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April 12, 2016
By Keith McLaughlin


General Motors of Canada held the first drive of the 2016 Chevrolet Spark for automotive journalists in downtown Toronto, in homage of the millennial lifestyle of its target audience. Chevrolet markets the Spark as the “ultimate mobile device” and with its standard 4G LTE WI-FI Hotspot, seven-inch touchscreen with Mylink, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and five-year OnStar RemoteLink, Diagnostic report and maintenance notifications plan, makes a good case for being so.

“Chevrolet is fast becoming one of the world’s most important mini and small car manufacturers, offering customers around the globe a new road to the refinement, efficiency and connectivity features that resonate with them,” says Alan Batey, President, GM North America.

Spark has a longer wheelbase and an overall height that is 40 millimetres lower than the outgoing model, reducing drag. It also has a quieter interior over the previous model, weighs up to 90 pounds less, and has a more powerful engine. The Spark is powered by a 1.4 litre engine producing 98 horse power and 94 foot/pounds of torque and comes with a manual (available on LS and 1LT trim) or CVT transmission (available on all trims). The fuel consumption ratings for the Spark are: manual: 7.8 / 5.8 / 6.9 L/100km (city/hwy/comb). CVT: 7.6 / 5.7 /6.7 L/100km (city/hwy/comb).

With seats folded down the Spark has 770 litres of interior room. While small in stature, the Spark delivers big on safety with standard 10 airbags, rear vision camera, tire pressure monitoring system and OnStar. Optional safety features are Rear Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Change Alert.

The Spark competes in the mini car segment, which has grown 271 per cent over the last five years. The 2016 Chevy Spark’s target audience are 18 to 34 year old city dwellers.

“At its core, the new Spark is still the fun, agile urban car that made the first-generation model so popular, but it delivers that fun driving experience with greater sophistication,” said Sam Basile, Executive Chief Engineer. “And while it’s a truly global car, it is targeted for more developed vehicle markets, allowing engineers to focus more precisely on the materials and technologies that resonate with customers in those markets.”

The Spark offers three trim levels, LS, 1LT and 2LT. The base LS trim comes with standard features mentioned above as well as Bluetooth, four-speaker stereo, manual windows and locks, body-coloured door handles, and more. One option package is available that adds AC to the CVT model. 1LT model adds aluminum wheels, satellite radio, six-speaker stereo, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, steering wheel controls, front fog lights, and more. A sunroof is the only option available.

The range topping 2LT adds rear park assist, front collision alert, lane departure warning, chrome exterior accents, heater leatherette seats, leather wrapped steering wheel, push button start, and sunroof. No options package are available.

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