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buying: The Chevrolet Spark Is The Best Entry-Level Car In 2022

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How often is a model the best entry-level as well as the cheapest car on the market? As often as Chevrolet kept the Spark going. The Chevrolet Spark is our best entry-level model for 2022 because it offers strong value for money. Not just because of the low starting price, but also because it has good fuel economy (rated at 29 MPG in the city with the manual and 30 MPG with the A/T). There is also a long list of a bit of everything you’d find in more expensive mid and even upper-level cars.

  The Chevrolet Spark Is The Best Entry-Level Car In 2022 © Provided by HotCars

You might counter our position by presenting more efficient, feature-laden, and even a bit more powerful rivals like the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio as better suited for the honor we’re giving the Spark here. Yes, we admit the Accent and Rio offer power windows and door locks as standard while the feature is optional on the 2022 Chevrolet Spark, but both models also flaunt a higher starting price, and it's not like those features are entirely missing on the Spark.

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Besides, the cheaper Chevy Spark isn’t on the bottom rung this year, not when the Mitsubishi Mirage sits pretty there. At a starting price of $13,600, the Spark is the best choice for the budget-conscious shopper looking for a cute, well-equipped entry-level hatchback.

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The 2022 Chevrolet Spark Has A Practical Interior

The interior is one of the best things about the 2022 Chevrolet Spark. You’d be pleasantly surprised to find the inside is far better than you would expect in cars this cheap. Although with plenty of hard plastic, it has a surprising ambiance that contradicts the price of the car. It’s not all plastic, though. There are leather trims, not to speak of the heated front seats. The upright driving position of the Spark, makes you feel like you’re driving a crossover.

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Chevrolet made the front doors large and raised the seat height to ensure the cute little hatchback doesn’t mean larger people should have trouble accessing the cockpit. Still, the front seats are narrow because you can only go so far with space economy. However, the lack of lateral support and the wafer-thin cushion are sacrifices you have to make.

The cubbies in the center console and handy shelf above the glove box should make up for what the Chevy Spark lacks in the ease of rear seat/cargo area transformation. The cargo area behind the rear seats offers 11 cubic feet of cargo volume and increases to 27 cubic feet with the rear seat folded away.

The 2022 Chevrolet Spark Engine And Performance

The 2022 Chevrolet Spark isn’t for you if highway driving sends you into bouts of depression. That’s because the Spark gets a subdued 98 horsepower from its 1.4-liter inline-four engine, sending power to the front wheels via a choice of five-speed manual or CVT automatic transmission to keep it going at decent speeds.

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Apparently, the little Spark isn't exactly cut out for long-distance trips, so the speedsters can find someone else to shame on the highways. You'd find the Spark to be pretty responsive while driving around the city, even if it falls short of a similar performance at higher speeds. You'll experience very little to no drones from the engine, thanks to the efficient, seamless, and smooth continuously variable automatic transmission.

Not only that, but you’ll weave around the city’s slow-moving traffic with effortless and stable ease thanks to the high-response brake and short wheelbase that promotes quick lateral maneuvers around tight spaces without sacrificing ride quality. Although the 2022 Chevrolet Spark isn’t a superstar on uneven terrain, it offers a quiet, stable ride to outmatch many of its rivals in the economy car class.

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The 2022 Chevrolet Spark Is An Affordable Entry-Level Hatchback With A Bit Of Everything

With a starting price below $14,000, the Chevrolet Spark is perfect both for shoppers on a tight budget and those with limited parking spaces where they live or work. We’d choose it over the Nissan Versa for this combination of factors.

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You’d expect a car of this price point to have shoddy exterior and interior appurtenances, but the little Spark demonstrates that only an American car has the right to offer a combination of a simple, yet attractive exterior accompanied by a plethora of funky color options, a well-textured interior, and impressive list of vehicular technologies in a purse-friendly package.

No, we’re not heady over the powertrain, but that's what to expect from cars of this price point. Speaking of powertrains, the 2022 Chevrolet Spark has just one to speak of – the naturally breathing four-cylinder we mentioned earlier that produces 98 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 94 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. Admittedly, similarly classed rivals can do better – at a higher price, of course.

But then again, that feeble engine only has to move a light car that barely weighs a ton. It can propel the Spark to 60 mph in 10.7 seconds to humiliate the Mitsubishi Mirage. The Spark is this year’s best entry-level car because it packs plenty of features, even if some are optional.

The infotainment system is decent, including a standard 7.0-inch touchscreen with a Wi-Fi hotspot, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. There’s a handy rotary volume knob, so everything isn't controlled by touch. You also get a pair of USB ports and a 12-volt outlet below the center stack.

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Despite the Spark's diminutive size, the interior isn't cluttered. If you want those power windows and door locks we mentioned before, skip the base LS trim. You might also want to gun for the higher trims if you want the best of its driver assistance technology, including lane-departure warning, rear parking sensors, forward-collision warning, and automated emergency braking.

Chevrolet To Discontinue The Little Spark After The 2023 Model Year

It’s retirement season for the Chevy Spark after a decade of service as the favorite of city commuters in the US. It launched in India in January 2010 before reaching the US market in April 2012. The rise of EVs threatens to make the little Spark redundant, but the model's target market will surely miss its affordability, reliability, and efficiency.

GM confirmed that August 31 will mark the Spark’s last day of production. That leaves the Chevrolet Trax compact SUV as the least expensive model in Chevy’s US lineup. Spark may never have been a bestseller, but it was a budget-friendly, reliable, and efficient small vehicle with collectible potential in the future. Do you think Chevy should bring the Chevrolet Bolt to replace the Spark in the US market?

Sources: Chevrolet, Car and Driver, GM Authority, Kelley Blue Book

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