As attention-getting as the Spark is in bright colours such as Jalapeño or Techno Pink, we didn’t expect much from it. Previous disappointing experiences in other minicars have left us a little wary of the category as a whole. But it took only a few minutes to realise that the Spark isn’t just another minicar. No, it’s way better.
The Spark’s cabin is airy, open, and feels like a much larger car than it is. In fact, there’s almost no evidence from the driver’s seat that you are piloting a car that’s a metre shorter and 340 kg lighter than the Chevy Cruze. Roll on to the throttle and, yes, well, now it seems like a minicar. But it’s certainly adequate for around-town cruising, and merging onto the freeway isn’t a white-knuckle affair. The ride is firm and the steering is relatively sharp, giving the Spark a go-kart feel. You can toss this little guy into a set of bends at moderate speeds and it’s actually fun to drive. In fact, it reminded us a lot of the nimble Honda Jazz. And that’s high praise, indeed. – BEN STEWART