The market of small crossovers has never experienced such high demand, which practically means that every car maker out there is trying to push their product in that segment. That is exactly the philosophy that Chevrolet went for when they introduced their 2017 Spark Activ which is practically now the smallest crossover in that class, well at least until Smart doesn’t decide to do the same with its ForTwo.
When I say that the Spark Activ is a crossover, I mean that it is as much crossover as the WV Beetle Dune and the Audi A4 Allroad are. What does that exactly means? Well, Chevy decided to take a normal Spark, wrap around its wheel arches and side skirts into some black plastic, add metal-look accents, revise the front (new front grille and round fog lights) and upgrade rear of the car. After that add some roof rails and slap on model-specific 15-inch alloy wheels in combination with a 0.4-inch increase in the lift of the car and abracadabra there you have it – a fully transformed crossover.
Now, just because it is Chevy, to make it more appealing the steering wheel got wrapped in leather, heated seats, and cruise control was added to the list. But don’t think that comes as standard equipment, no, you have to pay for those to combine it with standard equipment that is air conditioning, Chevrolet MyLink infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and three months of satellite radio, 4G LTE data, and OnStar. Now all of that is packed in Spark Activ’s base price of $16,945, and that is with the manual transmission and if you want a CVT than you have to bring out $18,045.
These prices are a significant jump from $13,535 that you have to give for entry-level Spark, but bare in mind that the Spark Activ shares a lot of features with the 2LT, which is probably the model that the Spark Activ should be compared with in the first place. When we do that, we see that the Spark Activ has a slight advantage on the 2LT at least in the price department, since the 2LT has a tag set to $17,060 with the manual and $18,160 for the CVT version. But when you take MPG ratio then you can see that the 2LT wins without a doubt over the Spark Activ. Standard Spark returns 31/41 MPG city/highway with the CVT while the Spark Active does 30/37 MPG city/highway with the same transmission.
In the end, the deciding factor for the purchase of the 2017 Chevrolet Spark Activ will probably be brought down to style vs. fuel economy. All of this will be available for additional comparison and decisions once this car hits the dealerships sometime in Q1 of 2017. Then and there will Chevy see if they made a good decision regarding this.