2020 Chevrolet Spark vs. 2019 Nissan Versa Note

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 Versa Note 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 Versa Note 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 Versa Note 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 Versa Note doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Spark and the Versa Note 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, 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 Versa Note’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are almost 3 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Nissan 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 Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 7th.

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 Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

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 Nissan Versa Note (3 to 5). This means the Spark produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Versa Note every 15,000 miles.

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 Versa Note’s standard 65 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Spark’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Versa Note’s (33.8 feet vs. 34.8 feet).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Spark may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 250 pounds less than the Nissan Versa Note.

The Spark is 1 foot, 7.9 inches shorter than the Versa Note, making the Spark easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Servicing Ease

The Spark has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Versa Note doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Spark and the Versa Note 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 Versa Note prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Versa Note SV/SR’s power windows’ switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

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 Versa Note doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

The Spark LT/ACTIV’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Versa Note’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Spark is less expensive to operate than the Versa Note because it costs $55 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Spark than the Versa Note, including $143 less for a starter, $126 less for fuel injection, $86 less for a fuel pump and $15 less for front struts.

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

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