2016 Chevrolet Spark Preview

FAST FACTS
  • Redesigned for 2016
  • Greater refinement
  • More powerful engine
  • Improved fuel efficiency
  • New safety features
  • Next-generation infotainment system

Introduction

One of the smallest and most affordable cars in America, the Chevrolet Spark is completely redesigned for 2016 and gains numerous improvements in the process. The new 2016 Chevy Spark was introduced at the 2015 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS).

Chevrolet will build the new 2016 Spark in South Korea; the car will be sold in 40 different markets around the world. It arrives in the United States in the fall of 2015.

Exterior Features

Highlights of the 2016 Chevy Spark's redesign include a stronger underlying structure, longer wheelbase, shorter height, and improved aerodynamics. Chevrolet characterizes the styling approach as a "more sophisticated execution" of the Spark.

"In short, the Spark has grown up," said Michael Simcoe, GM International vice president of design. "It retains a youthful flair, but reflects the maturation of the global minicar market and customers' desires for richly styled and highly contented choices."

Bold color choices remain on the 2016 Spark's menu, though. New paint colors include Toasted Marshmallow, Kalamata, and Splash.

Interior Features

With the 2016 Spark, Chevrolet promises upgraded materials and greater attention to detail, including higher-quality fabric and higher-density seat foam designed to enhance occupant comfort and long-term durability, Chevy says.

Due to the car's lower roofline, the seats are mounted lower in the car in order to preserve headroom. "You have a greater feeling of sitting in the seats rather than on them," noted Simcoe.

Optional Features

Chevrolet says it plans to offer a number of personalization accessory packages for the new Spark. As evidenced by the car that debuted in New York, fog lights and aluminum wheels will be available.

Under the Hood

Chevrolet has developed a new 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine for the Spark, one that makes 98 horsepower and can get 40 mpg on the highway when paired with the optional continuously variable transmission (CVT), according to Chevrolet. A 5-speed manual gearbox is standard equipment.

The new Spark's stronger structure allows engineers to fine-tune the car's steering and suspension for improved ride and handling traits, the automaker says. Chevrolet also says that the new Spark offers a quieter ride than the outgoing version.

Safety

The 2016 Spark's stronger body structure is also expected to contribute to the car's ability to protect occupants in a collision. Ten air bags are standard equipment, along with a reversing camera. If Spark owners continue their OnStar subscription beyond the initial free trial period, automatic collision-notification service will help speed rescuers to the scene of the crash.

Safety-related options for the new Spark include rear park-assist sensors, blind-spot alert system, lane-departure warning system, and a forward-collision alert system.

Technology

Next-generation Chevrolet MyLink technology will be available in the 2016 Spark, complete with a 7-in., capacitive-touch display screen that uses familiar, smartphone-style icons for primary navigational purposes. The color screen supports pinching, swiping, and other gestures, similar to how a smartphone or tablet computer operates.

As an option, Spark owners can subscribe to OnStar 4G LTE service, which transforms the car into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot.