Cheap Car Wars Canada: 2016 Chevrolet Spark Gets $9,995 CAD Price Tag, and Americans Should Be Seriously Pissed Off

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson

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.

According to GM Canada, the new Spark arrives with a decent amount of kit as standard: a 7-inch touchscreen with MyLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; OnStar with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi hotspot; 10 airbags; hill-start assist; and rearview camera. In the United States, the hatchback also receives single-zone climate control with air conditioning as standard.

(Last time we checked, air conditioning didn’t cost nearly six grand.)

The Spark, with a curb weight of 2,246 pounds in LS Manual guise, is powered by a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine producing 98 horsepower and 94 pounds-feet of torque paired to either a five-speed manual or continuously variable transmission. The CVT is rated at 6.7L/100km, or 35.1 mpg, on the combined cycle, according to Natural Resources Canada. Fuel consumption increases to 6.9L/100km, or 34 mpg, with the five-speed manual.

(NRCan and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency use the same five-cycle test for calculating fuel economy.)

The 2015 Nissan Micra S, which tips the scales at 2,302 pounds with a five-speed manual, offers a stouter, thirstier engine but less kit as standard for its $9,998 CAD ($11,598 CAD with freight/PDI) MSRP. Current incentives on the Micra bring that MSRP down to $9,348 CAD ($10,948 CAD with freight/PDI). Wind-up windows, a basic four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/AUX audio system and six airbags greet you in the least-expensive Nissan. Its 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine pumps out 109 horsepower and 107 pounds-feet of torque, but is rated at 7.7L/100km (30.5 mpg) with the five-speed stick or 7.8L/100km (30.2 mpg) with its traditional four-speed automatic.

Mitsubishi gets to keep its fuel economy crown. The 2015 Mirage is rated at 6.4L/100km, or 36.8 mpg, but is effectively a very fancy bus pass with its wheezy 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine with 74 horsepower.

The new, 2017 Mirage (Mitsubishi is skipping the 2016 model year) brings with it a more streamlined exterior, which should help it eke out an additional mile per gallon, and carry the honor of being the first Mitsubishi to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in Canada and the United States. No pricing has been announced, but expect it to keep its $9,998 CAD price tag in Canada when incentives are calculated into the total ($11,448 CAD with freight/PDI). It also receives a bump in output to 78 horsepower and more robust brakes.

The 2016 Chevrolet Spark is on sale now, and it might be in your best interest to go north to buy one.

Mark Stevenson
Mark Stevenson

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  • 09box 09box on Jan 20, 2016

    If Nissan bought the Micra over the border into the States, that thing would sell like hot cakes. That thing would be a hoot to drive.

  • Namstrap Namstrap on Jan 20, 2016

    I think the Daewoo Matiz, the car the Spark evolved from, was a hell of a lot better looking. I'm only 5'10" (maybe 5'9" now), and my legs are bent more than I want them to be with the seat in the most rearward position. I want to like it, but I'm afraid I just don't.

  • Stephen My "mid-level" limited edition Tonino Lambo Ferraccio Junior watch has performed flawlessly with attractive understated style for nearly 20 years. Their cars are not so much to my taste-- my Acura NSX is just fine. Not sure why you have such condescension towards these excellent timepieces. They are attractive without unnecessary flamboyance, keep perfect time and are extremely reliable. They are also very reasonably priced.
  • Dana You don’t need park, you set auto hold (button on the console). Every BMW answers to ‘Hey, BMW’, but you can set your own personal wake word in iDrive. It takes less than 5 minutes to figure that that out, btw. The audio stays on which is handy for Teams meetings. Once your phone is out of range, the audio is stopped on the car. You can always press down on the audio volume wheel which will mute it, if it bothers you. I found all the controls very intuitive.
  • ToolGuy Not sure if I've ever said this, or if you were listening:• Learn to drive, people.Also, learn which vehicles to take home with you and which ones to walk away from. You are an adult now, think for yourself. (Those ads are lying to you. Your friendly neighborhood automotive dealer, also lying to you. Politicians? Lying to you. Oh yeah, learn how to vote lol.)Addendum for the weak-minded who think I am advocating some 'driver training' program: Learning is not something you do in school once for all time. Learning how to drive is not something that someone does for you. It is a continuous process driven by YOU. Learn how to learn how to drive, and learn to drive. Keep on learning how to drive. (You -- over there -- especially you, you kind of suck at driving. LOL.)Example: Do you know where your tires are? When you are 4 hours into a 6 hour interstate journey and change lanes, do you run over the raised center line retroreflective bumpers, or do you steer between them?
  • Mike Bradley Advertising, movies and TV, manufacturing, and car culture have all made speeding and crashing the ultimate tests of manhood. Throw in the political craziness and you've got a perfect soup of destruction and costs.
  • Lou_BC Jay Leno had said that EV's would be good since they could allow the continued existence of ICE cars for enthusiasts. That sentiment makes sense. Many buyers see vehicles as a necessary appliance.
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