Differences between 14/15/16 model years - ASIDES from battery?

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Dec 7, 2021
Hey all,

New member here, looking at buying a Spark EV as a second car/runabout for the family. I've been doing a fair amount of reading on this forum and elsewhere to prep for this purchase, and am familiar with the major performance differences between the model years. Conclusions so far:

  • definitely want DCFC (given our location + expected driving habits);
  • probably don't care about the marginal performance differences between '14 and '15/'16 (less than 1% in wheel torque, right?);
  • may want a '16 given more time on battery warranty + higher frequency of DCFC in this year;
  • want 1LT or 2LT to get bare minimum stuff like electronic locks. (I drove a '14 base model gasser, and it was like being teleported back to my parents' 88' Toyota Camry. I was amazed that the windows were electronic.)

However, something I'm curious about - are there other, non-performance differences between the three model years? Stuff like, "the HMI got a lot better between 2015 and 2016," or "the blind spot at the C pillar is bigger in the '16"?. For example, Consumer Reports indicates that the '16 Spark got Apple CarPlay - but their report page isn't specific to the Spark EV, and I've never seen *any* mention of CarPlay on listings or here.

Any other pointers on differences between the three model years here that I should be considering would be very much appreciated. Thanks, all!
2016 was a new model for the gas Spark, the '16 EV was a carryover. That's why it doesn't have Carplay or Android Auto.
2014 had a lower gear reduction than the later years. if put into the later models it would make them accelerate slower but have a higher top speed. 2015 and 2016 gear reduction put into a 2014 would make it accelerate faster but loose top speed.

2014 were built in 2013 and did not have the DCFC system available until later

2014 ev badge was slightly smaller than the later years

2014 did not have lime green or salsa red available

2014 did not have 4g wifi or a back up camera available

there are alot of other difference in just the batteries of the 2014
Are you sure about the back-up camera? It's not listed in the sales brochures. Maybe in a different country.
"Aside from the battery, on the '14's?"
That's the biggest difference of all !!

The '14's have cells made by A123, (may it RIP) and just recently I read the chemistry is LFP, which means long life compared to other Li-Ion chemistries.
I know my '14 @ 96k miles is doing great!
I guess some owners are posting worse degradation than what mine is seeing....
Im assuming the one with dcfc and the a123 batteries last longer. When u use only level1 and 2. The car sits at 100%. And stays that way because the driver doesn’t want to go anywhere and have to stop for more than just 20 min to get back home. In the leafs. Dcfc helps the bms recalculate capacity. Worse thing to do to a battery. Leaving full or leaving it empty. But gm designed a buffer in the low side. Tried to do the latter. First time it magic charged 7 miles over night. Killed it. And then it was showing 2 more miles again. Killed it and again. 2 miles. Must be the sun increasing the capacity. Now if we could only make a 12 volt agm battery replacement that would do the same.

2014 battery weighed more and had also a larger total capacity. 112batteries. 28s3p. X 4 modules. Made in Michigan. Shipped to Korea then Oregon and California. Their degradation happened earlier I like and less quickly as it approaches 65%. Or maybe that was done with a software update readjusting the total capacity the bms is using.
Thanks, all! Just took delivery of my Spark - a 2016 LT1 with DCFC. Still need to get it (esp. the battery) checked out by my local dealer - but assuming all is well, I’m excited to be a part of the Spark EV gang!
Save your money. What are the local yocals at your dealership going to do with your Spark EV?
Lay hands on it and say "It's good to go!" "That'll be $160, thank you."

If your GOM is showing a decent number what more do you want?
Keep in mind with cold weather it is as bad as it's going to get.
Wait for warm weather to see how high the GOM can display!

The one maintenance item I had to deal with was a rusted Brake Caliper Slider Pin.
It was so bad I had to buy a replacement caliper assembly, which is common with the gas Spark and cheap!
If your car came from winter salt country you might consider having all the slider pins cleaned and lubed.
Tesla has recently called out this preventative maintenance work.
Thank you all. I recently received my Spark, a 2016 LT1 with DCFC. I still need to have it checked out by my neighbourhood dealer (especially the battery), but assuming everything is okay, I'm thrilled to join the Spark EV community!
ElDobro said:
2016 was a new model for the gas Spark, the '16 EV was a carryover. That's why it doesn't have Carplay or Android Auto.

You know, I absolutely love my 2015 LT2, warts and all. I will say though, The Chevy Mylink is VERY disappointing. Shame on Chevy for never updating it. I was looking forward to "thousands of apps" which never materialized. Just four (do they even work?)

SparkE said:
Your local Chevy dealer probably has NO IDEA what to check or what to do with a Spark EV.

I bought my car in New Jersey. I had a nearby Chevy dealer do a pre-purchase inspection and they were great, very thorough. I was extremely happy and impressed. I will say though, my local Chevy dealer on Long Island is completely clueless.
Your local Chevy dealer is probably clueless on what to look for or how to manage a Spark EV.
Jlel12 said:
want 1LT or 2LT to get bare minimum stuff like electronic locks. I drove a '14 base model gasser...

I know you already got the car (congrats!!), but I thought I'd point out, for the SparK EV, the trim levels LT1 and LT2 are the only ones available. There is no "base model", or, if you like, the LT1 is the base model. And yes, they're nearly identical except for a leather wrapped steering wheel and fake leather seats in the LT2. If the non-EV base trim is spartan, I'm guessing that Chevy decided not to offer it in the EV because of the much higher sticker price.

The torque for the 2014 is quite a bit higher than the later years, 400lb-lbs vs 327-ft-lbs, but, as already mentioned, the gear reduction is lower, so actual performance is nearly identical. I believe the 2014 is a tiny bit faster off the line, but the 2015/2016 is slightly faster 0 to 60.
This is a bit premature, but it's on my mind so I figured I'd put it out there. Apologies if this is inappropriate, but it looks like others have posted "FOR SALE" threads in the past at least :). TL;DR: I'm interested in selling my 2014 Spark EV sometime in the spring for its trade-in value to someone who will appreciate it.