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Old 19th July 2009, 09:22   #1
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Default Chevy Spark 1 year 9700 Kms on the odo EDIT:15,000km service update

Since I am new to TBHP let me start the one-year review with a flashback into the past (1 year) with the buying of Chevy Spark. We were looking at a small car . Wife was to drive it on a humongously crowed Hinjewadi road. So the holy trinity was "Power Steering, Power Windows , Powerful A/C". In that respect we had narrowed down to Santro, Alto and Indica. Spark was not in picture at the time.
Santro was rejected as we already had Santro, Indica was rejected because of its taxi image and drivability (wife felt like sitting on a elephant and driving it through a crowed road) and Alto was almost finalized on. Then generally without any pre-concived notions we landed up at Pashankar and had a test drive of Spark. Alto was immediately struck out because of two reasons price diffrence with Alto with Tubeless tyres and power windows etc was 25K lesser than Spark and also GM sales were more responsive (and pampering) than Maruti guys.
And so after exactly 1 week we had the Red Spark in our hands (beauty of no-finance) at 3.4L on road for the LS which with power steering and front two power windows . Not much was offered excepts mats. We put in auto-cop and a ICE (Sony).
Now to ownership review. I am glad we made a right choice at that time. Apart from one issue with the rear manual window knob falling off (the accesory guy had not put the locking pin properly, it was promptly rectified without a fuss), I haven't seen their service station till date.
Drivability in the city is fantastic. The engine is smooth and super calm. The noise levels in the cabin are negligible. The A/C is decent. I have seen people talking about excessive noise from a/c but I think it is pretty ok as that can be subjective since pin-drop for me can be deafening for some. Since it is a small car I can put it into precise slots between two cars at signals and then zoom past them at green. I have touched 130Kmph on Expressway but after which I chickened-out.
The bootspace is tiny I agree , but simply because it is a true-blue city car who needs that. I sure people whose cars are driven 99% in the city have used their boot to the capacity only 0.1% of the time. So no regrets there. But still it can hold 2-3 decently sized bags (not suitcases) and all the grocery (atta , daal , rice the works) of the month.
Long drives are pretty comfortable for 4. I have been 3-4 times to Mumbai on expressway and 2-3 times to Kolhapur and Panhala (which is a bit of ghat section). I would not recommend 5 people on a longer journey since the rear seating will get a tad uncomfortable. But once it could pull 5 people up the hills of koynanagar easily so in that sense quite satisfactory.
The control levers for wipers and turning need to be gotten used to since they are exactly opposite in place from Santro etc. So initially I used to end up starting the wipers when I had to turn and gave a turning indication in pouring rain. The speedo is in the center which was something a matter of getting used to but still no qualms.
To the economics of owning Spark. Milage I get is 14/18 (city/highway) with A/C on all the time. Money I have spent on the servicing 0Rs.
After sales from Pashankar is good and really do not have any thing to complain of. They have pick-up and drop and surprisingly the drivers come at dot the time agreed upon.
In the end I strongly believe this is real VFM product.
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Old 19th July 2009, 10:22   #2
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Adding a few images.
Attached Thumbnails
Chevy Spark 1 year 9700 Kms on the odo EDIT:15,000km service update-upload1.jpg  

Chevy Spark 1 year 9700 Kms on the odo EDIT:15,000km service update-upload2.jpg  

Chevy Spark 1 year 9700 Kms on the odo EDIT:15,000km service update-upload3.jpg  

Chevy Spark 1 year 9700 Kms on the odo EDIT:15,000km service update-upload4.jpg  

Chevy Spark 1 year 9700 Kms on the odo EDIT:15,000km service update-upload5.jpg  

Chevy Spark 1 year 9700 Kms on the odo EDIT:15,000km service update-upload6.jpg  

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Old 19th July 2009, 11:45   #3
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THanks. I had actually been shopping around for spark reviews since one of my friends are looking on buying one. Does the car feel underpowered. HAve you had a chance to compare it with the i10?
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Old 19th July 2009, 14:39   #4
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Nice review and good pics, it sure looks like a well maintained spark.

So giving you a choice of ALTO over SPark, which one will you choose now. Because i have this confusion in my mind now.
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Old 19th July 2009, 15:01   #5
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Nice review. Chevy Spark is indeed a good city car. It has got cute looks. Only concern is the service center availability and service provided by them, if this is ignored then it is a better buy in its category.
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Old 19th July 2009, 15:03   #6
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Congrats on your buy and covering a year with her safely! What are the FE figures like for the spark with and without the a/c?
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Old 19th July 2009, 16:10   #7
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@gemithomas : Well frankly I do not know the comparison between i10 and spark. But Spark suits the city driving extremely well. If you look at figures Spark gives 63BHP with a 1L engine while i10 gives 80BHP with a 1.2L engine and nearly the same revs (5200). Spark is no way underpowered. Infact sometimes you are surprised when you look at the speedo and realise how fast you are.
@jp2u : Spark hands down. I was about to book a Alto but after a ride in Spark I threw that thought down the drain. Spark has better space , drivability and accessories than Alto.
@gpa: No idea about A/C off . With 100% A/C it is 14/18 .
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Old 19th July 2009, 16:25   #8
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Nicely put. I got mine from Pashankar a week ago, and had I read this first, it would have made it an even easier decision than it was for me, given the GM issues that were hovering like dark clouds. For its purpose of city runabout with just an occassional highway run, I think it is the best car in India - even regardless of price maybe.
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Old 20th July 2009, 12:34   #9
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well maintained.how is A.S.S experience of GM,are you satisfied?
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Old 20th July 2009, 12:52   #10
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A good ownership report I must say from a satisfied customer.

I test drove the spark a couple of days back, and the one thing I din't like was the AC performence.

You seem to be getting good mileage as well with 100% AC.
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Old 20th July 2009, 13:42   #11
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The After Sales of GM is satisfactory till date. Since it is a free service no money spent on it .
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Old 22nd July 2009, 22:06   #12
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GM after-sales have not forgotten us it seems. Just received a big box of cookies as 1 year present from them.
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Old 23rd July 2009, 06:37   #13
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Reading all this, and reading some of the recent posts about pissed of buyers about their sales interfaces with dealerships, I must say that the Pashankar experience was excellent. It is a sharp contrast to the others. I had actually taken it for granted in my usual "I am a customer arrogance" at first, but when I see the contrast, I appreciate the way I was served a lot more. Nothing over the top - just genuine courtesy, people with genuine smiles on their faces, and deliveries to committed dates, to the hour. And the car has started to grow on me as I drive it in Pune city traffic.
The Hyundai experience was good too, but it was so driven purely by the energy and drive of the salesman I was fortunate to come across. I did not get the same sense of alignment of the rest of the dealership organization to serve me. No issues on delivery commitments or PDI, it is just that it did not surpass expectations. Pashankar did. Kudos to them. They have made two follow up calls already to see if all is well. Clearly well laid out processes are at work, and people are putting their heart into them as well. I know how hard this is to accomplish at a dealership level, so clearly GMI too is doing something right.
PS: Vikrant, one thing I find is that my hands keep sliding down from the ten to two position on the wheel. Are you happy with the steering wheel cover one year on, and did you buy it at the dealership?

Last edited by Sawyer : 23rd July 2009 at 06:39. Reason: PS
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Old 23rd July 2009, 08:48   #14
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Great review there Vikrant. I did drive my friends cars and with four fully built people and A/C on, there was absolutely no drag and it did pull quite well. I was truly impressed with the car. Whenever I change my Matiz, this car would be on the top of my list.
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Old 23rd July 2009, 09:03   #15
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Good initial review Vikrant. Red is the best color for spark IMHO. The mileage is also decent. I had a nice time chasing a Spark on the NH4 so I know it can do good speeds. Congrats!
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