Changes for the 2019 Chevrolet Spark are subtle but substantive for the new year. The front fascia is updated with design tweaks that include bolder lines, a more grille chrome and revised headlights. The interior now features 2 back-lit USB ports, an updated infotainment system and available Low-Speed Braking as a part of the new Driver Confidence package.
The Spark is a small car, and it achieves a lot with its little engine. Displacing 1.4 liters, the 4-cylinder powerplant in the Spark makes 98 horsepower, which is plenty to pull the Spark's mere 2,300 pounds curb weight around. Power is sent to the front wheels through either a 5-speed manual or a CVT transmission. The resulting acceleration is peppy, but more importantly to most buyers, the Chevrolet Spark can do up to 41 mpg on the highway.
The Spark comes in three different trims, each available with an automatic or a manual transmission. Equipment on even the Base LS models is generous: a 7-inch LCD touchscreen dominates the dashboard, housing the stereo and the standard rearview camera. Bluetooth is standard and of course a USB input port is present as well. The Spark is also equipped with a Siri Eyes-Free mode allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road when interacting with the stereo or their telephone. A 6-month subscription to Chevrolet's OnStar service is also included.
The Spark 1LT improves on the features in the base LS by adding a 6-speaker stereo and a 3-month subscription to SiriusXM Satellite radio. Other standard features include remote keyless entry, power door locks, power mirrors, 15-inch wheels, fog lamps, steering wheel mounted audio controls and cruise control.
The top-of-the-line Spark 2LT includes a Driver Information Center, displayed through the seven-inch screen, with pertinent information that should help drivers get the best mileage with an Eco Drive Assist mode. The interior of the 2LT is spruced up with the addition of chrome interior door handles, heated front seats, a leather steering wheel, push-button start and leatherette seating surfaces. The exterior of the 2LT also gets a bit more bling with several chrome accents that are absent on other Spark models.
Drivers may feel the Spark's small size and diminutive price tag mean compromises may have been made with regards to safety. However, Chevrolet combats this assumption by offering 10 standard airbags, stability and traction control as well as 4-wheel antilock brakes. Available active safety features include Low-Speed Braking, a forward collision alert system, a lane departure warning system and a side blind spot alert system.