When we were kids, we wore louder, more attention-grabbing apparel for a variety of reasons. Some of us did it solely to stick out for the sake of expression, while others thought that being flashy would attract mates. But underneath the wardrobe, we were still largely unrefined compared to our future-selves and used our looks to compensate for whatever it was that we lacked. The same can be said for cars, namely, the current Chevrolet Spark.
You see, while the current Chevrolet Spark glows with outspoken looks, it lacks a certain level of refinement. Some of us like it that way, but largely, most of us don’t want to feel punished for driving an entry-level vehicle. And some of us may never grow out of staring at those big bug eye headlamps, but many of us don’t find them necessary.
So, at the 2015 New York Auto Show, Chevrolet gives us a dose of entry-car maturity with the all-new 2016 Spark. Three things are immediately clear: cleaner and more confident looks, more power, and a dose of the latest driving technology.
Yes, the 2016 Chevrolet Spark appears to share a genealogy with the Opel Karl of Europe, but the skin is very different, and you won’t find the Opel’s three-cylinder engine in the 2016 Chevrolet Spark (at least in America). What you get instead is an all-new 1.4L four-cylinder EcoTec engine, which delivers 16 percent more horsepower than the outgoing model’s 1.2L engine, at 98 horsepower. Not a lot of ponies, but the 2016 Chevrolet Spark isn’t exactly a pickup truck, and therefore, doesn’t need a lot of force to move it. Power is transferred to the front wheels via either a five-speed stick-shift, or an optional CVT. Chevrolet anticipates around 40 mpg highway with the latter transmission, which is also aided by aerodynamic improves, such as lowering the overall vehicle height some 1.6 inches. Though, thanks to new interior geometry, headroom is said to remain generous.
The popular Chevrolet city car also gains innovations such as:
- An available safety features including Side Blind Spot Alert, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert, supplemented by a standard rear camera system and optional rear park assist sensors. Though if we must say, if you can’t maintain visibility in this little thing, we would suggest you retake driver’s education — because you’re the problem, not the car.
- The next-generation Chevrolet MyLink with 7-inch-diagonal color touch screen and OnStar 4G LTE, which should be way better than the old unit, which can be considered clumsy.
- A dot-matrix LCD instrument cluster display, giving off a more premium vibe than before.
- Three new colors will join the palette: Toasted Marshmallow, Kalamata and Splash (depending on the market), while promising no shortage of personalization options.
The 2016 Chevrolet Spark will launch in over 40 markets globally, and will hit the United States in the fourth quarter of 2015. Considering the Spark has sold over 1 million units worldwide since 2010, there’s a lot for this more grown-up little car to live up to. And thanks to a dose of modernization, we suspect it will do well.