This is the 2014 Chevy Spark, the official car of “I am too poor to afford a real car and I am afraid of used cars”. Last week, I rented this car for 4 days and drove it 700 miles round trip between NJ and VA. Equipped with a 1.2L 4 cylinder engine putting out a whopping 84 HP and 83 lb-ft of torque, this car will rocket all 2368 lbs (plus passengers) up to cruising altitude. Thanks to the CVT, you will smoothly and quietly enter traffic just like any other car. At a base price of around $13k, this bargain basement vehicle is in a class of it’s own.

Based on the Aveo before it, the Spark is intended to be an affordable new car that you can get with all of the modern safety features, a nice warranty, easy parking in the city, and great gas mileage. This is all fine and dandy but really this car is an utter piece of crap.

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To make matters worse, the typical colors of this car you will see out there are neon pink, powder blue, or this type of green. The car almost looks acceptable in white and does not really offend me. However, the typical colors just make me angry. Sure people are entitled to their own tastes but this car is not tasteful in any regard.

Could not get the image to post, but here is a race car version: [http://s212.photobucket.com/user/goose8674….html]

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When I get a rental car, I kind of expect it to be crap, but this was another level. It is noisy inside with the CVT always keeping the tachometer pinged, the ride is rather rough, and acceleration requires full throttle just to get it moving. But in any case the car is cheap! So if the quality of car is completely unimportant and the only thing that matters is price, I guess someone could consider this car. However, here are some other cars in that price range for 2015:

- Chevy Cruze $16.2k , - Hyundai Elantra $15.4k , - Toyota Yaris $15k, - Kia Forte $15.3k , - Fiat 500 $15k

Just about all of those options (while a little more expensive) are certainly better cars. The Mazda2, Mazda3, and Ford Fiesta are also even better options that could certainly get into that price range as well. But even so, the price really cannot be beat.

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Overall impression: please do not ever try this as a rental, it is not worth it!!!!!!!!!! But if someone really does not care about driving, needs a new car, and wants it to be cheaper than anything else, then I guess this car makes sense without any real competition. Even the smartfortwo and the Scion IQ cost more with the only contender for "cheapest car" being the Mitsu Mirage. But really, we might as well start comparing tandem bicycles at this point..