Let’s face it, cars are getting pricier as the years go on. And with the rising cost of everything in this country, finding a car that fits right in your budget can be tough sometimes. In fact, if your budget is $10,000 or below, then you’ll have to resort to the pre-owned market. Luckily, if you can get to a higher price point, then the subcompact category will be accessible. There are plenty of options to choose from in this segment including the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, and Ford Fiesta, but which one is the least expensive? If the utmost affordable car is what you’re looking for, then look no further than the 2020 Chevrolet Spark.
What is a Chevrolet Spark?
The Chevrolet Spark is a subcompact car that Chevrolet describes as a “city go-getter” that’s “spunky, energetic, and full of attitude.” Accolades aside, the Chevrolet Spark was the brand’s entry into the segment back in 2012 for the 2013 model year. In 2016, the Spark went under the knife and came back longer, lower and more powerful in its second generation, which what we currently have. It comes in four different trim levels and is available with a good amount of technology and safety features, but let’s focus on the most affordable version, the Chevrolet Spark LS with a manual transmission.
What does the lowest trim level have?
To be honest, by today’s standards, not much. And yes, that means you have manual windows and door locks. Trust us, we were surprised too. However, the Chevrolet Spark LS does have a 7-inch touchscreen with Android Auto/Apple Carplay capability, Bluetooth, a four-speaker audio system, a rearview camera, and a steering wheel that tilts, but doesn’t telescope. Thankfully, air conditioning is on the list as well. However, if you want more niceties like forward collision braking, or two more speakers, you’ll have to opt for a higher trim level.
Save the manuals
Contrary to popular belief, there is still a decent amount of new cars on the market available with a manual transmission, and the Chevy Spark is one of them. The Spark comes with a 5-speed manual transmission in the base trim level in question but, believe it or not, you can opt for a manual transmission on all trim levels. Chevy says that it “offers smooth performance,” which we don’t doubt, but considering it’s mated to a 98-horsepower, 1.4-liter ECOTEC engine, it’s a tough call whether or not the smooth-shifting stick can bring enough enjoyment to a daily drive.
Is it worth buying?
In case you’re wondering, the lowest-priced Chevrolet Spark will set you back $14,095, which is almost $1,000 less than it’s Nissan Versa and Mitsubishi Mirage counterparts, and about $2000 less than a Honda Fit. If you’re concerned about reliability, then rest assured that the Chevrolet Spark does come with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty in addition to a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Does this make the car worth buying? Ultimately, it depends on your budget, and one of the beauties of buying a new car over pre-owned is the option to lease. So if you just need a set of wheels to get you from points A to B, and you don’t mind having to crank your windows, then the Chevrolet Spark could be a great choice.