HOLDEN SPARK LT

The Advertiser - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD -

VALUE

The rec­om­mended re­tail price for the top of the range Spark LT is close to the Yaris As­cent but Holden’s web­site has it as $22,208 drive-away ver­sus the Toy­ota’s long-term $17,990 drive-away deal. The Spark comes with more gear. The Holden gains Ap­ple CarPlay, a sen­sor key, al­loy wheels, front fog lights, big­ger en­gine and bet­ter trans­mis­sion. Run­ning costs are com­pet­i­tive ($916 over three years). But the $4218 pre­mium is as­tound­ing in such a price­sen­si­tive class. Metal­lic paint adds $550.

DE­SIGN TECH

A good look­ing car, the Spark is smaller in ev­ery di­men­sion than the Yaris. That’s be­cause the Spark prop­erly sits in the class size below the Yaris, de­spite its dearer price. Rear seat space is tighter in the Holden and boot space is smaller, too. There is one ad­van­tage: you can squeeze into tighter park­ing spa­ces. Six airbags and a five-star safety rat­ing. A rear cam­era is stan­dard on this top end model in the Spark range. Ap­ple CarPlay de­serves a safety men­tion, too, be­cause it re­duces the temp­ta­tion to touch the phone.

DRIV­ING

EN­GINE

In such a small car, the 1.4-litre en­gine has plenty of oomph and is matched well to the con­stantly vari­able trans­mis­sion, which finds the best rev range to op­ti­mise per­for­mance and econ­omy. It’s pretty miserly, at 5.5L/100km, but not much bet­ter than the Yaris, con­sid­er­ing it weighs less and has a more mod­ern driv­e­line.

SAFETY

For a city run­about, the Spark is fun to drive. It has more straight­line zip than the Yaris but is a lit­tle firmer over bumps (com­pared to both the Spark and Yaris base mod­els) due to the low-pro­file tyres. The tight turn­ing cir­cle makes it a cinch to ma­noeu­vre in nar­row streets.

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