Creating cheap cars isn’t always simple and easy. Most of the time, it is a risky task. It could easily go really wrong. Why is that? Building and marketing a really cheap vehicle could be a major failure if car makers don’t do it smartly. This requires the
design of a compact and appealing vehicle while adding some practicability. Everybody already knows that it will feature low-quality materials, so they must be assembled appropriately. When it comes to cheap cars, there is no middle ground: it could be too awesome or too useless.
The case of the 2016 Spark, fortunately for General Motors, is a successful one. Engineers at Chevrolet achieve to create a really excellent vehicle with all the budget limitations. The customer even gets a cutting-edge infotainment system as standard, which is something most people don’t believe. But must believe it.
Of course, expect all the limitations of the segment: below-average performance, cheap materials, and some degree of unpleasant noises. But for its price, who really cares about these superfluous details? You shouldn’t.
Let’s take a closer look about the 2016 Spark.
Powertrain and Specs
The 2016 Spark features a really small DOHC 1.4 L inline-4, which is capable of producing up to 98 hp and 94 lb-ft. Being such a small powerplant, this cheap compact has a pretty good fuel efficiency at 31 mpg for the city and 41 mpg on the highway. In terms of performance, the 2016 Spark can go from standstill to 60 mph (100 km/h) in 10.7 seconds.
Along with the engine, users will found a 5-speed manual transmission as standard, having the option of choosing a 2-speed CVT gearbox for an extra buck. Specialized media has praised the optimum behavior of the manual transmission while the handling has been considered as amazing.
Design and Comfort
When we talk about design and practicability, is where the 2016 Spark really shines. It is a really cheap vehicle, some most people could be expecting a mediocre design and a poorly appealing look. If you fall in this group, you are wrong. This Chevy compact is cheap but not ugly. All the way around.
The 2016 Spark show off a similar look to the Chevrolet Sonic, one close sibling. Its sporty look makes us think that its price is quite irrational. This 2282 lb compact doesn’t reflect its price on who it looks or feels. This revamped design aims to a more exciting form. Also, several bright colors are available for this model. 185/55 all-season tires come as standard, wrapping the fancy 15-inch alloy wheels that are only available on the LT trim.
In the interior, the first thing people will notice is that the feeling delivered by the leather upholstery is disappointing and this is where we notice the cheap nature of the car. While there are 4- and 6-speaker sound system available, the 7-inch touchscreen operating the Chevrolet MyLink platform comes standard for all the trims offered. Also, the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are on board without paying anything extra.
The Bottom Line
The 2016 Spark is a good surprise. For being an extremely cheap car, it feels well-built with an intensive use of good quality materials. Also, notice that users will have the LS and the LT trim to choose, providing a decent array of options, mainly in terms of convenience items.
The base price for the LS starts at US$13.535. When all the extras are on board, the Spark goes beyond US$18.000, which doesn’t change the panorama too much for those looking for a tight-budget alternative.