What Edmunds Says
The diminutive 2013 Chevrolet Spark looks to be a solid choice for the first-time buyer and big-city dweller, thanks to all-around economy, plentiful features and a youthful spirit.
Inexpensive without feeling cheap; spacious interior; available high-tech features.
What's New for 2013
The 2013 Chevrolet Spark is an all-new model.
Downsizing. These days it's a word that's popular but usually unwelcome. With the 2013 Chevrolet Spark, however, smaller is better. The Spark is the smallest car in GM's portfolio, and it's aimed squarely at urban dwellers and first-time car buyers. And small it is.
Bumper to bumper, the Spark measures 14 inches shorter than the compact Chevy Sonic. It's actually closer in size to the Fiat 500 (which is a further 4 inches shorter), though the Spark benefits from four doors instead of two. And despite its small footprint, the Chevy Spark is surprisingly spacious inside, thanks to more upright seating positions and a tall greenhouse.
As a car with humble aspirations, the 2013 Chevrolet Spark won't exactly set your soul alight. Its modest 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine produces only 85 horsepower and 82 pound-feet of torque. A standard five-speed manual transmission helps extract most of that power, and there's an available four-speed automatic.
Fortunately, that tiny engine doesn't have to push too much weight, as the Spark tips the scales at just over 2,200 pounds. We expect acceleration to 60 mph to take more than 10 seconds, but for a city car that's hardly a deal-breaker.
Instead of power, the Chevy Spark focuses on more pressing priorities for young urbanites. Fuel economy will likely impress, while power windows, air-conditioning, 15-inch wheels and 10 airbags come standard. An available MyLink infotainment system adds a 7-inch touchscreen interface and smartphone integration that includes streaming audio via Pandora and Stitcher Internet radio.
The Spark goes on sale this summer, with an all-electric model reportedly not far behind. Check back for a full review of the 2013 Chevrolet Spark, including specs, driving impressions and buying advice as it becomes available.