Photo: Chevrolet
Photo: Chevrolet Group

Chevrolet Spark – $14,395 - The cheapest car in the world 2021

The Chevrolet Spark is the most affordable car sold here today. For less than the price of a Polaris 850cc snowmobile, the Spark offers 27 cu ft of cargo storage with the rear seats down, and incredible fuel efficiency. Power comes from a tiny 98-hp inline-four, with a five-speed manual standard in its cheapest form. The Spark gets an EPA-estimated 38 mpg on the highway, but its range is limited by a nine-gallon fuel tank. Unfortunately, the Spark lacks greatly in standard safety features. There's no forward-collision warning or automated emergency braking unless you pay extra. Cruise control is also extra. Unlike the Mitsubishi Mirage, though, even the base trim has a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth capability, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Chevy's smallest model is America's cheapest.

Base price: $14,395

Fuel Economy EPA combined/city/highway: 33/29/38 mpg

Warranty: 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain, 3-year/36,000-mile limited, and one complimentary maintenance visit for the first year


Photo: Chevrolet
Photo: Chevrolet

The 2021 Chevy Spark presents a more affordable and more fuel-efficient alternative to small crossovers. Chevy's subcompact hatchback is one of the cheapest new cars on sale, but its low price doesn't translate to low quality. The Spark's interior has nicer materials than expected and a loaded infotainment system with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Unfortunately, the hatchback's back seat is small and cargo space is limited unless the rear seats are folded, which is a cumbersome process. While we like the manual transmission and rev-happy four-cylinder, the engine's lack of passing power is glaring at highway speeds. Still, the 2021 Spark's surprisingly refined ride and nimble handling both help its valuation versus classmates.

Why you should buy Chevrolet Spark

1. Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Every Spark has a feeble four-cylinder engine that drives the front wheels through either a five-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Thankfully, the gearless automatic manages power well without droning engine noise. While the version we tested was responsive at low speeds around town, be prepared to wait as it moseys up to higher speeds. This diminutive hatchback is definitely not designed for long road trips, but it's effective and quiet in the city. The Spark is easy to thread through slow-moving traffic, with quick lateral movements and stable motions. Its short wheelbase aids maneuverability in tight spaces without compromising ride quality. Still, the Chevy was bouncy on uneven surfaces, and the harshest bumps were barely isolated. However, rattles and road noise were more subdued than in rival economy cars. The Spark's steering felt direct and communicated the road surface to the driver's hand. It was also relaxed at highway speeds and made changing lanes easy without feeling twitchy. The firm brake pedal had strong responses that helped scrub speed quickly and consistently.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Photo: Chevrolet group
Photo: Chevrolet group

The Spark avoids the shoddy interior quality that is common on cars this cheap. Although most plastics are hard, they fit together evenly and have attractive textures. Desirable features are mainly limited to leather trimmings and heated front seats. The driving position is upright like a crossover's, with a fold-down armrest that keeps things comfortable. The large front doors and raised seat height make climbing into the cockpit easy. Unfortunately, the narrow front seats have flimsy cushions and no lateral support. The back seat is undeniably cramped; the front seats must be slid forward to comfortably fit an adult. We fit three carry-on bags behind the Spark's back seat, which offers 11 cubic feet of cargo space. That increases to 27 cubes with the rear seat stowed, allowing it to swallow 15 bags total. However, this was a very clumsy transformation. It required moving the front seats forward, so the bottom cushions could flip up before the seatbacks could fold down. Even then, the cargo floor was nowhere near flat. Likewise, loading luggage involved lifting it up and over the rear bumper. Inside, the Spark has cubbies in the center console and a useful shelf above the glovebox, but there's only a plastic tray between the back seats.

5. Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

The Spark's limited and powertrain warranties are unspectacular compared with the Mirage's 10 years or 100,000 miles. However, the Chevy is a much better car overall. It also includes five years or 60,000 miles of roadside assistance.

6. Infotainment and Connectivity

Even the entry-level Spark has a standard 7.0-inch touchscreen with a Wi-Fi hotspot, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The infotainment screen is primarily controlled by touch, but a useful rotary volume knob and redundant buttons are conveniently located. A pair of USB ports and a 12-volt outlet are situated below the center stack.

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Chevrolet Spark?

Photo: Chevrolet
Photo: Chevrolet

The cost of insuring a Chevrolet Spark will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates.

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