Text: Dean Ang / Photos: Dean Ang | posted March 13, 2012 12:21
Fun need not be fast
So what do we have here? Same Chevrolet Spark body with a smaller and more economical engine. The new Spark now offers a 1.0 liter engine for those environmentally conscious people out there, or even just for those individual that would like to cut back on their petrol expenses.
The Spark's exterior design is impressively stylish. It obviously took a lot of effort and time in the design department, which made it look way better than the old Chevrolet Spark. The oversized bits like its front grille, head lamps, and tail lamps matched with edgy lines all over the car makes it appear larger than what it really is. The unique positioning of the rear door handles sure can make your passengers laugh at themselves once they get to locate it.
Moving into the interior of the Spark, the seats and leg room is surprisingly roomy for a car of this size. The first thing you'll notice when you sit on the driver's seat are the LED-lit motorcycle-inspired instrument cluster as they are mounted closely behind the steering wheel. The digital tachometer, odometer, and fuel gauge can be seen on the LCD panel beside the analog speedometer. Ample storage space can also be noticed right away by the pockets that are strategically placed all over the interior of the car. A 60/40 split-folding rear seats is a standard feature for all three variants.
For your comfort and safety some features like the remote keyless entry and electronic immobilizer that you rarely see on mini passenger cars are made available for Spark owners. iPod ready single-DIN FM/AM tuners with remote also comes standard for this variant. Seeing how little the changes they made on the Spark, the absence of the anti-lock braking system is still there, I guess they'll just add that to the all-new version instead for economically obvious reasons.
So what is it like driving the new Spark? Right from the start, I've set my expectation a bit low particularly for this car's acceleration due to it's smaller 1.0 liter engine, but as soon as you've driven it, you'll realize that it's not that bad. The power is just right to tackle the urban jungle that we are in, you just need to adjust your driving style to match the smaller engine's power for it to be really economical. Thanks to its wheelbase of 2375mm, and a turning radius of 5.0 meters, maneuvering through rush hour traffic is now more fun.
The new variant of the Chevrolet Spark sports a smaller and more economical 1.0 liter engine with the manufacturer claiming that it registered a maximum of 22 kilometers per liter, but judging by our drive, it wasn't anywhere near that number. Being a small engine, it burns less when sitting still in traffic, but to get any power out of it, you really have to give it some gas to get going.
Now, what boggles me is this particular variant's cost. Priced at PhP588,888.00, which is PhP5,000.00 more expensive than the 1.2 LT M/T variant. I'm not sure if the transmission is enough factor for the price difference, but aside from producing more power, the 1.2 LT M/T has better features (although only minimal) like the integrated MP3/WMA ready head unit and the roof rail to name a few.
To top things off, the Spark was a fun drive, especially if you're planning to use it inside the city more often. Its stylish design together with its smaller engine, you'll surely have less headache with gas and traffic problems.