2016 Chevrolet Spark
(U.S. News and World Report)

The fully redesigned 2016 Chevy Spark was unveiled at the New York International Auto Show this week. The new Spark features a more powerful engine, a longer wheelbase, newly available safety features and updated interior and exterior styling.

Under the 2016 Spark's hood is a new 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 98 horsepower, which is 14 more horsepower than the 2015 model's engine makes. Car and Driver notes that while a 98-horsepower car is typically nothing to write home about, they expect that the extra 14 horsepower should help it feel quicker in everyday driving. The Spark is available with either a five-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Chevrolet estimates that the Spark will return 40 mpg highway when equipped with the CVT, which is slightly higher than the 39 mpg highway EPA rating of the 2015 model.

The Spark's new exterior styling is being well received by the automotive press. Kicking Tires says the 2016 Spark has a more grown-up look, noting that "It now looks much more like the rest of the Chevrolet family and less like a bug-eyed character from an anime cartoon."

Inside, Chevrolet says it has upgraded the Spark's seats, instrument panel and available MyLink infotainment system, which has a 7-inch touch screen. The 2016 Spark has a standard rearview camera and rear park assist, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and forward collision alert are available.

The Spark competes with other subcompact cars like the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Accent. The 2015 Spark currently ranks 8th in our affordable subcompact car rankings. Do you think the 2016 model will rank higher?

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