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The Spaminator
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Comparison Test: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ vs. 2012 Ford Focus Titanium
World Cars. American Turf. One Winner.
By Mike Monticello
Mar 7, 2011
Edmunds IL

Certainly Chevy and Ford are tired of losing sales to the more refined Japanese competitors and those sneaky imports from South Korea who trump all comers with an unparalleled feature-per-dollar ratio and worry-free warranties. Today, buyers want their 40 mpg as well as a driving experience and level of quality previously reserved for cars a class or two higher. Well, duh.

So the globally designed and engineered Chevy Cruze and Ford Focus are not just the same old heaps in new wrappers. No ****boxes here. But there can only be one winner.

What We Tested
To find out which is best, we gathered the top trim level of each, the Chevy Cruze LTZ and the Ford Focus Titanium, to see just how far American small cars have come. Both offer power windows and locks, power seats, automatic climate control, cruise control and Bluetooth as standard features.


The Cruze LTZ starts at $22,695 (including $720 destination). Our tester, fitted with a couple of pricey options including a $1,995 navigation system and a power sunroof, totaled $26,085. The Focus Titanium starts at $22,995 (including $725 destination) and our tester, fitted with $3,605 in options, including a Titanium Handling package, navigation and special interior trim cost $26,600.

Out of Europe and Into America
The 2012 Ford Focus was developed in Europe and is currently on sale in more than 120 markets around the world, but don't worry — the North American version is built right here in the good ol' U.S. of A. at Ford's Wayne, Michigan, assembly plant.

The Cruze is also a global machine — it was penned at the former Daewoo facility in Incheon, South Korea, while engineering was based at GM's European headquarters in Russelsheim, Germany. But despite the Cruze's foreign roots, U.S. and Canadian versions are built at GM's Lordstown, Ohio, plant.

Hop inside either car and you're sure to be impressed with the level of quality and execution. But don't expect Toyota Camry-like space — these are still compact cars. Similar wheelbases (105.7 inches for the Cruze, 104.3 for the Focus) return similarly adequate passenger room, although rear head- and legroom will be tight for anyone much above average height.

Both cars offer folding rear seats, but the Cruze gets points for practicality with a 15-cubic-foot trunk and a pass-through large enough to squeeze in a bicycle when the rear seats are folded. The Focus' trunk is encroached upon by its full-size spare (necessitated by the summer tire option), and its small pass-through is better suited to hauling less bulky cargo.

Full text at link


In case you don't want to hit the link to see the winner, Focus won...big!
 

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Got a $50 voucher at an autoshow to test drive a Ford (which will be a Focus). Looking forward to it, anyone know when they're suppose to hit dealerships?
 

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The Spaminator
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Discussion Starter #3
Got a $50 voucher at an autoshow to test drive a Ford (which will be a Focus). Looking forward to it, anyone know when they're suppose to hit dealerships?
Depends on where you live. If your in Michigan, probably a within a week or so. Montana...and you'lll be waiting months.
 

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Just as I suspected. Ford is committed to building best in class vehicles and Chevrolet is committed to building just good enough products. I knew the Focus would kick the butt of the Snuze in handling - and was hoping that performance would go to the Focus - which happened. I was surprised that the Snuze would be so humiliated by the interior - afterall, Government Motors sycophants have been so PROUD of the Snuze's interior (even when they NEVER discuss its exterior!). But alas, Government Motors managed to build a HEAVIER product with a smaller engine and come up with an undesirable car whose claim to fame now is "it is better than the Cobore it replaced!" Bwahahahahahahahahah
 

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I honestly agree with Edmunds...the Cruze is a vastly improved successor to the Cobalt, like the Cobalt was the vastly improved successor to the Cavalier. GM is happy going above and beyond what it has done internally in its own past. Ford and the new Focus is a car that is aiming to be class leading against all competitors, including Honda, Toyota, and Nissan, as well as Chevrolet and VW and Mazda. Despite both cars having global roots and development...GM just didn't set the bar high enough and kept the development focus (no pun intended) internally...where as Ford looked outside of the company.

As such, Ford has the class leader and has a huge hit on its hands. Way to go Ford!

Those are my two cents...whats yours?
RG59061
 

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I like both. I will not be surprised if the Cruze typically outsells the Focus, as the Cruze is a "safer" (boring) design. I would expect the Focus to typically have a higher ATP though.
 

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Mercury C557
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Maybe it's because I thought the Cavalier rental I had for a week way back when
was a darn nice car - back then
and I remember really liking the interior of the Cobalt at a GM Autoshow In Motion;
but
my interpretation of the review (textonly, video has to wait for the youtube version which my puter will play) is that both are darn close to equal - enough to say "personal preference"...

...that said,
here are my 2 favorite sections from the review
Mike Monticello said:
Getting a Handle on Handling
Even though these are economy-minded cars, Ford clearly wants to make sure the Focus is the driver's car of the segment. So the Titanium's front MacPherson strut and multilink rear setup are tuned for turns. Even better, our test car's optional Titanium Handling package ($595) adds better dampers (but the same springs and antiroll bars) to match the package's summer performance tires, which aren't available on the Cruze.

Combined with a well-calibrated electric power steering system, the Focus is just plain stuck to the road. Adding to the car's unflappability is a stability control system that can't be fully defeated (traction control can be switched off). Still, the Focus' chassis gobbles up curvy back roads like it's returning from a hunger strike...

&

The Cruze also utilizes MacPherson struts up front, although Chevy skimped in the rear by using a torsion beam, but the European tuning has worked wonders. The Cruze offers a handling/ride mix that lets the driver attack a back road, yet gives a hush-quiet, jolt-free highway ride. In a way it's more fun than the Focus, because its limits aren't hampered by stability control. Its biggest handling glitch is the low-effort electric-assist steering. There's little in the way of actual feel, but the chassis is so amenable that you can really toss the Cruze around — it's just not as precise as the planted Focus.
of course
- my love of hatchbacks (so far no Cruze for us)
- my dislike of Chevy's front styling
means the Focus is "WINNING" (said in Charlie Sheen voice)
tho
I'm still praying for a stunningly-stunning Lincoln(-Mercury)version :fidget: :fidget:
 

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I like both. I will not be surprised if the Cruze typically outsells the Focus, as the Cruze is a "safer" (boring) design. I would expect the Focus to typically have a higher ATP though.
Agreed. I fully expect the Focus to win any head-to-head performance based evaluations. Lighter, more hp, DCT. Combined with agressive styling, MT said it well: "Even though these are economy-minded cars, Ford clearly wants to make sure the Focus is the driver's car of the segment." That being said, if you're after the "driver's car of the segment" you'll probably wait for the EB version. They should sell for higher ATP, especially given the hatchback option and given the Focus Titanium edition is more suited to be compared to the Buick Verano.

Cruze is bigger on the inside more attention to packaging, quieter, slightly softer ride, more neutral styling, which I suspect will lead to more sales. I would think it would have smaller overhead cost than the Focus given there's only one body style to support thus I'm not sure ATP will tell the whole story when it comes to "which car is more profitable?"

Fuel economy is somewhat of a wash. EPA ratings will be higher on the Focus when you take the average MPG across all vehicles sold, but the Cruze has a marketing advantage of 42MPG vs 40MPG, albiet on a model that won't sell as many units (due to being a manual).

The future for both appear to be bright with the Cruze diesel comes out in 2012 (2013MY), and a Focus ecoboost, and Focus electric on the way. Exciting times.

In all, it's good to see that GM and Ford are not trying to "one-up" the other so much (intentional or not), but draw attention to both sides of the compact market. They are both going to be wildly successful, especially with the gas prices climbing as they are.
 
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