Any auto maker can make an excellent interior when given a blank check, but under budget constraints it gets tricky.
General Motors proves again this year it has learned to deftly navigate those boundaries, winning a 2013 Ward’s 10 Best Interiors trophy with the ’13 Chevrolet Spark.
“A really well-done small-car interior,” one judge says. “This car shows focus on innovative design and strong use of color.”
It marks the third consecutive year GM has earned Ward’s 10 Best Interiors honors for a model at the entry end of the market, gaining nods in preceding years for the Chevy Cruze C-car and Sonic B-car.
However, the Spark minicar may shine most brightly given its base price of $15,045.
WardsAuto jurors tested a mid-level 2LT trim, with only a $750 destination charge fattening the sticker price. The base model runs considerably less: $12,185.
“Great value, lots of content,” one test driver remarks, while another exclaims, “The price is right!”
Key elements include 10 airbags; leatherette-trimmed seats that are heated in front and flip-and-fold in the rear; an abundance of storage cubbies; a motorcycle-inspired gauge package; and Chevrolet’s user-friendly MyLink Radio connecting to smartphones for music, videos, photos and contacts for hands-free calling.
The MyLink system also uses BringGo, a low-cost fully functional navigation system for the Spark’s 7-in. (18-cm) color touchscreen. At $50, the BringGo application also provides traffic updates, and it stays on the user’s smartphone so it can be used in other Spark models, such as a rental car.
However, competition judges keep coming back to the vibrant interior colors, which bring a dose of the 5-door hatchback’s whimsical exterior inside. This tester’s door panels and dashboard are splashed with the same bold Jalapeno Green borrowed from the sheet metal.
Other available colors include Salsa Red, Techno Pink and Lemonade.
“The Spark is fun to drive and the interior enhances the experience,” a juror concludes.