The Chevrolet Spark Activ, which was added to Chevy’s U.S. lineup for the 2017 model year, is a more rugged-looking version of the subcompact hatchback. The Spark Activ, with its outdoorsy, go-anywhere attitude, seems like it’d be the perfect addition to the Chevrolet lineup in cold and snowy Canada, but oddly, the model variant was never offered north of the border.
GM Authority reached out to General Motors to ask why the Chevrolet Spark Activ was never offered to our Canadian friends and we received a fairly reasonable explanation as to why. Since Canada doesn’t have the population density of the United States, it generally costs more to produce and sell a greater number of trim levels of a vehicle, so the decision was made not to offer the Spark Activ there. Additionally, a whopping 85% of all Chevrolet Spark sales are for the 1LT trim-level with the automatic transmission. That means Canadian consumers are already responding well to one specific Chevrolet Spark variant, so there’s no need to complicate the lineup with another new one that may not succeed in attracting any additional buyers.
In the United States, the Chevrolet Spark Activ slots in between the mid-level 1LT and range-topping 2LT in the hatchback’s trim level lineup. The Chevrolet Spark Activ is denoted by its unique black plastic front and rear bumpers, black plastic rocker moldings, black roof rails and model-specific 15-inch Gunmetal wheels. Like the regular Spark, the Spark Active comes standard with a 1.4L LV7 four-cylinder engine producing 98 horsepower and 94 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is available for $1,100 extra.
In addition to the exterior styling changes, Spark Activ models also offer additional standard equipment over the Spark 1LT trim level, including heated Black leatherette driver and passenger’s seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
“The new Spark Activ is all about adventurous fun and style,” Chevrolet marketing director Steve Majoros was quoted as saying ahead of the Spark Activ’s launch in the first quarter of 2017. “It has an attitude, while still offering the sophisticated, efficient and connected driving experience customers have come to love.”
GM sold 31,281 Chevrolet Spark units in the U.S. in 2019, up sharply from 23,602 units in 2018. U.S. Spark sales reached their peak in 2014, when Chevy managed to move 39,159 examples of the subcompact hatch. Canadian Spark sales actually reached their highest point in the car’s six-year history last year, with Chevrolet selling 7,582 examples – up from 4,937 in 2018.