For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Ford Fiesta are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Chevrolet Cruze doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
Both the Fiesta and the Cruze have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.
The Fiesta’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Cruze’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 6th.
The Fiesta 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.
The Fiesta’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cruze L/LS’ standard 65 series tires.
The Fiesta 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 Fiesta’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Cruze doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
The Fiesta’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (59.4% to 40.6%) than the Cruze’s (60.6% to 39.4%). This gives the Fiesta more stable handling and braking.
For better maneuverability, the Fiesta’s turning circle is 4.3 feet tighter than the Cruze’s (34.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet).
The Ford Fiesta may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 350 pounds less than the Chevrolet Cruze.
The Fiesta Five-Door Hatchback is 1 foot, 3.6 inches shorter than the Cruze Hatchback, making the Fiesta easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Fiesta Sedan has .2 inches more front headroom and 1.6 inches more front legroom than the Cruze Sedan.
The Fiesta’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Cruze L/LS Sedan’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.
The Fiesta SE/Titanium’s available driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Cruze’s standard driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.
In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Fiesta’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Cruze doesn’t offer an exterior PIN 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.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Fiesta is less expensive to operate than the Cruze because it costs $135 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Fiesta than the Cruze, including $116 less for a water pump, $146 less for an alternator, $67 less for front brake pads, $127 less for fuel injection, $10 less for a fuel pump, $13 less for front struts and $396 less for a timing belt/chain.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Fiesta will be $684 to $971 less than for the Chevrolet Cruze.