2016 Chevrolet Spark Revealed in New York
Another attempt at cheap and cheerful.
Cheap and cheerful is a tough combination to achieve, but the outgoing Chevrolet Spark came close and sold remarkably well in its three years on sale in the U.S. The second-generation 2016 Chevrolet Spark, which debuts at the 2015 New York auto show, looks to take the minicar to a higher level of refinement and feature content.
Based on a new platform shared with the European-market Opel Karl, the new Spark shares a similar footprint as its predecessor, but has a slightly longer wheelbase and a lower overall height. It looks less dorky than before with its more conventional Chevrolet grille, but still has some carryover design elements to identify it as a Spark including the high-mounted rear door handles and the round rear taillights that protrude from the side of the car.
Power comes from a 1.4-liter four-cylinder that's part of GM's new small-displacement Ecotec engine family. Its 98 hp is a fairly significant upgrade from the previous Spark's 1.2-liter, 84-hp four-cylinder. It's expected to provide improved fuel economy than the current car's 34 mpg, and will pair with a five-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission.
The 2016 Chevrolet Spark's interior features an overhauled dashboard layout with improved materials and a new LCD instrument cluster. Chevrolet added back in a few buttons and knobs for the optional MyLink touchscreen infotainment system, and the Spark will offer 4G LTE wi-fi hotspot capability like so many recent GM vehicles. The old Spark did not even offer a backup camera as an option, but the new car has it as standard, and will also offer a suite of active safety features—forward collision alert, lane-departure warning, and blind-spot warning—that are unusual for a car in this price range.
Speaking of price, we would expect a slight uptick from the outgoing Spark's low, $13,095 starting cost when the 2016 Chevrolet Spark goes on sale in late 2015. In the meantime, check out photos of the 2016 Chevrolet Spark as it makes its official debut in New York.