2020 Chevrolet Spark vs. 2019 Ford Fiesta

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Spark LT Auto offers optional Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking, which use 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 Fiesta doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Chevrolet Spark has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Fiesta doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

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

Both the Spark and the Fiesta have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

Warranty

The Spark’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Fiesta’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Spark’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Fiesta’s camshafts. If the Fiesta’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Spark’s reliability 40 points higher than the Fiesta.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Spark gets better fuel mileage than the Fiesta:

MPG

Spark

Manual

1.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

29 city/38 hwy

ACTIV 1.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

29 city/37 hwy

Auto

1.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

30 city/38 hwy

ACTIV 1.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

30 city/37 hwy

Fiesta

Manual

1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/35 hwy

Auto

1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/37 hwy

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 Fiesta doesn’t offer a CVT.

To help the driver achieve optimum performance and fuel economy, the Spark has a standard up-shift light to indicate when to shift based on power needs and conditions. The Fiesta doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

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 Fiesta’s standard 60 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Spark’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Fiesta’s (33.8 feet vs. 34.4 feet).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Spark may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 pounds less than the Ford Fiesta.

The Spark is 1 foot, 4.6 inches shorter than the Fiesta Hatch, making the Spark easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The Spark has a larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the Fiesta Hatch with its rear seat folded (27.2 vs. 25.4 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Spark has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Fiesta doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Spark has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Fiesta has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SE/ST-Line.

Economic Advantages

The Spark will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Spark will retain 38.25% to 41.48% of its original price after five years, while the Fiesta only retains 31.77% to 36.69%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Spark is less expensive to operate than the Fiesta because it costs $291 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Spark than the Fiesta, including $5 less for a muffler and $8 less for a starter.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chevrolet Spark will be $1485 to $3101 less than for the Ford Fiesta.

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

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