Base model. What does that image conjure? Vinyl seats? Tinny AM radio? A low rent penalty box on wheels? A few years ago, you’d be right on the money. Driving misery was available for voluntary purchase at the showrooms of just about every major car maker.
Now, though … it’s tougher to find. This series has focused on vehicles out there that, in their cheapest guise, won’t make you cringe with each pull of the driver’s door handle. Here’s an example.
Chevrolet probably isn’t expecting customers to take their Spark ACTIVs down a fire road or out for a day of rock crawling. However, it is leveraging the outdoorsy concept to say the ACTIV will somehow be better at those things than a standard Spark to encourage sales and rationalize a higher price tag.
America’s love-affair with crossovers is bigger than ever and General Motors is hoping there’s room for this extra-small entry into the very popular segment.
The official launch of the first-generation Chevrolet Spark played out like a detective in a comedy film who has to go undercover in a high school, all the while clumsily pretending to be hip. It was an awkward pander to the Millennial first-time car buyer, set to too-carefully chosen music.
With refreshed and updated small car models on their way (or already here), General Motors wants young people to rediscover their often overlooked bottom-rung vehicles, so it left the marketing to experts. (Read More…)
Chevrolet might be trying to sell its newest Spark in the United States for $12,660 ($13,535 with freight), but the automaker is bringing its game to other low-priced subcompacts in Canada with a starting price of $9,995 CAD ($11,595 CAD with freight/PDI).
That means the Spark costs $6,880 USD on the Canadian side of the border after adjusting for current exchange rates. Either GM Canada is taking a massive financial hit on the Spark, or Americans are getting hosed — by $5,780 USD, to be exact — for the Korean-made hatchback.
Thanks for the recent advice on winter tires & wheels for my new Focus ST. I took delivery of the car two weeks ago and I’m having a blast. The first thing I did when I got it home was take Bark M’s advice and sign up for the Octane Academy.
So here’s another question: What’s your take on fuel octane and the ST?
The automotive publication posted a speculative timeline of cars that may or may not be in GM’s future, including fuzzy details on a mid-engined Corvette that may or may not happen in or around the year 2020.
General Motors is recalling nearly 200,000 Hummer H3 and H3T models due to an increased fire risk, Autoblog is reporting.
According to the automaker, the car’s HVAC system can overheat and melt surrounding plastic, which could increase the chance for a fire in the car. GM says the fire has burned 42 cars and injured three people so far, but no crashes or fatalities have been reported. The recall effects 2006-2010 H3 models and 2009-2010 H3T cars.
Haven’t visited TTAC in a while but I’m back! My Mazda 6 has now crossed the 101k mileage marker and all your nuggets of wisdom have helped keep this classic functional and beautiful. However, there’s another problem rearing its head that has plagued even the Mazda forums I’ve visited for a resolution.
It involves the car’s driveability at anything below 3000 rpm. Doesn’t matter whether the engine is just warming up or at operational temperature, the car will hesitate (sometimes violently) in a stuttering/bucking fashion when accelerating from a stop through the gears until I crest that magic 3000 mark on the tach. Out on the highway, passing in top gear is almost impossible because of the engine’s hesitation if revs fall below that number, requiring a downshift to 4th to keep them up. At first I thought my manual skills were to question but then I never started experiencing this issue until around the 87,000 mile mark. It has since gotten worse. Sometimes the bucking is enough to trigger the CEL but then it always goes away after a while.
Browsing the forums I’ve tried everything from cleaning the MAF sensor, fuel injector cleaner, throttle body cleaning as well as replacing the O2 sensor. I’ve narrowed it down to either spark plugs (some forum members replaced theirs but the problem came back hours later), the coils or possibly a vacuum leak. One post I read indicated a potential cylinder misfire. Even Mazda dealers were confounded. (Read More…)
Outside North America, this little blue pill of an A-segment car is known as the Daewoo Matiz Creative. It may look an obsolete computer peripheral (or a pregnant roller skate), but GM claims that the Chevrolet Spark has more torque than a Ferrari 458 Italia. As a self-described technology lover, and card-carrying resident of the Left Coast, I had to check it out.
I have a Piston Slap question: Most of the gasoline sold here in New Mexico is high altitude gas, meaning that Regular is 86 octane, Midgrade is 88, and Premium is 91. The owner’s manuals for my ’06 Corolla and my wife’s ’08 Hyundai Tucson (try not to be jealous :-) ), calls for 87 octane fuel. Am I OK to use Regular or should I take the manuals at face value and pay a dime more per gallon for Plus? (Read More…)
Prepare for a low intensity price war over electric vehicles. GM announced that its all-electric Chevrolet Spark, going on sale next month in California and Oregon, will sell for as low as $19,995 after the full federal tax credit of $7,500. According to the calculations of Reuters, that’s “as much as 38 percent less than what it takes to buy its larger sibling, the hybrid Volt.” (Read More…)
Chevrolet today announced it will produce an all-electric version of the Chevrolet Spark mini-car – the Spark EV. It will be sold in limited quantities in select U.S. and global markets starting in 2013, including California.
A123 Systems will supply the advanced nanophosphate lithium-ion battery packs that will power the Spark EV. Details on specific markets, range, quantities and pricing will be announced later.
If you have a pulse and a willful ignorance of the local speed limit, you’re probably not interested in the Chevrolet Spark. If you’re a media-savvy hipster who’s on Facebook sixteen hours a day, you’re probably not interested in the Spark, either. If you’re a techno-geek or an eco-geek, you’re probably still not interested in the Chevrolet Spark.
If you need something to get you from point Alpha to point Beta and aren’t willing to pay too much, you might be interested in the Spark. But only after all the alternatives have been removed from your short-list as being too sensible. And even then, a lobotomy might be required to help you make up your mind.
That’s a shame, because the Spark isn’t really that bad.