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2018 Chevrolet Spark Review

Though it’s generously equipped and scoots around town with little difficulty, weak highway performance and a small cabin push the 2018 Chevrolet Spark to the bottom third of our subcompact car rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Plenty of standard tech features
  • Ample power and good maneuverability for city driving
  • Small cargo hold
  • Weak acceleration
  • Less sporty and comfortable than rivals




Critics' Rating: 7.6
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 7.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Chevrolet Spark Overview

Is the 2018 Chevrolet Spark a Good Used Car?

The 2018 Chevrolet Spark is an OK subcompact car. This hatchback is at its best as a city car, as it feels underpowered on the highway.

The 2018 Spark has a number of strengths:

  • Lots of standard, high-tech features
  • One of the most user-friendly infotainment systems in the class
  • Small stature and light steering make this vehicle easy to maneuver in the city

But it has a few shortcomings:

  • Tight rear seats rivals have more legroom
  • Small cargo hold compared to rivals
  • Struggles at highway speeds
Why You Can Trust Us

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make car shopping a breeze. You'll find everything you need to know about this vehicle in our comprehensive Chevrolet Spark review. It combines concrete data like predicted reliability ratings, crash test results, and cargo space dimensions with professional evaluations from 18 automotive sources.

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. We also award the Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands on an annual basis. To ensure our impartiality, a third party handles our advertising, and we don't accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Is the 2018 Chevrolet Spark?

Based on listings for the 2018 Chevrolet Spark on our site, the average list price is $12,200, which is well below average for the class. Prices range from $10,000 to $15,200 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Chevrolet Spark Cost to Own?

The 2018 Spark’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be around $21,200, or $4,240 per year. That’s a bit below average among subcompact cars.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Spark?

Chevrolet refreshed the exterior styling of the 2019 Spark and introduced low-speed automatic emergency braking as an available safety feature. Otherwise, this vehicle saw few notable updates. If those changes are important to you, go for a new Chevrolet Spark. If not, stick with a used 2018 model to likely save some money.

Read about the new Chevrolet Spark »

Chevrolet redesigned the Spark for the 2016 model year. With the exception of discontinuing the all-electric Spark EV for the 2017 model year, Chevrolet has not made any major changes to the Spark since then, which means you can get a nearly identical vehicle while spending much less by purchasing an 2016 or 2017 model.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Chevrolet Spark »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Spark?

The 2018 Spark has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Spark reliability »

2018 Chevrolet Spark Recalls

At the time of writing, no recalls have been issued for the 2018 Chevrolet Spark.

See more information on Chevrolet Spark safety recalls »

Which Used Chevrolet Spark Trim Is Right for Me?

The five-door Spark comes in four trim levels: LS, 1LT, Activ, and 2LT. The Spark EV was discontinued for the 2017 model year. The biggest difference between the trim levels relates to interior features, though the Activ Spark has distinct exterior styling.

Though subcompacts aren’t known for having many standard features, this Chevy is somewhat of an exception. The base Spark is equipped with a lot of tech, like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. However, most shoppers should look to at least the 1LT trim to gain basic amenities such as power windows and cruise control. A continuously variable automatic transmission is available in every trim level.

  • Chevrolet Spark LS: The entry-level LS has a 1.4-liter engine, a five-speed manual transmission, a 7-inch touch screen, a four-speaker sound system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, a USB port, cloth seats, and a rearview camera.
  • Chevrolet Spark 1LT: The 1LT adds power door locks and windows, cruise control, remote keyless entry, a six-speaker sound system, satellite radio, and alloy wheels. A sunroof is available.
  • Chevrolet Spark Activ: Though it loses the sunroof option, Activ models gain distinct exterior styling, synthetic leather seats, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
  • Chevrolet Spark 2LT: Outside of proximity keyless entry, push-button start, and rear parking sensors, 2LT models feature few standard equipment upgrades beyond the Activ. However, the sunroof is available again, and the Spark 2LT is the only trim to offer forward collision warning and lane departure warning.

See 2018 Chevrolet Spark trims and specs »

What Does Chevrolet's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Chevrolet offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Chevy extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles. These vehicles also get a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty after the three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Chevrolet CPO vehicles must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read Chevy’s warranty page carefully.

Chevrolet has one of the better CPO programs among affordable carmakers. Hyundai, Buick, and Kia are better, according to our analysis.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Spark?                         

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Spark the highest rating of Good in moderate overlap front and side crash tests, and properly equipped Sparks received the lowest rating of Basic for front crash prevention. Those were the only tests conducted by the IIHS.

As of this writing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not crash-tested the 2018 Chevrolet Spark.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • forward collision warning
  • lane departure warning
  • rear parking sensors

See Spark safety scores »

2018 Chevrolet Spark Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Chevrolet Spark or 2018 Ford Fiesta?

The 2018 Ford Fiesta is a good subcompact car. It doesn’t have as many standard features as the Chevy, but its stronger engine options and sharper handling make it more enjoyable to drive. Regardless of body type (the Fiesta is offered as a sedan or hatchback), the Ford has more cargo room with the rear seats up, save for the top-level ST trim. The Fiesta also has more comfort upgrades, such as leather seats and automatic climate control, and nicer cabin materials. The Chevy has better fuel economy estimates, but that’s not enough for us to recommend it over the Ford.

Which Is Better: 2018 Chevrolet Spark or 2018 Chevrolet Cruze?

The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze is a compact car that's available as either a sedan or hatchback. The hatchback has more cargo space than the Spark, and the sedan has more space in its trunk than the Spark has behind its rear seats. The Cruze has more room for passengers too. Both cars come with a healthy dose of tech features, but the Cruze comes with stronger engines, including a thrifty turbo diesel with higher EPA-rated fuel economy. On top of that, the Cruze has sportier handling, better composure on the highway, and a higher predicted reliability rating. On average, buying the Cruze will cost you around $3,300 more than the Spark, but it’s the better car.

Compare the Spark, Fiesta, and Cruze »

2018 Chevrolet Spark Performance

How Does the 2018 Chevrolet Spark Drive?

The Spark is a good urban runabout. Glacial acceleration and droning engine noise, especially in models equipped with the continuously variable automatic transmission, reduce this small car’s highway driving appeal. The Spark is highly maneuverable and rides comfortably over most roads, but it’s neither as smooth nor as sporty as rivals. Overly light steering and the Spark’s lack of overall heft create an unsettled feeling at highway speeds.

  • Base engine: 98-horsepower 1.4-liter four-cylinder
  • Drivetrain: front-wheel drive
  • Transmission: standard five-speed manual; available continuously variable automatic (CVT)
Does the 2018 Chevrolet Spark Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Spark gets fuel economy estimates in line with many other small cars.

  • With five-speed manual: 29/39 mpg city/highway
  • With CVT: 30/38 mpg

Read more about Spark performance »

2018 Spark Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Chevrolet Spark Seat?

The Chevy Spark seats four people in two rows. The front seats are roomy but lack sufficient cushioning to keep occupants comfortable on longer trips. The rear seats have a typical amount of head- and legroom for the class, meaning they're a tight fit. A blend of hard plastics and higher-end materials fill the cabin.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth seats

Available seating features:

  • synthetic leather upholstery
  • heated front seats
  • leather-wrapped steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Chevrolet Spark?

This hatchback has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. The tether anchors can be hard to find, and the lower anchors are set deeply in the seats. For its ease of use, the setup received the second-highest rating of Acceptable from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

2018 Chevrolet Spark Features

The MyLink infotainment system is easy to use. The touch screen is responsive, and there are plenty of physical controls as well. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are a big plus, as they are options in most rivals.

For more information, read What is Apple CarPlay? and What is Android Auto?

  • Standard infotainment features: the MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, a four-speaker stereo, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, an OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, and a USB port
  • Available infotainment features: a six-speaker sound system and satellite radio
  • Other available features: power windows and door locks, cruise control, remote and proximity keyless entry, push-button start, and a sunroof

See 2018 Chevrolet Spark specs »

Read more about Spark interior »

2018 Chevrolet Spark Dimensions

Chevrolet Spark Cargo Space

This Chevrolet hatchback has 11.1 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 27.2 cubic feet with them folded down. The split-folding rear seats don’t fold flat, hampering total cargo space. Most subcompact cars have more room, including the 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage and 2018 Fiat 500.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Chevrolet Spark Length and Weight
  • Length: 11 feet, 9 inches
  • Curb weight: 2,246 to 2,312 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Chevrolet Spark Built?

Chevrolet built the Spark in South Korea.


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