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Old 17th November 2010, 15:07   #1
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Rewind to July 2008: My son was born on the 21st of July (our first child). So we decided to trade the Alto (2002 model-done 75k) for a better car as the Alto was bought by my mom, used, from Maruti True Value, Thane (a complete rip off, I can't even remember the numerous trips I made to get problems fixed). I managed to fix the main parts of the Alto and sold the car to some guy who was obviously ignorant about cars (my luck) for 1,15,000.

Santro was the best bet which could suit my pocket so we almost finalised the car at Modi Hyundai at Thane. My friend had bought his Spark 10-12 days back and he asked me to check it out just for the heck of it. So me and my wife dropped in at Udit Motors Thane (now the Honda Showroom) to check out the Spark.

I was completely bowled over by this little car. It was sheer driving pleasure. Quick response, nippy, swift, powerful, and I have many more words. So we cancelled the Santro and went in for a Red Spark PS (with black bumpers & mirrors and AC with power steering). Got the car delivered in a weeks time but had a horrible experience with Udit Motors.

I was told that I would need to get the autocop fixed from the dealer itself failing which the warranty would lapse (little did I know I was taken for a ride). So I went in for the dealer fitted autocop. I have a habbit of lingering around the mechanics when they are working on my vehicles. So I dropped in to see how long it would take to get the car.

To my shock, the dealer had hired some guys from CST on contract basis and these crooks did not know what hey were doing. Mr. CST had fixed the autocop switches on all four doors but missed out the boot and the bonnet. After a lot of argument I got him to fix the remaining two switches. My MISTAKE. This jack *** took a pointed weapon and started hammering on the body of the car, to fix the boots switche. I created a ruckus at the dealers place and later on got that part re-painted for free.

Later, Udi Motors closed down and was taken over by Vikram Modi. The new Chevy workshop, SC Auto located near majiwada has the same old staff and a few are placed at Nikhil motors in koparkhairane, but I would never recommend SC. I dont mind going far and dropping my car off at Nikhil motors. They are much better when it comes to servicing.

Forward to 2010:

1. As soon as we got the car, I got the "Careful , Baby on Board" sticker fixed on the rear window. Took it off in May 2010. I have done almost 25k till date.

2. Two trips to Panchgani, numerous trips to Nasik and Pune and my little Chevy has a big heart. I have managed to hit 130 on the expressway and this little car just does not vibrate like the maruti's at high speeds. I feel completely safe in my ride.

3. Mostly, I keep the car at 80 for a better FE. My last Panchgani run gave me 25 to a litre, Nasik is about 18-19 and Pune is about 21-22. Mumbai FE varies. I get in between 11-15 depending on traffic conditions. But I really dont bother a lot.

4. For the first 3500 kms, I never crossed 80 ensuring a smoother engine for the long run.

5. I disagree when people say that this car is for 4. My father-in-law purchased the new Alto K10. 3 people in the rear seat is a crowd. But 3 in the Sparks rear seat is comfy.

6. I have installed the detachable rear speaker tray which is useful as I can remove it when we need more boot space on long runs. Music on the front two is good enough.

7. The tyres are stock and I am pretty happy with them. I use nitro and I am shortly going in for alloys.

8. The headlights are decent but I need to upgrade so anyone from Thane, please suggest some good lights, the cost and where I could get them.

9. I am 5'10". I do have issues with my left leg hitting the center console but I have got used to it. Infact, after driving for so long, I have a habbit of resting my knee by the console.

10. My right leg pains after 3-4 hrs drive. The brake and accel pedals are not placed properly in this car. This is the only and the only reason which will make me change my car in a couple of years.

11. The car is pretty good on rough roads. Minus the fibre creaks due to the rear parcel tray. I have had to change the rear shocks twice in the last two years. A common problem with the Spark.

12. Over the last two years, the gear shift has improved. It is much smooth. I remember struggling to get the car into 1st and reverse.

13. Just got my front monogram stolen last month. Need to run to chor bazaar and get a new one. Also need to get wheel caps (the original cost 500 each) and the door side panels. Heard I can get the originals at cheap rates at CST road or chor bazaar.

14. Looking forward for a long ride with my Chevy. Will post ownership experience after 40 k.

Chevy Spark 25,000 km Review-img_0071.jpg

Chevy Spark 25,000 km Review-img_0072.jpg

Chevy Spark 25,000 km Review-img_0073.jpg

Chevy Spark 25,000 km Review-img_0074.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 24th November 2010 at 12:13. Reason: Adding pics to the first post itself
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Old 17th November 2010, 15:23   #2
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I agree with most of your long term observations. I have also got my rear shocks changed twice under warranty ( warranty is over now). Also, It is one of those deceptive cars whose dimensions and space on the inside is better than most of its competitors. My spark has done around 44000 kms in three years and the engine is still smooth and silent.

Do post some pics of your ride.
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Old 17th November 2010, 15:35   #3
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@VikrantD: Agreed with most of the observations from the car. I own a Blazing red Chevy Spark as well and i cant agree better that its got a super smooth engine. Gear shifting was a definite nag in my case as well which improved after 3K kms. Accelerator and brake pedals are quite close. So that might be disturbing. I have driven the car for 8hrs straight and i am 6ft tall . I dont really find a big problem on that front. Yes, the headlights is not all that great. Upgrade is recommended. Top speed that i have done in my car is 142KMPH. But i am curious. How on earth are you able to get a mileage of more than 20 on Spark. Mine never crossed 18 even without AC
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Old 17th November 2010, 15:44   #4
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The rear shocks replaced twice does not sound like very good news. What was the reason for changing the shocks twice? I mean what were the symptoms that made you go for the change? I have a strange rolling sound when ever my car goes over bad roads and I am unable to diagnose this problem.
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Old 17th November 2010, 15:56   #5
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@ Lightening: Well, first of all, when I top up the tank, I don't stop when the fuel nozel shuts itself off. Reason being, the fuel nozel senses that the fuel tank has reached to its limit by the fumes, and not the level of the liquid. So I top up as far as I can go. Usually, the fuel pump guys know where to stop. This affects the FE tremendously. You have to ensure that when you calculate the FE, it should be a full tank to a full tank.
My AC is always switched on and I draw 18+ on long runs. Like I mentioned in the first post, I never cross 80. The minute I am hitting 90+, the FE drops to 18.

@ Sparkled: Whenever I hear a squeaky noise from the boot, I always doubt the shocks and get them checked pronto. And I had been right both the times. The shocks had to be replaced. I think you should get the rolling sound checked from the service guys.
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Old 17th November 2010, 16:01   #6
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPARKled View Post
The rear shocks replaced twice does not sound like very good news. What was the reason for changing the shocks twice? I mean what were the symptoms that made you go for the change? I have a strange rolling sound when ever my car goes over bad roads and I am unable to diagnose this problem.

I used to hear strange Chi-Chi sound from one shocker of mine. This was evident on turns as well as when I used to start from stand still. My service centre told me it is quite a common problem and changed those without a fuss.

@ligthning fast: I have also managed 20kmpl without AC with full load on highway. Plus I reached top speed of around 160kmph ( on speedo ofcourse).

Last edited by kkg : 17th November 2010 at 16:03.
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Old 17th November 2010, 16:06   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VikrantD View Post
[b]

3. Mostly, I keep the car at 80 for a better FE. My last Panchgani run gave me 25 to a litre, Nasik is about 18-19 and Pune is about 21-22. Mumbai FE varies. I get in between 11-15 depending on traffic conditions. But I really dont bother a lot.

How do you mange to get this high avg? What is avg calculation process you are using? Surprisingly panchgani route has Ghat road. Also Mumbai to pune is a straight express way drive so average expected should be higher.

9. I am 5'10". I do have issues with my left leg hitting the center console but I have got used to it. Infact, after driving for so long, I have a habbit of resting my knee by the console.

Same here :-).

12. Over the last two years, the gear shift has improved. It is much smooth. I remember struggling to get the car into 1st and reverse.

I am still facing this.

13. Just got my front monogram stolen last month. Need to run to chor bazaar and get a new one. Also need to get wheel caps (the original cost 500 each) and the door side panels. Heard I can get the originals at cheap rates at CST road or chor bazaar.

14. Looking forward for a long ride with my Chevy. Will post ownership experience after 40 k.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPARKled View Post
The rear shocks replaced twice does not sound like very good news. What was the reason for changing the shocks twice? I mean what were the symptoms that made you go for the change? I have a strange rolling sound when ever my car goes over bad roads and I am unable to diagnose this problem.
I also want to know symptoms for shocks replacements. Last week they changed my power steering rod (costing 1200) as i was experiencing ''thud ' sound on rough roads.
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Old 17th November 2010, 16:13   #8
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Good concise review. Agree with most points and strongly agree with point 9. I am 6ft tall and I too rest my knee by the center console on long hauls and don't feel its fouling with my knee.

But the subjective part is the mileage. I have managed to extract 17kmpl on long hauls so far but i don't drive with a light foot. In the city without AC i once drove on a light foot to see what mileage i can extract and was pleasantly surprised at a figure of 15kmpl. But I cannot drive that way always so don't mind 12-14kmpl in the city.

Top speed i have done so far is 135kmph on a clear empty stretch of road.

PS: My car is now 6660kms young. So hoping for many more happy miles with the cute Sparky!!

Last edited by abhinav.s : 17th November 2010 at 16:15.
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Old 17th November 2010, 16:21   #9
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@ abhinav.s & @idea: Thanks. FE depends a lot on your driving style, the intervals when you change the gears, switching the engine off if the car is stationery over a minute, etc. I keep a tab of all these things. And, I also do not like to strain the engine a lot. I like to cruise at comfortable speeds.

@ idea: Mumbai to Pune FE drops once you enter or exit the E-Way. I have observed this on my Spark & the Fiesta. Check my reply @ Lightening for the FE calculation. I follow it strictly on long runs. I really dont bother to calculate the FE in city. Its useless anwyays.
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Old 17th November 2010, 17:23   #10
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Chevy Spark 25,000 km Review-img_0071.jpg

Chevy Spark 25,000 km Review-img_0072.jpg

Chevy Spark 25,000 km Review-img_0073.jpg

Chevy Spark 25,000 km Review-img_0074.jpg
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Old 17th November 2010, 17:48   #11
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Good to see lots of happy Sparky owners here :-). I got my blazing red sparky in Aug 2009 and already clocked around 18K KM. This include 4-5 long drives and sparky never disappointed. I get FE of around 12-14 in city and 17-19 on highway, I rarely go above 80 speed.

I hear some strange thud-thud sound from front left suspension when going over small potholes without breaking. I checked the lower arm and that looks fine, my mechanic friend told ball joints may be the culprit. Needs to get it checked.

Need to find some time to pen down my ownership report, am very lazy.
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Old 18th November 2010, 07:02   #12
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All your observations are correct especially about the fatigue after long drives. I think its mostly due to relatively uncomfortable seats than any thing else. The FE you are getting is absolutely amazing. I am getting 13-14 in the city and 16-17 on the Pune Mumbai expressway at speeds around 100-110 with ac always on. I have generally found Nikhil auto the best of the lot for service and other jobs than any of the Pune centres. Any idea about the cost of the entire suspension set up like tie rods, shocks and lower arm as i think these mostly wear out only after 3-4 years of ownership and look to be the achiles heel of the Spark. Everything else looks like will last a long time.
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Old 18th November 2010, 08:49   #13
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Smile Rear space in Spark

Hard to believe but Spark interior is spacious than a Old Wagon R or Santro by 40mm across the width. 3 average people can sit comfortably at the rear and can close the door easily. This is the advantage of Spark. Spark is very under-rated car.
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Old 18th November 2010, 12:01   #14
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Its OK to feel passionate about your car, but please don't give misleading information on the forum.

25 km to a litre.

By the way, the ARAI certified fuel efficiency of Spark is 18 kmpl as per Chevrolet website.

Rohan
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Old 18th November 2010, 12:08   #15
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Spark interiors are indeed very Spacious, and the engine very nice to drive. I particularly think that this is the most VFM offering in that segment, and the current discounts that Chevy is offering for Nov, makes the deal very sweet.
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