By Auto review man

The 2021 Chevrolet Spark is an affordable, stylish and well- equipped compact car that offers more than you would think. It is a neat, good looking car with nice styling; for example, the rear set of doors have hidden door handles that cleverly integrate into the rear of the window frame, giving the Spark a cool 2-door look. It is not all curvy and weird looking – like some of its competition, and instead offers a handsome straight edged looks that only the American’s seem to do so well.  As one of the least expensive new cars available in base and lower trim models, the Spark is pretty attractive if you really must have a new car. Let’s not forget also, the Spark with Its teeny, tiny footprint comes into its own, if you live in a place where parking is at a premium.

For 2021, there are not a lot of changes: apart from new paint colors, the 2021 Chevrolet Spark carries over mostly unchanged, aside from   alternative wheel designs.  Motivation is courtesy of the Spark’s 1.4-liter inline 4-cylinder engine producing 98 horsepower and 94 lb-ft of torque. There is a standard 5-speed manual transmission or an optional CVT automatic. The 2021 Chevrolet Spark has an impressive list of standard and available safety features: 10 airbags, traction control, hill-start assist, StabiliTrak stability control with Brake Assist, LATCH connectors for the two rear seats, anti-lock braking and a rear-vision camera. Lane-departure warning, forward automatic braking and forward-collision warning are available on the upper scale models along with rear park assist is standard and other features.

The Spark is available in four variants: the base LS with: a manual transmission   15-inch steel wheels, a rear spoiler, two USB ports, Bluetooth, a 4G LTE hotspot, a 7.0-inch color touchscreen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. The Spark LS CVT adds: electric windows AC and a few other bits and pieces.

We tested the well- equipped Spark 1LT model at MRSP $16,098, equipped with the stylish Spark Sport option pack ($795), that adds: two-tone painted roof, black-painted grille, black DLR bezels, black front and rear Black bowtie emblems and 15-inch Black-painted aluminum wheels with a machined finish. The Spark 2LT CVT at ($19,298) offers: leatherette seating, power sunroof, forward collision alerts, lane departure waring, leather wrapped steering wheel with silver accents, keyless proximity key, push-start ignition, rear parking sensors, heated front seats, an upgraded instrument cluster display, and exterior chrome trim

The Spark offers a surprisingly roomy front cabin with plenty of leg, hip, shoulder and headroom, even for six foot plus drivers and passengers. The dark cloth seats are supportive and comfortable, on long drives and the infotainment system with a 7.0-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is easy to set up and use. The second row is of course with only two seats and little more cramped with compressed legroom and shoulder and hip room. Cargo space in the hatchback is around 11.1 cu ft. behind the second row and 27.2 cu ft. with the rear seat folded. Front- and rear-seat legroom is 41.7 and 33.0 inches, respectively. It’s a neat sporty cabin with some interesting touches to the dash. At this price point there is a plethora of hard plastics around the interior, but they look durable and well fitted. Safety includes: 10 airbags, traction control, tire-pressure monitoring system and a backup camera,

On the road, the Spark is surprise with its fun to drive nature. What it makes up for in lack of horsepower is offset engaging driving dynamics. Opt for the five- speed manual model and the Spark is downright sporty! The Spark’s independent MacPherson strut front and torsion-beam rear suspension offers a good controlled ride. The rack-and-pinion steering with power assist is a standout with good feedback and an almost light, sports -car feel. The small engine labours with four passengers on acceleration, and the cabin can get a tad noisy. Fuel economy at an estimated 7.1L per 100km in the City and 6.2 on the highway is impressive. Downsides are few, the Spark takes a while to come up to cruising speed on the highway.    Overall being very well- equipped and nicely packaged, the Spark’s affordability, tiny size and high fuel efficiency make it very attractive to those on a strict budget, or families looking for a commuter car, and younger drivers looking for a first ride. With its fun to drive quotient, it is also a great everyday urban driver. Highly recommended.

2021 Chevrolet Spark: Priced from: $10,198 – $19,298. Spark LT1 model price as tested with options and destination charge$18,593

More info at Chevrolet.ca.