Compact business car
A WORTHY recipient of this year’s awards for the car we would recommend out of a sector which has seen little in the way of newly introduced vehicles between October of last year and this. Holden’s revised and revamped Spark is the entry vehicle into the current crop of globally-sourced vehicles bearing the raging Lion badge. It is also the Holden you would least expect to be an integral part of the brand’s line-up, due mostly to its small size – a trait not expected of any Holden, ever. The Spark sits almost on the fringe of the Holden pride, and demonstrates the genetic diversity of the brand, hailing as it does, from South Korea. While it may not carry the roar of performance normally associated with Holden product, Spark’s attitude is all Lion – just in a cub form. Here is a Small car that thinks it’s a bigger one and the level of equipment onboard merely amplifies this consideration. The build quality is exceptionally good, as is the ride quality, comfort and performance. Holden’s Spark is unthreatening – making it ideal as a pool car for multiple drivers of varying skill and confidence levels; surprisingly spacious – in the front two seats anyway, and very well appointed in safety equipment and specification. Spark comes to us in two grades, the LS and the more upmarket LT. The LT takes a rear park assist and rear camera setup over the LS, along with a passive entry and keyless push button start. The LT also offers the Cvt-only transmission, while the LS gives the option of a five-speed manual. Both models feature daytime running lamps, but LT takes LED over conventional DRL’S, and rides on 15-inch alloys over the LS model’s 14’s. Rear power windows for the LT are the only other significant differences between the two, other than cosmetic trim highlights and a leather wrapped steering wheel also found on the LT. Power comes from a 1.4-litre, Ecotec petrol engine which delivers 73kw at 6200rpm and 124Nm of torque at 4400rpm for a manufacturer fuel use figure of 5.2 litres per 100km. Both models feature ABS brakes, electronic stability control, cruise control, hill-start assist, traction control, electronic brake force distribution, steering wheel-mounted controls and the Mylink infotainment and connectivity suite. Priced from $17,490 to $20,990, the Spark qualifies for three-year/100,000km free certified service and warranty.