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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. Trying to decide between a Cruze and a Focus. I've taken each on a fairly long test drive and both have their pluses and minuses. One thing in that particular that bothered me about the Cruze is the lack of steering feel at highway speeds. Not the the steering was sloppy, just that there seems to be a lack feel or sense of connectedness when making small steering corrections.

Is this typical or did I perhaps just drive a bad example?

Generally, I'd say the Cruze wins on engine, transmission and space, Focus wins on chassis, steering and interior quality. In my opinion at least.

Thanks!
 

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This is because of the drive-by-wire system. The steering is speed sensitive to make it a little more stable, but it ends up feeling, like you said, a little disconnected. Still comfortable, though!
 

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Hello. Trying to decide between a Cruze and a Focus. I've taken each on a fairly long test drive and both have their pluses and minuses. One thing in that particular that bothered me about the Cruze is the lack of steering feel at highway speeds. Not the the steering was sloppy, just that there seems to be a lack feel or sense of connectedness when making small steering corrections.
I'm not sure I understand why that is a problem? The Cruze is a sturdier car than the Focus. It's curb weight is right there with other midsize sedans such as the Camry, Fusion, and Sonata. The first thing I noticed when test driving it is the lack of the NEED to make small steering corrections on the highway. You can take your hands off the wheel and it will drive like an arrow, where as other small cars get buffered by the wind at highway speeds. It is remarkably well planted, which is why many people say it drives like a larger car.

But yeah, your asking a Cruze forum, so our opinions will be biased :).

May I ask which trim you test drove? Because I find it hard to say the Focus has a better interior than the two tone leather interior of the 2LT and LTZ. Everyone whos been in my car has gone on and on about how nice the interior is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm not sure I understand why that is a problem? The Cruze is a sturdier car than the Focus. It's curb weight is right there with other midsize sedans such as the Camry, Fusion, and Sonata. The first thing I noticed when test driving it is the lack of the NEED to make small steering corrections on the highway. You can take your hands off the wheel and it will drive like an arrow, where as other small cars get buffered by the wind at highway speeds. It is remarkably well planted, which is why many people say it drives like a larger car.

But yeah, your asking a Cruze forum, so our opinions will be biased :).

May I ask which trim you test drove? Because I find it hard to say the Focus has a better interior than the two tone leather interior of the 2LT and LTZ. Everyone whos been in my car has gone on and on about how nice the interior is.
The car was stable enough but the steering felt pretty numb to me at highway speeds.

I realize this forum may be slightly biased, but I was comparing the 2LT to the Focus SEL leather interior. The Focus has less hard plastic and a much nicer quality finishes on the dashboard, for example. Pushing on Cruze dash pieces yielded movement and creaks; not so in the Focus.

As I said, the Cruze has its strengths too, most notably not having Ford's Dual Cutch Transmission.
 

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In my unique trading situation, I had two cars to theoretically 'choose' from - a Cruze Eco manual or a Focus SE manual. A manual transmission and upgraded stereo were a must, as I wasn't fond of the fuel economy or driving dynamics of either cars' 'automatics' and wasn't happy with the base stereo in either. Color needed to be white, silver, gray or dark blue. Would like a sunroof and leather, but neither were required. It took a week to find a Cruze Eco the way I wanted, and it was going to take 3 months+ to find a manual Focus SE.

I went with the Cruze.

As far as a comparison between the two, I found the Focus is a little more connected and engaging to drive but the Cruze is quieter and has a better ride. The Cruze is a little wider inside, and legroom front and rear are a draw. The Ford interior is jazzier looking, but on the SE model the material quality and construction is a draw. The Cruze's controls are much easier to use, especially the stereo. The Cruze Eco is getting better gas mileage than the Focus would have, for the same amount of money (sans leather and sunroof).

I honestly would be just as happy with the Focus SE manual, as I am with the Cruze Eco manual. And way happier than I was with my Civic Hybrid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In my unique trading situation, I had two cars to theoretically 'choose' from - a Cruze Eco manual or a Focus SE manual. A manual transmission and upgraded stereo were a must, as I wasn't fond of the fuel economy or driving dynamics of either cars' 'automatics' and wasn't happy with the base stereo in either. Color needed to be white, silver, gray or dark blue. Would like a sunroof and leather, but neither were required. It took a week to find a Cruze Eco the way I wanted, and it was going to take 3 months+ to find a manual Focus SE.

I went with the Cruze.

As far as a comparison between the two, I found the Focus is a little more connected and engaging to drive but the Cruze is quieter and has a better ride. The Cruze is a little wider inside, and legroom front and rear are a draw. The Ford interior is jazzier looking, but on the SE model the material quality and construction is a draw. The Cruze's controls are much easier to use, especially the stereo. The Cruze Eco is getting better gas mileage than the Focus would have, for the same amount of money (sans leather and sunroof).

I honestly would be just as happy with the Focus SE manual, as I am with the Cruze Eco manual. And way happier than I was with my Civic Hybrid.
I agree on the control issue. For example, finding oil life remaining on a Cruze is twisting the control stalk a time or two. On a Focus, you verbally ask Sync to run a "Vehicle Health Report" which then uses your Bluetooth Phone to send a report to a central computer which you can retrieve by logging in over the internet. Assuming you've registered, Bluetooth works, Sync understands you, etc. I gather the Ford OLM notifies you in the car when a change is due, but if you want to plan ahead or maybe change early... Not a deal-breaker, but odd nonetheless.

You're happy with how the Cruze tracks and responds to steering input on the highway? Thanks..
 

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With 1500 miles under my belt, the steering input response bothered me a little at first. I'm used to it now and it doesn't really bother me. My last two cars (09 MX-5 and 08 Civic Hybrid) both tended to tramline (especially the Civic Hybrid) and personally that was more annoying.
 

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I agree that the Cruze does lack some steering feel compared to the Focus. The electric power steering seems a little over-boosted to me too. However, that was the only real negative I found compared to the Focus. The quality of the interior on the Focus was good but to me didn't seem too much better than the Cruze. I work for a large dealer group and could have bought either but I preferred the look of the Cruze and felt that it was a little more refined overall. I realize that is subjective though.

I haven't driven the Ford extensively but from what I have experienced and from reading I would probably avoid that Dual Clutch transmission. Several sources recommended skipping it altogether and only getting a manual. It doesn't seem like they have all the programming figured out just right yet. Ford's powertrain warranty is shorter too and while I don't have any numbers to back this up, I'm pretty sure that Dual Clutch Transmission would be a costly item to repair. VW's DSG is extremely expensive to repair and is the reason I bought a manual on my GLI. This wasn't a make or break for me but Ford's 911 assist (don't know their name for it) is nowhere near as capable as OnStar. Just my two cents.
 

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Not even. Chevy fixed the tranny issues on 2012. Plus, you can tune the crap outta the Cruze :)
thats not what 2 different dealerships have told me.. one of them just yesterday. The service managers own words.. "the automatics are terrible".. as he's shaking his head. He said he's had 3 blow up the trannies backing off the truck. Another dealerships service department told me they have had over a dozen blow up the transmission unloading them off the truck. And they have a guy now that all he does is fix auto cruze transmissions.

so i'll stick with my opinion.. if you want an auto, go with the ford.
 

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I will agree that Cruze steering lacks feedback, compared to say a MAzda 3. But the MAzda is still hydraulic. Even compared to other electric steering cars like the focus, it's a bit soft. This GM, not BMW, they calibrate their steering differently. More similar to Toyota/Lexus IMHO. At any rate, you won't find the same level of steering feedback in an econobox, as compared to luxury sports sedan. You just have to get used to it. Not a big deal IMHO.

The chassis is actually quite capable and the car is much more capable than it's steering would suggest. Car and Driver got the highest skidpad values out of the Cruze in the whole compact class.
 

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thats not what 2 different dealerships have told me.. one of them just yesterday. The service managers own words.. "the automatics are terrible".. as he's shaking his head. He said he's had 3 blow up the trannies backing off the truck. Another dealerships service department told me they have had over a dozen blow up the transmission unloading them off the truck. And they have a guy now that all he does is fix auto cruze transmissions.

so i'll stick with my opinion.. if you want an auto, go with the ford.
Complete bull, how can you spread crap like that? If that was the case with the Cruze then you would be reading just as much talk about the Cruze's auto along with the Focus. That is not the case I was just at my dealer yesterday and my service guy said they have yet to have anyone complain or have issue with the 2012 auto. I was one of the first people to buy a 2012 and he told me I was right about the auto trans- they greatly improved it. He did say they have a lot of issues with the 2011s but never mentioned transmissions blowing up off the trucks. That is just absurd. Most deal with shifting and they have to update software for the 2011s.
 

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My choice was narrowed down to these two cars. I bought a cruze and don't regret anything. I had nice long test drives in both as well.
 

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I so wanted a Focus hatchback. Then I test-drove one. My Eco's interior is better laid out, and felt about as nice. The ride on the Eco model was better, and the car felt more connected to the road, surprisingly. I came from a Buick LeSabre, so the steering is quite nice by comparison! Regarding the steering in the Focus, it wasn't anything to write home about. It felt about the same as the 2011 Eco MT I had test-driven.

Then again the Cruze Eco in manual transmission form does perform differently than other Cruzes. The different suspension, different gearing, and lighter weight make for a different driving experience compared to an LS or LT.
 

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I will agree that Cruze steering lacks feedback, compared to say a MAzda 3.
I guess I don't understand. All the reviews praise the Cruze's handling. I mean I've never driven a truly sporty handling car so I have no way to compare but I don't see how this would even be noticeable on the highway of all places...
 

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I guess I don't understand. All the reviews praise the Cruze's handling. I mean I've never driven a truly sporty handling car so I have no way to compare but I don't see how this would even be noticeable on the highway of all places...
If you read my post you will see that I clearly praise the Cruze's handling, and the steering is deceptively numb. My criticism is with respect to the amount of feedback you get in a curve that helps you judge how close you are to the limits of the car. IMHO, the cruze, and most EPS systems, are over boosted. There is also a vague feel about dead center at highway speeds. Nothing major.

Go test drive a BMW 3 series or Infiniti g37 and you will see what good steering feedback is. No one is expecting that in a Cruze, but it's nice to know what it could be.
 

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thats not what 2 different dealerships have told me.. one of them just yesterday. The service managers own words.. "the automatics are terrible".. as he's shaking his head. He said he's had 3 blow up the trannies backing off the truck. Another dealerships service department told me they have had over a dozen blow up the transmission unloading them off the truck. And they have a guy now that all he does is fix auto cruze transmissions.

so i'll stick with my opinion.. if you want an auto, go with the ford.
Seriously, it sounds like those guys have no freeking clue how to drive.

All cars have problems, all new cars espcially.

Here is what FORD says about the 2012 A/T

Some 2012 focus vehicles equipped with the powershift/DPS6 transmission may experience a shudder/shake on start up or when slowing to a stop. This condition does not cause durability or reliably concerns and will deminish as the clutch breaks in. "IF CUSTOMERS COMPLAIN OF THIS ISSUE, PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REPAIR THE VEHICLE AND SHARE THIS SERVICE MESSAGE WITH THE CUSTOMER.
 
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