2019 Chevrolet Spark vs. 2019 Kia Rio

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

The Spark LT Auto’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Rio doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Spark has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Rio doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Spark and the Rio have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

The Spark’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Rio’s (6/100,000 vs. 5/100,000).

Chevrolet pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Spark. Chevrolet will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Rio.

There are almost 4 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Spark’s warranty.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Spark Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Rio (30 city/38 hwy vs. 28 city/37 hwy).

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Chevrolet Spark higher (5 out of 10) than the Kia Rio (3). This means the Spark produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Rio every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The Spark offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Rio doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The Spark offers an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Rio doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

The Spark’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Rio’s standard 65 series tires.

Chassis

The Chevrolet Spark may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 450 pounds less than the Kia Rio.

The Spark is 1 foot, 4.9 inches shorter than the Rio 5-Door, making the Spark easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Spark is 5.1 inches narrower than the Rio, making the Spark easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

Cargo Capacity

The Spark’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Rio LX doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Ergonomics

The Spark LT/ACTIV’s available driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Rio S/EX’s power windows’ switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

Passive Entry with Keyless Start optional on the Spark LT allows you to unlock the driver’s door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Kia Rio doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Spark (except LS) offers optional heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the Rio.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Spark owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Spark will cost $450 to $920 less than the Rio over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Spark is less expensive to operate than the Rio because it costs $234 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Spark than the Rio, including $104 less for a starter, $66 less for fuel injection and $16 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chevrolet Spark will be $582 to $845 less than for the Kia Rio.

Recommendations

The Chevrolet Spark outsold the Kia Rio by 627 units during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos