2020 Chevrolet Spark

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$13,220 - 17,720 MSRP

2020 Chevrolet Spark Review

The 2020 Chevrolet Spark has great maneuverability and a generous number of tech features, but it’s slow to get up to speed, and it’s short on rear-seat space. The Spark doesn't have an overall score in our subcompact car rankings because it has not been fully crash tested.

Pros & Cons

  • Fantastic maneuverability
  • Plenty of standard technology features
  • Below-average starting price
  • Sluggish highway power
  • Lacks basic features like power door locks
  • Small cargo hold
  • Limited seat support

Research & Ratings

The 2020 Chevrolet Spark is unranked in Subcompact Cars due to missing safety data. Currently, the Chevrolet Spark's overall score is not available, though its Critics' Rating, Performance score, and Interior score are based on our evaluation of 21 pieces of research and data.

N/A

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.9
Performance: 6.9
Interior: 6.1
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. As a result, it doesn't have an overall score and cannot be ranked against other subcompact cars.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

 Is the Chevrolet Spark a Good Car?  

The Chevy Spark is a decent subcompact car. City dwellers will appreciate how little effort it takes to navigate through crowded lanes and into tight parking spots. This Chevy has an easy-to-use infotainment system, and it costs less than most class rivals.

On the flip side, the Spark’s cargo space is limited, its interior is filled with low-quality materials, and common features like power windows and door locks don’t come standard. The Spark has sufficient power for city driving, but it struggles when merging and passing on the highway.

Should I Buy the Chevrolet Spark?

The Spark’s low base price and generous list of standard features make it a great value, provided you do most of your driving in the city. There are other vehicles in the class that may be a better fit, however, especially if you do a lot of highway driving. The Chevrolet Sonic features a stronger engine than the Spark and more space for passengers and cargo. The Nissan Versa has a higher-quality interior, and it comes standard with safety features like forward collision warning and pedestrian detection, which cost extra or are unavailable in the Spark.

Compare the Spark, Sonic, and Versa »

Should I Buy a New or Used Chevrolet Spark?

The 2020 Spark is part of a generation that debuted for the 2016 model year, and there have been only minor changes since then. For 2017, the Spark EV model was discontinued. For 2019, Chevrolet revised the Spark’s front-end styling, and low-speed automatic braking became available. There are no major changes for 2020.

With so few changes over the years, it’s worth considering a used 2016 Spark. It’s very similar to a new Spark but much less expensive to buy.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 Spark, 2018 Spark, and 2019 Spark reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Spark »

We Did the Research for You: 21 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 21 Chevrolet Spark reviews, as well as performance specs, interior dimensions, fuel economy ratings, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

This 2020 Spark review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2016.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain impartial, we do not accept extravagant gifts from automakers, and an outside source handles our advertising.

How Much Does the Chevrolet Spark Cost?

The entry-level 2020 Spark LS starts at $13,220, which is one of the lowest base prices in the class. The midlevel 1LT and ACTIV trims start at $15,120 and $16,220, respectively. The top-of-the-line 2LT trim has a starting price of $16,620.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

Chevrolet Spark Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Spark or Chevrolet Sonic?

The Chevrolet Sonic is a more well-rounded subcompact car than the Spark. It offers better fuel economy than the Spark, and the Sonic's stronger engine makes it a more suitable vehicle for commuting at higher speeds. The Sonic also has more spacious seating in both rows, and its sedan and hatchback body styles offer more cargo room than the hatchback-only Spark.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Spark or Nissan Versa?

The Nissan Versa is a better car than the Spark. The Nissan offers a richer interior and more horsepower than the Chevy (122 horses versus 98). It also has a higher predicted reliability rating and more standard safety features. The Spark does have a bit more cargo room than the Versa, but that’s not enough to come out ahead in this comparison.

Compare the Spark, Sonic, and Versa »

Spark Interior

How Many People Does the Spark Seat?

There's seating for up to four people in the Spark. This little hatchback has a spacious first row, but the seats lack lateral support, and the manual adjustments can make it difficult for the driver to find a comfortable position. The tight rear seats are best left to smaller adults or children.

Spark and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Spark’s LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. The upper tethers could be hard to find, and the lower anchors may be too deep in the seats.

Spark Interior Quality

The Spark's interior pales in comparison to that of several subcompact car rivals, but it's befitting of its price point. While there are some soft-touch surfaces, several hard plastics are scattered throughout the cabin. Plus, a lot of road noise seeps into the Spark's interior. Cloth upholstery is standard, and synthetic leather upholstery is available.

Spark Cargo Space                                                                                                                                    

Cargo space is limited in the Spark. There's 11.1 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 27.2 cubic feet when these seats are folded down. Those figures are below average for a subcompact hatchback.

Spark Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Spark comes with loads of standard technology, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 7-inch touch screen, a Wi-Fi hot spot, voice command, Bluetooth, two USB ports, and a four-speaker audio system. Available features include steering wheel-mounted audio controls, satellite radio, and a six-speaker audio system. However, common features like power door locks and windows, as well as cruise control, surprisingly do not come standard.

The Spark’s standard infotainment system has crisp graphics and responsive menus, and it’s easy to use. The climate functions are operated by separate physical controls, which are logically arranged.

Read more about interior »                                                                      

Spark Performance

Spark Engine: OK Around Town

The Chevy Spark comes with a 98-horsepower 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine. While this engine provides plenty of power for driving around town, it takes some time for it to get the Spark up to highway speeds. The standard five-speed manual transmission is fairly responsive, but the available continuously variable automatic transmission can be a big sluggish.

Spark Gas Mileage: Pretty Good

Base models with the manual transmission deliver 29 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. With the automatic transmission, base models get 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. These estimates are on par with those of several subcompact car rivals.

Spark Ride and Handling: City Dweller

This small car's tight turning radius makes it easy to whip around corners, maneuver into cramped parking spots, and weave through busy city streets. However, the Spark has light steering feedback, which means the driver may need to correct the steering to keep the car centered at higher speeds. The brakes, while fairly strong, feel mushy.

Read more about performance »

Spark Reliability

Is the Chevrolet Spark Reliable?

The 2020 Chevrolet Spark has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Chevrolet Spark Warranty

Chevrolet covers the Spark with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Spark Safety

Spark Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety performed two safety tests on the 2020 Spark. The car earned the top rating of Good in both the side evaluation and the moderate overlap front test.

At the time of writing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not crash tested the 2020 Spark.

Spark Safety Features

The Spark comes standard with a rearview camera. Additional active safety features are available, including rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Read more about safety »

Spark Dimensions and Weight

The Spark is about 11.9 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 2,246 to 2,312 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Chevrolet Spark Built?

Chevrolet builds the 2020 Spark in South Korea.

Which Chevrolet Spark Model Is Right for Me?

The 2020 Chevrolet Spark comes in four trims: LS, 1LT, ACTIV, and 2LT. The base LS is loaded with standard infotainment technology like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. However, we recommend the 1LT because it includes common features that the LS trim does not, such as power door locks and power windows.

For comfort features like synthetic leather upholstery and heated seats, step up to the ACTIV trim. Those interested in supplementary active safety features will have to spring for the top-of-the-line 2LT and add the trim-specific Driver Confidence package.

A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is available for $1,100.

Chevrolet Spark LS

Starting at $13,220, the Spark LS trim comes with a rearview camera, cloth upholstery, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, two USB ports, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a four-speaker audio system.

Chevrolet Spark 1LT

The Spark 1LT starts at $15,120 and features remote keyless entry, cruise control, power door locks and windows, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, satellite radio, and a six-speaker audio system. A sunroof is available for $1,000.

Chevrolet Spark ACTIV

The Spark ACTIV trim has a starting MSRP of $16,220. It adds synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Chevrolet Spark 2LT

The range-topping Spark 2LT starts at $16,620 and includes push-button start and rear parking sensors. A Driver Confidence package ($295) is available in 2LT models, and it comes with the CVT, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

See 2020 Chevrolet Spark specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Chevrolet Spark is an OK subcompact car, especially for everyday driving in the city. However, it has an underpowered engine, tight second-row space, and minimal seat support, all of which prevent it from being a good vehicle to take on the highway or on longer trips.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The 2020 Chevrolet Spark may be the smallest car in the company's lineup, but it's packed with personality and features, plus great fuel economy numbers. From its stylish exterior to its impressively up-to-date infotainment system, the Spark appeals to younger buyers who care more about economy, value and connectivity than they do flat-out performance." -- Autotrader
  • Apologies for the obvious ‘you get what you pay for’ saying, but it applies here. If someone spends a lot of their time driving, it makes sense to buy the highest quality possible, which will also have a bearing on resale values. Choose the Spark if it sparks joy, but do some research into the competition before making a final decision." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The Spark, however, does have a couple of drawbacks. Acceleration is sluggish off the line, even for the subcompact class. And while you shouldn't expect loads of interior volume from a car like this, the Spark lacks rear legroom and cargo space behind the rear seatbacks. On the whole, though, the 2019 Chevrolet Spark should satisfy most of your needs. It's an affordable, well-equipped and efficient mode of transportation." -- Edmunds (2019)   
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2020 Chevrolet Spark

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