With crossovers selling like big-screen TVs on Black Friday, it isn't surprising to see that companies are trying to offer them in every segment possible. With the 2017 Spark Activ, Chevrolet has expanded its crossover lineup to the smallest segment possible. At least until Smart releases a lifted ForTwo.
Of course, the Spark Activ is a crossover in the same way that the Volkswagen Beetle Dune and Audi A4 Allroad are. This means the normal Spark gets black plastic body cladding over the wheel arches, revised front and rear fascias, and side skirts. Both fascias include metal-look accents, and the front features a freshened grille and round fog lights. New roof rails, model-specific 15-inch alloy wheels, and a suspension lift of 0.4 inch complete the transformation.
To sweeten the deal, the Spark Activ also includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated leatherette front seats, and cruise control. These come in addition to other standard Spark amenities such as air conditioning, Chevrolet MyLink infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and three months of satellite radio, 4G LTE data, and OnStar. All of this comes with the Spark Activ's base price of $16,945 with a manual and $18,045 with a CVT.
Although that's quite a bit more than the $13,535 entry-level Spark, the Activ shares many of its features with the 2LT, so that's the model it should actually be compared with. In doing so, the Activ ekes out a slight advantage, since the 2LT is $17,060 with the manual, and $18,160 for the CVT. However, if gas mileage is considered, the 2LT pulls out ahead, with ratings of 31 mpg city and 41 mpg highway with the CVT, while the Activ only manages 30 mpg city and 37 mpg highway with the CVT. So really, the deciding factor is style versus fuel economy. Buyers will get to make that judgement for themselves when the Spark Activ hits dealers sometime in the first quarter of 2017.