• 32 city/38 hwy MPG
• 1.2 litre 4-cylindar engine, 83 hp engine, 83 lb-ft of torque
• 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
• Powertrain warranty 5years/100k miles
• 4-door hatchback (looks like a two-door)
• 10 airbags
• Electronic Stability Control and Break Assist
• Hill Start Assist (standard)
• Seats 4 (rear seats flip and fold creating sizable “trunk”)
• Available heated leather seats (front only)
• OnStar, with Automatic Crash Response System (6 months complimentary)
• 7” touchscreen, MyLink (runs apps when paired with a smart phone)
• BringGo navigation app unveiled Fall/Winter 2012
• Bluetooth streaming audio
• Power windows and A/C standard on all models
Why test drive a city car on a track? That’s not the natural terrain of a micro-car like the Chevrolet Spark. The tiny parking spots, diminutive lanes, and rarely sighted gas oases of today’s urban centres are its natural habitat.
Sparkcity, put on by Chevrolet Canada, provides media types and urban gadabouts with an opportunity for ethical hunting in our modern environ.
Herded into a renovated garage in the distillery district and fed a hearty breakfast, reporters and bloggers were sent on a Toronto-centric photo/tweet scavenger hunt.
Equipped with nothing but an iPad app containing clues and Chevrolet’s first tiny city car, the Spark, reporter Kristina Skorbach and Special Features Editor Zoe Ackah hurled themselves and their jalapeño-coloured Spark into a T-dot adventure.
The passenger seat was awesome. The interior was comfortable, surprisingly more room than I would have thought from the look of it. I liked that there were so many cup holders.
Z: It was great to visit all the old neighbourhoods in Toronto I used to live in before they were overrun by hipsters! How many coffee shops does Toronto need? There is never anywhere to park, unless your car is the size of a matchbox. Oh wait! Ours was!
K: I’m glad I could charge my phone in the car while Zoe was driving, otherwise we’d have far fewer tweets and pictures.
Z: Our first stop was OCAD. McCaul was down to one skinny lane because of construction and we squeezed right in. We got a good shot of the tissue box on straw legs. I guess that’s art. As we were leaving a giant water truck blocked McCaul completely. We ended up escaping the wrong way down a one-way street. Don’t worry, we weren’t alone; there was a line of cars doing the same thing.
K: The Spark can pull off a pretty sweet U-turn I must say. It’s tiny and fairly agile. Driving through Kensington Market blasting Zoe’s soca tunes was a breeze too, but the stereo could use more bass! We also had to fidget a bit to figure out how to turn the radio back on after the phone was connected. The navigation of the touch screen reminds me somewhat of my iPhone.
Z: Kensington is my ‘hood! We ran into my old buddy Colin. Six foot seven and he fit in fine! Glad to see Nuts Make the World Go Round is still there!
K: Zipping through the city, we visited the Casa Loma. Who would have thought the Horse Stables were a block away from the castle? I guess you learn something new every day. Taking random pictures was an adventure in itself. We staged every shot to the best of our ability to find legal parking. You can always fit the Spark into the shot!
Z: We drove it right over the curb onto the Casa Loma stable lawn. Nice shot of the flowers! No more horses will ever live there. It will soon be luxury condos.
K: Okay really, let’s not get a ticket. Moving on to the Lamport Stadium where we visited the School Restaurant and had some really good coffee. I also took a fascinating shot of us with two cups of coffee—apparently called Joe in this part of town.
Z: Yep, Liberty Village. It wasn’t called that when I used to live in a studio down here in the ‘90s. Maybe we called in Parkdale East? All pit bulls, punk bands, and painters back then. Now it’s a “village.” The next clue—well, we didn’t have a clue. Kristina found it.
K: We never actually found it, but it was supposed to be a stone landmark at Coronation Park on Lakeshore. Instead we staged a photo of Zoe “pinching” an anti-aircraft gun outside HMCS York. After I tweeted the photo, the ladies at the front desk said it was acceptable, so we cheerily moved on.
Z: It wasn’t that easy getting back to home base. Everywhere we turned—construction, pedestrians, and gridlock. I had a chance to put the pedal to the metal on Lakeshore Boulevard. The Spark is 100-percent city car, and not spectacular on the highway. That fifth gear available on the standard model might have helped.
K: I think we have to admit that our jalapeño Spark came last out of the four groups participating, but the instruction was to have fun, and we scored big points in that category.
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter