If you are searching for an affordable, compact vehicle, you may find that the options available to you are becoming increasingly limited. Nonetheless, there are still a few models that are worth considering, and the 2022 Chevrolet Spark is among them.
So, if affordability is a primary concern, there’s no denying that the Chevrolet Spark is in a league of its own. Despite its low price, Chevy has managed to pack in a lot of value. In fact, the Spark is considerably less expensive than the similarly-sized Mitsubishi Mirage, yet it boasts superior interior quality and driving dynamics.
While the naturally aspirated 1.4-liter engine, which generates 98 horsepower, may not be ideal for highway speeds, the Spark is an excellent choice for those seeking a small, nimble vehicle that is easy to maneuver and park. It’s also quite fuel-efficient, making it an ideal choice for city driving.
Admittedly, the rear seat is extremely small, and folding it down can be a somewhat frustrating process. However, these are to be expected for a subcompact vehicle in this price range.
On the positive side, the Spark’s interior, although not particularly flashy, is free from the substandard materials that can be found in competing models from Mitsubishi. Additionally, Chevy has included its exceptional infotainment system, which comes standard with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a feature that is not commonly found in this segment.
Overall, while the Spark may not be the most alluring hatchback on the market, it’s a solid choice at its price point.
Chevrolet’s Spark, which is the most inexpensive new car available, remained relatively unaltered for the 2022 model year. The vehicle has undergone only minor updates since its complete overhaul in 2016 and its mid-cycle facelift in 2019.
In 2022, three fresh paint colors – Blue Glow, Crimson, and Nitro Yellow – were introduced to the lineup, while three others – Caribbean Blue, Passion Fruit, and Toasted Marshmallow – were phased out. Regrettably, 2022 was the final year of production for the Spark, as Chevy chose to discontinue the model after that point.
Here’s how the price of the 2022 Spark compares with other cars in a relatively similar segment.
|Originally Starting MSRP|
|2022 Chevy Spark||$14,595|
|2022 Hyundai Accent||$17,740|
|2022 Kia Rio||$17,545|
|2022 Nissan Versa||$16,675|
|2022 Mitsubishi Mirage||$15,975|
If you prioritize affordability, the Chevrolet Spark offers excellent value. The base LS trim with a standard manual transmission for the 2022 model year starts at $14,595, including the destination charge. A Continuously Variable Automatic Transmission (CVT) option is available for an additional $1100.
|Width||62.8 inches (with mirrors)|
At first glance, the 2022 Spark may appear to have only two passenger doors. The handles for the rear doors are discreetly integrated into the rear pillars. Overall, the car’s appearance is appealing, and the ample glass areas provide good visibility.
The 1LT trim offers an optional Special Edition package that gives the Spark a rather distinctive appearance. It includes black-finished alloy wheels as well as a black grille. The 2LT, on the other hand, features more chrome.
If you are looking for an unconventional crossover-style option, Chevy has introduced the Activ model. In addition to skid plates, roof rails, and a 0.4-inch increase in ground clearance, the Spark Activ comes with plastic cladding around the wheel arches, creating a rugged appearance. However, don’t expect significant off-road capabilities.
|Total Passenger Space||83 cubic feet|
|Front head Room||39 inches|
|Rear Head Room||37 inches|
|Front Leg Room||41.7 inches|
|Rear Leg Room||33 inches|
|Front Shoulder Room||50.8 inches|
|Rear Shoulder Room||49.8 inches|
Despite being priced as one of the most affordable cars in the market, the 2022 Spark manages to circumvent the common issue of substandard interior quality. Although the majority of the plastics used are hard, they are well-aligned and possess appealing textures. The dashboard arrangement is also visually pleasing, if somewhat rudimentary. Top-end trims also get some desirable amenities including heated front seats and leather trimmings. All things considered, it’s not a bad offering, given the Spark’s economical price tag.
The 2022 Chevrolet Spark features an upright driving position that is similar to that of a crossover, offering a fold-down armrest for added comfort. With a raised seat height and large front doors, getting in and out of the car is easy. However, finding a comfortable driving position may require patience and luck, as the front seats and steering wheel have limited adjustability.
Although the front space is decent, the narrow front seats lack supportive cushions and lateral support. Despite being a subcompact hatchback, the Spark has ample height, providing generous headroom. However, the story is different when it comes to rear legroom, which is limited and less than ideal. Moreover, the Spark can only accommodate four passengers, deviating from the typical seating arrangement of five.
The infotainment system in the 2022 Chevrolet Spark is very user-friendly and comes with a variety of features that are impressive for a car in its price range. The touchscreen display is easy to navigate, and the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto means that drivers can easily connect their smartphones to the system and use their favorite apps while on the go.
The availability of Wi-Fi hotspot capability, USB ports, and a 12-volt outlet provides plenty of connectivity options for both the driver and passengers. Additionally, the presence of a rotary volume knob and steering wheel-mounted controls makes it easy to adjust the settings while driving without being distracted. Overall, the infotainment system in the 2022 Chevrolet Spark is a standout feature for the car.
The cargo capacity of the Chevy Spark measures at 11.1 cubic feet when the rear seats are upright, and 27.2 cubic feet when they are folded down. This amount of space exceeds that of comparable sedans such as the Nissan Versa and Hyundai Accent, however, it falls short of the storage capacity provided by rival hatchbacks such as the Kia Rio.
The rear seats can accommodate two carry-on suitcases or several grocery bags, while larger boxes can be accommodated by folding the rear seats. However, it should be noted that this requires flipping up the seat bottoms, which then fold into the footwells, thus being somewhat inconvenient. Additionally, the Chevy Spark features a standard manual liftgate.
Here are the key features that the Spark offers in each of its trims:
Standard features on the Spark include:
The 1LT trim adds on:
The Spark 1LT can be further specced up with the following options:
The Activ trim adds some flair to the Spark; it includes:
The top-of-the-line trim has all the 1LT features and it further adds:
The Spark 2LT options include:
The 2022 Chevrolet Spark hatchback is available in four different trim levels: LS, 1LT, Activ, and 2LT. All trims share the same front-wheel-drive system, 98-horsepower engine, and five-speed manual transmission. Customers have the option to upgrade to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) for an additional $1,100, regardless of the selected trim level.
If you’re just looking for the cheapest way to get your hands on a vehicle, the base Spark LS can be considered. It features a 7-inch infotainment system, as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. However, this trim level lacks the creature comforts that some drivers may desire.
For this reason, we suggest opting for the Spark 1LT trim. It’s great value for money. It adds power features and keyless entry in addition to the upgraded sound system and cruise control. It is both less expensive and better equipped than a base Kia Rio.
In addition, the Chevy Spark is one of the few remaining cars that still come with a manual transmission, which doesn’t significantly affect its fuel efficiency. So, in case you wanna take it and put the savings toward upgrading to the 2 LT, it’s not really a bad choice. It comes loaded with a fair bit of equipment. However, if you want access to the optional active safety features, you have to get the CVT gearbox.
• Power: 98 hp @ 6200 rpm
• Torque: 94 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
• Transmission: 5-speed manual / continuously variable automatic (CVT)
With its less than impressive 100 horsepower output, it’s obvious that the Chevy Spark will not get your heart racing. However, there is some good news to be found in the fact that the Spark is a lightweight vehicle, tipping the scales at approximately 2,300 pounds.
Despite its relatively low power output, the engine in the Chevy Spark is still quite lively and responsive in city driving scenarios, easily propelling the vehicle off the line and keeping pace with traffic. With the 5-speed manual transmission option, you might even detect a hint of energetic performance. However, we understand that most people will opt for the automatic transmission option. While the Spark automatic transmission may not offer the same level of liveliness as its manual counterpart, it still operates smoothly and prevents the engine from producing excessive noise.
Yes, the freeway isn’t exactly its friend, but being a subcompact car, it’s unarguably going to spend time inside the city limits for the majority of its lifecycle. And as a city car the Spark will keep you more than satisfied. It’s effective and quiet in the city. Not to forget, the Spark’s compact size makes it perfect for navigating through narrow roads and finding parking spots in cramped urban environments.
The Spark’s city credentials continue to impress. With its low weight, nimble steering, and compact wheelbase, navigating through narrow streets and parking in tight spots becomes effortless. At low speeds, the steering is light but still provides impressive levels of feedback and communication. The brakes are also responsive and offer a good amount of tactile feedback, allowing you to easily reduce speed with consistency.
The Spark definitely rides better than a $14k car. The suspension on the Spark is firm and provides stability during turns while maintaining a comfortable ride quality. It absorbs and cushions against bumps and dips in the road, keeping you at ease. However, the Spark’s small size and tire dimensions make it vulnerable to larger potholes or mid-corner bumps, which can unsettle the car.
In general, the Spark is an agile and comfortable car for urban driving. However, when driving at highway speeds, the car’s light weight and short wheelbase can make it feel a bit twitchy, particularly in crosswinds. Additionally, the car’s sound insulation is understandably not as effective as in larger vehicles.
Fuel efficiency is always a plus of owning a tiny subcompact car like the Chevy Spark.
|Variant||EPA-Rated Fuel Economy (City/Highway)|
|1.4-liter (Manual)||29/38 MPG|
|1.4-liter (CVT)||30/38 MPG|
|Activ trim (Manual)||29/37 MPG|
|Activ trim (CVT)||30/37 MPG|
Although the 2022 Chevy Spark has not yet been subjected to safety tests, it’s likely that the results will be comparable, if not identical, to those of the 2016 model. Here’s the previous Chevy Spark crash test data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):
|Moderate Overlap Front Test||Good|
|Roof Strength Test||Not-rated|
|Front Crash Prevention||Not-rated|
|Small Overlap Front Driver Test||Not-rated|
|Small Overlap Front Passenger Test||Not-rated|
|Rear Crash Protection||Not-rated|
|Side Impact Test||Good|
If you’re interested in learning more about the Chevy Spark’s crash-test results, you can visit the websites of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
For optional active safety features, you have to opt for the top-end 2LT model paired with the CVT gearbox.
Standard driver assistance features:
Available driver assistance features:
The expected reliability rating for the 2022 Chevrolet Spark is a solid 86/100 from JD Power.
The 2022 Chevy Spark exceeds expectations in terms of performance, considering its affordable price point. Despite being touted as the cheapest car in America, the Spark is energetic and exudes a cheerful demeanor that matches its name. Its exterior design is sleek, without appearing to try too hard, and the vehicle’s distinctive charm is accentuated by the availability of brightly colored paint options.
Although the powertrain is underpowered, this is a common issue for cars in the same price range. However, the Spark distinguishes itself from competitors by offering nimble handling and a surprising level of grip around corners. Additionally, the suspension is robust and only rough terrain is capable of disrupting its stability.
The interior is unremarkable but smartly designed and the panels are well put together. While the base LS model is limited to manual windows and locks, most other trims offer an impressive value proposition in terms of features per dollar.
Altogether, with the discontinuation of the Honda Fit, the Chevy Spark is poised to take on the role of the premier economy hatchback.
Despite being cheaper than the Mitsubishi Mirage, the Chevy Spark is simply miles ahead of it. Yes, the Mirage boasts impressive fuel efficiency and a 10-year/100,000-mile drivetrain warranty, but that’s about it.
The Mirage’s sluggish three-cylinder engine, insufficient cabin insulation, and mediocre interior quality, coupled with a harsh ride on bumpy roads, make for an underwhelming driving experience. In addition, the car’s handling in the city is unremarkable, and its construction feels cheap and flimsy. Despite having a similar infotainment system and a decent selection of standard features, the Mirage’s lackluster performance and unrefined ride quality make it difficult to recommend over the Chevy Spark.
If you are looking for one of the newer Chevy Sparks, you can choose anywhere between 2016-present models, since there haven’t been any major changes after a full redesign after 2016.
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