The locally built Chevrolet Spark is a consistent performer in our Best Buy Guide for small cars, now General Motors has revealed a new 2016 version. Well, the fourth-gen Spark isn’t entirely all-new because it’ll run on the same Gamma or GM Small Vehicle architecture as before, but the new version certainly looks better.
The Gamma architecture is in fact 15 years old, and yet the American manufacturer has decided to reengineer it rather than start again from the ground up. General Motors says for 2016 the new Chevrolet Spark will be more mature and more desirable as an urban run-around. The car’s wheelbase has actually extended for interior space and the ride height is lowered by a few mm for improved performance and economy. GM says the reworked structure is stronger and allows for a smoother, more controlled ride, too.
Looks wise the new Spark gains sweptback elliptical headlamps, new fog lamps, new 15-inch alloy wheel designs and a redesigned grille. On the inside the dot-matrix LCD instrument cluster is improved (thank goodness), and the US version even features Chevrolet’s brilliant MyLink 7-inch media system and touchscreen with rear park camera and a whole host of other mod cons like blind spot assist that may or may not be coming to SA.
The Spark will come in different specification levels (L, LT, LS) but for the New York motor show reveal the US version only has one engine on offer – a 1.4-litre EcoTEC four-cylinder with 73kW and a combined fuel consumption figure of 5.8l/100km. Local Sparks, of course, feature the 60kW/108Nm 1.2-litre. Whether that will change come 2016, remains to be seen.