Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Team-BHP Reviews > Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11th September 2012, 18:56   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
ajay_satpute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 1,803
Thanked: 1,349 Times
Default Chevy Spark comes home

Chevy Spark LT 2012

(Please note that all the opinions stated here are purely personal and mean absolutely no offense to any owners or car companies)


Background:

Till October 2011, me and my wife were in the same office, so commuting was never a problem. The day I changed my job, my wife started to feel the need of a car for her daily commute. Especially, during the rains, things were getting difficult to travel across the city. Secondly, one of us has to drop our daughter to the school everyday and then head to office and almost everyday I had to do the duty, especially during rains. So we started planning for a new car for my wife. The budget was set around 4 lakhs. We started browsing through almost all car companies to short list all cars falling within our budget. We had prepared ourselves for a maximum stretch of another 30-40k, if needed.

The major requirements included compact and light car, which is easy to drive and easy to park, can seat 4 easily and good looking.

The pre-booking and PDI experiences are shared in this thread in details:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/hatchb...rk-booked.html (Chevrolet SPARK or Hyundai EON. EDIT- Spark booked)


Cars considered/TDed:

We had already decided not to consider a single car from Maruti (surprised?). All cars from Maruti stable at this price range are OK types IMO. The only car that I like from Maruti is the Swift and the Swift is way too expensive, considering our budget. Tata was also not considered since I already own a Vista.

1) Honda BRIO:

This car was always on our minds. The experience at the Honda showroom was FANTASTIC. Mr. Praful who was the SE attending me, was knowledgeable, extremely professional and humble in his approach. The TD was good, if not best. I found the BRIO to be sluggish to start with. But that was not the deal breaker, the price was. The base variant E-MT @ 4.7 lakhs after all sorts of discounts and bargains was a huge 50-70k above the budget. So Brio had to be eliminated sadly.

2) Nissan MICRA:

Wife always loved the looks of this car. The TD was SUPERB! Both of us loved the drivability, the pull at even 4th and 5th gears, some not-so-common features in this segment, almost sealed the deal for us. When we sat down to discuss the price for the base variant XE, it turned out to be 4.67 lakhs after discounts. The sales staff was behaving as if they were selling 10,000 Micras per month. Straight after the wonderful experience at Honda, this was utterly disappointing. We left the showroom without even looking back.

3) Toyota Etios LIVA:

We could not manage a TD of LIVA after trying for 2 days. Still, it was eliminated due to the price point. Very spacious, interiors not to our taste AT ALL.

4) Hyundai EON:

This car was the fiercest competitor in the whole list. We had even paid 1k as booking amount when we first had a look at this car. My wife fell in love with the car. However, considering the price (4.3 lakhs on road PUNE), the car was technically weak in terms of engine power and not so spacious. The build quality was also sub-par. So we took a refund of the 1k booking amount and headed to Chevy dealer.

5) Chevrolet SPARK:

Wife was not very keen about Spark initially since little was known about Spark. When we walked into the showroom, we saw a Sanddrift grey Spark standing in the middle of the showroom, all decked-up. Everyone in the family immediately liked the looks of the car and the grey color. Then came the discussions, bargains, offers part. Spark is available off the shelf, so no concerns about delivery time. We showed interest in the LT variant which is the current top-end fully loaded (comparatively) one.

We received a good offer from the dealer as follows:

Ex-showroom Pune: 3,88,000 /-
RTO registration + tax + Other charges: ~40,000/-
Freebies:
1) All mats
2) Mud flaps
3) Remote lock
4) Door visors (@ 50% discount)
5) 3 years/45,000 KMs free maintenance package (This includes the consumables, such as all types of liquids, also). This is besides the standard 3 years/1,00,000 KMs warranty.
6) 3 Days / 2 Nights all-paid trip to GOA

Final OTR price: ~ 4,25,000/-

And that sealed the deal for us. We paid up 2k as booking amount. Delivery was promised within a week, provided that the loan formalities complete at expected pace. We chose ICICI bank from the given options, since wife already has a salary account there and that meant less paperwork and faster approval.

The PDI was done and the car looked in satisfactory condition to go for registration. The car manufacturing month as per the VIN was July 2012. Other PDI details in the above mentioned link.

Delivery:

The day of delivery was decided to be Saturday, 8th September 2012. The car was infact ready to go on Thursday itself, but we chose Saturday, since everyone is relaxed and we can inspect the car at our own pace and there is no hurry. When we reached the gates of the showroom, we saw our Spark all shining and sparkling adorned with a huge garland and pink ribbons all around. Everyone in the family took a long pause there before entering the showroom to complete the formalities.

All paper work was ready with no mistakes. The car was also ready with all accessories already fitted. The best thing I liked here was the presence of a CRM manager. The lady was constantly monitoring all the proceedings and clarifying any doubts. She was also very authoritative in the way she was getting the things done quickly. I don’t remember the Tata showroom having any CRM people, when I had taken the delivery of my Vista 3 years back.
The customary pooja was done and the sweets were distributed. I broke the coconut and we were ready to take off. Before leaving, I paid a handsome tip to the SE, since he was extremely helpful, resourceful and humble throughout the whole process.

Initial impressions:

I have completed about 100 kms in 4 days. The car is super-light to wade through the pathetic traffic in Pune city. The steering, though a HPS unit, feels like an EPS. Parking the Spark is a cake-walk, even compared to the Vista.

Pros:

1) Compact size: Easy to maneuver, easy to park.

2) Spacious: Even though it might sound contrary to point # 1 above, its spacious compared to the competition. 4 persons can sit pretty comfortably and the 5th one can accommodate too with a little adjustment. The boot is good enough (better than A-star, Alto K-10).

3) Looks: In one word – CUTE!

4) Interior fit & finish: Top-class (only comparable to the EON in this segment and better than my Vista). There are no uneven panel gaps, no lose wires, nothing at all.

5) Engine: At 995 cc and 63 PS, the car has enough power to take on most conditions inside a city. I don’t think it will disappoint us on the highways too, but that’s not Spark’s forte anyway.

6) Wipers: The front wipers have an excellent coverage and in one stroke, almost the whole windshield is wiped off of the water.

7) MID & Stock music system: The stock system can play from a CD/MP3/AUX/USB and it gels really well with the overall interior appearance. The sound quality stands at 3/5 IMO, but pretty good for a stock system. The greenish yellow backlight looks very good in the dark. The MID provides information such as RPM, batter voltage (?), DTE, Trip meter, Time, inside temperature gauge, etc.

8) Features: At ~ 4 lakhs on road, the car has lots of useful features such as
a. All 4 power windows,
b. Front fog lamps,
c. 2 DIN music system with AUX/USB,
d. Remote boot/bonnet/fuel levers,
e. Rear defogger,
f. All wheel caps,
g. Roof rails,
h. Fabric inserts on door trims,
i. Sunvisor with Vanity mirror for Co-passenger,
j. Laptop, mobile charger on the front console etc.
Cons:

1) Generous use of beige: It’s going to be one hell of a task to keep the interiors clean. This car has Beige from bumper to bumper, like we have insurance coverage.

2) Gear shift: Gear **** is a little unimpressive, especially 2nd gear. This could actually be a problem that may get sorted out during the servicing, but its not as smooth as EON.

3) Ergonomics: For my height at 5’8”, the ergonomics don’t work well. But, this car is not for me, so its not a deal breaker. I have to bend my hand backwards awkwardly to operate the power windows. My left hand inadvertently hits the co-passenger while changing gears, especially the 1st and the 2nd gear.

4) Tyres: Stock tyres, Apollo Acelers are just about good. There is some tyre noise even at 60 kmph speed. However, the tyres are of perfect size considering the overall size of the car.

What is missing:

1) Safety features: GM used to provide an optional safety pack with the previous gen Spark that included ABS + Airbags. But, understandably, the price would have gone higher with the safety package.

2) Alloy wheels: At least on the top-end LT variant, GM should have fitted alloys. Anyways, we will get those fitted soon.

3) Seat height adjustment: Since the car has a low stance, it would have been good to have this feature.

Sneak peek:

Here's a sneak peek. In the coming days, will add lots of photos to the thread.

Chevy Spark comes home-spark_tbhp.jpg

Thanks for reading through.

Cheers!

Last edited by ajay_satpute : 11th September 2012 at 19:21. Reason: Added more info
ajay_satpute is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th September 2012, 19:10   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
mooza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,055
Thanked: 243 Times
Default Re: Chevy Spark comes home

Congratulations on the buy !

Was the other Chevrolet, namely the Beat, considered in your decision making course as well ?

Wishing you many happy miles in your Spark, looks good in Grey

Edit: Sorry, just saw your reason for not picking up the Beat in your car query thread mentioned in your above post !

Last edited by mooza : 11th September 2012 at 19:17.
mooza is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th September 2012, 19:17   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 1,233
Thanked: 338 Times
Default Re: Chevy Spark comes home

Congrats Ajay for the cutie. Definitely a good buy in this segment.

So GM still gives that 3 years warranty on Spark?

I hope you are not feeling claustrophobic after being used to the space in the Vista.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajay_satpute View Post

All paper work was ready with no mistakes. The car was also ready with all accessories already fitted. The best thing I liked here was the presence of a CRM manager. The lady was constantly monitoring all the proceedings and clarifying any doubts. She was also very authoritative in the way she was getting the things done quickly. I don’t remember the Tata showroom having any CRM people, when I had taken the delivery of my Vista 3 years back.
TATA does have a Siebel CRM, only thing is it is not updated with correct data. Till about a year back my address was being shown as somewhere on Singhagad Road.

Last edited by amitwlele : 11th September 2012 at 19:19.
amitwlele is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th September 2012, 19:25   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
ajay_satpute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 1,803
Thanked: 1,349 Times
Default Re: Chevy Spark comes home

Quote:
Originally Posted by mooza View Post
Congratulations on the buy !

Was the other Chevrolet, namely the Beat, considered in your decision making course as well ?

Wishing you many happy miles in your Spark, looks good in Grey

Edit: Sorry, just saw your reason for not picking up the Beat in your car query thread mentioned in your above post !
Thanks mooza. The only reason to not consider Beat was the price, otherwise a fabulous car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
Congrats Ajay for the cutie. Definitely a good buy in this segment.

So GM still gives that 3 years warranty on Spark?

I hope you are not feeling claustrophobic after being used to the space in the Vista.

TATA does have a Siebel CRM, only thing is it is not updated with correct data. Till about a year back my address was being shown as somewhere on Singhagad Road.
Thanks for the wishes Amit.

And thanks for reminding. I have updated the initial post to reflect the 3 years package info (in bold).

There is no claustrophobic feeling due to extreme usage of beige all over the place. The car is all bright and shiny inside. But, yes you do get a feeling "Honey, I shrunk the Vista".

Regarding CRM, I was referring to a CRM person in the showroom and not the software. There was this CRM officer in the showroom who was really doing a great job.
ajay_satpute is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th September 2012, 19:38   #5
Distinguished - BHPian
 
RavenAvi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Flying Around
Posts: 5,366
Thanked: 28,252 Times
Default Re: Chevy Spark comes home

Many congratulations to you and your missus, Ajay! The car looks superb in that shade of grey, I must admit.

Other than having all those useful features, the Spark also has a nice little 1.0L engine which offers great driveability inside the city and is also a very decent highway runner as well. The quality of interiors offered by Chevy is also pretty much on par with the Eon, which makes it a nice little package.

And yes, coming from your Vista, you might feel that the Spark is puny, considering the low-slung stance of the car. But it has more than decent interior space, good enough for a family of 4. And as long as you are in the passenger seat and the missus is driving, you don't have a reason to complain.

Wishing you and your better half plenty of happy Chevy miles ahead! Drive safe, my friend.
RavenAvi is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th September 2012, 22:14   #6
BHPian
 
devansn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Covai/Kottayam
Posts: 196
Thanked: 108 Times
Default Re: Chevy Spark comes home

Congrats Ajay! Spark indeed is a great car for the price.

We have one at home and I love to drive it. Couple of other plus points that the Spark has, IMO, would shame its competition are:
- Braking - one of the best in its league, if not the best and better than a lot above its segment.
- Handling - with 155 (only) wide tires, this car does have great handling capabilities. For speeds upto 60 (may be), I love its handling as much as I love my Punto's.
- Ride - with gas-filled shocks, it does a wonderful job of keeping the occupants happy - I think GM has been able to find a good balance here, if not perfect.
- Low-end torque - I have felt that it has great low-end torque - diesel like.
- I think the resale value is not too bad as well, especially for a non-Maruti car.

Our car has done over 35K Kms in the last three years and going strong still. The only issues we had were with an A/C pipe leak and a suspension replacement, both done absolutely free of cost.

Last edited by devansn : 11th September 2012 at 22:15.
devansn is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th September 2012, 22:43   #7
BHPian
 
StrangeWizard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Bombay
Posts: 738
Thanked: 228 Times
Default Re: Chevy Spark comes home

Hey Ajay congrats on your Spark! That's a nice review you have written.

Even I have a Spark which I bought last year. Mine is a Caviar Black LS.
My car has done 37000 kms and it is pretty reliable. Have faced some issues though, you can check out my thread for that.

The gear shift quality is a bit notchy. The acceleration in 2nd, 3rd, 4th is really good. And the exhaust sounds very good in 2nd gear near the redline .

I am almost 6 ft tall so my left knee keeps touching the dashboard. But I don't face any issues in operating the power windows. I also find the RHS ORVM a bit small.

Don't worry the Spark won't feel underpowered on the highways. I found the stock headlights pathetic during a long drive at night recently.
I upgraded to 100/90 bulbs with a proper relay and I'm quite happy with the results.

Hope you enjoy many many nice drives with your car.
If you have any query about the car then feel free to ask!

Cheers!
StrangeWizard is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th September 2012, 22:54   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
satish_appasani's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 1,033
Thanked: 45 Times
Default Re: Chevy Spark comes home

Congrats Ajay

My wife too has Spark LT in the same color. It is very spacious from inside. It is peppy too though not like Alto K10.
satish_appasani is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2012, 00:00   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
deehunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,042
Thanked: 762 Times
Default Re: Chevy Spark comes home

Congrats on your buy agree completely with all cons listed by you, after inital run in period gears will become smooth, make a practice of using your other hand to operate power windows switch, it is initially difficult to learn but it can be learnt, tyre noise will go away after some time, I also faced this issue initially. The best part of the vehicle is the engine super smooth and silent, it responds well on highways too I have reached top speeds of 155 kmph, switch over to 90/100W headlamp as stock headlight is not good, the lower end torque is fantastic and very easy to drive in traffic. Believe me it was spacious than old Wagon R at the back.
deehunk is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2012, 09:41   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
ajay_satpute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 1,803
Thanked: 1,349 Times
Default Re: Chevy Spark comes home

Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenAvi View Post
Many congratulations to you and your missus, Ajay! The car looks superb in that shade of grey, I must admit. Wishing you and your better half plenty of happy Chevy miles ahead! Drive safe, my friend.

Thanks a ton Avinash. I will pass on the wishes to my better half.

Quote:
Originally Posted by devansn View Post
Congrats Ajay! Spark indeed is a great car for the price. I think the resale value is not too bad as well, especially for a non-Maruti car.
Our car has done over 35K Kms in the last three years and going strong still. The only issues we had were with an A/C pipe leak and a suspension replacement, both done absolutely free of cost.

Those are some encouraging words.

I have read about the suspensions issue from multiple Spark owners, but not all. Best thing is Chevy knows about this problem and rectify it without much fuss.

Honestly, I hate to think about the resale value of a car from day one. That way, you would always end up buying what every Tom, Dick and Harry is buying and not what you yourself like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeWizard View Post
Hey Ajay congrats on your Spark!
Even I have a Spark which I bought last year. Mine is a Caviar Black LS.
My car has done 37000 kms and it is pretty reliable. Have faced some issues though, you can check out my thread for that.
The gear shift quality is a bit notchy. The acceleration in 2nd, 3rd, 4th is really good. And the exhaust sounds very good in 2nd gear near the redline .
Don't worry the Spark won't feel underpowered on the highways. I found the stock headlights pathetic during a long drive at night recently.
I upgraded to 100/90 bulbs with a proper relay and I'm quite happy with the results. If you have any query about the car then feel free to ask!
Cheers!

Thanks StrangeWizard. I have already read your report and the black Spark also looks too good, especially on the rear.

You said it right. The engine is quite peppy throughout. In fact, when I am driving my Vista on 4th gear and if I have to make a sudden stop, then downshifting is a MUST. But, I could easily move ahead without downshifting while driving the Spark in the same situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by satish_appasani View Post
Congrats Ajay. My wife too has Spark LT in the same color. It is very spacious from inside. It is peppy too though not like Alto K10.

Thanks Satish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deehunk View Post
Congrats on your buy agree completely with all cons listed by you, after inital run in period gears will become smooth, make a practice of using your other hand to operate power windows switch, it is initially difficult to learn but it can be learnt, tyre noise will go away after some time, I also faced this issue initially. The best part of the vehicle is the engine super smooth and silent, it responds well on highways too I have reached top speeds of 155 kmph, switch over to 90/100W headlamp as stock headlight is not good, the lower end torque is fantastic and very easy to drive in traffic. Believe me it was spacious than old Wagon R at the back.

Thanks deehunk.

Glad to hear that the gears will get smooth and the tyre noise will reduce gradually. And I agree with you on the space.

As most of you have suggested, I will now seriously think about replacing the lamps. Any particular brand I should look for?

Last edited by ajay_satpute : 12th September 2012 at 09:42.
ajay_satpute is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2012, 11:04   #11
BHPian
 
arup.misra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 651
Thanked: 293 Times
Default Re: Chevy Spark comes home

Congrats Ajay. The grey certainly adds a spark.

I too were in market for a city traveler for the missus but she wouldn't settle for anything less than a Brio. We did TD the Eon as well as Spark and must admit the Spark is leagues ahead of Eon.

The 3 year maintenance package is a real bonus too. Many congrats once again and wish you have a trouble free ownership for many years to come.
arup.misra is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2012, 11:24   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
deehunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,042
Thanked: 762 Times
Default Re: Chevy Spark comes home

Philips 90/100w bulb is good, Osram is also good but 100 bucks costlier than Philips, it will cost you about Rs.800 along with wiring kit.
deehunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2012, 11:33   #13
BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: London
Posts: 36
Thanked: 33 Times
Default Re: Chevy Spark comes home

Congrats. Certainly you have added "Spark" to your life. I believe small cars like Spark are boon in the bumper to bumper traffic. What mileage you are getting on this car on highways and city traffic?
jatin22aug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2012, 11:41   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
ajay_satpute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 1,803
Thanked: 1,349 Times
Default Re: Chevy Spark comes home

Quote:
Originally Posted by arup.misra View Post
Congrats Ajay. The grey certainly adds a spark.

I too were in market for a city traveler for the missus but she wouldn't settle for anything less than a Brio. We did TD the Eon as well as Spark and must admit the Spark is leagues ahead of Eon.

The 3 year maintenance package is a real bonus too. Many congrats once again and wish you have a trouble free ownership for many years to come.
Thanks Arup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deehunk View Post
Philips 90/100w bulb is good, Osram is also good but 100 bucks costlier than Philips, it will cost you about Rs.800 along with wiring kit.
Will check for both. Hope there is not much wiring involved, otherwise Chevy guys might crib about warranty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jatin22aug View Post
Congrats. Certainly you have added "Spark" to your life. I believe small cars like Spark are boon in the bumper to bumper traffic. What mileage you are getting on this car on highways and city traffic?
Thanks Jatin. Its too early to talk about FE. Company claims something around 18 kmpl, but I guess anything around 14 kmpl should be achievable. I will update the thread soon with FE figures once the odo crosses 500 kms.
ajay_satpute is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2012, 11:51   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
deehunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,042
Thanked: 762 Times
Default Re: Chevy Spark comes home

They will remove the stock wiring for headlamp and use the new wiring kit which is directly connected to the battery, it comes with heavy duty bulb holders, head light relays. I had it in my spark, stock wiring was left alone and new wiring was done, never had an issue, then while selling the vehicle I removed the kit and fitted back the stock 55/65w bulb. If you dont want to take risk you can buy a Osram night breaker bulb which costs about Rs.550.
deehunk is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dream comes true -- Silver Honda City AT comes home B103 Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 301 28th April 2015 23:03
Dream comes true - Gypsy comes home Desmosedici 4x4 Vehicles 234 8th August 2011 16:04
i10 or spark - EDIT: Bought Spark LT splitsecond Hatchbacks 135 28th May 2009 22:30
Little Spark of Happiness has arrived - Chevrolet Spark LT JRD Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 27 15th November 2008 13:44
Chevy Spark...Chevy U-VA...comparative test drive report! omar1310 Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 0 7th June 2007 11:59


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 03:36.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks