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Tue., Nov. 27, 2012, 6 a.m.

Chevy Spark: Making more from less

As you would imagine, the base Spark ($12,995, including destination) is relatively spare in the standard-features category. Air-conditioning, power windows, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-only steering wheel, a trip computer, OnStar telematics and a four-speaker radio with an auxiliary audio jack are all standard, as are 15-inch alloys.

But whichever Spark you choose, the gauges perch behind the steering wheel in a column-mounted pod, a nod to motorcycle design. There’s an analog speedo, a digital tach and a small driver-information display.

All rather basic and functional.

Body-colored trim bits brighten the interior and rescue it from tedium. Ice-blue ambient lighting comes up gently when a door opens.

The steering wheel tilts but doesn’t telescope, which may bring grief to long-legged drivers. Larger folk are likely to find the cabin too cozy.

Predictably, there are minimal storage opportunities, though a small bin beneath the center stack accommodates a cell phone, which otherwise would find its way into a cupholder. 

One sits on the smallish, slightly bolstered seats, rather than nestling into them. Despite any obvious lumber support, my back survived pain-free, despite logging several serial hours of drive time.

There’s adequate rear-seat legroom for adults, though the bottom cushions are thin and sit low to the floor. No guarantees from here regarding their comfort on longer jaunts.

As I learned the hard way, folding the rear seats to increase cargo space reduces front-seat legroom. 

Chevy's interior designers made a valiant effort to maximize the available space. Fact is, there wasn’t that much to work with.

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Don Adair
Don Adair is a Spokane-based freelance writer.