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C&D May'11: 5-Car Comparison article

4908 Views 29 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  Blue Angel
...the May 2011 issue of Car and Driver has a 5-car comparison article on pages 38-49; below are links to their "Side-by-Side Data" and "Summary":

http://www.caranddriver.com/var/ezf...lication/885057c7884d97ed3451c1910b11662d.pdf

http://www.caranddriver.com/var/ezf...lication/3fdfb7ca007314a44011180a7194c879.pdf

...the 2LT Cruze tested did not come out very high...only 4th out of 5!
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I noticed the two cars that have the lowest claimed MPG (Mazda, VW) from EPA did about as well in the C/D 400 mile trip as the other three that have higher claimed milage.
For example, both the Cruze and Mazda have 18 MPG on the 400 mile trip, but Cruze EPA is 24/36 and the Mazda EPA is 22/29. Hyundai missed its mark by quite a bit as well.
Makes you wonder if the new technology used to squeeze extra MPG out of conventional drive trains may work for EPA testing but not real world driving.
 

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I realize it is C&D and they are entirely performance oriented, but the best in class of 21 mph is pretty funny. For the most part there inst much to complain about. The only rating I really took exception to for the Cruze is the Features at 5 while the Focus has 10. Yes, it has the really cool Sync, but The Cruze has alot of functionality as well. Sync wont call you an ambulance either. Safety is not a top priority at C&D though. They always have medical staff on site for their comparos. :D
All this shows is this class is super competitive and there isnt much to choose between em. They chose not to run the old dogs in the Corolla and Civic, which will likely outsell the rest of the field combined...... This test was only for cool cars I guess.
 

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I noticed the two cars that have the lowest claimed MPG (Mazda, VW) from EPA did about as well in the C/D 400 mile trip as the other three that have higher claimed milage.
For example, both the Cruze and Mazda have 18 MPG on the 400 mile trip, but Cruze EPA is 24/36 and the Mazda EPA is 22/29. Hyundai missed its mark by quite a bit as well.
Makes you wonder if the new technology used to squeeze extra MPG out of conventional drive trains may work for EPA testing but not real world driving.
This is fairly well known. EPA testing is not very accurate, since the conditions they use are hardly real-world. Most people do not drive at a constant 55mph on flat terrain, but it is how cars are tested. Like that other thread from back when where EPA testers were told to test the car with the DRLs off, since it could produce a .05 mpg loss or something like that.
 

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We were seduced by this Cruze’s two-tone interior, its brown-and-beige scheme a refreshing change of pace from the black in every other car here. We were disappointed, however, with the fat-pixel displays situated in the middle of the instrument cluster and atop the center stack, particularly after seeing the high-resolution screens in the Focus. As pleasant as it is inside, though, the Cruze isn’t a jaw dropper like the Ford and the Hyundai are.

The brakes also came under fire—and nearly caught on fire, judging from the smoke pouring off of them—after the pedal turned to mush.

That’s not to say the Cruze can’t handle. It tied for the top spot on the skidpad and was the lane-change champ by a significant margin. The avoidance-maneuver heroics were in large part due to the immediacy of the steering, but otherwise, we had little positive to say about the tiller. It is too light, with very little feel. Competent, the Cruze is. Fun, it is not.
There are the worst things they said about it. You can't compare the standard stereo screen in the Cruze to the Focus, it's not a comparison. Add the nav (albeit an expensive option) and then compare. And all the other cars had the Navigation systems as well (minus the Mazda), so it's not a fair comparison from the get go.

As for looks, I think the Cruze takes that department hands down between the other 4, the Mazda not too far behind. The other cars look like their entry level vehicles, the Cruze (in my eyes) looks like a step or two above. The VW also doesn't necessarily look like an entry level either, but I like the Cruze Better

I don't agree completely with their conclusions but they aren't terribly far off. Subjective tests like this are hardly noteworthy though.

Also, here is the link to their full write up:

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews...011_volkswagen_jetta_2.5_sel-comparison_tests
 

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^ I agree.

The focus was the winner, but man those Ford cars are so ugly. I'd feel embarrassed to be driving around in one of them.
They are probably on their forum saying the same thing about other cars... :rolleyes:

This test doesn't really say much though. If you are happy with your cares then who cars what the mags put out? Also there are still other cars that are just coming out to compare the segment against one another. I think MT will have a better article on them. Regardless of which one they choose at least the numbers will be posted.

Also... 25K for a Focus SEL?!?!!?
 

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...the May 2011 issue of Car and Driver has a 5-car comparison article on pages 38-49). below are links to their "Side-by-Side Data" and "Summary":

http://www.caranddriver.com/var/ezf...lication/885057c7884d97ed3451c1910b11662d.pdf

http://www.caranddriver.com/var/ezf...lication/3fdfb7ca007314a44011180a7194c879.pdf

...the 2LT Cruze tested did not come out very high...only 4th out of 5!
C&D also did a road test of a 2011 LTZ in the January 2011 issue. It is interesting that the two reviews read somewhat differently. Not so much contradictory, but different. Yes, it was an LTZ and a 2LT RS with 17's, but really, there isn't much difference in the two other than the wheel and tire size. It seemed like in the comparo article, they were looking for things to nitpick. I've been reading C&D for several decades, and they do tend to be rather subjective in their commentary. I keep a salt block next to my reading chair.;)

Jim
 

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Most of it was opinion, so there's not really much to complain about. The only thing that stood out to me was the "1" for back seat comfort. Mind you, that's probably one of my bigger complaints, but 1 is fairly harsh. None of the other cars in the class that I looked at were much different at all. Giving up backseat comfort is a fact of life with compacts if you ask me...
 

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I don't remember the Jetta ever being much of a player at all. The TDIs are fun though.
Well no the problem with the previous generation jetta is that it grew up too much, you could hardly tell the difference between a passat and a jetta and their price ranges were way too close where people were like wait a loaded jetta is 25k and i can get a nicely equipped passat for 27 why am i buying a jetta? Which led to jetta sales sucking and people who are looking for an entry level car (sub 20k) SOL.

So they tried to make the new jetta what it was back in the early 2000s generation where it was a fun entry level car tat was affordable but had German quality and they failed.. BAD
 

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Have to give my two cents worth.
I drove all those cars before I bought my cruze last week. 1lt
So far I am getting 25 - 26 pure city driving. Seems to be going down but how did they manage 18.
I drove a new focus and the interior just felt cheap to me. The fold down rear seat had no fold down split it was all or nothing. It did feel like it had more power but it had to get the rpms up. I like how the cruze gets up to traffic speed in no time and not needing to rev.
Our other car is a 2007 mazda 3. It came down to a mazda 3 and the cruze for me. I chose the cruze because I got offered a better deal and it has more options. And most importantly the cruze is better looking IMO. I like how our mazda looks compared to the new ones.

In the end I felt the cruze drove better than mazda and handled just as good if not better. I love the way it stays flat in turns but yet rides like an adult car. our mazda has a stiffer and more punishing ride without handling any better. although I do like how they ride too.

if you look at the handling results the cruze, mazda, and elantra all tied. I drove an elantra I thought it handled terrible compared to the mazda 3 and cruze but maybe I got a bad car or something I don't know.

one last note is the my touch system did suck in the focus. I think they made a big mistake going with microsoft. also why does there have to be advertising for microsoft on every fricken car. I don't want to see microsoft advertising every time I get in MY car and go for a drive. the system in the cruze is much better IMO simpler and more elegant. the focus system looked cheesy IMO.

anyway my two cents worth.
 

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This is fairly well known. EPA testing is not very accurate, since the conditions they use are hardly real-world..
Yes, I am aware, but my point here is the variance among the cars listed. New technology (Cruze, Hyuandai) has a big difference between the EPA rating and the real world test given in this rating, but the older technology (VW, Mazda) does not have as big of a difference.
 

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...when one "looks" at a family-sedan through "racing glass" lenses, one tends to only "see" the racing aspects and not the family-aspects.









...BUT, I did find some useful information from this, fourth, magazine test of Cruze models (wanna know what it was?).
Was it the first drive review of the Eco......which was pretty positive by the way???
 

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I don't look at rankings or scores in comparison tests like this any more... it just seems like a waste of time as there's no consistency to the way things are done and everyone's perception and opinion on a car's features and faults are always going to be different.

I hate to use the word "conspiracy", but it seems some magazines are all about pushing a particular car for little to no apparent reason... OK, so they rated the ford the best, but they didn't really say why? They spent as much time criticising the Focus as they did anything else.

If they're going to rate things then they should at least explain their ratings. On that topic, their ratings for the cars were fairly close but there's no mention of that in the article, just a finishing order. Is the new Jetta really that bad? I don't think so... I drove one and sure the interior is a step or two down from some of the others. Does the Cruze handle THAT poorly? I don't think so, and just how much "weight" can you put on steering feel? (pun intended).

I think there's been a bit of a "Top Gear" effect on auto rags lately where they're all trying to be entertaining... Quantifying their results by saying that they're all "good" cars doesn't make for punchy/witty journalism.
 
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