2014 Chevrolet Spark Punting Its Four-Speed Automatic for a CVT
Chevrolet is making a seemingly minor running transmission change to its micro Spark hatchback for 2014, replacing the little bugger’s optional four-speed automatic with a continuously variable unit. The update was first reported by Green Car Reports, and Chevrolet confirmed to us that it is accurate. We describe the CVT swap as being seemingly minor because, well, the change itself isn’t a huge deal, but it has the potential to have a big effect on the Spark’s drivability.
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We generally don’t like CVTs, but in the case of the 84-hp Spark, it likely will improve fuel economy and provide at least the illusion of pep. We enjoyed our time behind the wheel of the Spark, but a four-speed automatic is ancient technology. In addition, it isn’t the best choice when it comes to maximizing small amounts of power. Being part of the Save the Manuals! crowd, we’d still suggest buyers opt for the Spark’s standard five-speed stick (which will stay the same for 2014) to maximize fun and forward motion, but we’re eager to see what kind of moves the new CVT has in store.