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2018 Chevrolet Spark

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Make
Chevrolet
Model
Spark
Year
2018
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Chevrolet Spark OEM Exterior Photo
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OEM Exterior
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Expert Rating
Unavailable

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

Select a Trim
Select a Trim
2018 LS Manual 4dr Hatchback
most popular
Price:   -  From $13,050
2018 LS CVT 4dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $14,150
2018 LT w/1LT Manual 4dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $14,875
2018 LT w/1LT CVT 4dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $15,975
2018 ACTIV Manual 4dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $16,120
2018 LT w/2LT Manual 4dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $16,375
2018 ACTIV CVT 4dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $17,220
2018 LT w/2LT CVT 4dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $17,475

Overview

Remember the Geo Metro? Chevy does, and it’s been on a mission ever since that car died to incorporate its few good qualities – low price, maneuverability, reliability and fuel-efficiency – into a car that isn't quite so easy to poke fun at. Has GM accomplished its mission? If its claim of the Spark being the best-selling car in its segment is true, it would certainly seem so.

What's New for 2018

Changes are few, amounting to slightly higher prices across the board and the introduction of “Sorbet” (orange) and other comically-named paint colors to the Spark’s palette, bringing the total number of offerings to an even 10.

Chevrolet Spark

Choosing Your Chevrolet Spark

The base Spark is the LS with the standard five-speed manual transmission, and it stickers at $13,925 (including $875 Destination Charge), making it the cheapest car GM offers, period. And while that means buyers should temper their expectations accordingly, that doesn’t mean the level of standard and optional equipment one can order on even the lowliest Spark as limited as the Metro’s.

The biggest break from Geo convention is that all Sparks are front-wheel-drive, four-seat, five-door hatchbacks equipped with the same 1.4-liter DOHC inline-four that produces 98 horsepower and 94 pound-feet of torque, regardless of trim level. Eking any performance out of that few ponies isn’t easy, but at least with the standard five-speed stick it can get out of its own way (not quite so much with the $1,100 optional continuously-variable transmission).

There are four Chevy Spark trims:

Chevrolet Spark

LS

Convention holds that vehicles with MSRPs this low are stripped-out fleet or rental car specials, utterly devoid of anything that’s not specifically required to make it function. But Chevy has taken a different tack with the Spark. In this, the basest trim, it’s true that some rudimentary features show up – including 15-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, rear drum brakes, and manually-adjusted everything – it also includes Chevy’s MyLink Radio with a seven-inch diagonal color touchscreen, four-speaker AM/FM stereo with Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality plus Siri Eyes Free controls, a USB port and auxiliary audio jack. There’s even an OnStar 4G LTE wifi for up to seven devices and a standard rear-vision camera system fitted range-wide.

And for those leery of driving such a “fun size” (Chevy’s term) vehicle in today’s SUV-heavy traffic, Chevy squeezed into the Spark ten airbags covering everything from the expected to driver/front passenger knee air bags and thorax/pelvic bags built into the seats plus automatic seatbelt pretensioners.

Also included are a grab-bag of other standard features that belie the LS’s low price, including automatic headlamps, air conditioning, hill start assistance, and a Driver Information System that’ll tell drivers about the car’s health plus things like average speed, fuel economy, and range to empty.

Customizing a Spark LS starts and ends with choosing from among seven free and two $395 exterior colors (though all are paired with Jet Black cloth upholstery). There are a range of dealer-installed accessories, although we recommend avoiding most of them.

Chevrolet Spark

1LT

The second rung on the “regular” Spark ladder is the $15,750 1LT. In addition to all the LS’s standard gear, the 1LT gets 15-inch silver-painted alloy wheels, foglights, chrome grille and foglight trim, a theft-deterrent system, and steering wheel-mounted controls and SiriusXM capability (and three-month free trial) for its now six-speaker audio system. And while we don't normally mention them thanks to their ubiquity on most cars, the 1LT is the first Spark trim that comes standard with power windows and locks, heated power side-view mirrors, and cruise control.

The only real difference on the options front is that there is now a $1,000 sunroof and the new-for-2018 “Sorbet” (orange) paint color makes its first appearance.

Chevrolet Spark

2LT

No offense to 1LT buyers, but the $1,500 extra it takes to buy a 2LT instead is beyond worth it. This $17,250 trim level offers leatherette seat trim (in black, beige or blue, depending on exterior color), heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, perimeter locking with push-button start, rear parking sensors, an enhanced – but still monochromatic – Driver Information Center, and chrome trim on the interior and exterior door handles, beltline molding, and liftgate.

And yet again, the options roster stays pretty much the same apart from what’s standard on the 2LT already. But one troubling choice Chevy’s made is to require buyers to put up the $18,350 its costs for a 2LT with the CVT in order to make the $195 Driver Confidence Package (forward collision alert and lane departure warning) available.

That aside, for those playing at home, even skipping over the myriad trim jazzer-uppers and dealer-installed doodads, this priciest of Sparks – the 2LT CVT – in either extra-cost paint color with its two options packages and 13 functional individual options rings the register at $21,845, which is $6,820 more than an LS CVTor more than 45 percent of that model’s MSRP.

Chevrolet Spark

ACTIV

Primarily an appearance package, this faux-CUV trim level – called (or yelled) “ACTIV” – adds $1,245 to the 1LT’s MSRP for unique 15-inch alloy wheels, roof rails (the only trim to have them), a unique front fascia incorporating larger round fog lamps and mid-bumper-to-bottom black trim with a fake silver “skid plate” at its base. In the case of the rear bumper, it’s all black save for another silver do-nothing faux skid whatever. Black wheel arch trim and silver-painted rocker panel pieces complete the look.

Though it’s a major styling departure from the rest of the line, Chevy shoehorned the Spark ACTIV between its two LTs price-wise at $16,995 with the manual gearbox. And while it certainly jazzes up the look of the Spark, whether those styling gewgaws make it a CUV parody or pastiche is up to the beholder.

Inside it offers many features that would otherwise be under the purview of the $255 pricier 2LT, including heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, a leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel with silver accents, and more, but it lets its 1LT roots shine through by not having the 2LT’s shiny chrome trim or rear parking sensors.

The ACTIV's main – and basically only – mechanical difference is the paradoxically-named “Soft Ride Suspension System,” which adds 0.4 inches of ground clearance and (unsurprisingly), softens up the ride. That comes at a cost, though, with EPA fuel economy estimates for the Spark ACTIV lagging one highway and combined mpg behind the rest of the line’s 29 mpg city/38 highway/33 combined ratings with the manual transmission and just one highway mpg behind the 30/38/33 mpg with the CVT.

CarsDirect Tip

If you’re looking for a Spark with CUV looks, the ACTIV trim is the only game in town. And even if you’re not, if you don’t mind the look, the ACTIV strikes an excellent balance between what’s offered on the 1LT with many 2LT goodies thrown in and access to almost everything else in the form of options. All that it’s missing is the Driver Confidence Package, and if that’s a must-have, so is a Spark 2LT CVT.

Get your price on a Chevrolet Spark »

author image
Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

Expert Rating
Unavailable

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Contributing Writer

Better than most of its rivals, the 2018 Chevrolet Spark – the brand's most affordable vehicle – sways us with room for four adults, available active safety features, and an impressive infotainment system. But it's also saddled with poor air conditioning, pokey performance, and marginal ride quality.

Best Value

Pricing for the 2018 Chevrolet Spark four-door hatchback begins at $13,925 for an LS manual and rises to $19,545 for a fully-equipped 2LT automatic. Those two trims, plus the two in between (1LT and Activ), share a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, as well as the choice of either a manual or CVT automatic transmission.

We'd like to take advantage of the Spark's $295 advanced safety package (forward collision warning and lane departure warning), but that means stepping up to the 2LT automatic that's priced dangerously close to a number of larger, better finished compacts.

Considering that, we'd choose the 1LT manual that includes everything on the LS – a rearview camera, seven-inch touchscreen with MyLink, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay compatibility, Bluetooth, and Siri Eyes Free – as well as 15-inch alloy wheels, power windows, mirrors, and locks, keyless entry, cruise control, fog lights, and steering wheel-mounted controls for phone, audio, and cruise. Here's how we'd build it:

  • Model: 2018 Chevrolet Spark 1LT manual
  • Engine: 1.4-liter four-cylinder
  • Output: 98 hp / 94 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy: 30 City / 38 Hwy
  • Options: Premium carpeted floor mats ($135)
  • Base Price: $15,750 (including the $875 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $15,885

Performance

Chevrolet Spark

The five-speed manual transmission is cheaper, more fun to drive, and offers better fuel economy – an EPA-estimated 29 miles per gallon in the city, 39 on the highway, and 33 combined – than the CVT automatic. Moreover, the Spark's diminutive footprint and miniscule 16.2-foot turning radius (bested by only the smart fortwo) allows it to U-turn into urban parking spots others must cruise past.

The 98 horses under the hood strain to pull a vehicle laden with power features and a full complement of US-spec safety equipment and cause the engine to wail under full acceleration with little of it translating into forward motion. Making matters worse is a softly-spring suspension with a bouncy but tolerable ride on most roads that slams through potholes most vehicles with larger wheels easily handle.

Interior and Exterior

The Spark's boxy form and substantial snout harbor an interior with a surprisingly high roof and long cabin with enough space for four adults. The chairs up front are both comfortable and supportive, while adults in back will find plenty of head room. Together, the large touchscreen, seat fabrics, cushion foam, and grained plastics project a class-above – albeit it base trim – look and feel.

At the same time, interior trim consists of hard, black plastics, while getting sufficient leg room in back requires some negotiating with front seat occupants. In addition, the diminutive 11.1 cubic feet in the cargo bay is only suitable for soft luggage. Even with the back seats folded, cargo capacity is only 27.2 cubic feet. Lastly, the air conditioner on its coldest setting was barely able to cool the driver on a hot, humid day, leading us to believe it would fall short with three additional occupants.

The Best and Worst Things

The Spark tempts urban dwellers with room for four adults, a small footprint, and excellent fuel economy. We only wish it was quicker, had a better air conditioning system, and its advanced safety features were available across the lineup.

Right For? Wrong For?

Chevrolet Spark

An affordable base price, excellent fuel economy, and a grown-up infotainment system should entice value-oriented buyers.

Sluggish even when pushed, the Spark will have enthusiasts heading for the showroom exit doors.

The Bottom Line

Excellent fuel economy, an impressive infotainment system, and room for four adults should attract buyers to the entry-level model. At the same time, the 2018 Chevrolet Spark disappoints with a marginal air conditioner, poor performance, and a price point on upper trims that's dangerously close to larger and better competitors.

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Specs & Features

Highlights
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Available
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.4L I-4 / 98 HP / 94 ft.lbs.
Transmission
5-spd man w/OD
Drive Type
Front-wheel
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
29 / 39 / 34 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
4
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.4L I-4 / 98 HP / 94 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Front-wheel
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
29 / 39 / 34 Mpg
Brakes
Front Disc/rear Drum
Front Suspension
Strut
Rear Suspension
Semi-independent Torsion Beam Beam
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
9.0 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
$34
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
27.2 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
83 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
143.1 "
Exterior Width
62.8 "
Exterior Height
58.4 "
Front Headroom
39.0 "
Rear Headroom
37.0 "
Front Legroom
41.7 "
Rear Legroom
33.0 "
Front Shoulder Room
50.8 "
Rear Shoulder Room
49.8 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
2,246 Lbs.
Wheel Base
94 "
Turning Radius
16.9 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
Wheels
15.0 " Steel / 15.0 " Black Aluminum / 15.0 " Silver Aluminum
Paint
Clearcoat Monotone / Metallic Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Manual Remote
Bumpers
Body-colored
Grille Moldings
Black
Rear Spoiler
Lip
Exhaust
Stainless Steel
Interior Features
Seating
Passenger Capacity
4
Seat Trim
Cloth
Front Seat Type
Bucket
Heated Front Seats
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
6-way
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
4-way
Front Armrests
6-way
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Split-bench
Radio & Infotainment
Radio
Chevrolet Mylink Am/fm, Clock, Seek-scan
Speakers
4
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Tilt
Climate Control
Cruise Control
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Tinted Windows
Light
Vanity Mirrors
Remote Keyless Entry
Power Outlets
1
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Driver And Passenger
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Rear Side-impact Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Front
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Immobilizer
Warranty
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Major Components Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
24 Months / 24,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
72 Months / 100,000 Miles
Accessories Months

Used 2018 Chevrolet Spark for Sale

2 vehicles found within 100 miles of your area
Chevrolet
LS Hatchback 4D
Color: Gray
Price

$9,990

Mileage

49,820 mi

Map location icon

Shmulo LLC (3 mi)

Phone: (424) 526-6045
Chevrolet
LT
Color: Red Hot
Price

$13,498

Mileage

28,902 mi

Map location icon

Harbor Chevrolet (14 mi)

Phone: (562) 326-5588

Other Chevrolet Spark Listings

We have expanded the search to include other Chevrolet Spark years that you might be interested in.

Chevrolet
LT
Color: Silver Ice Metallic
Price

$11,000

Mileage

66,745 mi

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LAX Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram (4 mi)

Phone: (424) 261-0578
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