Words & Pictures: Kevin C. Limjoco
Even before the upcoming price adjustments due to the recently signed TRAIN comprehensive tax reform program, this little car has not been given the attention and love that it genuinely deserves. I may perhaps be the last person to review the updated Chevrolet Spark for the year but it still works out because I have tested every single direct competitor in our market, so I can truly pass judgement.
I will tell you all now that I am shocked that the new Spark is not filling every remaining real estate tarmac on the road. Why? It is simply the most thorough and most dynamic little car that fits four adults in its class. The redesign may have been fairly subtle but the impact is nonetheless profound much like when Chevrolet upgraded the Trax. Get past what you can see regarding the updates, the Spark is better than its predecessor in every way. Overall size actually shrank despite having a slightly longer wheelbase on a stronger chassis which helps improve the tiny hatch’s handling and ride comfort considerably.
The interesting positive twist is that Chevrolet dropped its stated old capacity of 5 adults, which was more of a futile contortionist exercise, and concentrated on properly making the hatch seat 4-adults properly. So instead of the illusion of capacity, it now has the correct proportions and the Spark delivers a slam-dunk. The Spark drives like a more substantial car, thanks in part to its much-improved insulation, suspension tuning, and build quality. It actually has a quieter cabin than some of the more expensive sedans in the market. The car is also lighter on its feet by almost 50 pounds compared to its predecessor.
Chevy’s MyLink infotainment interface with a 7.0-inch touchscreen and 6 speakers are also best in class, however, it should have included a rear camera combined with rear sonar. The engine also feels and is stronger than its competition but I feel it would have performed even better with a 6-speed automatic instead of the CVT transmission. Still, the CVT does perform better than anticipated and will help guarantee strong fuel range. I also like the fact that Chevrolet braved the option list of colors too, our test unit’s Mint My Mind exterior color actually grows on you with the bonus of making the Spark standout just a bit more on the road for even better safety through awareness.
Specification – 2017 Chevrolet Spark LTZ
Engine: Inline-4, 1398 cc, dohc 16V, Multi-Port Fuel Injection, DVVT, CVT
Max power: 98 bhp @ 6200 rpm
Max torque: 94 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
0-100 km/h (0-62mph): 10.9 sec.
Top Speed: 173 km/h (108 mph)
Fuel Mileage: 31 mpg City / 41 mpg Highway
Price as tested: PhP 763,888.00
C! RATING 9.5/10
+Full featured, nimble, most solid and most planted in its class, most safety equipment in its class that includes traction control, most comfortable in its class as well.
-Projector headlights are still only halogen, small trunk, no standard rear parking sensors or rear camera.