2020 Chevrolet Spark vs. 2020 Nissan Versa

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Spark and the Versa have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee 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, 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 Versa’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.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Spark Manual gets better fuel mileage than the Versa Manual (29 city/38 hwy vs. 27 city/35 hwy).

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 Versa 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 Versa S’ standard 65 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

Chassis

The Chevrolet Spark may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 400 pounds less than the Nissan Versa.

The Spark is 2 feet, 9.9 inches shorter than the Versa, making the Spark easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Spark is 5.7 inches narrower than the Versa, making the Spark easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

Passenger Space

The Spark has .7 inches more rear headroom and 2 inches more rear legroom than the Versa.

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 Versa’s useful trunk space.

The Spark’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Versa S Manual doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Ergonomics

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

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Spark has a standard rear wiper. The Versa doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

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

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