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Old 26th February 2008, 15:59   #1
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Default Chevy Spark - Owner's Review!!!

Hey Guys,

I have been more of a lurker in this forum. I now bought a car and time to contribute to the forum.

A few months ago, I decided to buy my first car. After test driving Santro, Wagon R, Palio Stile, and Chevy Spark, I booked Spark PS model(Black Color) in Nov-2007. I had to go to US for a short trip and requested the Sundaram Folks to deliver the car on my return in Feb 2008.They agreed and delivered my car a week ago. Of all the cars mentioned above, I felt most comfortable in the Palio 1.1(Did not find it sluggish). From this very forum, I learnt that Tata's *** support has improved considerably but I still could not muster enough courage to buy Palio 1.1. Decided against Wagon R as I did not like it's looks.

During the past one week, I traveled about 250 kms and here are my observations:

1) My experience with Sundaram was good. They had a car with "Test Drive Vehicle" sticker on it. The other cars I test drove(Wagon R, Santro and the Palio) were definitely booked by some unsuspecting customers. So, the "Test Drive Vehicle" sticker was very reassuring. I booked the car when had this 50k discount.

2) I booked a PS version. On Road 3.3 lacs in Chennai. In the PS version, there are no hooks(or whatever they call them) for placing a Pracel Tray. I found this out only when I took my car to get the ICE done. I called Sundaram to cross check and they informed me that the PS version does not come with this provision. And this provison on a PS version will set you back by a cool 4k. I decided against it and went for these box type stereo holders that you place on the floor of the boot. Now there is hardly any space for luggage. If I have to go on a long trip, I will have no option but to remove the detachable box type stereo holders.

3) The Speedo needle has stopped working. Refuses to budge. I called the Sundarm folks and they asked me to visit their garage. Planning to go there this Saturday. From what I gathered, this is a common problem with Sparks.

4) The centrally mounted instrument cluster will take time getting used to. I had more trouble with the Indicators. Am yet to get used to the indicators that are placed on the left hand side of the Steering.

5) In the forum, I found a few people complaining about the positioning of the Accelerator and the Brake pedals. Although, there could have been more space between the two, I did not find them close enough to cause any discomfort or concern.

6) Engine is ultra silent. Already recranked the engine a few times. Am yet to figure out a way to know if the Engine is on/off.

7) I logged only 250 kms and may be it's a bit too premature to comment but I feel that AC could have been better. Now that Summer is around the corner, AC will be fully tested and hopefully by the end of may, I will change my opinion.

8) Interiors in the Car were a big let down. Very dull and uninspiring. After I changed the seat covers to Art Leather, the seats now look much better.

9) Most people dismiss this car as a 4 seater. I differ. 5 can sit albeit not too comfortably. But then, the same holds good for any hatchback(exceptions being Xeta, Palio and Getz). Given the size of the car from the outside, the Legroom in the rear will suprise you.

10) Seats, definitely could have been better. They are a bit low.

11) Love the feel of the steering. Absolutely fun to drive this car. It's more like a toy car. Drove friends Palio a few times. Everytime I take a U turn, I pat myself on the back for buying this car.

12) Never really understood what "Build Quality" is. If the Thud sound the doors make is anything to go by, then the build quality is good.

13) Checked the FE. Am getting only 13. I'm ok with it.

14) Gearbox is ok. I ocassionally have trouble in engaging the First and Reverse gears .

15) Will post the pics soon.

16) Overall, I'm happy with the product. I think a clearer picture will only emerge only after the 2k mark on the odo. Will then post a Long-Term Ownership Review.



Cheers,
Kalyan
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Old 26th February 2008, 16:47   #2
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Exceedingly straight-forward review of the Spark. One of the best yet. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 26th February 2008, 17:10   #3
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Excellent review.

FE of 13 kmpl is cool.

Problem with gearbox should go away once is has "run-in".

Waiting for pics
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Old 26th February 2008, 17:15   #4
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I am a spark owner too

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klever View Post
Am yet to figure out a way to know if the Engine is on/off.
When the engine is OFF about 5 to 6 indicator lights will be glowing in the banana shaped pod behind the steering wheel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klever View Post
Gearbox is ok. I ocassionally have trouble in engaging the First and Reverse gears .
Wait for the completion of 1.5 to 2K kilometers, after that the gear box will become silky smooth.


BTW how do you rate the suspension? Being gas filled at both the front and rear it handles quite well but it does scrape tall speed breakers when driven above ~5KMPH, did you also notice the same?
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Old 26th February 2008, 17:19   #5
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Good review Kalyan. Points out pros and cons of the car very neatly.
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Old 26th February 2008, 17:30   #6
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Welcome to chevy club. After a long we are seeing a new chevy member.
Congrats on your purchase.
A true review which points out pros and cons.
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Old 26th February 2008, 17:36   #7
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Congratulations for owning spark , a good and VFM car
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Old 26th February 2008, 17:46   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klever View Post
After test driving Santro, Wagon R, Palio Stile, and Chevy Spark, I booked Spark PS model(Black Color) in Nov-2007.
Congrats on adding that extra 'Spark' to your life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klever View Post
My experience with Sundaram was good. They had a car with "Test Drive Vehicle" sticker on it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klever View Post
The Speedo needle has stopped working. Refuses to budge. I called the Sundarm folks and they asked me to visit their garage. Planning to go there this Saturday. From what I gathered, this is a common problem with Sparks.
Probably your dealer had disconnected the Odo, although I don't think this is a common problem in all Sparks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klever View Post
The centrally mounted instrument cluster will take time getting used to. I had more trouble with the Indicators. Am yet to get used to the indicators that are placed on the left hand side of the Steering.
I found the central console a bit odd at night because you are staring at total darkness behing the steering wheel, which I was not used to. If you are also driving some other car like TATA/Maruti/Santro, adjusting to indictaors and wipers can be pretty irritating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klever View Post
I did not find them close enough to cause any discomfort or concern.
Ditto here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klever View Post
Engine is ultra silent. Already recranked the engine a few times. Am yet to figure out a way to know if the Engine is on/off.
THe engine is the best part of this car. So silent that you cannot but miss the RPM indicator on the console.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klever View Post
I logged only 250 kms and may be it's a bit too premature to comment but I feel that AC could have been better. Now that Summer is around the corner, AC will be fully tested and hopefully by the end of may, I will change my opinion.
I felt AC was more than powerful for the compact car that Spark is. I may be wrong, but please check if the knob for air vent is correctly positioned.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Klever View Post
Most people dismiss this car as a 4 seater. I differ. 5 can sit albeit not too comfortably. But then, the same holds good for any hatchback(exceptions being Xeta, Palio and Getz). Given the size of the car from the outside, the Legroom in the rear will suprise you.

Love the feel of the steering. Absolutely fun to drive this car.
Well said. My words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klever View Post
Checked the FE. Am getting only 13. I'm ok with it.
You should eventually settle around the 14/15 mark. Don't expect anything more in city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klever View Post
Gearbox is ok. I ocassionally have trouble in engaging the First and Reverse gears .
I haverun it for 3k kms so far and I am having trouble in shifting to second gear and as you said, the reverse one. My wife, though, finds them perfectly smooth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klever View Post
Overall, I'm happy with the product.
That's what matters in the end. Enjoy your car and take care.

And thank you for a good review.
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Old 26th February 2008, 18:55   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Lucan View Post
I am a spark owner too



When the engine is OFF about 5 to 6 indicator lights will be glowing in the banana shaped pod behind the steering wheel


Wait for the completion of 1.5 to 2K kilometers, after that the gear box will become silky smooth.


BTW how do you rate the suspension? Being gas filled at both the front and rear it handles quite well but it does scrape tall speed breakers when driven above ~5KMPH, did you also notice the same?
Thanks for the tip, Lucan. Will look out for those 5-6 indicator lights. I have no complaints with the suspension but mind you, I only drove on city roads. I have not encountered any tall speedbrakers yet. So, cannot comment on it.
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Old 26th February 2008, 20:40   #10
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Excellent buy. As an old Matiz user I can vouch for the car. :-)

I think Spark carries with it the Matiz issue of scraping tall breakers. 13 is a good mileage. It will improve.

Choosing the right kind of seat covers will brighten up your car. Surprising about the parcel tray. Didn't the audio setup guys have a fix for it !!

Yes, its got lot of space inside for a small car. Probably explains the lack of boot space.

If the matiz is anything to go by, the Spark should handle exceedingly well on highways. I've ripped my Matiz at mad speeds and its an incredibly stable vehicle.
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Old 28th February 2008, 02:36   #11
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Nice review there.

Nikhil
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Old 21st March 2008, 15:25   #12
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The best thing about this car is undoubtedly it's engine.
I am yet to see a more noiseless engine than this.

Absolutely superb.
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Old 21st March 2008, 16:12   #13
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Congrats .. The engine is really good , no doubt about that .I used to wonder about the silent engine of the Matiz . The same goes here. 13 kmpl in the city is satisfactory . After few runs , the mileage will improve and so as the gearbox.
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Old 21st March 2008, 16:59   #14
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Good exhaustive and detailed review there, Klever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klever View Post
12) Never really understood what "Build Quality" is. If the Thud sound the doors make is anything to go by, then the build quality is good.
Now that wasnt very Klever. You should know by know that there is only ONE car in the world with 'Build Quality'.
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Old 21st March 2008, 19:04   #15
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Note From Mod - Post deleted. Please do not use methods to bypass the 20character limit, as per the recently updated TBHP rules.

Last edited by Rehaan : 23rd March 2008 at 21:00. Reason: Please see note in post.
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