POSTED: Monday, December 3, 2012 - 6:19pm
UPDATED: Monday, December 17, 2012 - 6:03pm
OK, hold on here. I want to know when all of this happened. I thought we were in the midst of a sport utility boom, a truck explosion, the renaissance of the two-seater sports car. How in the name of Ward Cleaver did little 4-door hatchbacks sneak back onto the radar screen? Actually I know how it happened. Somebody finally figured out how to make them fun and, hold onto your driving gloves, a little sexy. OK, that last one’s a stretch.
Meet the new Chevrolet Spark, the newest little Chevy courtesy of that Daewoo purchase years ago. And their latest try at competing with the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit and Nissan Versa. You can throw in the Ford Fiesta as well, I guess.
Add to this the trend among young people with more creativity than taste who like to slam little Japanese sedans. You know, the lowered and loud Hondas, Mazdas, Nissans and such on tiny wheels with exhausts the size of a small sewer pipe. So, will the Spark be the latest platform for tasteless customizing? Since we’re talking horsepower in the double digits, I think not.
The car is roomy, easily suitable for 4 passengers, solid and well assembled. Air-conditioning, cruise control, satellite radio, tilt wheel, alloy wheels, fog lamps, remote keyless entry, automatic transmission, power windows and locks and a rear wiper are all standard on the 2LT version.
Mileage from the 1.2 liter, 84 - horsepower four cylinder engine is 32 city/38 highway.
Yes, I said 84-horsepower. When gas if $5 you won’t care so much, but right now, you can measure performance with a sun dial. Handling is adequate to stay on the road, but not much more. But, the high school girl at McDonalds thought it look really bitchin’. And for a lot of guys, that would be the crucial option.
What’s really humorous is the all-electric version coming in 2014 has 31 more horsepower.
Hey this is a city car…an urban grocery getter and though we loaded it to the gunwales and drove 120-miles for Thanksgiving, that’s not really what it was designed for.
Is the whole package worth $16,700? That’s debatable, but the base price of around $13-grand seems more in the ballpark.