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Drivers in the market for a low-cost commuter car should take a serious look at the 2021 Chevrolet Spark. This compact hatchback’s extremely affordable MSRP and good mileage enable drivers to save a lot of money. Although the Spark isn’t luxurious, it does offer plenty of modern features. City dwellers will especially appreciate the Spark’s small size. Here’s a rundown of this car’s biggest pros and cons.
What’s New for 2021?
The Chevrolet Spark is essentially unchanged for the 2021 model year. This includes the car’s powertrain and exterior styling.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Chevrolet Spark – The Pros
1. The Least Expensive Car In America
Some of today’s new cars will force buyers to take out a big loan. Luckily, that’s not the case for the 2021 Chevrolet Spark. Chevy lists the new Spark with an MSRP of around $13,400. This low price will appeal to drivers who are on a tight budget. Furthermore, the cost to maintain the Spark is not expensive. Services, like brake pad replacement and oil changes, will not break the bank. Even the car’s tires don’t cost a lot of money.
2. Decent Performance With Manual Transmission
Drivers can get the 2021 Chevrolet Spark with an automatic transmission. However, acceleration won’t be quite as strong. The standard manual transmission makes the Spark feel more responsive. It allows you to get the best possible performance out of the car’s 98-horsepower engine. Trims equipped with a manual won’t struggle to get up to highway speeds. Fuel economy still remains solid with the manual transmissions. Owners can expect this hatchback to deliver up to 29 mpg town/38 mpg freeway.
3. Hassle-Free Parking
While SUVs are popular, they tend to take up more space. This can be an issue for drivers who spend most of their time in crowded metropolitan areas. The 2021 Chevrolet Spark will be much easier to park along busy streets, A subcompact design and tight turning radius also make the Spark easier to maneuver in crowded parking decks. When backing up, drivers can spot potential hazards using the car’s standard backup camera. Rear parking sensors are offered on the nicer 2LT trim.
4. Good First Car
Parents looking to buy their teenager a first car will like the new Chevy Spark. It provides just enough cargo space for backpacks, sports gear, and dorm room essentials. The price is also just right for teens who have a part-time job. Maintenance will be cheap, so teens won’t have to dip into their savings account just to stay on the road. There are some youthful paint colors to choose from, including Cayenne Orange and Passion Fruit.
5. Looks Good for an Economy Car
Despite being such a cheap ride, the 2021 Chevrolet Spark does look stylish. Its modern appearance is bound to catch the attention of a lot of younger car shoppers. This is especially true for the Spark’s upper trim levels. An available two-tone roof gives the hatchback an extra degree of coolness. Upgraded alloy wheels are offered as well. Drivers who desire the look of a crossover will like the ACTIV trim, which features a raised ride height.
6. Popular Infotainment Features Come Standard
Buyers won’t have to pay extra for the Spark’s Infotainment 3 interface. Every trim receives a 7.0-inch touch display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone is also standard, which is rare for a car at this price point. Another big plus for the new Spark is its standard 4G Wi-Fi hotspot. When surfing the web, users won’t need to waste their smartphone’s data. A four-speaker stereo helps keep drivers entertained on the road.
7. Standard OnStar Communications System
Every new 2021 Chevrolet Spark receives OnStar. This is one of the top communications systems in the business. When drivers find trouble on the road, they can press the system’s blue button. This feature will enable them to speak with a live roadside assistant respondent. Automatic crash notification is built into the system, which calls for help in the event of a collision. Everyone will appreciate being able to reach emergency personnel at any given time of the day. OnStar can also be used to obtain driving directions.
8. Some Worthwhile Safety Features Are Offered
Chevy offers the Spark with some potentially life-saving safety features. A total of 10 airbags come standard, which is among the most in the segment. Passengers will be shielded in the event of a crash. A Driver Confidence package is optional on the top trim. It adds some of today’s most beneficial safety innovations. When driving around at city speeds, Forward Collision Alert can activate the brakes if needed. Lane departure warning is another benefit that comes with the Driver Confidence package.
9. Some Amenities Are Available
The base Spark does not feature power windows or power door locks. However, these modern amenities are found on the higher trim levels. When temperatures begin to get colder during the winter, drivers will appreciate the hatchback’s available heated front seats. Simulated leather upholstery lines the range-topping 2LT trim’s interior.
10. Adventurous ACTIV Trim
The Spark ACTIV stands out from the other trims. Everyone will immediately notice this model’s raised ride height, which makes it feel more like a crossover SUV. Outdoor lovers will also enjoy the ACTIV trim’s standard roof rails. More rugged exterior styling adds to the ACTIV trim’s appeal. To enhance handling, Chevy equips this unique model with a touring-tuned suspension.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Chevrolet Spark – The Cons
1. May Not Be Powerful Enough
Like most of today’s other economy cars, the 2021 Chevrolet Spark does not pack a lot of power under the hood. Although the Spark is a lightweight vehicle, it still does not offer quick acceleration. It takes roughly 10.7 seconds for this hatchback to reach 60 mph. Drivers seeking more power should consider the Honda Fit, which features a 130-horsepower engine. There’ll be a big difference in overall performance.
2. Advanced Safety Technologies Limited to the 2LT Trim
The Chevrolet Spark gets credit for offering low-speed automatic braking and lane departure warning. Unfortunately, buyers must spend more money to get these attractive safety technologies. They are only offered on the range-topping 2LT trim as an option. Competitors, like the Nissan Versa and the Toyota Yaris, provide these safety features as standard equipment.
3. Not the Best Highway Vehicle
Most people agree that the Spark is a great city car. When driving this small hatchback on the freeway, it doesn’t perform as well. While behind the wheel of the Spark, drivers will likely feel the strong crosswinds created by 18-wheelers passing by. Models equipped with a continuous variable transmission also don’t feel as powerful on the interstate.
4. No AWD System Offered
Front-wheel drive is found on every new Chevrolet Spark. This will likely be a non-issue for most buyers. The car’s performance in rainy weather should suffice. However, driving the lightweight Spark in the snow may prove to be a challenge. A subcompact crossover will prove to be a better option for folks living in the Snowbelt.
5. Lack of Rear Legroom
This is obviously not a big car. While people sitting in the front shouldn’t have any complaints about legroom, it’s a different story for rear passengers. Most adults will not enjoy sitting in the Spark’s backseat for long periods.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition
2021 Chevrolet Spark vs 2021 Toyota Yaris
The 2021 Toyota Yaris is a highly recommended economy car. Sharp handling actually makes it fun to drive. Every trim comes loaded with Toyota Sense safety technologies. Like the new 2021 Chevrolet Spark, this car also comes standard with a smartphone-friendly touchscreen. However, prices for the Spark are lower. Standard onboard Wi-Fi and Chevy’s OnStar communications system also give the Spark an edge over the Yaris.
2021 Chevrolet Spark vs 2021 Nissan Versa
There’s much to like about the 2021 Nissan Versa. Improved driving dynamics and a family-sized interior help make the Versa a great pick. However, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone support and a Wi-Fi hotspot are not standard. Also, keep in mind that the hatchback version of the Versa has been discontinued. It’s now a sedan-only model.
2021 Chevrolet Spark vs 2021 Honda Fit
Many people put the 2021 Honda Fit among the best subcompact cars in the country. It packs more than enough performance. Drivers also enjoy the Fit’s exceptional interior space. However, the Fit’s list of standard equipment isn’t quite impressive. To get a touch display with smartphone integration, buyers must move up to a pricier trim.
America’s least expensive car is a perfect match for drivers on a limited budget. While the 2021 Chevrolet Spark is a money saver, it still brings some highly desired qualities to the table. Every trim is loaded with popular high-tech goodies. Drivers will also appreciate the Spark’s youthful styling. While the base model lacks power windows, this shouldn’t be a deal breaker for buyers looking to keep the cost as low as possible.
• Why buy a 2020 Chevrolet Spark? w/ pros vs cons