That has left Chevrolets Spark on even shakier ground than it was before. While Chevy is known in the U.S. for Corvettes and Camaros, its more often associated with rehashed Daewoos in the U.K, and Sparks are still sold as Daewoos in other territories.
Lack of image wouldnt be a problem if the Spark was drop-dead gorgeous, but while original and distinctive, its looks could be little too challenging for some, even in top-line LT trim with sporty additions like a spoiler, alloy wheels and roof rails.
The tall, narrow shape does at least mean plenty of cabin room front and rear, though once sitting on the comfortable driving seat youll be more concerned about the huge, vision-restricting A-pillars and the sea of naff materials. The design is pleasant enough, styled to appeal to younger buyers with bright colours and a motorcycle-style instrument binnacle, but the plastics will be more familiar to those of Duplo-playing ages.
All Sparks get a four-cylinder engine that curiously sounds like a triple, but is at least fairly quiet at low revs. Its a particularly easy car to drive, and the 1.2 engine in the LT makes easier work of motorways than some of its 1.0-litre rivals.
Thats not to say the Spark is a quick car though. Dont be misled by the respectable-sounding 12.1 second 0-60mph time, as the flat mid-range power delivery makes getting anywhere in a hurry a real chore.
Handling well, it goes around corners, thanks to a steering wheel that lets you pick the angle of the front wheels, but dont expect any flair.
Ride quality is okay though - par for the class, though not Up-rivalling. It should at least be cheap to run, with decent economy and low tax. And as an aside, we were impressed by the stereo - sound quality is pretty good from the 6-speaker sound system.
Price as tested: 10,695 (approx.)
Combined mpg: 55.4
CO2: 119 g/km
We wanted to like the Chevy Spark. At the very least theres some visual interest to it inside and out, it rides well, and its cheap to run - if no more so than rivals.
However, its just too flawed to be even slightly worthy of attention over cars like theVW Up, or even Kias Picanto. Even the 1.2 is too slow (wed steer well clear of the 1.0), feels built down to a price below that of even the basic Spark - let alone our 10k-plus LT - and features like the massive A-pillars hamper it where it should excel - in town. As a result, we can't recommend it.
For more information, check out our full summary of the Chevrolet Spark alongside reviews, photos, stats and videos.