Friday, February 4, 2022

To Be Discontinued: Chevrolet Spark

 

2022 Chevrolet Spark

In what can only be described as "completely unsurprising," the subcompact Chevrolet Spark will be discontinued. There had been reports out of Korea that GM Korea was going to halt production months ago, but Chevrolet's U.S. representatives would not confirm its discontinuation for the North American market at that time. Well, now it's official. 


The Spark Has Fizzled

Apparently the pint-size hatchback, one of the last on the U.S. market, will cease production in August, 2022 and there's no replacement expected. This will end a decade-long run for the small car. 

We've driven Sparks over the years and always liked them for their size, style, and bang for the buck. We even got my mother-in-law into a 2015 model, which she affectionally calls Sparky. We drove the original spark when it first came out and attended the launch of the pocket-rocket Spark EV, which was surprisingly fun to drive. We even rented a 2019 model when we were in Florida. 

Over the years, there was the Activ model, which added some CUV-like body cladding, and the overall car's shape got a bit more round and refined as seen with our rental pictured below. 

2019 Chevrolet Spark Rental car
Our Spark rental car in May, 2020. 

The Spark and Mitsubishi Mirage were constantly battling it out in the sales arena, and went back and forth for the title of the USA's lowest-priced car. However, with the Spark's departure, the 78 horsepower Mitsubishi Mirage will soon be the sole low-coast subcompact hatchback for sale in North America. 

Not Shocking

For our long-time readers, this departure shouldn't be surprising at all. The subcompact market really began to ramp up in the early 2000s, and peaked around 2012. However, American's lust for larger vehicles is never ending. This trend ebbs and flows with economic conditions and fuel prices, of course. Then you factor in the fact that larger cars are getting much better fuel economy these days, and that means the only reason someone would buy a small cars is because it's less expensive, or they happen to actually want a smaller car. 

So this leaves very few options for truly small new cars in the U.S. There's pretty much the Mitsubishi Mirage and MINI models, which aren't all that mini anymore. Sure, there are some compact crossovers, like the Buick Encore, Jeep Renegade, and Honda HR-V. And yes, models like the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio are still around, but they're really not that tiny.

Trends change. Buyer preference shifts. But it will be interesting to see if Mitsubishi sticks with the Mirage, and for how long. The chassis is aged, but for now it remains the smallest and least expensive vehicle for sale in North America. 

3 comments:

Don said...

Unless something smaller or less expensive comes to America in the meantime, some day when my current car expires I'll be shopping for a used Mirage. I love subcompacts and that's what I've been buying, owning, and driving for the last 50 years - and I'll continue to do so until I don't need a vehicle any longer (I'm 70.) My current car is a base Toyota Yaris hatchback - 15 years old (so far), and only 135,000 miles. I'll keep driving it until something major happens, like for instance if the autobox fails and needs replaced or rebuilt. For 10 years I owned a base Metro hatchback (3 cylinder MT), and I loved that car. My 1st subcompact was a 1976 VW Rabbit base model MT, and I put 100,000 on that one before I sold it for what I paid for it brand new. Along the way I also owned a Plymouth Horizon for years. I almost bought a Horizon GLH, and I wish I had.

Unknown said...

Its too bad they discontinued it. The Spark is an Amazing Vehicle and with a little thought and modifications it really does well. :)

Unknown said...

I love the Spark, its sad in this day and age that you cannot buy a cheap reliable car anymore. The spark fit in its segment and I love mine. I hope to keep it for a long time!