Although many automakers have stopped producing compact cars over the last few years, Chevrolet has continued to build, redesign, and successfully sell their car options such as the Chevy Spark. And luckily for Chevy-lovers, this fuel-efficient model is not going anywhere; the 2021 Chevy Spark is perfect for those looking for a good commuter car. Classified as a subcompact hatchback, this petite ride has a bit more room than compact sedans, but it isn’t over-sized like a crossover. Singles and couples alike will love this model for everyday driving and commuting.
As one of the most budget-friendly vehicles on the market, the new Chevy Spark starts at only $13,400. It seats four people and offers 11.1 cu.ft. of cargo space in the back. And if a bit more cargo space is needed for larger items, the back seats can be folded down to expand the cargo area up to a maximum of 27.2 cu.ft. That’s a lot for a subcompact model. And, of course, the Spark comes with fantastic interior and exterior features, rounding it out to be one of the best options on the subcompact hatchback market. With a low price, ample space, and tons of features, the Chevy Spark doesn't seem to go wrong in any category; and this analysis will only further prove that to be true.
While the strength of a subcompact hatchback may not be on the top of every driver's mind, the engine is still an essential piece to the puzzle. This vehicle is not made to haul or race, but it is meant to be a fuel-efficient commuter. And, in fact, it is just that. With one engine option to avoid the hassle of picking and choosing, the 2021 Chevy Spark offers fantastic fuel efficiency that is practically unmatched. Let's take a look.
Every 2021 Chevy Spark is equipped with a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine under the hood, which produces 98 hp and 94 lb-ft of torque. This economical powertrain is mated with FWD and your choice of either a 5-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). This is one of the few remaining vehicles that is still offered with a manual transmission, which is important for those looking for a more immersive driving experience.
But the best part about the performance of this vehicle comes from the fuel economy. The 2021 Chevy Spark gets an impressive 30 MPG in the city, 38 MPG on the highway, and 33 MPG combined when equipped with the CVT. Alternatively, with the 5-speed manual transmission, the Spark gets a slightly decreased 29 MPG in the city, but the same 38 MPG on the highway and 33 MPG combined. These numbers are fantastic and will save drivers tons of money at the gas pump, which is exactly what a commuter vehicle should do.
As a vehicle that is built to be driven every single day, to and from work, safety is critical. If a car cannot keep the driver and passengers safe, it is practically useless. That said, the Chevy Spark comes equipped with tons of driver-assist and safety features, allowing for safe commutes. Let's take a look at some of these standard and optional features.
Safety systems vary depending on which trim level you get. For starters, the base LS model comes with OnStar telematics, which will alert emergency services in the event of an accident. If you want cruise control, though, then you will need to opt for the 1LT model. This trim also includes remote keyless entry. The ACTIV trim doesn’t get any safety upgrades, but the top-tier 2LT does. It includes push-button start technology and rear parking sensors. These sensors will detect if an obstacle is in the path of your vehicle while you are traveling in reverse. If an obstacle is detected, it will alert you so that you can stop before impact.
While that concludes the standard safety features on each trim level, there are more advanced safety systems that you can add. The Driver Confidence package is available on the 2LT trim with the continuously variable transmission only. Manual transmission models are not eligible for this package upgrade. However, if you do opt for the CVT, this package is a great option as it includes emergency braking, forward collision alert, and lane-departure warning. Let’s take a closer look at each system.
Emergency braking and forward collision alert work in unison to help prevent impending accidents. Using front-facing sensors, the forward collision alert system will detect if another vehicle is in your path. It will send visual notifications and an audible alert to warn you of the impending danger. If no action is taken to avoid a collision, the automatic emergency braking system will be triggered. It will then bring the Spark to a complete stop to avoid impact.
Meanwhile, lane-departure warning uses side-mounted sensors to monitor the lines in the road. If the vehicle begins to drift outside the designated lane, the system will alert you via a visual notification and audible chime. This system is designed to help you avoid side-swiping accidents, and it is best put to use on the highway. In all, with these numerous safety features combined, the Spark is undoubtedly one of the safest vehicles on the road.
Since the 2021 Chevy Spark is designed to be as economical as possible, the base model is sparsely equipped. It has manual windows and locks, which can be a turn off for many people. However, it does come with air conditioning, dual USB ports, a 4-speaker sound system, and an advanced infotainment system. Displayed on a surprisingly large 7-inch touchscreen, the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System comes with advanced connectivity services. Bluetooth is also available for hands-free calling and text messaging.
OnStar telematics will alert emergency services in the event of an accident or if your vehicle is stolen. A 4G LTE WiFi hotspot has been added to keep you connected everywhere you go, and the system has the best smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Two cup holders are located in the front as well as two more in the back. A cargo shelf is also included for better organization, and two coat hooks can be found in the back seat area.
The second trim is known as the 1LT. This model adds some much-needed conveniences like full power accessories and cruise control. It also comes with remote keyless entry and steering-wheel-mounted phone/audio controls. The stereo also gets two additional speakers for a total of six.
On the sporty ACTIV trim level, most of the upgrades are on the outside. However, there are a few unique enhancements that have been made to the cabin for the purpose of comfort. Simulated leather upholstery covers the interior for a more sophisticated look. Also, the front seats are heated to keep you cozy during the cold winter months. The ACTIV trim is our personal favorite due to its sportier features and luxurious upgrades.
Finally, the 2LT trim is the cream of the crop. This top-tier model adds push-button start technology for more of a futuristic vibe and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The simulated leather upholstery and heated front seats carry over from the ACTIV trim.
The driver information display has also been upgraded as it comes with a configurable display with a monochromatic finish. This display showcases the tachometer, engine temperature, fuel level, speedometer, odometer, and a trip computer. It is also where you will find warning notifications as well as other vital vehicle information. This is certainly the best of the best, but as we saw, no matter the trim, the 2021 Chevy Spark has fantastic interior features.