robertlane

2014 Chevy Spark ditching four-speed automatic for CVT

35 posts in this topic

2014 Chevy Spark ditching four-speed automatic for CVT

Green Car Reports /

The Chevrolet Spark, the smallest Chevy sold in the U.S., will get some mechanical changes next year, according to Christi Landy, the brand's small-car marketing director.

The 2014 Chevrolet Spark, which will go on sale late this year, will offer a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) in place of the current four-speed automatic.

READ MORE HERE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
   


Wow, I guess mine is a collectors item then. I also heard Jalapeño color got discontinued too. Makes mine even more collectible.

Smikster likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow, I guess mine is a collectors item then. I also heard Jalapeño color got discontinued too. Makes mine even more collectible.

I was thinking the same thing :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know, is this a good thing? Those CVT transmissions, have been pretty problematic in the past. It will add a few mpg's, and you wont feel any shifting, but they are noisy, and feel sluggish. I am also really surprised they are dropping the jalapeno, from what I see around here, it seems to be the most popular color. Oh well, changes happen, but I would rather stick with my four speed automatic for now. I could think of a few other things that could've been adressed, and upgraded, to make the car more desirable, for the present. Just my take.

Edited by WaltK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Six speed multi clutch auto would have been a better choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow, I guess mine is a collectors item then. I also heard Jalapeño color got discontinued too. Makes mine even more collectible.

I had not heard that the green was being cut?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had not heard that the green was being cut?

From what i've read, the green is going to be called "lime". It doesn't say if it will be the same shade of green.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hopefully GM will get this cvt right. Many Nissan owners complain about their cvt, especially in the Altima and Versa, which I believe have a expensive cvt belt replacement interval. Let's see how it works out, for now I'm happy rowing my own gears, and have no worries outside of warranty. Other automakers have abandoned cvt due to reliability issues and consumer complaints for 6 speed automatics.

Edited by austex04

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HORRIBLE idea. I'm afraid that it's going to ruin the image of the Spark. The 4 speed auto they use is an EXTREMELY reliable unit that's been in a billion Daewoos, Toyotas, Suzukis and Chevrolets (outside of the states).

The CVT is a great idea. But they dont work. Period. End of story. They're junk.

The A/T in these is the same one that goes 200K in the Echo. Those who buy these with a CVT are going to get maybe 60K out of the car before having to drop $7000 on a new CVT box. It's going to ruin the reputation of the spark if everyone has to buy a new CVT at half the value of the car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope, I bet it goes 101,000 miles before it dies because it will have a 100,000 mile engine/transmission warranty. I still wouldn't want one and think they made a huge mistake by not putting the 6 speed auto from the Cruze or Sonic in this little car. Could have used a 6 speed manual with an extra overdrive for 6th to drop it another 500 to 1000 rpm on the highway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hopefully GM will get this cvt right. Many Nissan owners complain about their cvt, especially in the Altima and Versa, which I believe have a expensive cvt belt replacement interval. Let's see how it works out, for now I'm happy rowing my own gears, and have no worries outside of warranty. Other automakers have abandoned cvt due to reliability issues and consumer complaints for 6 speed automatics.

Subaru learned this a long time ago with the Justy. Anybody remember those? My first wifes aunt bought one brand new and she always had problems with the CVT. Junk!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, this is making me feel much better about my 4 speed auto. I have no complaints from mine and never expected it to be jaw dropping. But after owning mine for a while it has exceeded my expectations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nope, I bet it goes 101,000 miles before it dies because it will have a 100,000 mile engine/transmission warranty. I still wouldn't want one and think they made a huge mistake by not putting the 6 speed auto from the Cruze or Sonic in this little car. Could have used a 6 speed manual with an extra overdrive for 6th to drop it another 500 to 1000 rpm on the highway.

I think the reason for the 4A instead of the 6A is cost. They can probably get the 4 speed auto dirt cheap since it's so popular (and dated). The 6 speed auto is probably significantly more per unit to put in.

I've drove a few of the Nissan CVTs in rental cars. Horribly. Taking off from a spotlight, the engine revs, then it clunks bangs and whines and starts moving. Cruising on a flat highway, at a steady speed, it would randomly rev up to 4000RPM.

If they could make CVTs last, I'd be for it. They are great in concept.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The one funny thing is when you price a Sonic the auto "upgrade" is still only $1000 which is the same price as the Spark, that leads me to believe that the cost is very similar and the room in the engine should be similar too. I think it was just to differentiate between Spark and Sonic to push people into the Sonic. The CVT will certainly push people up into the Sonic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would make more sense to design a duel clutch automated manual like Ford did in the Fiesta. Those units are lighter weight than traditional autos, and costs less to produce. This way, the Spark can have a 5 or 6 speed automatic, without the reliability and drivability issues cvt has.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen review videos of people driving cars like the Scion IQ which only comes with a CVT. The engine RPM's are constantly going up and down!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically, to those that want a automatic on this car, buy now! GM might give another reason to buy a manual transmission in this car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've seen review videos of people driving cars like the Scion IQ which only comes with a CVT. The engine RPM's are constantly going up and down!

They are great in theory, but no one can make them work. I personally think Nissan is making a huge mistake putting them in all of their vehicles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even in scooters they are a problem when you start pushing the horsepower up or loading the scooter down. I'bd be much happier with a 10 horsepower 5 minute duration electric assist and 6 speed than a CVT, I think the CVT is a big mistake and will tarnish the user opinion of the Spark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My mother has a 07 caliber that I drove for the better part of a year when I was inbetween cars years ago. I dont mind it. I got 34mpg mixed out of it (28hwy). Performs flawlessly. I also like the trans in our spark. It shifts well and I loventhe fact that is downshifts as we slow down...vs most automatics only downshift after you slow down then hit the gas.

Is it true it is the same unit used in an echo??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Subaru learned this a long time ago with the Justy. Anybody remember those? My first wifes aunt bought one brand new and she always had problems with the CVT. Junk!

My parents had a 1989 Subaru Justy for a while back between 1996-1999. It was the manual transmission version, though. I thought it was a neat little car. Hard to believe they shoved a little 3 cylinder engine in the thing. I had no idea they had CVT's back then! Also on another note, it was the last car offered in the US market to use a carburetor!

Edited by Trancer07

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a CVT in my wife's 2003 Mini Cooper. The car has 80k miles on it, and we haven't had any issues. She drives it normally, I put it in sport drive to keep the RPM's up. I didn't mind the CVT in the 2011 Prius that I traded in on the Spark either. Personally, I wish I would have bought a manual in the Spark just so I could flog it, but I do not really mind the auto. I think maybe GM cut the production on the Jalapeno to curb the influx of those cars on the market. Mini did the same thing after we got our Chili Red. They did not want to flood the market with Chili Reds. There is even a Chili Red auto club for corn's sake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think they should pair the 6 speed with a 1.0 liter diesel. would put the spark into a class of its own here in the states.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even in scooters they are a problem when you start pushing the horsepower up or loading the scooter down. I'bd be much happier with a 10 horsepower 5 minute duration electric assist and 6 speed than a CVT, I think the CVT is a big mistake and will tarnish the user opinion of the Spark.

I have owned many scooters and motorcycles. The CVT in a scooter works very well, is simple, cheap to maintain, and very durable. The belt needs to be changed every 10k miles or so, but it is a $40 part. You can even custom tune the CVT by using different variator weights, clutch springs, and a different contra spring. In theory it works on the same principle as car CVT, but it a different design....

I'm talking about a well made and designed Taiwanese, Japanese or Italian scooter, not a Chinese made piece of crap.

From what I've seen so far, auto makers have yet to design a CVT for a car that even comes close to working as well a the tried and true scooter CVT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My brother has tuned his Honda scooter with the mentioned changes/mods and yes they are easy to service on a scooter, but it is also only a 150cc engine. Do they used the same CVT in the large 600cc machines? Still only weighs a quarter of our cars, but I think that is part of the magic that makes them work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now