't fold down easily, either.

Verdict

A great effort from Chevrolet, and a car worth a serious punt for anyone in the market for a basic city car, as far as we can tell from our one-day test drive.

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Sylvia Goh - 1 month ago

Engine

Engine Capacity 995cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 9.8:1
Bore x Stroke (68.5 x 67.5)mm
Power 67bhp @ 6400rpm
Torque 89Nm @ 4800rpm
Power to Weight 72.8 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 17.5s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 143 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 20.0 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 4 -speed Auto
Drive Type FF
Steering Hydraulic

Measurements

Body Type 5 Door Hatch
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(3595 x 1597 x 1522) mm
Wheelbase 2375 mm
Turning Circle 4.9 metres
Kerb Weight 920 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 35 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Discs
Brakes (Rear) Drums