Chevy Spark Vs. Toyota Yaris Liftback: Small Hatchbacks With Big Personality

By Justin Cupler | March 1st, 2019

The subcompact hatchback segment may not be as popular as it once was, but it remains a great option for buyers looking to save a buck on a car and at the pump. The 2019 Chevy Spark and 2018 Toyota Yaris are great options for these buyers with their spacy interiors and thrifty powertrains, but of these small hatchback models is better for you? Find out below.

Exterior

Compact sedans have a rough time looking good as there is not much room on these tiny bodies for a ton of character without it becoming overwhelming. The 2019 Chevy Spark has a conservative look with its mature, new-for-2019 front end and well-placed chrome accents. The Spark gets an added dose of uniqueness with its rugged-looking Activ model with its higher ride height, chunky body cladding, and exclusive wheels.

The 2018 Yaris Liftback also went through a refresh, giving it a sportier look that will sit well with the younger demographic. Toyota did a great job balancing the sporty look with unimposing style that doesn’t take over the entire body. The Yaris sets itself apart from the Spark with its two- and four-door body options — the Spark only comes as a four-door.

There is few other words to describe the 2019 Chevy Spark than tiny. It is just 143.1 inches long, 62.8 inches wide, and 58.4 to 58.76 inches tall. Its wheelbase is equally tiny at 93.9 inches long. With this small body comes a low curb weight of just 2,246 to 2,312 pounds. This small footprint makes it a breeze to park, but it also cramps the interior a bit.

 

The 2018 Toyota Yaris is a good bit larger than the Spark at 155.5 inches long, 66.7 inches wide, and 59.4 inches tall. Its wheelbase is also longer at 98.8 inches. Despite being so much larger, the Yaris’ curb weight is only slightly higher at 2,315 to 2,335 pounds.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Spark

  • Mature front end
  • Smaller footprint is easier to maneuver
  • Lifted Activ model gives a sense of utility

Advantage: 2018 Toyota Yaris Liftback

  • Sportier look for the younger crowd
  • Sport SE model
  • Two- or four-door body

Interior

The days of cheap econoboxes with terrible interiors is over, especially in the Spark and Yaris. With so much competition, the 2019 Spark and 2018 Yaris must offer premium features and style to keep buyers interested. The Spark boasts a sharp and swoopy dash surrounding a standard 7-inch touchscreen. It also has loads of standard tech, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth streaming audio, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, and more.

The 2018 Toyota Yaris’ cabin is far from unstylish, but it features more of a flat dash with little character. Its touchscreen is also smaller at 6.1 inches and lacks some of the Spark’s standard connectivity like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Despite their tiny exteriors, the Toyota Yaris and Chevy Spark have decent front-seat room. The 2019 Spark’s front seats have 39 inches of headroom, 41.7 inches of legroom, 50.8 inches of shoulder room, and 48.2 inches of hip room. The Yaris has an extra 0.3 inches of headroom, 1.7 inches of shoulder room, and 1.8 inches of hiproom, but it comes up shorter in legroom by 1.1 inches.

 

In the rear seats, space tightens up a bit. The 2019 Spark offers 37 inches of headroom, 33 inches of legroom, 49.8 inches of shoulder room, and 48 inches of hip room. Again, the larger Yaris body gives it more room. The 2018 Toyota Yaris’ rear seats have an extra 0.6 inches of headroom, 0.3 inches of legroom, 2 inches of shoulder room, and 2.1 inches of hip room.

 

Cargo room is never great in these tiny hatchback models, but they are decent for their compact footprints. The Spark offers 11.1 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 27.2 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. The Yaris offers a ton more room with its seats upright at 15.3 cubic feet in the three-door model and 15.6 cubes in the five-door model. Toyota does not offer measurements with the seats folded.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Spark

  • Better standard technology
  • Stylish dash

Advantage: 2018 Toyota Yaris

  • More seating room
  • Better standard cargo capacity

Performance

Tiny hatchbacks are not known for their power, and the 2019 Spark falls into this classification with its 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine producing just 98 horsepower and 94 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable transmission. This is good for a 10.8-second stroll to 60 mph.

The 2018 Toyota Yaris also comes in on the light side in power, but its 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine has a bit more power at 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. Like the Spark, the Yaris comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission. Its optional transmission is a four-speed automatic. This all adds up to a 10.2-second 0-to-60 time.

Though power is light in these subcompact hatchbacks, fuel economy is top-notch. The 2019 Chevy Spark gets up to 29 mpg city, 38 highway, and 33 combined with its base transmission. This higher-riding Spark Activ with the manual transmission gets 29 mpg city, 37 highway, and 32 combined. Opting for the CVT pushes fuel economy to 30 mpg city, 38 highway, and 33 combined in the standard model and 30 mpg city, 37 highway, and 33 combined in the Activ model.

 

The Yaris is easy on fuel too at 30 mpg city, 36 highway, and 33 combined with the manual transmission and 30 mpg city, 35 highway, and 32 combined with the automatic transmission.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Spark

  • Higher-riding Activ model
  • Superior fuel economy
  • More advanced automatic transmission

Advantage: 2018 Toyota Yaris

  • More power
  • Better-handling SE model

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Chevrolet Spark is available in four trim levels: LS, 1LT, Activ, and 2LT. The starting prices for these trims range from $14,095 to $17,495.

 

The 2018 Toyota Yaris comes in five trim levels — 3-Door L, 5-Door L, 3-Door LE, 5-Door LE, and 5-Door SE — and their starting prices range from $15,635 to $18,260.

2019 Chevy Spark Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LS: $14,095

  • 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Five-speed manual transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Front disc and rear drum brakes
  • 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  • Electric power steering
  • Roof-mounted antenna
  • Daytime running lights
  • Body-color door handles
  • Halogen projector headlights
  • Daytime running lights
  • Black outside mirrors
  • Rear spoiler
  • Two-speed rear wiper
  • Variable intermittent front wipers
  • Manual climate control
  • Driver’s seat armrest
  • Chevrolet Infotainment 3 systel
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Four-speaker audio system
  • Two USB ports
  • Rear center console
  • Rear defogger
  • Black door handles
  • Driver information center
  • Front and rear floor mats
  • Driver’s side foot rest
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Hill-start assist
  • Rearview camera

 

1LT: $15,995

  • All LS features
  • 15-inch aluminum wheels
  • LED signature lights
  • Heated body-color mirrors
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • SiriusXM radio
  • Cruise control
  • Power door locks
  • Foldable key
  • Keyless entry
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Theft-deterrent alarm
  • Power windows with one-touch-down driver’s window

 

Activ: $17,095

  • All 1LT features, plus
  • Unique 15-inch wheels
  • Touring suspension
  • Black front and rear bumpers
  • Custom Active grille
  • Fog lights
  • Painted roof rack
  • Black rocker moldings
  • Door sill plate covers
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel with silver accents
  • Leatherette seating

 

2LT: $17,495

  • All 1LT features, plus
  • Chrome door handles
  • Chrome liftgate trim
  • Chrome beltline molding
  • Heated front seats
  • Enhanced driver information center
  • Chrome inside door handles
  • Keyless unlock and ignition
  • Leatherette seating
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel with silver accents
  • Rear parking sensors

2018 Toyota Yaris Key Features and Pricing by Trim

3-Door L: $15,635

  • Three-door body
  • 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Five-speed manual transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  • Sport-tuned electronic power steering
  • Front disc and rear drum brakes
  • Multi-reflector halogen headlamps with chrome accents
  • Daytime running lights
  • Bold front fascia with chrome-accented grille
  • Color-keyed outside mirrors
  • Color-keyed outside door handles
  • Intermittent windshield wipers
  • Rear window wiper
  • Rear window defogger
  • Roof-mounted antenna
  • Air conditioning
  • Entune™ Audio including Entune Multimedia Bundle
  • 6.1-inch touchscreen display
  • Six-speaker AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability
  • USB 2.0 port with iPod® connectivity and
  • Advanced voice recognition
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Siri® Eyes Free
  • Cloth seating
  • 60/40 split fold-down rear seat
  • Tilt 3-spoke sport steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted audio controls
  • Sport instrumentation
  • Power windows with driver’s-side one-touch down
  • Power door locks
  • Cargo area tonneau cover
  • Low-speed automatic emergency braking
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Rearview camera

 

5-Door L: $16,760

  • All 3-Door L features, plus
  • Four-speed automatic transmission
  • Eco-driving gauge

 

3-Door LE: $17,285

  • All 3-Door L features, plus
  • Four-speed automatic transmission
  • Eco-driving gauge
  • 15-inch alloy wheels
  • Black front grille with chrome accent
  • Color-keyed power outside mirrors
  • Cruise control
  • Metallic interior trim accents with satin chrome interior door handles
  • Remote keyless entry system with lock, unlock and panic functions

 

5-Door LE: $17,660

  • All 3-Door LE features, plus
  • Five-door body

 

5-Door SE: $18,260

  • All 5-Door LE features, plus
  • 16-inch machined alloy wheels with dark accents
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • Four-wheel disc brakes
  • Projector-beam headlights with black sport trim and LED accent bar
  • Integrated fog lights with chrome surround
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Black front grille with piano-black accent
  • Sport front fascia with piano-black mesh pattern grille and chrome accent
  • Rear spoiler
  • Sport fabric-trimmed front seats
  • Leather-trimmed tilt sport steering wheel
  • Leather-trimmed shift lever
  • Entune Audio Plus
  • 7-inch high resolution touchscreen display
  • Six-speaker AM/FM/MP3/WMA audio system
  • Connected Navigation Scout® GPS Link App
  • SiriusXM® Satellite Radio with three-month complimentary SiriusXM All Access trial and Gracenote® album
  • HD Radio™
  • HD Radio traffic and weather in major metro areas

Who Should Buy the 2019 Chevy Spark?

The 2019 Chevy Spark is great for more established buyers looking for an inexpensive hatchback with great fuel economy. It fits this buyer thanks to its more mature front and advanced automatic transmission. It also fits the younger crowd with its standard smartphone integration and 4G LTE Wi-Fi.

Who Should Buy the 2018 Toyota Yaris?

The younger crowd seeking a sportier look will appreciate the Yaris Liftback’s sharper front end and sportier SE trim. Also, college student who are sure to haul around friends and cargo will find the extra room in the Yaris quite handy.

Whether you’re commuting to Wheaton every day, heading to Carol Stream with friends, or visiting the grandkids in Lombard, the 2019 Chevy Spark can get you there efficiently and in style. Stop by Sunrise Chevrolet today to check out the 2019 Spark for yourself and take it for a test drive — it will not disappoint you. If you can’t make it by today, you can see what 2019 Spark models we have in stock via our online inventory system. Pick the one you like and test drive it at your convenience.

Comments

comments