The EPA announced that the Chevrolet Spark four-door hatchback has a fuel economy rating of 32/38 mpg city/highway with a five-speed manual and 28/37 mpg with a four-speed automatic. These figures aren’t the best in the subcompact class but since it has a $12,995 base price, it’s likely that many consumers won’t mind that it can’t achieve 40 mpg on the highway.
The destination charges are included in the price. If most buyers prefer the four-speed automatic over the five-speed manual, they’ll have to pay $925 for the transmission and 2 mpg in combined mileage, from 34 mpg to 32 mpg. Consumers who don’t like the four-door hatchback body style but would rather get an ultra-low-priced new car would also be in consideration of the 2012 Nissan Versa, which has a base price of $11,770.
The CVT has a base price of slightly below $14,000. When equipped with a five-speed manual, the 2012 Versa sedan can return 27/36 mpg, which is lower than that of the manual-transmission 2013 Spark. However, the Versa sedan with the CVT can achieve 30/38 mpg. Nissan anticipates a 40-mpg rating for the 2013-model-year sedan.
The base 2013 Chevrolet Spark is equipped with 15-inch alloy wheels, an auxiliary input jack, and air conditioning, power windows and a 60/40 split rear seat.
The other 2013 Spark trims would add Bluetooth, keyless entry, cruise control, power door locks, heated leatherette front seats, and Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system. If you’re thinking about buying a $16,990 Spark but fuel economy is an issue, the other models that you may want to consider are two- and four-door hatchbacks such as the Ford Fiesta and Kia Rio.
The 2013 Ford Fiesta, in non-SFE trim, has been rated by the EPA to offer 29/39 mpg with the automatic and manual transmissions. Meanwhile, the 2013 Kia Rio offers 30/40 mpg. With these ratings, these cars are slightly more frugal than the 2013 Spark when comparing automatic-transmission models. However, with manual transmission cars, the Spark could achieve better mileage in the city and a slightly worse highway mileage.