2013 Chevrolet Spark
Chevy Sparks of excitement
I’ve always liked small cars such as the 2013 Chevrolet Spark. They remind me of the fun I used to have on the go-carts at the nearby amusement park – the Luna Park. My friend Chuck lived next door to the park and hung around so much that they decided to put him to work. He got a part time job at the go-carts. Normally, these carts had a pretty severe speed governor on them, so the little kids wouldn’t get hurt when they bounced off the track boundary tires. When the cart course wasn’t busy, off came the governors and we had a blast doing the circuit at slightly higher speeds. The thing was, we actually weren’t going very fast at all but it seemed it, being so close to the ground and the engine whining away.
The 2013 Chevrolet is definetely a small car. Or actually a mini car. But it DOES have 4 doors, or actually 5, if you count the rear hatch. It gives me a similar level of go-cart fun when bopping around the city streets. But with significantly more utility than a go cart. As much as I love coupes, when I’m ferrying around more than one extra person, I love the extra set of doors. Though tight in the back seat, I actually didn’t mind it, especially since I had ample headroom, unlike a lot of coupes. And the seats fold down, giving lots of extra storage space for that city grocery foraging.
Car design seems to have hit a renewed renaissance of late, with the current crop of vehicles. The design-by-windtunnel approach now seems to have given away to vehicles with character, and the Spark has that in spades. Though the Chevrolet Spark IS what I would call “Cute”, its looks also have a certain attitude, kind of like those pre-pubescent YouTube singing sensations. Ya gotta stare. I love the bright shiny bits in the interior. It cheers me up. My pet peeve with car manufactures in the past was the “small engine – no extras” approach to marketing. I love the fact that I can trick out the Spark and still keep the frugal engine for my city driving. Who doesn’t love a heated seat in the Canadian winter!
The Spark’s 1.25 l 4 cylinder engine seemed perfect for my city driving, though traffic merging capability on the highway depends on load. Though my test vehicle has a 4-speed automatic, my old-school ways still prefer the 5-speed manual transmission, even in the city. This gives me that extra get-up-and-go feeling I like when I have a small car and engine. For those who have issues with stick shifts and hills, this does come with Hill Start Assist, to help restarting when stopped on an upward slope.
One area where size matters is in city parking. All those spots that you just knew were too tight are now on your radar, not to mention getting past that double-parked parcel delivery truck. That condo underground parking space that made you wonder what the builders were thinking now works. One other pet peeve of mine is the push start button now so prevalent on so many cars today. Don’t get me started. The Spark offers what I consider a great alternative. The key part of the fob folds in and is released with a small button. Compact in your pocket, but you know where the key is when you’re driving the car. Now if I could only find my glasses…
When illustrating the 2013 Chevrolet Spark, I loved its playful stance, kind of like a bulldog, fun and interesting, but not threatening. The colours that the Spark wears have a certain youthful exuberance that I hope I captured. For city-intensive driving with a certain playfulness, the Chevrolet Spark makes my shortlist.
Prints of this painting are available at www.thedrawingroomgallery.com.