Just took a test drive of the more hyped Chevy Spark. Here are my experiences.
Looks Exterior : Matiz Spoof. Not so great, but a sleek and decent look for a small car. Rear looks ugly.
Looks Interior : Not at all impressive. Not even comaprable to the old Maruti 800. Seat covers are not good either.
Comfort : Cramped. Too small a car for five medium sized people. Extremely difficult for people over six feet to sit at the rear. You do not feel the luxury of a car drive.
Engine : 1 Litre (1000cc) engine with 63bhp is just apt for the cars dimensions for city drive. Forget the pleasure of a highyway ride. You could just see a 2 wheeler just overtaking you with ease when your Spark is fully loaded with four people and luggage. 😛
Braking : Good, but could have been better. Only the higher end model which would cost you upto 4.5Lacs INR would provide ABS. Definitely not worth it.
Power steering : Huh! Crap. I felt as though I was driving our old Premier Padmini. The two spoked steering wheel does not respond well. The claim to have Hydraulic Power Steering but I could never feel it. Since, the car is compact you can negiotiate curves easily.
Air Condition : I would rate it as average. Engine performance considerably drops down the moment you start AC. 😦
Mileage : 13-14 kmpl in city with AC. 17-18 on Highways with AC.
Top speed : 120kmph. Don’t risk going beyond that. Spark does not have good aerodynamics and geometry.
Gear : Again, cheap quality gear box. Nothing very great to write about.
Dashboard : Central Dashboard makes it much more hard to drive. Because of this central positioning the rest of the dashboard gadgets like AC, AC controls and stereo are pushed downwards. Chevy, you lost here.
Front Windshield : Its steep angle is a disadvantage. I personally did not like it.
Suspension : No issues. Finally something that Spark can boast about.
Boot Space : Too less. Do not even think of a family trip with Spark’s boot space.
All in all, not such a good bet for the price you pay. I would buy an Alto/Santro rather than a Spark.