While there is a certain value to crossovers becoming smaller the question is whether or not we’ve gone too far? The benefits to a smaller crossover SUV are many, you can park them easier, drive them easier, have the added space you need but not feel like the vehicle is overgrown and you can enjoy reasonable fuel mileage from these small and active vehicles. Calling a vehicle a crossover means you could have AWD on the model and expect to have a higher stance with better overall ground clearance than on other models, but have we gone too far?
If you pay attention to the market, we need to keep on moving toward smaller crossovers, but would you really feel a Smart fortwo that’s lifted is a crossover, is the Volkswagen Beetle Dune a crossover, how about the Audi A4 Allroad? All of these vehicles are considered crossover SUVs and so is the new ACTIV trim from Chevrolet for the 2017 Spark. This car, excuse me, crossover, offers you black plastic body cladding, upgrades appearances in the front and rear, side skirts and much more. You’ll see metal accents in the front including an updated grill and round fog lights.
The lift of this crossover comes out to be only 0.4 inches and it rides on 15-inch alloy wheels but it does appear to be a little higher than your typical Spark. The addition of the roof rails do suggest a bit of capability the regular Spark didn’t have but is this really to be considered a crossover SUV? The vehicle is barely higher than it was in the past and it’s not exactly ready to take on the trails of the area. This is also a vehicle that hasn’t added any interior space to the mix to give us more of what we expect from our SUVs.
Even though I wouldn’t consider the Spark ACTIV a crossover, it’s being advertised as one and it does look great from the outside and sits a little higher. On the inside you can enjoy a leather wrapped steering wheels, heated front seats, cruise control, the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as three months of satellite radio. The 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection is available through the OnStar system and you can order the Spark ACTIV with a manual or a CVT automatic transmission.
The equipment and features offered on the Spark ACTIV make it a vehicle that compares to the 2LT model of the regular Spark and offers us the benefit of the drive that’s desired with this vehicle. While I don’t consider it a crossover, this is an attractive small vehicle that you can drive and enjoy the higher stance and upgraded equipment that go along with the overall improved look of this vehicle. Look for dealers to see the new Spark ACTIV in showrooms later in the first quarter of this year for you to make up your own mind about what this vehicle really is.