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Chevrolet tries to shake up the mini-car market with sportier 2017 Spark ACTIV being unveiled in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles auto show is all about green cars. It highlights the latest in electric, hybrid and small vehicles. The 2017 Chevrolet Spark is going sportier, trying to spark sales in the tiny car market.

Chevrolet is trying to shake up the mini-car market by jazzing up its little Spark sub-compact. Today, Chevy introduced the 2017 Spark ACTIV, a sportier version of the mini-car. The new model features trail-inspired accents to make it look a little more modern and athletic.

The Los Angeles auto show highlights the greenest vehicles, even giving out the Green Car of the Year Award. Automakers typically roll out their latest electric and fuel efficient models. This year, we are also seeing a number of small SUVs and CUVs.

According to Chevy’s head of car marketing, Steve Majoros, the newest Spark is designed to evoke adventure. Majoros says in a release, “It has an attitude, while still offering the sophisticated, efficient and connected driving experience customers have come to love.”

I’ve never really understood why Chevrolet has both the Spark and the Sonic sub-compacts, but both compete with the Toyota Yaris and the Honda Fit. The Spark only exists as a hatchback, and it gets good gas mileage from its 1.4L Ecotec engine, 29 city and 37 highway with the manual transmission and 30 city/37 highway with the automatic.

The new ACTIV package makes the tiny Spark look a little more rugged. It sits on 15” wheels. It has contrasting trim and moldings. It takes its cue from the designs of off-road vehicles,however, it is important to note that it is not an off-road vehicle.

It includes many of the upgrades that people expect in a more expensive car. It has a rear-view camera, seven-inch touch screen and comes equipped with the ability to link to smartphones. It can also be a wi-fi hotspot, depending on the driver’s cellphone and data plan.

The Spark ACTIV starts at $16,945 for with manual transmission and $18,045 for the automatic.
It’s nice that the 2017 Chevy Spark ACTIV is a little more stylish than the average little econo-box. It will be interesting to see if it can spark any sales. The tiny car market has been pretty boring in the wake of lower gas prices. Trucks and SUVs have been ruling the dealerships in the last year.