Chevrolet picked Miami’s blossoming Wynwood Arts District to introduce the new 2013 Spark, the brand’s first mini-car ever marketed in the U.S. and Canada.
The Spark is a sporty and maneuverable four-passenger, five-door hatchback with bold styling and in-your-face colors. It is aimed at the next generation youth market and comes with a lot of extras that today’s young people are looking for, including MyLink Radio — a seven-inch color touch screen radio capable of displaying smartphone- based music, videos, photos and contacts for hands-free calling. MyLink Radio comes with two embedded apps for Pandora Internet radio and Stitcher Smart Radio and BringGo, an embedded app for GPS navigation available for purchase. Anti-lock brakes, StabiliTrak electronic stability control and Hill Start Assist are standard.
The Spark looks small on the outside, but it is surprisingly roomy on the inside, with more passenger and cargo room than other mini-cars. It’s powered by GM’s 84 hp Ecotec 1.25-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission and gets an EPA-estimated 38 mpg on the highway.
The Spark already is being sold in other countries and Chevy says it is a popular family vehicle. It is available here in LS, 1LT and 2LT models.
“Spark is ideal for active city dwellers because it is easy to drive, easy to park and easy to own,” said Mike Weidman, Chevrolet marketing manager. “With its maneuverability, Spark is ideal for city driving.”
Spark has a tight turning circle of only 32.5 feet (9.9 meters), which makes it ideal for around-town driving.
In spite of its small size, Spark has a solid stance and, while it looks like a three-door hatch, designers have cleverly disguised the rear doors by integrating the handles into the C-pillar. The technique gives Spark a sporty appearance without sacrificing five-door comfort and utility. An integrated spoiler over the rear hatch door enhances Spark’s look and improves aerodynamics for better fuel efficiency.
Spark has a prominent two-tier grille and bowtie logo, a “wheels-out, body-in” stance, a stretched windshield, body-color front door handles and standard 15-inch aluminum wheels. Numerous bins are located throughout the cabin and there is plenty of storage space. With the 60-40 split rear seat folded, long items, such as skis or surfboards, may be carried along with a rear-seat passenger. Color is a big part of the Spark marketing and it is available in a variety of brilliant new colors with names like Jalapeño, Lemonade, Denim, Salsa and Techno Pink.
“Since the Spark is targeted toward a younger, fun generation, we have some really fresh and expressive colors for the vehicle,” said Chevrolet’s color and trim designer Joe Lombardi. “Being a small vehicle, it’s perfect for these fun, youthful colors. We tied the exterior color into the interior to give it an overall harmonious, cohesive feel.”
Spark’s body-frame-integral structure is tight and stiff for sportier driving dynamics. The electric power steering and MacPherson strut front suspension deliver tight handling characteristics and provide overall stability. Spark also comes with vented front disc and rear drum brakes.
Base price on the 2013 Chevrolet Spark is $12,995.