2020 Chevrolet Spark vs. 2019 Toyota Prius c

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Chevrolet Spark are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Toyota Prius c doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

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 Prius c 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 Prius c have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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 Prius c’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 2 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Toyota 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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Spark has larger tires than the Prius c (185/55R15 vs. 175/65R15).

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 Prius c’s standard 65 series tires.

Chassis

The Chevrolet Spark may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 300 pounds less than the Toyota Prius c.

The Spark is 1 foot, 7.3 inches shorter than the Prius c, making the Spark easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Spark is 5.8 inches narrower than the Prius c, making the Spark easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

Servicing Ease

An Oil Life Monitor is standard on the Spark to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Toyota doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Prius c.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Spark and the Prius c 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 Prius c 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 Prius c’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

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 Prius c doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

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

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 Prius c.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Spark owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Spark with a number “3” insurance rate while the Prius c is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Spark is less expensive to operate than the Prius c because it costs $19 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Spark than the Prius c, including $297 less for a water pump, $346 less for fuel injection, $93 less for a fuel pump, $340 less for a timing belt/chain and $273 less for a power steering pump.

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

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