How Long Do Chevrolet Sparks Last? (12 Important Facts)

The Chevy Spark is a subcompact car ideal for city driving.

It was introduced for the 2013 model year and offers nimble handling and good fuel economy at an attractive price.

In this article we’ll take a look at the Chevy Sparks average lifespan.

Here is the short answer to how long the Chevrolet Spark lasts:

The Chevrolet Spark can last between 150,000 – 200,000 miles on average when properly maintained. If you were to drive 15,000 miles per year, you can expect the Chevy Spark to last 10 – 13 years before requiring expensive repairs or breaking down.

How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Chevrolet Spark?

The Chevy Spark is expected to last at least 100,000 miles, it’s not the type of car you’ll see reaching huge numbers on the odometer but they are fairly robust.

On second-hand car websites Car Gurus and Autotrader, there are plenty of models with around 100,000 miles and some have nearly 200,000 miles and still running.

There’s no exact timeframe when a Spark will fail, but if you were to encounter a significant repair bill at high mileage, then it would make more sense to invest the money into a new car.

A car will last as long as you keep paying to have it fixed, but there comes a point when the repair costs are uneconomical.

On the owner forum ChevySparkForumyou can find further proof of this car’s longevity, here’s what one owner had to say:

“The engine lasting is the least of my concerns, if properly maintained I expect it to easily go more than 150,000 miles. I am far more concerned about body rot from the salt!”

The main factors that will determine your Spark’s lifespan are:

  • How well it’s maintained: Routine maintenance and servicing is critical for keeping the car in good working order
  • Style of driving: Smooth conservative driving habits will keep wear and tear to a minimum
  • Climate: Harsh winter weather will cause parts to rust, deteriote and corrode faster
  • Luck: Some cars just seem to fare better than others

The Spark is covered by a 3 year / 36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5 year / 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

What Problems Do Chevy Sparks Have?

The Chevy Spark isn’t perfect, but no car is – here are its most common issues:

Engine Problems

On Carproblemzoo, owners reported no less than 118 engine issues for the Spark, although these were mostly for the 2013 and 2014 model years.

Owners have complained that their Spark would be stuck in gear and they were unable to change gears.

Others have complained that it stalls whilst driving, which is especially dangerous.

Electrical Problems

On CarproblemZoo, Spark owners have reported 57 electrical system problems.

This is equally common on newer models as it is on older models.

Typical issues include:

  • Car alarm going off at random
  • Key fob not working
  • Radio and chimes not working

What is High Mileage for a Chevrolet Spark?

A Chevrolet Spark with over 80,000 miles is considered high mileage. The car may last a lot longer however it will have already acquired a lot of wear and tear and may only have a few years of life left.

Purchasing a high mile Spark won’t necessarily be a bad decision, it really depends on how well it’s been looked after.

Mileage can give some indication of the cars value but you should also consider:

  • Service history: Ensure the car was serviced and inspected at the correct intervals, and the owner can provide evidence of this.
  • Rust. Rust is a problem that will spread, a bit of surface rust is ok but structural rust is a major red flag.
  • Previous owners. Less owners is better. More owners means more wear-and-tear. If one family owned it and drove the full mileage and serviced the car, then you can almost guarantee they took good care of it throughout their ownership.
  • Investment: If you’re planning on keeping the car for a long time, evaluate whether the short-term savings outweigh spending extra on something more reliable.
  • Examine the interior. The condition of the interior tells the story of how well the car was cared for.

How Long Does the Chevrolet Spark Last Compared to Other Subcompact Cars?

In this section, we’ll compare the Spark to its rivals.

Chevrolet Spark vs. Toyota Yaris

The Toyota Yaris can last 250,000 – 300,000 miles or 17 – 20 years, greater than what is expected of the Chevrolet Spark. 

Chevrolet SparkToyota Yaris
RepairPal Reliability Rating4.0/5.04.5/5.0 
RepairPal Reliability Ranking 10th / 21
Subcompact Cars
1st / 21
Subcompact Cars
Average Annual Repair Cost $434$333

Related: How Long Do Toyota Yaris Last?

Chevrolet Spark vs. Honda Fit

The Honda Fit is one of the most popular vehicles in the U.S. and can last 250,000 – 300,000 miles or 17 –  20 years, greater than what is expected of the Chevrolet Spark.

Chevrolet SparkHonda Fit
RepairPal Reliability Rating4.0/5.04.5/5.0
RepairPal Reliability Ranking 10th / 21
Subcompact Cars
4th / 21
Subcompact Cars
Average Annual Repair Cost $434$390

Related: How Long Do Honda Fit Last?

Chevrolet Spark vs. Hyundai Accent

The Hyundai Accent can last 200,000 – 250,000 miles or 13 – 17 years, equal to what is expected of the Chevrolet Spark. 

Chevrolet SparkHyundai Accent
RepairPal Reliability Rating4.0/5.04.5/5.0
RepairPal Reliability Ranking 10th / 21
Subcompact Cars
5th / 21
Subcompact Cars
Average Annual Repair Cost $434$444

Comparison Chart

Chevrolet SparkToyota YarisHonda FitHyundai Accent
Annual Repair Cost$434$333$390$444
Reliability Rating4.0/5.04.5/5.04.5/5.04.5/5.0
Lifespan (miles)150k – 200k250k – 300k250k – 300k200k – 250k

Is the Chevrolet Spark Reliable?

The Chevrolet Spark isn’t the most reliable subcompact car however it has received respectable reliability ratings from professional auto review sites. In more recent years the Spark has had far fewer reported complaints which indicates that newer models are more reliable.

The Spark has been around for a while now and its reliability has improved over time.

Engine and engine cooling problems plagued Spark models during their first couple of years although those issues are now a thing of the past.

Owners of newer models are more likely to face issues with electronic features than they are the drivetrain.

Chevy’s aren’t best known for their reliability like some Japanese cars, generally they are considered middle-of-the-pack; Consumer Reports ranks Chevy 11th out of 28 carmakers.

Having said that the Spark has received positive reliability reviews:

  • Kelley Blue Book’s consumer rating index gave the Chevrolet Spark an above-average reliability rating of 4.4/5.0.
  • J.D. Power provided the Chevrolet Spark with an average reliability rating of 86/100.
  • Consumer Reports gave the Spark a reliability rating of 3/5
  • Repair Pal gave the Spark a solid rating of 4.0/5.0

Keep in mind the reliability of the Spark will also depend on how well it’s maintained, and if you’re buying used, it will also depend on how well the previous owner(s) maintained it.

Reliability Compared to Other Subcompact Cars

ModelReliability 
Toyota Yaris4.5 / 5.0
Toyota Prius C4.5 / 5.0
Mazda24.5 / 5.0
Honda Fit4.5 / 5.0
Hyundai Accent4.5 / 5.0
Kia Rio4.5 / 5.0
Mitsubishi Mirage4.5 / 5.0
Mazda MX-5 Miata4.0 / 5.0
Nissan Versa4.0 / 5.0
Chevrolet Spark4.0 / 5.0
Nissan Versa Note4.0 / 5.0
Honda CR-Z4.0 / 5.0
Chevrolet Aveo4.0 / 5.0
Chevrolet Sonic4.0 / 5.0
Ford Fiesta4.0 / 5.0
Smart Fortwo4.0 / 5.0
Nissan Cube3.5 / 5.0
Fiat 5003.5 / 5.0
Mini Cooper Countryman3.5 / 5.0
Subaru BRZ3.0 / 5.0
Mini Cooper3.0 / 5.0
Avg. Subcompact Car4.0

The Best and Worst Years for the Chevrolet Spark

We’ve done some digging to find the best and worst model years for the Chevrolet Spark.

Worst Model Year

The worst model years for the Chevrolet Spark are 2013 and 2014 based on the severity of the issues faced. The 2013 and 2014 models had a high rate of drivetrain problems.

According to Car Complaints, the engine of 2013 and 2014 Spark models suffered from excessive oil consumption, this usually occurred at an average mileage of 31,000 miles and cost $2700 to fix, in many instances the engine had to be replaced.

The same model years were also prone to transmission failure which occurred at an average mileage of 80,000 miles costing an average of $2,600 to fix.

These models were also plagued by AC and heater problems.

The number of complaints about 2013 and 2014 Sparks is also significantly higher when compared to any other model year.

We’d strongly advise steering clear of these model years.

Best Model Year

The 2021 and 2022 Chevrolet Spark are the best model years, although any model from 2018 onwards is also a safe choice.

Complaints reported about the more recent Sparks is significantly less than the early model years and it would seem Chevy has managed to iron out the biggest issues.

2022 is the final year of the Spark as the brand looks to focus more on SUVs.

Standard features in the 2022 Chevrolet Spark include: 

  • 7.0-inch touchscreen with a Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability
  • A pair of USB ports and a 12-volt outlet are situated below the center stack

The most recent Sparks offer good fuel economy, although not amazing considering its small size.

  • City driving: 29 mpg with the manual transmission and 30 with the automatic
  • Highway: 37 mpg on Activ models and 38 on the others

Model Year and Number of Complaints

Here is the total number of complaints and problems for every Chevrolet Spark model year from the CarComplaints and Car Problem Zoo databases:

Model YearCar Complaints
No. of Complaints
Car Problem Zoo
No. of Problems
202124
2020114
2019812
201819
2017331
2016427
20152155
201476216
2013110221

What About Recalls for These Models?

The Chevrolet Spark has had a total of 20 recall campaigns since 2013.

You can check if your Chevrolet Spark has been subjected to a recall campaign by entering your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on Chevrolet’s recall web page.

It is important to note that recalls are manufacturing faults repaired at no charge for the consumer.

Recall campaigns for every model year:

  • 2021 Chevrolet Spark: 0
  • 2020 Chevrolet Spark: 0
  • 2019 Chevrolet Spark: 1
  • 2018 Chevrolet Spark: 0
  • 2017 Chevrolet Spark: 1
  • 2016 Chevrolet Spark: 1
  • 2015 Chevrolet Spark: 4
  • 2014 Chevrolet Spark: 5
  • 2013 Chevrolet Spark: 8

Chevrolet Spark Model Year List

The Chevy Spark made its US debut for the 2013 model year.

  • 2013 Chevrolet Spark
  • 2014 Chevrolet Spark
  • 2015 Chevrolet Spark
  • 2016 Chevrolet Spark
  • 2017 Chevrolet Spark
  • 2018 Chevrolet Spark
  • 2019 Chevrolet Spark
  • 2020 Chevrolet Spark
  • 2021 Chevrolet Spark
  • 2022 Chevrolet Spark

Are Chevrolet Spark Expensive to Maintain?

The Chevrolet Spark has very affordable ownership costs and that’s one of its big advantages. According to Repair Pal a Chevy Spark will cost $434 per year in maintenance and repairs which is just below the $456 average for the subcompact segment.

ModelAvg. Annual 
Repair Cost
Frequency of
Unscheduled
Repairs (per year)
Probability of
SevereRepairs
Toyota Yaris$3330.46%
Toyota Prius C$3830.47%
Mazda2$4490.37%
Honda Fit$3900.48%
Hyundai Accent$4440.28%
Kia Rio$4340.29%
Mitsubishi Mirage$4570.19%
Mazda MX-5 Miata$4290.310%
Nissan Versa$4560.410%
Chevrolet Spark$4340.312%
Nissan Versa Note$4450.312%
Honda CR-Z$4300.3312%
Chevrolet Aveo$6160.211%
Chevrolet Sonic$5360.411%
Ford Fiesta$5520.412%
Smart Fortwo$7510.38%
Nissan Cube$4710.317%
Fiat 500$5220.217%
Mini Cooper Countryman$8800.611%
Subaru BRZ$6720.3318%
Mini Cooper$8460.613%
Avg. Subcompact Car$4560.311%

How Long Do Chevy Spark Brakes Last?

Chevrolet Spark brake pads will typically last between 30,000 and 60,000 miles or 2-4 years. This can vary widely and depends mostly on your style of driving and the traffic conditions you normally experience.

  • Brakes will wear out sooner if you frequently stop and accelerate in rush-hour traffic
  • Smooth use of the brake pedal will help the pads and rotors last longer.

How Long Do Chevy Spark Tires Last?

The Chevrolet Spark’s stock tires usually last around 45,000 to 60,000 miles or 3 to 5 years. They can wear out much sooner, it really depends on maintenance, driving style and conditions, etc

  • Have your tires rotated every 5,000 miles to ensure even wear.
  • Check your tire pressure every few weeks to make sure they’re at the correct tire pressure.
  • Have a mechanic or tire shop check your wheel alignment every 6 months.
  • Ideal tire pressure of Chevrolet Spark is 30-32 PSI, which is a major contributor for better control and fuel efficiency.

How Long Do Chevrolet Spark Engines Last?

The Chevrolet Spark comes with a small 1.4L 4-cylinder engine which is expected to last at least 150,000 miles.

The engine will only last this long if you follow the maintenance intervals outlined in the owner’s maual.

How Long Do Chevrolet Spark Batteries Last?

The Chevrolet Spark battery should last between 3 – 5 years. A vehicle’s battery life varies depending on many factors such as climate, driving habits, and battery type, among many others.

  • Keep your battery tightly fastened: The vibrations of your car can loosen the connections, potentially resulting in short circuits and internal damage.
  • Limit short rides: Short car rides prevent the battery from fully charging.
  • Control Rust: Clean the terminals (toothbrush dipped in baking soda and water mixture) and keep them free from build-up.

How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?

The spark plugs on the Chevy Spark should last 100,000 miles, these should be inspected when you take your car in for a tune-up.

Signs of a fouled spark plug include:

  • Rough idling
  • Hard starts
  • Engine misfires
  • Reduced gas mileage
  • Lack of acceleration

What About Insurance Costs?

The average cost of full comprehensive coverage for a Chevrolet Spark is $1,194 per year or around $100 per month. 

Insurance costs can vary depending on numerous factors including age, location and driving records, be sure to get lots of quotes before making a decision.

Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Chevrolet Spark

  • Use quality parts and fluids
  • Follow the correct service interavls
  • Wash the car regularly, including its underside and wheel wells
  • Keep the interior clean
  • Have the oil changed regularly
  • Drive smoothly

Resources

  1. https://repairpal.com/reliability/chevrolet/spark 
  2. https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2021/chevrolet/spark 
  3. https://www.kbb.com/chevrolet/spark/ 
  4. https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/chevrolet/spark/ 
  5. https://www.carproblemzoo.com/chevrolet/spark/ 
  6. https://www.carcomplaints.com/Chevrolet/Spark/ 
  7. https://www.cars.com/research/chevrolet-spark/recalls/ 
  8. https://repairpal.com/estimator/chevrolet/spark/brake-pad-replacement-cost 
  9. https://insuraviz.com/vehicles/chevrolet/chevrolet-spark-insurance/