2020 Chevrolet Spark vs. 2019 Honda Civic

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Spark and the Civic have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

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

There are almost 3 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Honda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Spark’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

Civic Sedan

Manual

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/36 hwy

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/37 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Spark uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Civic Hatchback Sport requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

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 Civic doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Spark’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Civic LX/EX’s (33.8 feet vs. 35.4 feet). The Spark’s turning circle is 4 feet tighter than the Civic Sport Hatchback’s (33.8 feet vs. 37.8 feet).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Spark may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 700 pounds less than the Honda Civic.

The Spark is 2 feet, 10.2 inches shorter than the Civic Coupe, making the Spark easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces. The Spark is 3 feet, 3.6 inches shorter than the Civic Sedan.

The Spark is 8.1 inches narrower than the Civic, making the Spark easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

Cargo Capacity

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Spark’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Civic’s useful trunk space.

The Spark’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Civic LX Sedan’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Spark and the Civic have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Spark is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Civic prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Spark’s variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Civic LX/Sport’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Spark owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Spark will cost $135 less than the Civic over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Spark is less expensive to operate than the Civic because typical repairs cost much less on the Spark than the Civic, including $365 less for a starter, $30 less for fuel injection, $107 less for a fuel pump and $19 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 $3499 to $8803 less than for the Honda Civic.

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

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