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RIP, Chevy Spark, America's cheapest new car

The Spark will go out of production later this year.

2021 Chevrolet Spark
See ya, buddy.
Chevrolet

America's least-expensive new car isn't long for this world. The Chevrolet Spark will end production after the 2022 model year, the automaker confirmed Wednesday, following an initial report from CarsDirect earlier this week.

"The Spark is being produced through August 2022, then it will be phased out of Chevrolet's lineup," a company spokesperson told Roadshow. "Customers seeking comfort, function and style at an approachable price still have strong options within Chevrolet's family of compact SUVs."

That last part is technically true, but going from the Spark to an SUV requires a big price jump. A new Spark costs $14,595 including destination, but Chevy's next-cheapest offering, the Trax, commands $22,595. Chevy also offers the subcompact Trailblazer SUV for $22,795.

Still, the Spark's discontinuation is hardly a surprise. Key rival Ford recently dropped the Fiesta and Focus from its US lineup, and Chevy already axed the Cruze compact sedan.

A big reason for these small car deaths is that more and more buyers are choosing crossovers and SUVs over traditional passenger cars. In 2021, Chevy sold 42,590 examples of its Trax CUV, as well as 90,161 Trailblazers. In the same time period, only 24,459 Sparks found homes. These SUVs aren't much more than lifted subcompact hatchbacks with optional all-wheel drive, however. In fact, Chevy even tried to butch-up the Spark at one point -- remember the Activ?

After the Spark ends production, America's cheapest new car will be the 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback, priced from $15,640 including destination.