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2013 Chevrolet Spark Review

An underpowered engine and poor reliability push the used 2013 Chevrolet Spark toward the bottom of our rankings. However, it has one of the highest safety scores in the segment.

Pros & Cons

  • Ample rear-seat space
  • Responsive steering
  • Can feel unstable on highway




Critics' Rating: 7.8
Performance: 6.5
Interior: 7.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.5
Safety: 9.4
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Chevrolet Spark Overview

Is the 2013 Chevrolet Spark a Good Used Car?

A used 2013 Chevy Spark is not a very good choice for your next subcompact car. Its standard interior lacks many of the features found in competitors, such as a USB port. This five-door hatchback’s engine struggles to reach highway speeds. Once it does, the car can feel unstable when larger vehicles pass. This Chevy has enough space to seat four adults comfortably, but so does the 2013 Honda Fit.

Used 2013 Chevrolet Spark Performance and Interior

The front-wheel-drive 2013 Chevy Spark has an 84-horsepower four-cylinder engine with a standard smooth-shifting, five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic is available in some models. Around town, engine power is sufficient and ride quality is composed. However, the Spark struggles to hit highway speeds, and larger vehicles bounce the little Chevy around when passing it. The Spark’s four-speed automatic transmission has an EPA rating of 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. The five-speed manual returns 31/37 mpg city/highway.

Read more about Spark performance »

The Spark seats four across two rows on standard cloth seats. A high roof gives tall drivers decent headroom. Overall, it’s a spacious cabin, with room for two adults in the rear. There are complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors in the second row. The Spark’s cargo hold is slightly smaller than average for the segment, at 11.4 cubic feet with the second-row seats in use and 31.2 cubic feet with the seats folded down.

The base Spark features a four-speaker stereo system with an auxiliary jack. Available features include Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system; a USB port; satellite radio; and steering-wheel-mounted stereo, phone, and cruise controls. Climate control buttons are laid out well. The infotainment system worked well when the car was new, but today’s smartphones may not connect as seamlessly.

Read more about Spark interior »

Used 2013 Chevrolet Spark Prices

The price of a used 2013 Chevrolet Spark ranges from about $5,400 for the base LS trim with a five-speed manual transmission to around $7,000 for the top-of-the-line 2LT trim with a four-speed automatic transmission. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 21 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 21 Chevrolet Spark reviews and included information on safety, reliability, fuel economy, and more to give you a comprehensive overview of the 2013 Spark.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles for a decade, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To ensure our impartiality, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from carmakers or dealers, and an outside team handles our site’s advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Chevrolet Spark?

The 2013 Chevy Spark has a reliability score of two out of five from J.D. Power. That’s the lowest score possible.

See Spark reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Spark?

The 2013 Chevrolet Spark received the top rating of Good from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in its moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and rear crash tests. It earned an Acceptable rating, the second highest score, for the small overlap front crash test on the driver’s side. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not evaluate the Spark. The Spark has neither standard nor available active safety features.

See Spark safety scores »

Is the 2013 Spark the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Chevrolet Spark marks the car’s first year in production. Newer Spark models offer some enhancements. For example, the 2014 model year introduced a standard continuously variable transmission and the electric Spark model. The 2015 Spark added a Wi-Fi hot spot and OnStar with 4G LTE.

The 2014 Spark’s CVT improved fuel economy over the 2013’s automatic transmission, but not by enough to justify the higher price you may pay for the later model year. However, if you’re into technology, the 2015 may be worth consideration.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Spark »

Which Used Chevrolet Spark Is Right for Me?

The 2013 Chevy Spark comes in three trims: LS, 1LT, and 2LT. The base Chevrolet Spark LS is lightly equipped with a four-speaker stereo system, an auxiliary power outlet, and aluminum wheels. The 1LT adds features like cruise control, power door locks with keyless entry, and power outside mirrors. The 2LT has heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, imitation leather seats, and fog lamps. Most buyers will be happiest with the 1LT; it offers more features than the base LS model, but should cost less than a used 2LT.

You may also want to consider a certified pre-owned model due to the Spark’s low reliability score. For all of its certified pre-owned vehicles, Chevy extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Chevrolet CPO vehicles must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read Chevy’s warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Chevrolet certified pre-owned program »

2013 Chevrolet Spark and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Chevrolet Spark or 2013 Fiat 500?

Neither the 2013 Fiat 500 nor the Spark are particularly good vehicles. Both have low-power engines, earn unimpressive reliability scores, and rank in the bottom third of the subcompact car class. The Spark has a slight edge: it can fit four adults and has one of the best safety scores in the segment.

Which Is Better: 2013 Chevrolet Spark or 2013 Ford Fiesta?

Like the Spark, the 2013 Ford Fiesta has the lowest reliability score possible. Still, the Fiesta is the better choice. It has an upscale interior for the class, as well as sharp handling and almost 50 percent more horsepower. 

Compare the Spark, 500, and Fiesta »


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