After driving my wife's Hyundai Elantra over the weekend I was reminded why I chose the Cruze for myself. Before buying our pre-owned Cruze eco, I was the one driving the Elantra. When it was time to finally upgrade her ride, I (selfishly) wanted something nicer than the Hyundai so she can inherit it and I could enjoy the new(er) ride. Now, the Elantra is a nice econobox and is reliable, but it has zero performance appeal. For example, the engine sounds like it came out of a lawn mower and has no torque, despite the bigger displacement compared to the Cruze (1.8 vs 1.4). The handling is also forgettable, offering no confidence in corners or off/on ramps. There are some nice features, like the strong brakes (better than the Cruze), good amount of standard features and TONS of interior space. I don't know how that's the case, when the two cars are parked side-by-side they have similar exterior dimensions. But the Cruze is basically a 2 door coupe inside - which I happen to like since nobody goes in my car - but I feel that it's a huge strike against it for people with families.
When I drive the Cruze and Elantra back-to-back, I feel a huge difference in driving dynamics. It also gets even better mileage to boot. The first time I drove a Cruze was a rental earlier this year, and it blew away my expectations. I was expecting something more along the lines of the cobalt and cavalier, but not even close. I also looked at the jetta, which admittedly has a nicer interior, but sketchy reliability. I'm glad I chose the Cruze. I don't feel like I settled or had to compromise on what I wanted.
What rides were you looking at before deciding on your Cruze?