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The Fit has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Spark doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The Fit Auto offers an optional Collision Mitigation Braking System, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Spark offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.
The Fit’s blind spot mirrors use wide-angle convex mirrors mounted in the corner of each side view mirror to reveal objects that may be in the driver’s blind spots. The Spark doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
Both the Fit and the Spark 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 and available lane departure warning systems.
The Fit’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Spark’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Fit third among small cars in their 2017 Initial Quality Study. The Spark isn’t in the top three in its category.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 9 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.
The Fit Auto’s standard 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 30 more horsepower (128 vs. 98) and 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (113 vs. 94) than the Spark’s 1.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Fit’s standard 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 32 more horsepower (130 vs. 98) and 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (114 vs. 94) than the Spark’s 1.4 DOHC 4 cyl.
On the EPA test cycle the Fit Auto LX gets better fuel mileage than the Spark Auto (33 city/40 hwy vs. 30 city/38 hwy).
The Fit has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Spark (10.6 vs. 9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Honda Fit at emission levels ranging from “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) to “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Chevrolet Spark is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.
A six-speed manual is standard on the Honda Fit, with closer gear ratios for better performance and a lower final drive ratio for quieter highway operation, less engine wear and better fuel mileage. Only a five-speed manual is available for the Spark.
For better stopping power the Fit’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Spark:
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Fit Sport/EX/EX-L has standard 16-inch wheels. The Spark’s largest wheels are only 15-inches.
The Fit has a standard front stabilizer bar, which help keep the Fit flat and controlled during cornering. The Spark’s suspension doesn’t offer a stabilizer bar
The Fit has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Spark doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Fit’s wheelbase is 5.7 inches longer than on the Spark (99.6 inches vs. 93.9 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Fit is 3.7 inches wider in the front and 3.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Spark.
The Fit has standard seating for 5 passengers; the Spark can only carry 4.
The Fit has 12.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Spark (95.7 vs. 83).
The Fit has .5 inches more front headroom, 3.3 inches more front hip room, 4 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 6.3 inches more rear legroom and 2.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Spark.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Fit’s rear seats recline. The Spark’s rear seats don’t recline.
The Fit has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Spark with its rear seat up (16.6 vs. 11.1 cubic feet). The Fit has a much larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the Spark with its rear seat folded (52.7 vs. 27.2 cubic feet).
The Fit Automatic offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The Spark doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Fit has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Spark doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.
The Fit’s standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows are only available on the Spark LT/ACTIV.
The Fit’s standard power locks allow the driver or passenger to lock or unlock all the doors at a touch without leaning over, or reaching to the back seat. The Spark LS doesn’t offer power locks.
The Smart Entry System standard on the Fit EX/EX-L allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Chevrolet Spark’s available Passive Entry with Keyless Start doesn’t unlock the trunk.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Fit Auto detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Spark doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Fit EX/EX-L has standard extendable sun visors. The Spark doesn’t offer extendable visors.
For greater rear passenger comfort, the Fit has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Spark doesn’t offer rear vents.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Fit Auto offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Spark doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
The Fit EX-L’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Spark’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.
With optional voice command, the Fit EX-L offers the driver hands free control of the radio and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Spark doesn’t offer a voice control system.
Insurance will cost less for the Fit owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Fit will cost $5 to $675 less than the Spark over a five-year period.
The Fit will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Fit will retain 48.54% to 50.38% of its original price after five years, while the Spark only retains 40.73% to 41.29%.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Fit is less expensive to operate than the Spark because it costs $63 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Fit than the Spark, including $142 less for a water pump, $199 less for a muffler, $53 less for front brake pads, $344 less for a timing belt/chain and $197 less for a power steering pump.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Honda Fit, based on reliability, safety and performance.
The Honda Fit outsold the Chevrolet Spark by over two to one during 2017.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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