2020 Chevrolet Spark

Performance


MSRP
$13,220
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2020 Chevrolet Spark Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 6.9

The 2020 Chevrolet Spark is a good vehicle, provided you don’t do much highway driving. It is easy to maneuver and has enough power for low-speed driving, but it struggles when merging or passing at higher speeds.

  • The little engine is pretty quiet, even under full acceleration, but the cabin is an echo chamber for road noise generated while driving, even at city speeds." -- Autotrader
  • "The optional continuously variable transmission (CVT), for those who can’t or won’t use a stick shift, puts a damper even on this small amount of pep by not being particularly responsive. It doesn’t even improve fuel consumption to any appreciable degree." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Generally, though, you should be pleased with Chevy's Spark if you're looking for affordable urban-oriented transportation." -- Edmunds (2018)

Acceleration and Power

A 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes a mere 98 horsepower is standard in the Spark. It’s mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The Spark has adequate power for commuting around the city, but it can struggle when merging and passing at highway speeds.

A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is available, but it doesn’t pair with the engine as well as the manual transmission does.

The Spark with the manual transmission gets an EPA-estimated 29 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. Models with the optional CVT get 1 additional mpg in the city.

  • The combination of small car, 98-horsepower engine and a manual transmission does allow the Spark to move off from a standstill with some liveliness. It’s at higher speeds and/or uphill stretches where this 4-cylinder in the Chevy Spark begins to feel like the little engine that can’t." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The 1.4-liter engine and the CVT are connected to the front wheels only, but the moderate power means that there's little torque steer to deal with. The Spark weighs only 2,313 pounds with the automatic transmission, or 2,246 pounds with the manual, so acceleration is adequate for most situations." -- Autotrader
  • The 2019 Spark's small four-cylinder engine is best suited for around-town use. A CVT automatic-equipped Spark takes over 11 seconds to get to 60 mph from a stop, so highway on-ramps require some planning." -- Edmunds (2019)

Handling and Braking

The Spark's small size gives it a great advantage when traveling on busy city streets. It's easy to weave through lanes and maneuver into cramped parking spots. At high speeds, however, the ride doesn't feel as controlled because of the Spark’s light steering. Its brakes have decent stopping power, but they feel spongy.

  • Handling-wise, the Spark's independent MacPherson strut front and torsion-beam rear suspension does a pretty good job of delivering a controlled ride. Braking is just adequate, with a bit of a mushy feeling and the need for a heavy foot to get maximum effect. Rack-and-pinion steering with column-mounted power assist is a highlight." -- Autotrader
  • The diminutive size and tight turning radius that make the Spark so enjoyable in city traffic make it a bit less comfortable when sharing a highway with 18-wheelers or strong wind gusts." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "Surprisingly, the Spark is agile around town and delivers a well-mannered ride overall." -- Edmunds (2019)
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2020 Chevrolet Spark

MSRP: $13,220 - $17,720

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