The Chevrolet Spark is designed for city dwellers who are looking for a small car that packs all the connectivity features of the big cars, but don’t require the horsepower or the proportions of a bigger vehicle. For 2016, the all-new Spark packs 17% more power than the first-generation model, so the power output increases from a measly 84 horsepower to a more acceptable 98 horsepower.
Styling wise, the first-generation Chevy Spark looked like an excited potato with extremely large headlights. The 2016 Spark on the other hand, looks like it was designed by someone who took their job a little more seriously than before. Unlike its predecessor, the new model features masculine creases and bulges, and the headlights are more proportional with the rest of the front fascia.
Chevrolet has lowered the new Spark by 1.6 inches for better handling, but have also cleverly lowered the front and rear seat’s hip points to maintain headroom.
The second-generation Chevy Spark, like its predecessor, is designed and engineered in GM’s technical center in South Korea. With clever interior packaging, the new Spark has enough room to seat four adults in relative comfort for short distances. The designers have retained the body-colored interior accents of the first-generation model, but have also added the latest from GM’s tech cabinet. OnStar with 4G LTE data connection and on-board Wi-Fi are available, along with rear parking sensors; a backup camera however, is standard.
The center console of the new Spark features a capacitive-touch, seven-inch MyLink infotainment screen, which now works with new volume and accessory hard buttons on the dashboard. The gauge cluster is now comprised of an advanced dot-matrix LCD screen, which should be clearer and easier to read than a traditional analog cluster.
At 98 horsepower, the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Spark is more powerful than the 89 horsepower Smart Fortwo and the 94 horsepower Scion iQ.
Powering the 2016 Spark is a new 1.4 L four-cylinder from GM’s new Ecotec small engine family. The new engine is 0.2 L larger than the previous motor and features an aluminum block and heads with an integrated exhaust manifold. Fuel efficiency is EPA rated at 30 city/41 highway mpg for models equipped with a manual transmission; 31 city/41 highway mpg for models equipped with the optional automatic gearbox.
The standard transmission is a five-speed manual while the optional gearbox is a CVT automatic.
Safety conscious consumers need not worry about the Chevrolet Spark’s tiny proportions because it comes standard with 10 airbags. Blind-sport monitoring, lane-departure warning, and forward-collision warning are also available as options.
Since the new Spark retains its tall and narrow dimensions, it can be equipped with rollover detection and mitigation protocols for its stability control program.
The body structure of the 2016 Chevrolet Spark is all-new and much stiffer than before, which improves handling and crash safety figures. Chevrolet boasts that the Spark’s roof can “carry 4.2 times the weight of the vehicle in a rollover,” a force rating way in excess of the roof-crash safety standards.
The 2016 Chevrolet Spark is on sale now. The base LS trim with manual transmission starts at $12,660. The top-of-the-range, Spark 2LT with an automatic carries a starting price of $17,285.
Compared to the first-generation Chevrolet Spark, the new model is roomier, better designed, more powerful, and packs a lot more tech. People who buy the Spark are mostly concerned about the final factor.
While young drivers and modern city dwellers can do without power, torque, and some of the luxury features; they clearly cannot live without their connectivity devices. If you don’t believe me, just checkout the video below:
Additional 2016 Chevrolet Spark Images
*Rahul Raman is the Founder of CARS 360 Mke, an automotive news outlet. He is a regular contributor to Automoblog and the author of our First Look series.