Although the segment has cooled in the U.S. (for now at least) that factor isn’t stopping Chevrolet from developing top-notch subcompact product. The 2016 Chevrolet Spark bowed at the 2015 New York International Auto Show, and after some time to mull the car over, we’ve compiled five things we quite like about the smallest vehicle to wear the Chevrolet bowtie.
1. The Grown-Up Looks
The previous-generation Chevrolet Spark wasn’t a bad looking car, but the design was probably a little too quirky for some buyers to bring one home. We described the new looks of the 2016 Chevrolet Spark as a kid growing out of its attention-grabbing apparel, and into something a tad more appropriate. Aging is one thing, aging gracefully is another.
2. The 1.4-Liter Packing Extra Ponies
So, the 2016 Spark isn’t a sports car, but the car could certainly do with some extra power. And Chevrolet appeased this. The outgoing 1.2-liter four-banger is swapped for a new 1.4-liter EcoTec four-cylinder. Outgoing horsepower ratings held the car at 98 hp, while the new engine musters about 16 more hp. Even the most pedestrian of car buyers will appreciate the added zip.
3. Added Efficiency Without A Turbocharger
Forced induction is all the rage these days. No matter the automaker, it’s certain a turbocharger is replacing displacement for equal oomph, and added fuel economy. Not the 2016 Chevrolet Spark. The 1.4-liter delivers an estimated 40 mpg when paired with the optional CVT. Not to mention, this means 87 octane is all the 2016 Spark will ever have to sip.
4. A New Seven-Inch Touchscreen Unit Is Included
If you’ve ever been inside the current Chevrolet Spark, you’ll notice a lot of focus is placed on the infotainment. As a hip, trendy car, it only made sense to include a touchscreen infotainment system, even foregoing a CD player. Kids don’t use CDs anymore if you weren’t aware. The current unit is a little clumsy, however. Remedying that is a new seven-inch Chevrolet MyLink unit with the inclusion of 4G LTE wireless capability. Now, the kids can stream their music and refresh their timelines.
5. There’s A Manual Gearbox Option
Chevrolet gives a shift. The manual gearbox is a dying trend, but the little Spark hangs on with the option of a five-speed manual unit. Actually, it’s the default unit before stepping into the CVT. We’ll have to reserve judgement on how the transmission performs for later, but the fact it’s available keeps those who like to row their own content. There are some of us still out here.