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2013 Chevrolet Spark review

Consumer Reports magazine: January 2013

If you’re looking for an affordable city car that’s easy on gas, the new Spark may strike your fancy. The four-door subcompact, which is built in South Korea, gets excellent fuel economy of 32 mpg overall and 42 on the highway and has a surprisingly usable rear seat. It offers a relatively nice assortment of features, including aluminum wheels, a touch-screen audio system, Bluetooth, and 10 air bags.

The Spark is affordable; we paid $15,420 for a midlevel 1LT version with an automatic transmission. And it measures a foot-and-a-half shorter than a Honda Fit, so parking is super easy.

But parking might be the most fun you have with a Chevy Spark. It has sluggish, patience- testing acceleration; a 0-to-60-mph “sprint” takes 13 seconds. The best we can say about the stiff, jittery ride is that it’s better than the buckboardlike Scion iQ, another city car. Despite the Spark’s commendable space utilization, the front seats are narrow enough that your shoulders and hips hang over the cushions. And then there’s the cabin noise, a relentless assault from all quarters.

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