I live in a nuclear family and solely because my father has a thing for cars, we always have owned more than 2 vehicles in the house.
At present, we own 3 Chevrolet (Optra Magnum Diesel, Cruze Diesel, Spark Petrol) and a VW Ameo Petrol.
The Spark in question is a 2015 post facelift Spark LT 1.0 BS IV. The specs of the car are as follows:
Exterior : The car is in Summit White Shade and being the LT trim comes with Adjustable Headlights, Front and Rear Fog Lights, Driver & Passenger side ORVM (Manually Adjustable), Wheel Covers, Rear Window Defogger, Power Antenna, Rear Lip Spoiler, Roof Rails and Chrome Garnish in the Grill as well as around the fog lamps and Tinted Glass.
Interior: The Interior is quite spacious with a segment first centrally mounted console. The car comes equipped with Air- Conditioning, Heater, Tachometer, Electronic Multi-Trip meter, a digital clock, and Odometer. The seats are fabric, which is a letdown as its the top end variant. The car, in my opinion, should have come with leather seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Interiors are the single tone in Beige and look and feel quite spacious.
The car comes with a factory fitted music system, that has Aux, USB connectivity options along with CD/ MP3 player and FM Radio.
The stock music system comes with round 4-inch speakers on the front and same 4 inch round speakers on the rear.
Comfort & Convenience: Though majorly termed as a 4-Seater, the Spark’s rear seat can comfortably seat 3 people. Headroom and legroom are adequate and the rear suspension is decent enough for a comfortable long journey. The LT trim comes with front and rear power windows, and though there are no rear AC vents, the AC is powerful enough to keep the cabin comfortably cool at even very high temperatures outside. The car comes with a 12V power outlet in the driver’s side, along with 2 cup holders in the center -console and 2 bottle holders in the front door pockets, that can hold 1ltr bottles.
The car comes with central locking but doesn’t give a remote lock. One can, however, install an aftermarket, central locking that comes with a remote. One safety feature that the car should have been equipped with is Airbags, but unfortunately, the Spark, even in the top-end variant does not give any airbags.
Owner’s Experience: Due to the fact, that we have always owned some other vehicle, the Spark wasn’t driven much up until October 2017. Till then the car had only clocked 17,000 Km since its purchase in 2015, that’s roughly 8200 km annually. However, since October 2017, I bought the car to Kolkata and owing to my work and love of traveling by road, I have driven it for another 14,362 km as of 27 May 2018, (7 months). Essentially a practical and low maintenance vehicle, my car has always been serviced on the 10,000 km interval mark and a full service costs about Rs. 5200- Rs.5500 in the Chevrolet authorized service stations in Kolkata. This cost is inclusive of Engine Oil Change, Air Filter, Oil Filter Change, and the regular servicing. Service cost is a bit on the higher side for a hatchback owing to the company wrapping up operations in India, but the availability of parts and spares hasn’t been an issue yet.
The car is predominantly driven in the city as well as about 1000-1200 km odd highway rides due to work as well as pleasure on a monthly basis. The car is peppy, throttle response is good and its a fun to drive in the city as well as the highways. Peak power is 62.1 bhp@5400 rpm and Max torque of 90.3Nm@4200 rpm, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission gives the car enough zing for both the city as well as the highway.
Ground clearance is at par with most Maruti hatchbacks such as the Wagon R and the Baleno and better than its segment counterparts at 170mm. The car’s petite dimensions make it a joy to drive around in the packed city traffic and parking is also hassle-free.
The car scores good marks in the FE department as well, giving me a satisfactory 15-15.5 km in the city and about 16.5-17 kmpl on highways with AC always running. The fuel tank has a capacity of 38 liters, with reserve being of 5 liters. A full tank lasts me for about 600kms.
Problems Faced: The car has primarily been problem free till date and the only issues that have cropped up since I took possession has been replacing the brake pads at the 22,000 km mark. The car comes with disc brakes in the front and drum brakes on the rear. I, however, had to put new brake pads on all 4 wheels as per the recommendation of the service station during my last service.
The rear suspension has started creaking after the last service, and though its nothing major, the sound is at times irritating. The car runs on 155/70 R13 Apollo Accelere Tubeless radials which have been factory fitted on the Spark, but I have recently faced a sidewall tear on 2 of my tires. I am running the car on the spare, and by repairing one tire, but I need to change both as quickly as possible.
There is a small dent on the driver side door that was suffered during a small accident, need a denting - painting job to get that fixed.
Apart from this, there have been no other expenses related to the maintenance of the car. However I have done some cosmetic modifications on it, they are as follows:
1)Headlamps and Fog lamps upgraded to HIDs to facilitate better visibility as the stock lights were n’t really up to the mark on highways at night.
2)The stock music system has been changed and a Blaupunkt touch screen entertainment system with Bluetooth connectivity has been installed, this aids music playing as well as taking calls on the drive as the phone can be paired to the system and you can make as well as receive calls while driving. This has been paired with a day-night rearview camera and the whole setup aids parking by a great deal.
3)I have also upgraded the speakers to 4-inch JBL speakers in the front and 6-inch oval JBL speakers at the rear. This coupled with the new system, made the sound output much better than what was in stock.
4)I have also fitted a Samurai Red Lip spoiler in front, it is more of an only show and no go product, but it enhances the look of the car.
All these have cost me about Rs. 55,000 over the normal maintenance cost and am happy with the vehicle. Other than this its just a fill it and drive vehicle for me. Hoping to have many more happy miles on this little gem.
Here are a few photographs of the car