2013 Chevrolet Spark 2LT with AT just arrived...

Discussion in 'GM' started by xcel, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Shakedown cruise within the hour.

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    2013 Chevrolet Spark 2LT with an AT - $16,720 including D&H. Equipped with leatherette, heated seats and smartphone based NAVI.

    Wayne
     
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    2013 Chevrolet Spark 2LT with the 4-speed AT Review

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    48.6 mpg - 89.6 mile RT - 20 to 32 degrees F and 20 mph side winds.

    First drive was not bad given the poor conditions…

    Wayne
     
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    2013 Chevrolet Spark Review

    A few bonus pics as Jesse was out and about driving a 2013 Chevrolet Spark today.

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    38.5 mpg indicated at approximately 65 mph on a round trip loop.

    The Spark was test driven from Hurd Chevrolet in Johnston RI. courtesy of one of their sales consultants Nick Parascandolo. 401-751-6000

    Wayne
     
  4. rfruth

    rfruth Well-Known Member

    Is the 1.2L motor peppy even with the auto xmission ?
     
  5. 300kmileprius

    300kmileprius Well-Known Member

    It isn't particularly quick but it does what it needs to do...At 75 mph and a decent breeze, I was holding on tight with two hands...
     
  6. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Just checked in with Wayne. He's in Ohio, on his way to New York for the Auto Show this week.
    Filled the tank in LaGrange, IN and he's eastbound on US20.
    At 55 miles into the tank, the FCD is showing 50.7 mpg, and average speed is 49.6 mph.
    Temperature is 37F according to the car, and NOAA says winds are out of the NNE at 6 mph, so it's a light crosswind.

    A few of Wayne's thoughts from the road:
     
  7. rfruth

    rfruth Well-Known Member

  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    A few shots before we go out to get something to eat.

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    Street shot just prior to leaving home yesterday.

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    You will never see a Spark in these two shots ever ;)

    I have a lot more on the drive later :)

    Wayne
     
  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    A little drive in a cool small car... IL/WI border to NY City. It is on Long Island, it is in one piece and it achieved a touch over 50 mpg on the way across...

    For Chicagoan's, you will recognize the backdrop. And look at the reflection in the taillight lens. Sometimes even a blind squirrel finds a nut ;)

    Wayne
     
  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The last 30 miles sucked with 90-minutes spent on the George Washington Bridge and a few miles beyond but it finished up ok...

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    Wayne
     
  11. RichXKU

    RichXKU Well-Known Member

    Nice job Wayne.
    Also, as a radio guy I need to say, while the EZ pass works that way, it should be flat side toward the tolls, label side down. Less chance of a bad read. :)
     
  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Something few cars will ever claim is that they are the best sleeping quarters :D

    The Spark was actually one of the most comfortable. The lay of the seats when prone even with the short seat bottoms was really comfortable!

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    Wayne
     
  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Rich:

    Thanks! The instructions have you mount it exactly like you said. I just did not like the bottoms (tops) reflection in pics when laying "upside down" ;)

    Wayne
     
  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    While on Long Island, I took a little jaunt to New Haven, CT. Here is that trip in pics.

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    Cross Island Parkway, Throgsneck, and entering Connecticut.

    BringGo Map detail and an upcoming Traffic Alert.
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    Standard BringGo display with no traffic alert -- Parked in New Haven, CT.

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    The NY City Skyline while heading back to Long Island.

    Left and Right Control stalks are of higher quality than price suggests.
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    Heading back over the Throgsneck to Long Island. 51.6 mpg for the RT displayed, 52.5 mpg actual.​

    All told, the $50 BringGo App works better and looks nicer than many $1,500 - $2,000 NAVI systems. Display is very high resolution, information is easy to access and it can be launched from the home screen (see Home button beneath display) once your iPhone is attached via tether cord (cannot use Bluetooth connection yet unfortunately) and unlocked. If you are listening to Pandora, a Stitcher podcast or a TuneIn station and your iPhone becomes disconnected (loss of Cell service), it will take down BringGo and you will have to restart the app(s) again. That was the only small bug I found over the week I had the Spark which is pretty impressive! Beats the hell out of the Denso SW system in my Prius PHEV by a long shot!!!

    Wayne
     
  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Heading deep into Manhattan to drop off the 2013 Chevrolet Spark. In this environment, it fits like a comfortable leather glove :)

    2013 Chevrolet Spark

    BringGo leading the way while Pandora entertains.
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    Another Spark parked on a downtown Manhattan street. – A pair of Ghost Sparks in reflection.​

    Wayne
     
  16. RichXKU

    RichXKU Well-Known Member

    How did you feel about the vague digital tach? There are so many nicer ways to lay it out, but ultimately, I think they just wanted to reuse the Sonic cluster as cheaply as possible.
     
  17. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    My impressions of the Spark:

    - It's a lot of car for the asking price. If I were to choose a Spark, I'd likely go with the 1LT trim for $1300 less to give up the heated leatherette seats, leather wheel, fog lights, and superfluous roof rails and fancier wheels and exterior trim. Not sure if I would choose the 5 speed stick for myself, though, because...

    - Leg room is fairly tight for someone with long legs, and even with the seat height adjustment cranked up, there is little thigh support. I found myself bracing my legs against the console and door panel because in a normal driving position, your legs spread outward, with your left knee on the window switches, and your right knee ending up pressed against the shift lever. I would imagine a lot of clutch work would make the seating position even more awkward - especially if the clutch is farther to the right than what we'd normally expect. At that point, the tilt wheel may not tilt high enough for me to get my leg high enough to step on the cluth with the wheel just above.

    - The instrument cluster moves up and down with the tilt wheel, but no matter how it's adjusted, the wheel rim blocks the top of the speedometer. I think that's just an issue with anyone over six feet tall, and shorter drivers would likely be fine with the overall setup.

    - The left side of the radio display is blocked by the steering wheel, so you need to lean right to peer around the wheel. If your hands are at 10&2 or 9&3, most of the display is blocked by your hand or arm.

    - Visibility is very good, and neglecting the awkward driving position (for tall drivers), it has an amazing spread of space.

    - The front doors are large and open wide, and the tall roofline makes for easy entry and exit, without many gymnastic moves required.

    - Ignore the mass media moaning about the automatic version being underpowered. I am still alive to type this and I merged onto plenty of NY highways. The engine feels a little weak on the bottom end, but driving the way we do, it has more power than we need, and...

    - This is one of the easier non-hybrids to drive around all day in mixed city/highway and pull 50mpg. The two times I drove it a long distance - Home to northern NJ and then Home to midtown Manhattan, we were in the start of morning drive-time and I wasn't anywhere near driving in challenge mode. I was more in NEDC mode (Nice Easy Daily Commute) - looking to arrive alive but also arrive within the expected time frame.

    - The hood is not visible from inside the car, and so road speed appears higher than actual. I spent a lot of time at 50mph when it felt like I was driving 60mph. When Wayne wanted me to accelerate to 60 to get a steady-state @60mph, I felt like I was driving at 70. Having the speedometer blocked by the wheel rim wasn't much help, although I learned over time to read the speedometer like a clock face and just set it somewhere between 11:00 and 11:30 on the highway.

    - Parking is a joke. And by that I mean that you chuckle every time you get out because you have enough space around the car to park another Spark. Each time I arrived home and parallel parked between my Elantra and the Prius PHEV, I'd do my normal parking job and then get out and realize that I had about three extra feet behind the car, compared to what I would expect when driving the Elantra. The turning radius is small, the car is maybe a half foot narrower than most compacts, and visibility is good enough that you don't have to park "New York Style" where you keep going until you hear a thump.

    - As Wayne noted above, the light and wiper stalks are better than expected in a low priced car, and they felt sturdy and positive in action.

    - Other reviews panned the seats as too hard. Maybe my posterior is too soft, or maybe I was expecting concrete when I sat in the seat, but to me they felt firm but not punishing. They were comfortable on hour-long trips and the only change I'd want is some way to increase thigh support for long-legged drivers.

    - Ride compliance is a little stiff, and there is more wind and road noise at speed than I am used to, but neither seemed to bother us much when we drove it. To me, it seemed to reinforce the minimalist mission of the car, and I thought it added to the fun of driving it. I might want to flip-flop on that opinion after making the 59th payment and driving it every day, but with Pandora and an amplifier with enough power to run a bedroom television, I think I could find creative ways to drown out the noise.

    - Not sure I like the design of the ignition key. The teeth on the key leave at least one very narrow point on the key itself that has me wondering if it will develop the broken-key syndrome that plagued the old Metros. The ignition switch doesn't inspire much confidence. Not sure if what I noted was unique to the press car or a characteristic of all Sparks, but inserting the ignition key felt somehwat like you were sticking the key into a coffee cup filled with flat washers. Insert key, shift it a bit up and down or side to side while applying steady pressure and it clicks and ticks until it bottoms out in the cylinder and can be turned. For something you use every time you get in the car to drive it, I figure this part should perform flawlessly and not raise any doubts.

    - Overall, there is a lot to like, and the price is right for a lot of college commuters and young families looking for a second car that they can buy new with full warranty while spending about what they'd expect to pay for a 2 year old used car.
     
  18. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    How would you compare it to a stripped Versa with the AT?
     
  19. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Herm:

    Much better equipped and sharper steering. It does not have the same room however.

    Wayne
     
  20. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    I think some here would find the 13 Sparks placard for the OEM Goodyear Integrity's unusual...

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    Wayne
     

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