The Spark’s entry-level headline price figure is certainly attractive and surprisingly for a car that costs so little, discounts from Chevrolet can be upwards of five percent. However, we would advise anyone to look beyond the low sticker price because the basic car’s appeal quickly dims. It’s not unusual for entry models to be poorly equipped, but rarely does that extend to a non-adjustable steering wheel. For it to have no stereo is virtually unheard of.
To get a Spark that affords you more than just the pleasure of your own company, the next model up is the 1.0 Spark+, which a Hyundai i10 both outpowers and undercuts. At least +, LS, LS+ and LT models come with air conditioning (the latter upgrading to climate control) although alloys are only fitted to the two top 1.2-litre models.
However, by the time you’ve reached that 1.2-litre engine (although we’re far from convinced that’s a step worth taking) and the LT trim level, Chevrolet will have taken supermini-sized cash off your hands. The same sort of money will buy you a Mazda 2 and, although the Spark LT is relatively well equipped, the Mazda 2 is perfectly sufficient and a vastly better car.
Insurance groups are low, though – the entry-level car comes in at insurance group 1, but then there’s no stereo inside to tempt thieves. Of course, if you do opt for that car and fit your own stereo, you’ll have to tell your insurance company that the car has been modified, bumping up your premiums accordingly.
Both 1.0- and 1.2-litre models have the same economy figures.
Sparks will be bought mostly by private buyers, as are its rivals, so it holds no great residual value advantage and other running costs are par for the course, too.