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2016 Chevrolet Spark: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 4/26/2018 U.S. News & World Report
a close up of a car: 2016 Chevrolet Spark© General Motors 2016 Chevrolet Spark

The 2016 Chevrolet Spark ranks midpack in our subcompact car rankings. It is easy to park and comes standard with many smartphone connectivity options, but it has less cargo space than rivals and isn't very quick.

Is the 2016 Chevrolet Spark a Good Used SUV?

The 2016 Chevrolet Spark is an OK used vehicle, but many class rivals are rated higher. The Spark fails to stand out because its strengths, like maneuverability and fuel economy, can be found in many other subcompact cars. Additionally, its predicted reliability rating is below average for its class.

Why You Can Trust Us

We've researched 12 Chevrolet Spark reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we're passionate about cars, we're even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Chevrolet Spark?

According to more than 150 listings on our site for the 2016 Chevy Spark, you can expect to pay between $8,300 and $13,000 for this vehicle. The average list price is $10,400. Keep in mind that prices vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

How Much Does the 2016 Chevrolet Spark Cost to Own?

Five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are about $19,100 for the 2016 Spark. That’s below average for the subcompact cars class. By comparison, the 2016 Kia Rio’s projected five-year costs are around $20,800.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Spark?

A new 2018 Chevrolet Spark starts at $13,050, which is one of the lowest starting prices in the subcompact car class. Yet, it is still about $2,650 more than the average price of a 2016 Spark. Since the all-new Chevrolet Spark is largely unchanged from the 2016 model, we suggest saving your money and getting a used model instead.

The Chevy Spark is already one of the least expensive cars you can buy. You won’t find a new 2018 subcompact car for less than the average price of a used 2016 Chevrolet Spark.

How Reliable Is the 2016 Chevrolet Spark?

The 2016 Spark earns a predicted reliability score of three out of five from J.D. Power. While this score is average for the auto industry as a whole, it’s slightly below average for the subcompact car class.

2016 Chevrolet Spark Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are three recalls on the 2016 Spark, all dealing with the vehicle’s front air bags. Two of the three recalls involve frontal air bags that may not deploy in the event of a crash. The third recall addresses an air bag deployment that may cause a neck injury. Make sure that any applicable recalls are addressed before you buy a used 2016 Spark.

See more information on Chevrolet Spark safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Chevrolet Spark Is Best?

Chevy redesigned the Spark for the 2016 model year and has made few changes since. The redesign brought stronger engines, quieter cabins, more standard features (including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), and new available active safety features like forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring. You can save money by shopping for a model from the previous generation, but you'll miss the many benefits of the redesign. We recommend sticking with the 2016 model. And if you're looking for a Spark EV from the current generation, 2016 is your only choice, as Chevy discontinued it for the 2017 model year.

Which Used Chevrolet Spark Model Is Right for Me?

There are three Spark trims: LS, 1LT, and 2LT. The Spark EV is only available in 1LT and 2LT trims. The base LS trim is nicely equipped with a rearview camera, a USB port, Bluetooth, and the MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. You have to step up to a higher trim level to get more features in the Spark, as only a few features are available individually. Since the Spark has one of the lowest prices of any car on the market, the fully loaded 2LT trim will be the right choice for many buyers.

Certified Pre-Owned Chevrolet Spark Warranty

For all of its certified pre-owned vehicles, Chevy extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Chevrolet CPO vehicles must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits may be available, so read Chevy’s warranty page carefully. The model’s original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Based on our analysis, Chevrolet’s certified pre-owned program is one of the best among nonluxury brands.

How Safe Is the Spark?

There's not a lot of crash test data available for the 2016 Chevrolet Spark. However, it did earn the highest rating of Good in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's moderate overlap front and side impact tests.

A rearview camera comes standard in the 2016 Spark. Available active safety features include rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and forward collision alert.

2016 Chevrolet Spark Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Chevrolet Spark or 2016 Honda Fit?

The 2016 Honda Fit is one of our highest-rated subcompact cars, and we named it the 2016 Best Subcompact Car for the Money. It doesn't feel that powerful on the highway, but neither do many cars in this class. The Fit gets better gas mileage than the gas-powered Spark, and the Honda has a maximum seating capacity of five people instead of four. The Fit has a first-rate cabin and plenty of rear-seat legroom. The Fit also has nearly double the cargo space of the Spark, as well as innovative rear seats that can be folded a multitude of ways to accommodate cargo of all shapes. The Honda does have a higher average price tag than the Chevrolet, but it's money well-spent, as the Fit is a better vehicle.

Which Is Better: 2016 Chevrolet Spark or 2016 Kia Rio?

The 2016 Kia Rio has one of the more powerful engines in the class, and it provides quick acceleration. The handling is fairly sharp as well. The Rio's interior has better materials than many cars in the same price range, including the Spark. Whether you're up front or in the back, you'll find enough head- and legroom to sit comfortably. If you like easy-to-use infotainment systems, the Rio will delight you. Its UVO system is intuitive, and the dash controls for in-vehicle functions are easy to reach and read. The Rio comes in sedan and hatchback models, and the hatchback has much better cargo capacity than the Spark.

2016 Spark Performance

How Does the 2016 Chevrolet Spark Drive?

The Chevrolet Spark has a four-cylinder engine that puts out 98 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a continuously variable automatic transmission is available. The Spark EV features a 140-horsepower all-electric powertrain and has an 82-mile range before it needs recharging.

As you might expect from a car with such limited horsepower, the Spark isn't fast. However, its acceleration is OK, and the power output is adequate for city and highway driving. The Spark also has an outstanding turning radius and is maneuverable in any setting. It's fairly agile on the road, and the ride quality is good over most surfaces.

Does the 2016 Chevrolet Spark Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Spark gets good gas mileage: up to 31 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway, while the Spark EV gets 119 mpg-equivalent.

2016 Spark Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Spark Seat?

There are seats for four in the 2016 Spark. There's enough space for most adults riding up front or in the back, but nobody will find the rear seats overly spacious.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Chevrolet Spark?

The Spark has two full sets of LATCH connectors on the second-row outboard seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for its ease of use.

2016 Chevrolet Spark Features

Standard features in the Spark include a USB port, Bluetooth, and the MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Available features include a sunroof, power windows, and satellite radio. The Spark has plenty of connectivity features. However, power windows are not standard in every model, which is increasingly rare for today's cars.

2016 Chevrolet Spark Dimensions

Chevrolet Spark Cargo Space

The 2016 Spark has only 11.1 cubic feet of cargo space with all the seats in use and 27.2 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. In the Spark EV, those measurements decrease to 9.6 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 23.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. That's one of the lowest totals among hatchbacks; many subcompact sedans have more trunk space than the Chevy Spark.

2016 Spark Length and Weight

The 2016 Chevrolet Spark is nearly 12 feet long, while the Spark EV is 12.2 feet long. The Spark's curb weight ranges from 2,246 pounds for the base LS model with a manual transmission to 2,866 pounds for the Spark EV.

Where Was the 2016 Chevrolet Spark Built?

The 2016 Chevrolet Spark was built in Changwon, South Korea.

Read the full 2016 Chevrolet Spark reviewon U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.

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