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2016 Chevrolet Spark: New York Auto Show

What Is It?

It’s a ground-up makeover for the 2016 Chevrolet Spark, with Chevy seriously upgrading the subcompact-car experience. The new design has a noticeably lower roofline to get rid of the top-heavy look that tiny cars somehow find impossible to avoid, and the new Spark’s grille abets the car’s sleeker profile with a look that’s more aligned with larger Chevy models.

The brand promises that this new sophistication runs through the mechanicals and interior of the 2016 Spark, too. An all-new chassis is said to be stiffer and stronger, all in pursuit of improved ride and handling and a calmer ride quality. A slightly longer wheelbase also should enhance the way the 2016 Chevrolet Spark takes on adverse road conditions. The totally new, all-aluminum 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, at 98 horsepower, is 16 percent stronger than the current Spark’s 1.4-liter. It’s backed by either a manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission.

Meanwhile, there’s also a massive upgrade for the 2016 Spark’s interior that demonstrates just how serious Chevrolet is about democratizing technology. Spark buyers will get a comparatively enormous 7-inch touchscreen electronics interface, a slick LCD instrument cluster, more-upscale materials, improved seats and standard 4G LTE cellular capability that includes integrated Wi-Fi hot spot capability.

New safety features include a blind spot monitoring system, lane-departure warning and forward-collision alert. A rearview camera and rear parking sensors are also standard — and this is a subcompact car!

How Much?

With a lot of new standard content and upgrades in numerous areas, the price of the 2016 Chevrolet Spark might be expected to increase over today’s range of around $12,000 to $16,500, but it shouldn’t jump up by much. If you’re shopping for this kind of runabout, cost is everything and Chevy knows it.

When Can You Get It?

The 2016 Chevrolet Spark will be on sale in the last quarter of this year.

Add It to Your Shopping List Because…

The 2016 Chevrolet Spark looks to be a lot of car for the money, particularly by economy-car standards. Many quasi luxury cars have smaller touchscreen interfaces, and plenty of larger and more expensive vehicles currently on the road don’t have any of the 2016 Spark’s available advanced safety technologies.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 Ford Fiesta — The Fiesta is actually fun on a curving road, and its styling is more appealing than many in this class. It can be a noisy ride, though.

2015 Honda Fit — The Fit is essentially the benchmark for subcompact cars. Its interior is surprisingly large and versatile in the multitude of ways you can configure it, but like many cars in this class, its looks are subjective.

2014 Mazda2 — The Mazda2 is entertaining to drive and looks a little hipper than some, but it’s not overly welcoming inside.

Used Honda Civic — The Civic represents a move up in size, sophistication and refinement, although even a comparatively well-used Civic might cost as much as the top-of-the-line 2016 Chevrolet Spark, not to mention the Civic won’t have the Spark’s new electronic features.

See all 2015 New York Auto Show articles

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