Chevy’s New Spark

GM didn’t want to be the last man out in the minicar field, so GM worked out a partnership with Daewoo of South Korea to rebrand their small Daewoo Matiz as the Chevrolet Spark for GM. At just 144 inches, the little four cylinder automobiles are only half a foot longer than the little Fiat 500 cars that Chrysler is selling. The Chevrolet Spark has one advantage over the other minicars competing in the same market, and that’s having a five door hatchback model with more trunk room than other cars in the same class.

The 1.2 liter four cylinder engine also provides excellent economy in the 30 mpg plus range. Like the past two generations of the Daewoo Matiz before this latest model, the little car will also be produced in several countries including South America and Eastern Europe. Past versions of the car have been also produced in nations ranging from Iran to Vietnam and Pakistan. In China, the car is produced as the Baojun Lechi.

Although being lightweight and small, the 1249cc engine with 84hp and 83foot pounds or torque, only moves the car along at an anemic 11.3 sec 0-60 speed, which is hardly a dragstrip performance. But, then again what can you expect from a tiny automobile that offers seating for four in relative comfort, with four doors, and plenty of trunk room. With 32 city and 38 highway fuel economy, and a price that ranges between $12,185 to $15,085, the little package is about as good as can be expected and with a long production life to work out any bugs, where some model of the Matiz has been in production since 1998, this car is dependable and a good value for the low price.

Customer reviews give the car a four out of five rating among owners, which isn’t bad for a car of this type.

The Mini Cooper, Smart and Fiat 500 might all be more exciting cars in this field. But, with a slightly larger platform, the Chevy Spark hopes to offer a small family a little car that’s more usable and practical. Most of the other entries are more pleasing for only two people at best. So, for what the Chevy Spark hopes to achieve here, it’s a pretty good car overall.

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