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2013 Chevrolet Spark 2LT

Mini City-Mobile

A three-quarter front view of a Jalapeño green 2013 Chevrolet Spark 2LT

In short: An ultra-small, city-sized 5-door hatchback.

Chevrolet Spark Review

We first spotted a real-life Chevrolet Spark driving the streets of Seoul over three years ago (because it's made in Korea), after an apparition as the Beat Concept at the 2008 Detroit auto show and a showcase in "Transformers 2" with Megan Fox. Not necessarily a work of art, the Spark is kinda cute and super city-friendly. More reminiscent of a super golf cart, the miniscule car is a pleasure to drive in tight agglomeration situations. Whether it's zipping around traffic or wedging itself into tight parking structures, you have to love it. OK, it's not going to win any speed races, but you've got four seats and yes, four doors! As we drove around, no one at first believed that there was a real rear seat and full access to it with its dedicated doors.

Weighing in at a mere 2,337 pounds, this mighty mini car is Chevrolet's smallest car to date — and also one of its most compelling. Designed to compete against similar city-friendly subcompacts like the Scion iQ, Smart Car, and Fiat 500, but offering much more utility, the Korean-built Chevrolet Spark combines Asian engineering with European practicality and American emphasis on quality for a truly global car driving experience. However, wherever in the world you plan on taking this super-efficient Chevy, you'll be glad to know that with its stated combined EPA rating of 34 MPG, you won't be wasting too much money on gas. Our experience in the Jalapeño-colored mini car verified Chevy's claims, as we earned a combined 33.4 MPG.

The trunk easily absorbs five shopping bags and the split-fold rear seats allow for a station wagon semblance ... too bad the rear seats are not on a track, as many European models are, to allow better cargo-versus-passenger space distribution. At $15,000, you get many of the modern safety and convenience offerings, such as a bunch of airbags and the ubiquitous General Motors OnStar system with automatic crash response and turn-by-turn navigation. Other features include heated seats, Chevrolet MyLink hands-free smartphone integration with Bluetooth audio streaming, and even keyless entry. The 2013 Chevrolet Spark fits a city-dweller lifestyle, including many a tight space and smaller wallet sizes to match.

Related Content:
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Warranty/Service: 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty; 5-year/100,000-mile roadside assistance program; 5-year/100,000-mile courtesy transportation program.

Base Price: $15,045 / As Tested: $15,795

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front engine, front-wheel drive, 4-passenger, 5-door hatchback

Engine: 1.2-liter DOHC inline 4-cylinder
Horsepower: 84 hp @ 6,400 rpm
Torque: 83 lb-ft @ 4,200 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed manual

Curb weight:
2,337 lbs
Wheelbase: 93.5 in
Length/Width/Height: 144.7/61/59.9 in
Turning circle: 32.5 ft

front ventilated disc brakes; rear drum brakes; ABS, brake assist; electronic brakeforce distribution
Suspension: MacPherson strut front; compound crank rear

Traction: stability control with traction control

0-60 mph: 11 seconds
Top Speed: 90 mph

EPA City:
32 mpg
EPA Highway: 38 mpg

front and side airbags; front and rear head curtain airbags; driver knee airbag

Likes: kinda cute; compact; easy to maneuver; headroom

Dislikes: lack of power; noisy on highways

A three-quarter front view of the Chevrolet Beat Concept at the 2008 Detroit auto show

Chevrolet Beat Concept
Before the Chevrolet Spark hit showrooms, it stopped by for an appearance at the 2008 Detroit auto show, where it was known as the Beat Concept. This name will ring a bell with car buyers in Mumbai, as the hatchback is still branded as the Chevrolet Beat in India!

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Photography: AlphaMedia

PNW070210 (Updated: 02/20/13 NW)

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