Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 Chevrolet Cruze VS 2014 Ford Focus Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2014 Chevrolet Cruze

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VS

2014 Ford Focus

Safety Comparison

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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 Ford Focus has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Cruze and Focus 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 Focus’ 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 Chevrolet Cruze has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Focus doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

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 Focus doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Cruze and the Focus 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 Ford Focus:

Cruze

Focus

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

23%

28%

Neck Stress

161 lbs.

188 lbs.

Neck Compression

33 lbs.

42 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

267

276

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.4 inches

Neck Injury Risk

44%

54%

Neck Compression

45 lbs.

78 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 Ford Focus:

Cruze

Focus

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.3 inches

Hip Force

317 lbs.

429 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

29 G’s

52 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

14 inches

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

Warranty Comparison

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

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

Chevrolet pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cruze for 2 years and 24,000 miles. Chevrolet will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Focus.

Reliability Comparison

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

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Cruze’s reliability will be 47% better than the Ford Focus Sedan and 154% better than the Ford Focus 5dr Hatchback.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 34 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 27th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 13th.

Engine Comparison

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The Cruze’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 112 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 146) than the Focus’ 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Cruze turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Ford Focus (automatics tested):

Cruze

Focus

Zero to 30 MPH

2.6 sec

2.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

8.1 sec

Top Speed

124 MPH

122 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Cruze 2.0 turbo diesel 4 cyl. Auto gets better highway fuel mileage than the Focus SMG (46 hwy vs. 40 hwy).

The Cruze’s standard fuel tank has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Focus (15.6 vs. 12.4 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The Cruze stops much shorter than the Focus:

Cruze

Focus

70 to 0 MPH

172 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

131 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

151 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the Cruze has larger standard tires than the Focus (215/60R16 vs. 195/65R15).

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 Focus S’ 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 Focus S.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Cruze’s wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer than on the Focus (105.7 inches vs. 104.3 inches).

The Cruze LTZ handles at .85 G’s, while the Focus SE Sedan pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Cruze ECO goes through Popular Mechanics’ slalom 3.4 MPH faster than the Focus SE Sedan (72.5 vs. 69.1 MPH).

The Cruze LT performs Popular Mechanics’ emergency lane change maneuver 12.4 MPH faster than the Focus SE Sedan (60.66 vs. 48.3 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

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To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Cruze has liquid-filled engine mounts. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Focus uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

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

Cruze

Focus

At idle

38 dB

40 dB

Full-Throttle

74 dB

80 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Cruze is rated a Mid-size car by the EPA, while the Focus Sedan is rated a Compact.

The Cruze has 3.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Focus (94.6 vs. 90.7).

The Cruze has 1 inch more front headroom, .4 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more rear legroom and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Focus Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The Cruze has a much larger trunk than the Focus Sedan (15.4 vs. 13.2 cubic feet).

The Cruze’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Focus S/SE Sedan’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The Cruze’s standard front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Focus’ standard power windows’ passenger windows don’t open automatically.

Consumer Reports rated the Cruze’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Focus’ 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 Focus has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SE/Titanium.

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 Focus doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Cruze, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the Focus.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the Cruze owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Cruze will cost $255 less than the Focus over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Cruze is less expensive to operate than the Focus because typical repairs cost much less on the Cruze than the Focus, including $309 less for a water pump, $169 less for a starter, $113 less for fuel injection, $29 less for front struts, $294 less for a timing belt/chain and $178 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

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The Chevrolet Cruze has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

Cruze

Focus

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its August 2012 issue and they ranked the Chevrolet Cruze ECO three places higher than the Ford Focus SE Sedan.

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