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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So far I've test driven the Prius, Elantra, Jetta, Fusion Hybrid, Sonata. So far I'm liking the Cruze the best. The prius was too underpowered and noisy going up hills. The steering feel sucked too. The Elantra is a GREAT value and I like all the features (especially the push button start) but it's steering was almost as bad as the prius and it felt pretty weak. The jetta was too noisy and I'm just not a 'vw guy'. The fusion hybrid seemed way overpriced. If I get it with the extra options it will cost over 33k! It's length is also longer than I want. (I live in SF with lots of small parallel parking spots) The sonata 2.0t had a great combination of POWER and mileage but like the fusion, it's a little bigger than I need. And the steering feel wasn't as good as the Cruze. The Cruze's combination of quietness, handling and mileage seems to be the best out there right now.

The only other car that could be a contender is the upcoming 2012 Focus. They haven't posted the official horse power and mileage for the PZEZ state versions but it appears that it may have better hp AND mpg than the Cruze. It's also supposed to be quiet and handle well. I wonder if I can hold out long enough for it to come out.
 

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Yeah, its a tough one. If the focus comes out and is everything it is hyped to be it will be a serious contender. IMO a real strength of the Cruze is the safety features, the features you hope to never use :D.
The price will be interesting too. This generation of compact is definitely not the cheapo cars they used to be, and that is reflected in the price tag. I think the focus may end up a little bit more than the cruze, but it will be a coin toss. It may come down to styling. Do you prefer the more youth oriented styling of the Focus or the classier look of the Cruze.
The best news is that you have two awesome American cars at the top of the segment and you can't pick a loser between them.
 

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"...everthing OLD is NEW again."

...I gotta laugh at all the hype for the 'new' "PUSH-button" starting...same as used back in the 30's-'50's!
 

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I think it's safe to assume the 2012 Focus will be faster and slightly "sportier" as far handling, although I have heard great things about the handling of the Cruze. Also, bigger engine, more horsepower, likely less MPG, but probably around 30.

It's a matter of what you place importance on. I place importance on comfort and convenience for long drives. I LOVE the idea of the quiet interior of the Cruze, solid MPG, and the instant read for MPG and miles to empty. I also love the idea of remote start for the winter, which I don't believe is an option on the Focus. I don't want a car that doesn't perform, but I do place less importance on performance aspects like acceleration, handling, etc.

Coming from a 2002 Ford Focus SVT, I've done the whole "sporty" compact thing. It was great for two or three years, but got old. I'm over it. Ready for an efficient ride that I'll be content with for the better part of a decade.
 

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Take a look to the pictures! I cannot even compare stylish Cruze with the ugly face of the 2012 Focus!:) The black plastic is too churlish and looks cheap for me. Of course they are many parameters to compare these cars, but at the first looking, Cruze wins definitely!
Maybe because I have a Cruze???:p
BTW, shouldn’t we compare the cars from the same year?;)
 

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Take a look to the pictures! I cannot even compare stylish Cruze with the ugly face of the 2012 Focus!:) The black plastic is too churlish and looks cheap for me. Of course they are many parameters to compare these cars, but at the first looking, Cruze wins definitely!
Maybe because I have a Cruze???:p
BTW, shouldn’t we compare the cars from the same year?;)
Sorry, of course the pictures……
 

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Given what you've driven, I take it that you need a sedan that can hold four people and all their luggage? In that case, try the Fiesta and Forte as well. The 2011 Forte has been refreshed and is very efficient with the new transmissions. An EX sedan or five door are both relatively cheap for what you get and the 2.0L I4 engine is much peppier than the Elantra 1.8L I4. The Fiesta sedan is also a very nice ride and the SE with 203A package and satellite radio can be had under $17K with current rebates.

If you can live without full-time acomodations for four and given you are in SF, consider the base Mini. It's more than enough car for two people and their luggage if that is all you need. You can also park it just about anywhere.

The new Focus is quite nice. I had one last week from the press pool and the only knock is that the cockpit feel makes it feel a bit small inside when it really isn't. It's not as quiet as the Cruze, but feels a bit faster off the line. The models we drove are the last of the pilot builds and were reflective of production tuning you'll be ale to buy in a month. The Titanium model was over $26K with a package similar to the Cruze LTZ with NAVI. The SE was the sweet spot as you could get all the goodies (alloys, upgraded infotainment, etc.) for about $20K.
 

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Let me tell you my experience from test driving a LTZ cruze for the last 3 days. Our local dealer let me have a test drive no strings attached for 3 days to try out the new cruze. I have owned close to 25+ cars so far in my life span and let me tell you that cruze has raised the bar to a whole new level for small size entry level cars.. I work at a toyota plant where we build the corolla and no way i would choose that ride over the new cruze. Its only real competition is the focus or the new elantra and having checked out those 2 rides sorry cruze has them both hands down. The part that surprised me was its a fun car to drive and its so dam quiet you forget your in a small car. After the third day i handed back the keys to the cruze i was sad and miss that car already. You people who own one i am jealous of you all and this is from a guy who has a 2010 camaro in his garage.. My only 2 gripes about the car are the options. The LTZ should have a manual option and they should have a SS version as well.
 

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I too am not a fan of the 2012 focus styling especially the front end enough to be a deal breaker for me. However, the 2012 Elantra....I would have closely done my dd on this car if it was available. Sharp looking car but don't have the specs on it. Now, put the Cruze hatchback into the mix assumng similar space as the sedan and I would not look any further. Did they say anything about an Elantra hatchback? my brain hurts.
 

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...The LTZ should have a manual option and they should have a SS version as well.
...+1,000% for those of us who know *how* to "...shift for ourselves..."
 

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I work at a toyota plant where we build the corolla and no way i would choose that ride over the new cruze. Its only real competition is the focus or the new elantra .
The Corolla is still on an older platform so it's not really comparable to the next generation of compacts out/coming out. As of now the only ones I can think of are the Cruze, Focus, Elentra, and Civic. Performance wise it'll be the Civic Si until the Focus ST comes out or future Cruze SS. Mileage I'd say the Cruze will hold that top spot until the next generations come out. As far as quality and longevity it'll take awhile to see who comes out on top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all your replies. I really like hearing other peoples thoughts. To everyone who mentioned that the new Focus doesn't look as good as the Cruze, I AGREE! It sounds like everything else will be quite comparable though.

Bigbee60, I wanted to try the Kia Forte but they didn't have any at the dealer I went to. Edmunds says that the only Forte trim that handles well is the SX and that trim's mileage is only 23/32 mpg. Edmunds also says road noise can be intrusive on some surfaces. The Fiesta and Mini's just aren't for me. Too dinky and not my style unfortunately.
 

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I like the exterior of the new Focus, however when I went to CIAS and took a seat in one of them, it was extremely cramped! I had no leg room whatsoever because the centre console was so huge. I wanted a car that had ample space; that's why I chose the Cruze.
 

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The funny thing was, when I was test driving cars, I was putting the Cruze more in the league of the Ford Fusion, since the 2011 Focus just doesn't measure up. And until the '12 is out, that'll continue to be the case.

Anyway, I wanted a car now, not in the 2012 model year, and the Cruze delivered, so, winner. :) Even when the '12 Focus is out and common I'm certain I'll still think IO made the right choice.
 

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We just picked up our Cruze last week and love it. I have a 2011 Prius I use for work and I hate the seats and the ride, also the center console is very awkward it just doesn't flow. We had VW beetles as another company car in my last Job and they had alot of electrical issues and got terrible mileage. From what I understand the Jetta uses the same 2.5L engine still. I've driven my dads 2010 Civic and it's interior is very boring, overall a boring car which appears to be the case in the 2012 since it is mostly a refresh. I believe the only 2 options are between the Cruze and the Focus. It is good to see American cars back and kicking a$$.
 

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I have a cruze and I also like the styling of the 2012 focus. If the focus was out in october when I bought my cruze I might have been swayed to buy it. I like the way the interior looks in pictures, seems very high quality. I'm also a tech guy and the Sync and My Ford touch with 8 inch screen are priced well. You also mentioned lots of parallel parking, and it's important to note that the focus can parallel park itself! I think I have car envy already.
 

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There are at least a dozen cars that I would not mind owning that are in the same price range as the Cruze. The 2012 Focus looks like it would make the short list for me. I would include the Ford Fusion on that list as well. The technology integration, combined with a lot of refinement, makes for a very nice car. My main motivation for purchasing the Cruze came down to the following list:

Body Style
Quiet Ride
Upscale Interior
Small Forced Induction Engine
Reasonable Price
 
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