2020 Toyota Yaris vs. 2020 Chevrolet Spark

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 3 points, IIHS rates the Low-Speed Pre-Collision System in the Yaris as “Advanced.” The Spark scores only 1 point and is rated only “Basic.”

Both the Yaris and the Spark 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, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Yaris the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 168 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Spark has not been fully tested, yet, but doesn’t qualify for 2017 “Top Pick.”

Warranty

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The Yaris’ corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Spark’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Yaris for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Chevrolet only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Spark.

Reliability

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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 Yaris’ reliability 35 points higher than the Spark.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked fourth.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 23rd.

Engine

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The Yaris’ 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 8 more horsepower (106 vs. 98) and 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (103 vs. 94) than the Spark’s 1.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Yaris

Spark

1.5 4 cyl./6-spd. Manual

30 city/39 hwy

29 city/38 hwy

1.4 4 cyl./Manual

n/a

29 city/37 hwy

1.4 4 cyl./Manual

1.5 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

32 city/40 hwy

30 city/38 hwy

1.4 4 cyl./Auto

n/a

30 city/37 hwy

1.4 4 cyl./Auto

The Yaris has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Spark (11.6 vs. 9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A six-speed manual is standard on the Toyota Yaris, with closer gear ratios for better performance and a lower final drive ratio for quieter highway operation, less engine wear and better fuel mileage. Only a five-speed manual is available for the Spark.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Yaris’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Spark:

Yaris

Spark

Front Rotors

10.2 inches

9.3 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Yaris LE/XLE has standard 16-inch wheels. The Spark’s largest wheels are only 15-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The Yaris has a standard front stabilizer bar, which help keep the Yaris flat and controlled during cornering. The Spark’s suspension doesn’t offer a stabilizer bar

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Yaris’ wheelbase is 7.3 inches longer than on the Spark (101.2 inches vs. 93.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Yaris is 4.3 inches wider in the front and 4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Spark.

For better maneuverability, the Yaris’ turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Spark’s (32.2 feet vs. 33.8 feet).

Passenger Space

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The Yaris has standard seating for 5 passengers; the Spark can only carry 4.

The Yaris has 2.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Spark (85.9 vs. 83).

The Yaris has .2 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more front hip room, 2.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear legroom, 1.5 inches more rear hip room and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Spark.

Ergonomics

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To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Yaris has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Spark doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

The Yaris’ standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows are only available on the Spark LT/ACTIV.

The Yaris’ standard power locks allow the driver or passenger to lock or unlock all the doors at a touch without leaning over, or reaching to the back seat. The Spark LS doesn’t offer power locks.

The Yaris XLE’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Spark’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Yaris detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Spark doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Yaris XLE’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Spark doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

With standard voice command, the Yaris offers the driver hands free control of the radio and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Spark doesn’t offer a voice control system.

Model Availability

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The Toyota Yaris comes in sedan and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Chevrolet Spark isn’t available as a sedan or four door hatchback.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Yaris owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Yaris will cost $20 to $530 less than the Spark over a five-year period.

The Yaris will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Yaris will retain 50.54% to 51.36% of its original price after five years, while the Spark only retains 38.25% to 41.48%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Yaris is less expensive to operate than the Spark because it costs $4 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Yaris than the Spark, including $194 less for a water pump, $214 less for a muffler, $68 less for front brake pads, $274 less for a fuel pump, $357 less for a timing belt/chain and $187 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Yaris will be $775 to $2640 less than for the Chevrolet Spark.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Yaris as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Yaris first among small cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Spark isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Toyota Yaris outsold the Chevrolet Spark by 15% during 2018.

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

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