Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 Chevrolet Cruze VS 2012 Toyota Prius Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2013 Chevrolet Cruze

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2012 Toyota Prius

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Chevrolet Cruze are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Toyota Prius has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Cruze and Prius have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Cruze has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Prius’ child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Cruze LT/ECO/LTZ’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Prius doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Cruze LT/ECO/LTZ’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Prius doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Cruze and the Prius have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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 and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Chevrolet Cruze is safer than the Toyota Prius:




5 Stars

4 Stars



5 Stars

5 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

183 lbs.

313 lbs.

Neck Compression

16 lbs.

33 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

304/509 lbs.

572/664 lbs.



5 Stars

4 Stars




Chest Compression

.4 inches

.4 inches

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

148 lbs.

225 lbs.

Neck Compression

23 lbs.

66 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

233/409 lbs.

577/356 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test,  which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Chevrolet Cruze is safer than the Toyota Prius:



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

317 lbs.

491 lbs.

Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

29 G’s

62 G’s

Hip Force

723 lbs.

913 lbs.

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

47 G’s

56 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Instrumented handling tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and analysis of its dimensions indicate that the Cruze is 1.1% less likely to roll over than the Prius.

Warranty Comparison

Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Cruze 40,000 miles longer than Toyota covers the Prius. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Prius ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Cruze’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Prius’ (6 vs. 5 years).

There are almost 4 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Toyota dealers,  which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Cruze’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Chevrolet Cruze’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Prius’ engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

Engine Comparison

The Cruze LS’ standard 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 4 more horsepower (138 vs. 134) than the Prius’ 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid. The Cruze’s optional 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. produces 4 more horsepower (138 vs. 134) than the Prius’ 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Chevrolet Cruze is faster than the Toyota Prius (automatics tested):

Cruze LS

Cruze turbo 4 cyl.


Zero to 60 MPH

10.5 sec

9.8 sec

10.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

79.8 MPH

81.6 MPH

79.3 MPH

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the Cruze’s engines produce their peak torque at lower RPM’s than the Prius:


Cruze LS 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl.

3800 RPM

Cruze 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

1850 RPM

Prius 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

4000 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Cruze’s standard fuel tank has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Prius (15.6 vs. 11.9 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Cruze’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Prius:



Front Rotors

10.8 inches

10 inches

Rear Rotors

10.5 inches

10.2 inches

The Cruze stops much shorter than the Prius:



70 to 0 MPH

172 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Cruze has larger standard tires than the Prius (215/60R16 vs. 195/65R15). The Cruze LTZ’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Prius (235/45R18 vs. 215/45R17).

The Cruze LS/LT’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Prius’ standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Cruze LS/LT has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Prius. The Cruze LTZ’s 18-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels optional on the Prius.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Cruze is .9 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Prius.

The Cruze LTZ handles at .85 G’s, while the Prius pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Cruze LT performs Car and Driver’s emergency lane change maneuver 5 MPH faster than the Prius (62.1 vs. 57.1 MPH).

The Cruze LTZ executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Prius (27.4 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The front grille of the Cruze ECO uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Prius doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Cruze LT is quieter than the Prius:



At idle

38 dB

49 dB


74 dB

76 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

72 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Cruze has .7 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front hip room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 1.2 inches more rear hip room and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Prius.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Cruze Automatic offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The Prius doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The power windows standard on both the Cruze and the Prius have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Cruze is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Prius prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

Consumer Reports rated the Cruze’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Prius’ headlights,  which were rated “Good.”

The Cruze has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Prius only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

To shield the driver’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side window, the Cruze has a standard extendable sun visor. The Prius doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Cruze’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Prius’ power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Cruze owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Cruze with a number “1” insurance rate while the Prius is rated higher at a number “3” rate.

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