Comparison Test: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ vs. 2012 Ford Focus Titanium

2012 Ford Focus Sedan

(2.0L 4-cyl. FFV 6-speed Automated Manual)
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze vs. 2012 Ford Focus Comparison Test

    Question: Can America build a world-conquering compact sedan? We got a 2011 Chevy Cruze and 2012 Ford Focus together on the same road to find out. | March 04, 2011

1 Video , 37 Photos

  • Comparison Test
  • Top 10 Features
  • Data and Charts
  • Editors' Evaluations
  • Final Rankings and Scoring Explanation
  • 2012 Ford Focus Specs and Performance
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Specs and Performance

All hail the death of the American shitbox. With the 2011 Cruze and 2012 Focus, Chevrolet and Ford have finally delivered compact cars that aren't cheap turds with rental-car interiors.

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 shitboxes 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.

It's Inside That Counts
They may be small cars, but there's no disappointment with the appointments. Still, it's obvious Ford spent extra time on the interior of the Focus. Everything is styled, not just applied — for example, the way the side HVAC vents waterfall off the dash. And nearly every piece of material is soft-touch, with a genuine tactility to it.

Yes, the much-discussed Sync system combined with MyFord Touch is an acquired taste — talk about information overload on its LCD touchscreen. But once you understand where everything related to your music, nav, etc, is located, you might not miss the knobs and buttons it replaces...too much.

The Cruze, as well, is several steps above the Cobalt it replaces. Styling is handsome and modern, especially the large center stack/nav screen and comfortable leather seats that come standard on the LTZ. Programming the nav system is an overly complex task, but in general everything works well. The materials, however, lack the quality feel of the Focus, and there's too much hard plastic.

Divergent Paths
The central question in this segment is how to achieve that elusive 40-mpg highway mark, yet not force people to drive a wheezy slug.

Chevy found a replacement for displacement in the form of a turbocharger. The Cruze's four-cylinder may be tiny at just 1.4 liters, but it produces a respectable 138 horsepower at 4,900 rpm and 148 pound-feet of torque at just 1,850 rpm. Although it boasts variable intake and exhaust valve timing, it still uses a heavy cast-iron block and multiport fuel injection.

The Focus' engine, on the other hand, is a completely new 2.0-liter four-cylinder with direct fuel injection and independently variable intake and exhaust cam timing. The Ford has more power than the Chevy, but it needs to be revved to find it. There's 160 hp at 6,500 rpm and 146 lb-ft of torque at 4,450.

Track Time
The 156-pound-lighter Focus drew first blood on the Cruze during acceleration testing at the track. It wasn't a John Rambo kind of beat-down, but the Focus had a 0.6-second advantage to 60 mph — 8.7 seconds vs. 9.3 (8.3 and 9.0, respectively, with a 1-foot rollout like on a drag strip). The Focus was a half-second quicker and more than 4 mph faster through the quarter-mile (16.4 seconds at 85.4 mph vs. 16.9 seconds at 81.5 mph).

Although its engine is coarser and suffers minimally from turbo lag, the Cruze has good midrange punch. The Focus' larger engine is wimpy down low but smoothes out as its turquoise tach needle climbs toward redline.

Ford's six-speed twin-clutch automated manual transmission offers quick yet smooth shifts, while a smart Sport mode adapts its shift points well to the way you're driving. It even downshifts (with cool throttle blips) when you brake hard. But it's not perfect. It makes clunking noises at low speeds when it's deciding on a gear. And instead of steering wheel paddles for manual shifting, Ford fitted the console shifter with a non-intuitive rocker switch. Frustratingly, even during manual shifting, it won't hold gears to redline.

While we're griping, the throttle pedal in the Focus is heavy and resistant, which at times makes the transmission seem reluctant to downshift.

The Cruze's six-speed automatic (of the traditional torque-converter variety), on the other hand, is a cruder, slower-thinking device. It takes its sweet time deciding to downshift, and even when you stomp on the throttle, there's sufficient enough delay for the tailgating Jesse James-wannabe in your mirror to shorten your car by a few feet. The Cruze's manual-shifting ability via the console lever is preferable to that of the Focus, and we like that it will hold gears to redline. But there's no blipping on downshifts, nearly negating its usefulness during spirited driving — or even descending a hill.

The EPA tells us the Cruze should get 24 city/36 highway mpg, while it's estimated the as-yet-EPA-certified Focus will yield 28 city/38 highway. In our admittedly harder-than-average driving, the Cruze produced 24.6 mpg while the Focus managed 27.4 mpg in mixed conditions.

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 ride is far from objectionable, the biggest issue being the noise from the summer tires on coarse, bumpy streets.

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.

At the test track, the Focus and its summer tires put down a stamp of authority. Around the skid pad it garnered an astounding 0.91g of grip versus the Cruze's still-respectable 0.86g. And it should have dominated by a similar margin in the slalom, but it was restrained by nondefeat stability control. Nimble, tight and stuck, and with torque vectoring helping to put the power down, the Ford still posted an impressive-for-the-class 68.3 mph while the Cruze managed 67.2 mph.

The Focus also stopped a full 10 feet shorter from 60 mph, managing the task in only 110 feet — almost sports car territory.

Ding, Ding, Ding: We Have a Winner
First, the good news: Both of these cars are worthy contenders in the compact economy segment.

The bad news: The 2011 Chevy Cruze got whupped by the 2012 Ford Focus, 87.5 points to 78.3. Why? Maybe it's because Ford has its sights set on world dominance, while Chevy seems satisfied to continue being better than itself rather than its competitors. Yes, the Cruze is superior to the Cobalt it replaces, just as the Cobalt was vastly improved over the Cavalier. But that strategy shows only progress rather than leadership.

The 2012 Ford Focus' drivability, livability and quality are not only much better than the unloved second-gen Focus it replaces, but they just might make it the best compact economy car in the world.

Either way, it's no shitbox.

The manufacturers provided Edmunds these vehicles for the purposes of evaluation.

Walk into your local dealer and the last thing you want is to be coerced into paying extra for a bunch of features that should come standard. Actually, the last thing you want is to be baited by the finance guy into buying an extended warranty for the car the salesman just told you is bulletproof — but that's an altogether different story.

As the LTZ and Titanium are the top respective trim levels of the Cruze and Focus, they both come with plenty of goodies, such as power windows, remote keyless entry, automatic climate control and Bluetooth. But Ford makes you pay extra for leather seats, while you can't get dual-zone climate control or a power driver seatback on the Cruze.

Features
  2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 2012 Ford Focus Titanium
Dual-zone climate control N/A S
Heated front seats S O
Heated mirrors S O
Leather seats S O
Power driver seatback N/A O
Power sunroof O O*
Rain-sensing wipers N/A O
Rear parking sensor S O
Remote vehicle start S N/A
Smart entry N/A S


Key:
S: Standard
O: Optional
N/A: Not Available

Dual-zone climate control: In-depth scientific studies have proven that women prefer a hotter cabin than men. Therefore, it goes without saying that if all cars came standard with dual-zone climate control like the Focus, the divorce rate would drop significantly.

Heated front seats: Even sissy Southern Californians love warming their buns as they drive to work on a nippy 60-degree morning. Folks with actual weather will truly appreciate that heated seats come standard in the Cruze LTZ.

Heated mirrors: Whether it's ice or snow or just a little bit of fog, heated mirrors make quick work of precipitation blocking your rear or side view.

Leather seats: Cowhide isn't for everyone, as it's sticky in the summer and cold in the winter. But there's a luxurious quality to leather that cloth can't touch. Also, it's easier to clean than cloth. So it's noteworthy that the Cruze LTZ comes standard with the stuff, while Ford makes you order the Premium package to revel in luxuriousness.

Power driver seatback: Might seem minor, but if you're as fidgety as some of our testers, you change your seatback position several times during a long drive. It's odd that the Cruze LTZ's six-way power seat makes you operate a manual lever for the seatback.

Power sunroof: Neither car comes with a sunroof as standard fare. Our Cruze test car was outfitted with one, though, at a cost of $850. It's $795 if you order one in the Focus.

Rain-sensing wipers: Why should you have to go through the hassle of actually touching a steering wheel stalk to turn on your wipers when you can have the car do the work for you? A sensor detects water on the Focus' windshield and automatically starts, stops and adjusts the speed of the wipers.

Rear parking sensor: Neither vehicle was equipped with a rearview camera, but rear parking sonar is the next best thing. The system automatically beeps at you if you're about to back into, say, a pole in the Edmunds parking garage. Standard on the Cruze LTZ, optional on the Focus Titanium.

Remote vehicle start: A handy feature for those who live in colder climes, especially if you don't have the luxury of a garage. The Cruze LTZ's standard remote start system is as simple as pressing the lock button on the key fob, and then pressing and holding the remote start button (also on the fob). The system even sets the climate control to either heating or cooling depending on the outside temperature.

Smart entry: Remember the old days when you physically unlocked the driver door by inserting a key, after which you swiveled around the cabin like a monkey unlocking everyone's doors? OK, maybe you're too young, but it happened, trust us. With Ford's Intelligent Access, all you have to do is touch the driver door handle and it immediately unlocks the door (provided the fob is on your person).

Dimensions
Engine & Transmission Specifications
Warranty Information
Performance Information


Dimensions
Exterior Dimensions & Capacities
  2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 2012 Ford Focus Titanium
Length, in. 181.0 178.5
Width, in. 70.7 71.8
Height, in. 58.1 57.8
Wheelbase, in. 105.7 104.3
As Tested Curb Weight, lb. 3232 3076
Turning Circle, ft. 36.4 36.0


Interior Dimensions
  2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 2012 Ford Focus Titanium
Front headroom, in. 39.3 38.3
Rear headroom, in. 37.9 38.0
Front shoulder room, in. 54.8 55.6
Rear shoulder room, in. 53.9 53.7
Front legroom, in. 42.3 43.7
Rear legroom, in. 35.4 33.2
Cargo volume, cu-ft. 15.0 13.2
Max cargo volume, cu-ft. N/A N/A


Engine & Transmission Specifications
Engine & Transmission
  2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 2012 Ford Focus Titanium
Displacement
(cc / cu-in):
1400 (85) 2000 (122)
Engine Type Inline-4, turbocharged Inline-4
Horsepower (SAE) @ rpm 138 @ 4,900 160 @ 6,500
Max. Torque, lb-ft @ rpm 148 @ 1,850 146 @ 4,450
Transmission Six-speed automatic Six-speed automanual
EPA Fuel Economy City, mpg 24.0 28.0 Estimated
EPA Fuel Economy Hwy, mpg 36.0 38.0 Estimated
Observed Fuel Economy combined, mpg 24.6 27.4


Warranty
Warranty Information
  2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 2012 Ford Focus Titanium
Basic Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain 5 years/100,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Roadside Assistance 5 years/100,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Corrosion Protection 6 years/100,000 miles 5 years/unlimited miles


Performance
Performance Information
  2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 2012 Ford Focus Titanium
0-60 mph acceleration, sec. 9.3 8.7
Quarter-mile acceleration, sec. 16.9 16.4
Quarter-mile speed, mph 81.5 85.4
60-0-mph braking, feet 120 110
Lateral Acceleration, g 0.86 0.91
600-ft slalom, mph 67.2 68.3

Evaluation - Drive
Evaluation - Ride
Evaluation - Design
Evaluation - Function

Evaluation - Drive

Overall Dynamics
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 6.7 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 8.2 1

Engine Performance
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.0 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 8.0 1

Transmission Performance
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 6.0 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 8.0 1

Brake Performance
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.0 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 8.7 1

Steering Performance
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 6.3 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 8.0 1

Handling
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.3 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 8.3 1

Fun to Drive
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 6.3 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 8.0 1

Evaluation - Ride

Overall Comfort
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.3 1
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 7.3 2

Ride Comfort
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.8 1
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 7.3 2

Wind Noise
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.0 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 7.3 1

Road Noise
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.7 1
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 6.5 2

Front Seat Comfort/Space/Access
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.3 1
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 7.3 1

Rear Seat Comfort/Space/Access
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 6.8 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 7.0 1

Driving Position
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.3 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 8.3 1

Evaluation - Design

Overall Design & Build Quality
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.1 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 7.8 1

Exterior Design
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.2 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 8.0 1

Interior Design
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.3 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 8.0 1

Interior Materials
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 6.7 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 8.3 1

Interior Control Tactile Feel
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.0 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 8.0 1

Squeaks & Rattles
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.0 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 7.3 1

Panel Fitment & Gaps
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.3 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 7.0 1


Evaluation - Function

Overall Function
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.3 1
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 7.1 2

Headlamp Illumination
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.0 1
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 7.0 1

Visibility
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.0 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 7.3 1

Instrument Panel (IP) Layout
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.3 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 7.7 1

Climate Control Layout
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.7 1
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 7.0 2

Audio System Layout
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.0 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 7.3 1

Secondary Control Layout
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.0 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 7.3 1

Interior Storage
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 6.3 2
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 7.3 1

Cupholders
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 8.0 1
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 7.0 2

Standard Cargo / Trunk Space
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 7.7 1
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 6.3 2

Maximum Cargo Space
Vehicle Score Rank
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 8.0 1
2012 Ford Focus Titanium 6.5 2

Final Rankings
Item Weight 2012 Ford Focus Titanium 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ
Personal Rating 2.5% 100.0 50.0
Recommended Rating 2.5% 100.0 50.0
Evaluation Score 20% 75.9 70.9
Feature Content 20% 63.3 56.7
Performance 15% 100.0 82.8
Fuel Consumption 20% 100.0 89.5
Price 20% 98.0 100.0
Total Score 100.0% 87.5 78.3
Final Ranking 1 2


Personal Rating (2.5%): Purely subjective. After the test, each participating editor was asked to rank the sedans in order of preference based on which he would buy if money were no object.

Recommended Rating (2.5%): After the test, each participating editor was asked to rank the two sedans in order of preference based on which he thinks would be best for the typical compact economy sedan buyer.

28-Point Evaluation (20%): Each participating editor scores each vehicle based on a comprehensive 28-point evaluation. The evaluation covered everything from control feel to cupholders. Scoring is calculated on a point system, and the scores listed are averages based on all test participants' evaluations.

Feature Content (20%): Features are becoming ever more important in compact economy sedans, especially since the cars tested here are the top trim levels. We've picked 10 key features in the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ and 2012 Ford Focus Titanium. For each sedan, the score is based on the number of actual features the car has versus the total possible (10). Standard and optional equipment were taken into consideration.

Performance Testing (15%): Each vehicle is run through Inside Line's regimen of standardized instrumented tests: acceleration (0-60 and quarter-mile), braking (60-0), 600-foot slalom and 200-foot-diameter skid pad. Points are awarded as a percentage of the best overall performance in each test. Note that we've weighted performance lower, at just 15 percent, than we would if these were sport sedans.

Fuel Economy (20%): The scores listed are the result of a simple percentage calculation based on the car with the highest EPA combined fuel economy rating (55 percent city plus 45 percent highway).

Price (20%): The numbers listed are the result of a simple percentage calculation based on the less expensive of the two sedans in this comparison test. Using the "as tested" prices of the actual evaluation vehicles, the lower-priced (by $515) Chevrolet Cruze received a score of 100, with the Ford Focus receiving a proportionally lower score.

Vehicle
Model year2012
Make Ford
ModelFocus
StyleTitanium 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6AM)
Vehicle TypeFWD 4dr 5-passenger Sedan
Base MSRP$22,995
Options on test vehicleTuxedo Black Metallic; Rapid Spec 401A ($1,490 -- includes Titanium Premium package, leather-trimmed seats, six-way power driver seat with manual lumbar, reverse-sensing system, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming (electrochromic) rearview mirror and rear armrest with storage); Voice-Activated Navigation ($795); Titanium Handling Package ($595 -- includes 18-inch alloy wheels, optimized sport suspension components, summer performance tires, full-size spare tire); Titanium Winter Package ($470 -- includes all-weather floor mats, heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors with puddle lamps); Interior Style Package and Tuscany Red ($450 -- includes Black/Red two-tone leather-trimmed seats with matching door trim inserts and front center armrest lid, coordinated red steering wheel trim, premium floor mats, coordinated red interior finish, rear 60/40 split seat with rear seat armrest, stainless steel door sill plates); Rapid Spec 401A Discount (-$195).
As-tested MSRP$26,600
Assembly locationWayne, Michigan
North American parts content (%)Not available
Drivetrain
ConfigurationTransverse, front-engine, front-wheel drive
Engine typeNaturally aspirated direct-injected inline-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in)1,999/122
Block/head materialAluminum/aluminum
ValvetrainDOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable intake + exhaust-valve timing
Compression ratio (x:1)12.0
Redline, indicated (rpm)6,500
Fuel cutoff/rev limiter (rpm)Shifts at 6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)160 @ 6,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)146 @ 4,450
Fuel type87-octane recommended
Transmission typeSix-speed dual-clutch automated manual with column shifter and lever-mounted shift button
Transmission ratios (x:1)I = 3.92; II = 2.43; III = 1.44; IV = 1.02; V = 0.87; VI = 0.70; R = 3.51
Final-drive ratio (x:1)3.85 (gears I, II, V, VI) and 4.28 (gears III, IV, R)
Differential(s)Open differential with brake-induced torque vectoring
Chassis
Suspension, frontIndependent MacPherson struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearIndependent multilink, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Steering typeElectric-assist speed-proportional rack-and-pinion power steering
Steering ratio (x:1)14.7
Tire make and modelMichelin Pilot Sport 3
Tire typeSummer, performance
Tire sizeP235/40ZR18 95W
Wheel size18-by-8 inches front and rear
Wheel materialAluminum alloy
Brakes, front10.9-inch ventilated cast-iron discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Brakes, rear10.7-inch solid cast-iron discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Track Test Results
Acceleration, 0-30 mph (sec.)3.4
0-45 mph (sec.)5.6
0-60 mph (sec.)8.7
0-75 mph (sec.)12.6
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)16.4 @ 85.4
0-60 with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)8.3
0-30 mph, trac ON (sec.)3.5
0-45 mph, trac ON (sec.)5.8
0-60 mph, trac ON (sec.)9.1
0-75 mph, trac ON (sec.)13.0
1/4-mile, trac ON (sec. @ mph)16.6 @ 85.3
0-60, trac ON with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)8.7
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)28
60-0 mph (ft.)110
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph) ESC ON68.3
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g) ESC ON0.91
Sound level @ idle (dB)39.5
@ Full throttle (dB)75.0
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)66.5
Engine speed @ 70 mph (rpm)2,600
Test Driver Ratings & Comments
Acceleration commentsSluggish off the line, but then the normally aspirated four-cylinder pulls hard and the twin-clutch automated manual shifts quickly. Car goes into a launch mode when power-braked with TC off and gearbox in Sport, in which it holds revs at 2,800 until you release the brake; still manages only minor wheelspin. Can be shifted manually via rocker switch on console lever; blips throttle on downshifts; will not hold gears to redline.
Braking commentsUtterly consistent stops with excellent pedal feel. A minimum of nosedive keeps everything very stable, secure and confidence-inspiring. Tires feel like they are gripping extra hard.
Handling commentsSkid pad: Credit for the Focus' excellent grip goes to the sticky summer tires, spot-on steering and a well-snubbed suspension, all delivering a minimum of understeer. Slalom: Quick, tight steering and great grip from summer tires give confidence. Suspension feels a little springy during transitions, but overall composure is excellent. Torque vectoring helps put power down on slalom exit. Limiting factor is non-defeat ESC system, although its intervention point is thankfully high. Went a tenth quicker with traction control on versus "off."
Testing Conditions
Test date2/1/2011
Test locationCalifornia Speedway
Elevation (ft.)1,121
Temperature (F)52.8
Relative humidity (%)63.1
Barometric pressure (in. Hg)29.0
Wind (mph, direction)0.9, headwind
Odometer (mi.)2,257
Fuel used for test87-octane gasoline
As-tested tire pressures, f/r (psi)37/37
Fuel Consumption
EPA fuel economy (mpg)28 city/38 highway
Edmunds observed (mpg)27.4
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)12.4
Driving range (mi.)471.2
Audio and Advanced Technology
Stereo descriptionStandard Sony 10-speaker premium audio system with subwoofer, HD radio with iTunes tagging
iPod/digital media compatibilityStandard USB port, iPod integration, Bluetooth audio, aux jack
Satellite radioStandard Sirius with six-month pre-paid subscription
Hard-drive music storage capacity (Gb)Not available
Rear seat video and entertainmentNot available
Bluetooth phone connectivityStandard Sync hands-free with voice control
Navigation systemOptional with voice control
Telematics (OnStar, etc.)Standard 911 assist (if paired Bluetooth phone is present)
Smart entry/StartStandard ignition and doors
Parking aidsOptional front and rear parking sensors, back-up camera
Blind-spot detectionNot available
Adaptive cruise controlNot available
Lane-departure monitoringNot available
Collision warning/avoidanceNot available
Night VisionNot available
Dimensions & Capacities
Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)2,935
Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)3,076
Weight distribution, as tested, f/r (%)58/42
Length (in.)178.5
Width (in.)71.8
Height (in.)57.8
Wheelbase (in.)104.3
Track, front (in.)61.2
Track, rear (in.)60.4
Turning circle (ft.)36.0
Legroom, front (in.)43.7
Legroom, rear (in.)33.2
Headroom, front (in.)38.3
Headroom, rear (in.)38.0
Shoulder room, front (in.)55.6
Shoulder room, rear (in.)53.7
Seating capacity5
Step-in height, measured (in.)14.3
Trunk volume (cu-ft)13.2
Cargo loading height, measured (in.)28.1
GVWR (lbs.)3,990
Payload, mfr. max claim (lbs.)827
Warranty
Bumper-to-bumper3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain5 years/60,000 miles
Corrosion5 years/Unlimited miles
Roadside assistance5 years/60,000 miles
Vehicle
Model year2011
MakeChevrolet
ModelCruze
StyleLTZ 4dr Sedan (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Vehicle TypeFWD 4dr 5-passenger Sedan
Base MSRP$22,695
Options on test vehicleSummit White; Audio System With Navigation ($1,995 -- includes AM/FM stereo with CD player, MP3 playback capability, GPS navigation system with hard-drive memory and 7-inch color display); Power-Sliding Sunroof ($850); Pioneer Premium Nine-Speaker System ($445 -- includes Pioneer premium nine-speaker audio with 6-by-9-inch subwoofer and 250-watt amplifier, deletes auxiliary glovebox.); Compact Spare Tire and Wheel ($100 -- includes compact spare tire and wheel, jack and lugnut wrench).
As-tested MSRP$26,085
Assembly locationLordstown, Ohio
North American parts content (%)60
Drivetrain
ConfigurationTransverse, front-engine, front-wheel drive
Engine typeTurbocharged, port-injected, inline-4, gasoline
Displacement (cc/cu-in)1,364cc (83 cu-in)
Block/head materialIron/aluminum
ValvetrainDOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable intake + exhaust-valve timing
Compression ratio (x:1)9.5
Redline, indicated (rpm)6,500
Fuel cutoff/rev limiter (rpm)6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)138 @ 4,900
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)148 @ 1,850
Fuel typeRegular unleaded
Transmission typeSix-speed automatic with console shifter
Transmission ratios (x:1)I = 4.58; II = 2.96; III = 1.91; IV = 1.44; V = 1.00; VI = 0.74; R = 2.94
Final-drive ratio (x:1)3.87
Chassis
Suspension, frontIndependent MacPherson struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearTorsion beam, coil springs, monotube dampers
Steering typeElectric-assist, rack-and-pinion power steering
Steering ratio (x:1)15.5
Tire make and modelMichelin Pilot HX MXM4
Tire typeAll-season front and rear
Tire sizeP225/45R18 91W M+S front and rear
Wheel size18-by-7.5 inches front and rear
Wheel materialCast alloy
Brakes, front10.8-inch ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Brakes, rear10.5-inch solid discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Track Test Results
Acceleration, 0-30 mph (sec.)3.3
0-45 mph (sec.)5.9
0-60 mph (sec.)9.3
0-75 mph (sec.)14.4
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)16.9 @ 81.5
0-60 with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)9.0
0-30 mph, trac ON (sec.)3.8
0-45 mph, trac ON (sec.)6.5
0-60 mph, trac ON (sec.)9.9
0-75 mph, trac ON (sec.)15.0
1/4-mile, trac ON (sec. @ mph)17.3 @ 81.3
0-60, trac ON with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)9.5
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)30
60-0 mph (ft.)120
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)67.2
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph) ESC ON66.2
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)0.86
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g) ESC ON0.86
Sound level @ idle (dB)44.1
@ Full throttle (dB)74.3
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)65.7
Engine speed @ 70 mph (rpm)2,700
Test Driver Ratings & Comments
Acceleration commentsThe Cruze doesn't respond well to heavy power braking. Even with TC/ESC off it would bog down as soon as it detected any amount of wheelspin. Quickest run was achieved with just a hint of power braking, then quickly releasing the brake. Engine feels a bit coarse, and there is some turbo lag. Can be manually shifted via console lever (pull back for downshifts); will hold gears to redline (very harsh initial rev limiter); does not blip throttle on downshifts.
Braking commentsModerately firm pedal, but all-season tires didn't feel like they were trying very hard to slow the car down. The rear end gets very light, causing some rear lockup.
Handling commentsSkid pad: Light steering effort. Decent, but not excellent grip from tires. ESC-on was so intrusive in terms of cutting the throttle that I could have my right foot planted all the way around the circle. Slalom: The Cruze has lighter, less precise steering than the Focus, but puts up almost as good of a number because its ESC system can be fully defeated. The tail starts to swing around when the Cruze is driven aggressively, and because of that, drop-throttle before the last cone helps to rotate/steer the car.
Testing Conditions
Test date2/1/2011
Test locationCalifornia Speedway
Elevation (ft.)1,121
Temperature (F)57.9
Relative humidity (%)55.2
Barometric pressure (in. Hg)29.0
Wind (mph, direction)1.9, head/crosswind
Odometer (mi.)5,863
Fuel used for test87-octane gasoline
As-tested tire pressures, f/r (psi)30/30
Fuel Consumption
EPA fuel economy (mpg)Estimated 24 city/36 highway
Edmunds observed (mpg)24.6
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)15.6
Driving range (mi.)561.6
Audio and Advanced Technology
Stereo description250-watt, nine-speaker optional Pioneer Premium audio
iPod/digital media compatibilityStandard iPod via USB jack
Satellite radioStandard XM with three month trial subscription
Hard-drive music storage capacity (Gb)Optional 40GB music storage capacity
Rear seat video and entertainmentNot available
Bluetooth phone connectivityStandard
Navigation systemOptional hard drive, 7-inch display screen
Telematics (OnStar, etc.)OnStar with six-month subscription
Smart entry/StartNot available
Parking aidsStandard parking sonar rear
Blind-spot detectionNot available
Adaptive cruise controlNot available
Lane-departure monitoringNot available
Collision warning/avoidanceNot available
Night VisionNot available
Driver coaching displayNot available
Dimensions & Capacities
Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)3,164
Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)3,232
Weight distribution, as tested, f/r (%)61/39
Length (in.)181.0
Width (in.)70.7
Height (in.)58.1
Wheelbase (in.)105.7
Track, front (in.)60.7
Track, rear (in.)61.3
Turning circle (ft.)33.7
Legroom, front (in.)42.3
Legroom, rear (in.)35.4
Headroom, front (in.)39.3
Headroom, rear (in.)37.9
Shoulder room, front (in.)54.8
Shoulder room, rear (in.)53.9
Seating capacity5
Trunk volume (cu-ft)15.0
GVWR (lbs.)4,169
Payload, mfr. max claim (lbs.)899
Tow capacity, mfr. claim (lbs.)1,000
Ground clearance (in.)Not Published
Warranty
Bumper-to-bumper3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain5 years/100,000 miles
Corrosion6 years/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance5 years/100,000 miles

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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2012 Ford Focus in VA is:

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