Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

Two petrol engines are available in the Spark with the entry-level model a 1.0-litre with 68bhp. It's not very quick on paper with a 0-62mph time of 15.5 seconds, but it feels fast enough in everyday town driving and is nippy away from the lights. It's happy to be revved without sounding coarse, plus it can return an average of 59mpg. CO2 emissions of 113g/km mean it's cheap to tax too.

The other engine is a 1.2-litre with 81bhp but despite the extra power, it doesn't feel that much faster at lower speeds. However, it has more in-gear grunt which tells when joining fast-flowing traffic. 0-62mph comes up in 12.1 seconds while economy is 55mpg and it's the only engine that comes in top-of-the-range LT trim. Both models come with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard (there's no automatic available) which is fairly positive, but not particularly slick when shifting especially from fourth to fifth gear.

With easy steering and a light clutch, the Spark is ideal for urban driving, helped by good forward visibility and a tight turning circle. It's not quite as easy to park as you'd imagine though, the thick rear pillars make parallel spaces quite tricky to gauge. But the engines have more than enough poke to make nipping around town easy and enjoyable, helped by responsive steering.

There's not too much body roll either and on more open roads the Spark is fairly composed, although it's not as fun to drive as some other small cars. However, it's impressive at higher speeds and feels stable and reassuring on the motorway, albeit somewhat noisy.