Sometimes automakers create new versions of existing cars that are simply incredible and other times, these new cars make us scratch our heads. The newest member of the latter group is the newly released Chevy Spark ACTIV.
Billed as a “mini-car, featuring trail-inspired accents and upscale features that complement its urban-chic design,” this model is simply confusing. Is it a mini car trying to be upscale or a mini car trying to be a faux soft-roader? Your guess is as good as mine…
One thing I do like is the fact that this version of the Spark has a handful of features that take it up a notch while keeping its price relatively reasonable. Inside, these features include Chevrolet MyLink with a 7-inch color touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, heated leatherette seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rearview camera, SiriusXM, OnStar, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, and more.
On the outside, however, the Spark ACTIV takes on the persona of a soft-roader. This is mostly thanks to its 15-inch wheels, revised suspension with a 0.4-inch-higher ride height, and the moldings on the wheelhouses and rocker panels. Also chiming in on this semi-rugged look are the revised front and rear fascias that mimic skid plates, the large and round fog lights, and roof rails.
Despite all this, the Spark ACTIV continues with the same 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces just 98 horsepower and front-wheel drive. The latter is adds to the confusion, considering the extra ride height would usually imply at least optional all-wheel drive.
Chevy plans to have the Spark ACTIV in showrooms in the first quarter of 2017. Pricing will ring in at $16,945 with the manual transmission and $18,045 with the CVT. These prices put the Spark ACTIV just south of the range-topping 2017 Spark 2LT.