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Chevrolet Spark subcompact goes teen idol, but 'dubs' not standard

Thu, 28 Jun 2012

If ever there was a car built for 16-year-olds, the 2013 Chevy Spark is it. It comes standard with a team of electronic nannies, more infotainment than Saturday-morning television and a length that's a full three feet shorter than the Cruze and one foot shorter than the diminutive Honda Fit.

“We listened to what young people said they wanted in a car. Our engineers tuned and equipped the Chevrolet Spark specifically for first-time buyers and city dwellers in North America,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet global marketing. “Spark is the perfect urban car because we've made it easy to drive, easy to park and easy to own.”

There you have it, world: perfection.

Hill-start assist is standard. That makes it easier to go from brake to gas on a hill without rolling backwards in manual transmission-equipped cars.

“Panic Brake Assist” increases the pressure in the braking system when emergency braking is needed. Chevy says the system will automatically engage maximum force under panic stops. We hope that's not too often.

So, now you've made it safely to a stop. That means it's time to fire up the radio. Chevy MyLink gives users access to Pandora, Stitcher, Bluetooth and navigation. It also connects to smartphones and can play movies, display pictures and download contacts for hands-free calling. The only thing it can't do is buy beer for you, or print out a convincing fake ID.

The 2013 Chevy Spark will get 15-inch wheels and a 1.2-liter, 83-hp engine when it hits showroom floors later this year. An earlier version of Chevy's press release claimed that 20-inch wheels, or “dubs,” would be standard, but the company has since corrected its release—much to the chagrin of circa 1999 rappers.

The Spark is three feet shorter than the Cruze and a foot shorter than the Honda Fit.

By Jake Lingeman