Greene Ford Compares 2014 Ford Focus VS 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Near Flowery Branch, GA

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2014 Ford Focus

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VS

2014 Chevrolet Cruze

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Ford Focus have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Chevrolet Cruze doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Focus (except S) offers optional Reverse Sensing System to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Cruze doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the Focus and the Cruze have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, 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 Ford Focus is safer than the Chevrolet Cruze:

Focus

Cruze

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

179

328

Leg Forces (l/r)

287/307 lbs.

340/399 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.4 inches

Neck Stress

157 lbs.

173 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

345/45 lbs.

169/309 lbs.

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Ford Focus is safer than the Cruze:

Focus

Cruze

Overall Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Restraints

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0

0

Steering Column Movement Rearward

7 cm

11 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

1%/0%

2%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.58/.42

.64/.44

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 Ford Focus is safer than the Chevrolet Cruze:

Focus

Cruze

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

314

327

Hip Force

566 lbs.

723 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

182

250

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

47 G’s

Hip Force

698 lbs.

857 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal impact, side impact, rear impact, roof-crush crash tests, and an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Focus as a “Top Pick” for 2014. The Cruze is not a “Top Pick” for 2014.

Warranty Comparison

The Focus’ corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Cruze’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability Comparison

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Focus has a 590-amp battery. The Cruze only offers a standard 438-amp battery.

Engine Comparison

The Focus’ 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 22 more horsepower (160 vs. 138) and 21 lbs.-ft. more torque (146 vs. 125) than the Cruze LS’ standard 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. The Focus’ 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 22 more horsepower (160 vs. 138) than the Cruze’s optional 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Ford Focus is faster than the Chevrolet Cruze (automatics tested):

Focus

Cruze LS

Cruze turbo 4 cyl.

Zero to 30 MPH

3.2 sec

3.7 sec

3.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.5 sec

10.5 sec

10 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.7 sec

6.3 sec

6 sec

Quarter Mile

16.5 sec

18 sec

17.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87.5 MPH

79.8 MPH

80.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Focus SFE gets better fuel mileage than the Cruze Eco Auto (28 city/40 hwy vs. 26 city/39 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Focus gets better fuel mileage than the Cruze LS:

Focus

Cruze

4 cyl./Manual

26 city/36 hwy

25 city/36 hwy

4 cyl./Auto

27 city/37 hwy

22 city/35 hwy

The Focus has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Cruze doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Focus stops much shorter than the Cruze:

Focus

Cruze

80 to 0 MPH

210 feet

235 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

188 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

134 feet

Road & Track

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Focus Titanium’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cruze LTZ’s 45 series tires.

The Focus Titanium offers an optional full size spare tire so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare isn’t available on the Cruze, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which has mileage and speed limitations, or roadside assistance and a tow-truck.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the Ford Focus has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Chevrolet Cruze has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Focus has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Cruze’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Focus has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Focus flat and controlled during cornering. The Cruze’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Focus has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Cruze doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Focus’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.5% to 41.5%) than the Cruze’s (60.3% to 39.7%). This gives the Focus more stable handling and braking.

The Focus Titanium Sedan handles at .88 G’s, while the Cruze LTZ pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Focus SE Sedan performs Popular Mechanics’ emergency lane change maneuver 10.1 MPH faster than the Cruze ECO (60.66 vs. 50.6 MPH).

The Focus Titanium Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Cruze LTZ (27.2 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Focus 5dr Hatchback is 9.4 inches shorter than the Cruze, making the Focus easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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

Focus

Cruze

At idle

37 dB

45 dB

Full-Throttle

73 dB

74 dB

70 MPH Cruising

69 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Focus Sedan has .9 inches more front hip room, .8 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom and .3 inches more rear hip room than the Cruze.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Focus SE/Titanium’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches. The Cruze LT/LTZ/ECO/Diesel’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Focus’ available exterior keypad. The Cruze doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its OnStar ® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

Intelligent Access standard on the Focus Titanium allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Chevrolet Cruze’s available Keyless Access doesn’t unlock the trunk.

The Focus (except S)’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Cruze doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

With optional voice command, the Focus offers the driver hands free control of the radio and cell phone by simply speaking. The Cruze doesn’t offer a voice control system.

The Focus Titanium’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Cruze doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Focus is less expensive to operate than the Cruze because it costs $63 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Focus than the Cruze, including $286 less for an alternator, $69 less for front brake pads and $224 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Ford Focus won two awards in Kiplinger’s 2014 car issue. The Chevrolet Cruze only won one award.

Popular Mechanics performed a comparison test in its August 2012 issue and the Ford Focus SE Sedan won out over the Chevrolet Cruze LT.

The Focus was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 7 of the last 15 years. The Cruze has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Focus was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 4 of the last 14 years. The Cruze has never been an “All Star.”

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