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You are in the Chevrolet Cruze
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Chevrolet Cruze, Sedan
Nov 10, 2011 (11:30 am)
A reporter is interested in talking with parents who own a 2012 Volkswagen Passat, Mazda 3, Chevy Cruze Eco, Honda Civic Hybrid, Chevy Sonic, Honda CR-V, Toyota Camry and Toyota Prius V. If you are interested in commenting on your experience, please reply to predmunds.com no later than Friday, November 30, 2011 and include your city and state of residence, the model year of your vehicle and the age of your child/ren.
#727 of 902 Re: Oil Filter Change: Can you fill it with oil before installing? [kinbineola]
Nov 12, 2011 (2:26 pm)
Did my first oil change at 4500 miles, canister is non metalic and filter element can not be pre-oiled as with a canister, but it only took 3 seconds for oil to build pressure and you are not running at high rpm on startup, engine should be warm or better when changing. Synthetic oil will protect for quite a while before damage is done without oil pressure. This should not be a concern, if you must, disconnect ignition plug, crank engine until oil lite goes out and then plug in ignition as usual. I have been working on turbo engines for years and the oil change start-up is the least of your worries. BTW remove the oil filler cap first before draining oilpan, otherwise it pulls a vacuum and spits oil out of the drainhole. It only needs a lite touch to tighten oil canister, pre-oil the sealing ring too, should come with new filter.
#728 of 902 Re: Ford Focus & Chevy Cruze [sandman_6472]
Nov 21, 2011 (2:58 pm)
Yours is an interesting observation, because I have a completely opposite view.
We agree that the Elantra is ergonomically nicely designed. The dash layout and overall appearance are cohesive and work to make a modern design without being overly busy.
That brings me to the Focus. The dash is overly busy, very very busy. There are creases and lines on the top of the dash that related to nothing other than the designer didn't know when to stop adding creases and line. The center stack is much too thick and thus intrudes into the front passenger side by pushing on the passengers left knee. Overall, the space for the front passenger is pathetic. It makes you feel locked into the space with not very much room to move at all. I hated it very much.
The drivers position is decent, and with 3 or 4 people in the car, it's the only position that is somewhat comfortable.
The technology in the Focus is quite nice with it's dual color displays.
The non leather steering wheel is not very good in feel as it too is overly wrought with odd creases and lines. The leather wheel is much nicer and the one to have.
The drive and ride of the Focus is very good. Handling is better than the Elantra and Cruze. The Mazda 3, however, beats the Focus SEL and the other 2 cars I mention. The Focus and Mazda 3 are the sport sedans of this class with suspension tuned for taut ride and handling. But, with that you get a busier cruise with both suspensions being a bit busy and bouncy over road imperfections and bumps. The ride is not harsh at all, it's just that the suspension is bumpier as it's responding continuously to the road.
If you want a smoother overall ride the Elantra and Cruze are much better at that, with the nod going to the Elantra, at least in my experience.
Usable space goes to the Elantra and Cruze, followed by the Mazda 3, and a distant last place goes to the Focus. The Focus interior space is awful in comparison to the Elantra and Cruze. It was very surprising to discover this and it was very disappointing as well considering the Focus overall driving prowess. It you a single and don't need to carry passengers often, and you like to drive enthusiastically then the Focus is for you, or better yet the Mazda 3. If you like tech and design with your enthusiastic driving, then it's Focus all the way.
If you have a family and/or need to carry passengers regularly you will be very disappointed with the Focus. Ford did not do a very good job with the overall size of the Focus. It's bigger than before, but Ford did not translate that exterior size into interior space. When I set the drivers seat to where I was comfortable to drive, I then went to sit in the back seat. NO KNEE/LEG ROOM.
I had to sit with my knees splayed out and around the drivers seat.
For some strange reason, if I set the front passenger seat for me, there was even less leg/knee room for the rear passenger behind the front passenger space. Ergonomically the Ford is a disaster in this class. Why? Because the Cruze and Elantra manage to use their dimensions to accommodate passengers, which is the reason why a sedan should exist in the first place. If the interior space is that small, then just make it a coupe or 2 door hatchback.
The Cruze and Elantra have the room and space of a mid-size car from a few years back. Their size is just about perfect for a family of 4. If you need to sit 5 people comfortably, then you'll need something bigger.
I haven't yet tested the Civic sedan nor the VW Jetta, though I have seen the Jetta and the rear space looks to be more like the Cruze and Elantra.
I've been reading about these cars claiming 40 to near 40mpg and I too am skeptical that they can achieve this. Still, if these cars can give 32-34mpg on mixed driving, no city stop and go, then that would be very good.
The new 6 speeds in these cars are great. The dual clutch in the Ford, however, doesn't work so well. It doesn't give the ultra fast and responsive quality of VW or BMW dual clutch, and it doesn't give the smoothness of the newer torque converter automatics. It leaves one wondering why Ford even bothered with a dual clutch that is so slow and lazy to shift and respond.
Rating the automatics in the Focus, Mazda 3, Elantra, and Cruze, according to shift smoothness and response, I say this:
#1-Elantra - it has a manual gear selection mode and it responds nicely
#2-Mazda 3 - it's nearly as smooth as the Elantra decides proper gear quickly
#3-Cruze - it too is smooth, though it's a bit lazy and slips longer to next gear
#4-Focus - fairly smooth shifts but odd at the same time, and it's the slowest to respond both to upshifts and down-shifts. Going about 40mph, put the throttle to the floor. The response was very slow. First the engine revs in it's current gear, THEN it shifts down. Not a confidence inspiring trans if you want and need the power RIGHT NOW so that you can pass or get out of the way.
Hopefully Ford will address this as dual clutch transmissions are very nice when done correctly.
#729 of 902 Re: Ford Focus & Chevy Cruze [tturbo]
Nov 21, 2011 (5:11 pm)
I am surprised you didn't find the rear seat of the Cruze much more cramped than that of the Elantra. To me the difference is astonishing. The Elantra has stretch-out leg room, as does the Jetta and even the subcompact Versa. But the Cruze, Mazda3, and Focus are all quite tight in the back, at least when I have the driver's seat set comfortably for me. That is the variation, though: where the front seat(s) are positioned. I always do a sit-behind-myself test. I'm only 5'9", 32" inseam. Also I tend to position the driver's seat fairly high, when I can do so with good thigh support. In cars where I can't do that, toe space in back can suffer. Some cars have plenty of leg/knee room, but if the toes don't fit under the front seat or the ankles hit the seat before the knees do, that's the end of that.
I found the Cruze tolerable for rear seat room in the sit-behind-me test. I wouldn't want to spend more than an hour or two back there though. The Mazda3 was similar. I was actually more comfortable in the Focus even though the leg space was tight, because the rear seat cushion seemed pretty high, so I had good thigh support without having to stretch my legs out much. Contrast that to a car like the 2012 Impreza, which has more knee room than the Focus but was not as comfortable in back as the Focus because my ankles hit the front seat before my thighs were well supported. But in the Elantra, also Jetta and Versa, I felt like I could spend all day in back if I had to.
Which is why every buyer needs to check out the rear seat room for himself/herself. And if possible, bring along 1-2 of the people who'll need to sit back there.
#730 of 902 Re: Ford Focus & Chevy Cruze [tturbo]
Nov 21, 2011 (6:08 pm)
But, I am betting that she'll end up with the Elantra which I still think is the best in class in the compact car class and the new benchmark. As much as I like the looks of the Focus, we're just not Ford folks and never will be. We've also done the GM thing, so it's a safe bet that only the Verano will make the short list. VW or BMW...think she'll pass also due to a few reasons we have. No new Civic and hoping she'll pass on another Mazda3...been there, done that. So what's left? The new Sentra or Corolla, the Verano or the Elantra. Again, my money is on the Elantra as her next new ride. Yay!
#731 of 902 Re: Ford Focus & Chevy Cruze [backy]
Nov 21, 2011 (6:13 pm)
It does matter that everyone try things out for themselves and what they consider comfortable.
I'm 6'-1" and I'm wide and a large man, so for me to say comfortable, it better be.
In the Elantra, as I said, I adjusted the seat to my driving comfort, then I sat in the back seat leaving the front as is. There was plenty of knee room for me to sit with my knees forward and directly behind the front seat. Plenty of room to move my legs and knees left and right if I wanted to, and my feet had no problem finding space.
The only limited thing is rear headroom. But, my torso is taller than my legs.
My inseams is 30", so my torso is more like someone 6-2" or 6-3". Most people are not that tall, especially the younger kids that will be riding back there.
Yes, the Cruze is not as spacious as the Elantra, but it's not that much smaller by much. It easily has more room than the Mazda 3, and much more room than the Focus. In the Cruze I could sit with my knees straight due to the cut outs in the back of the Cruze's front seats, that helps a lot. I didn't have all the space of the Elantra, but plenty to be comfortable.
My biggest problem with the Cruze is the rear seat cushions tend to sit a big higher and it feels like there is a small dome under the cushion pushing me up.
In the Focus the rear seats were the least spacious. Yes, I could fit back there but not as comfortably as in the Elantra or Cruze. I had to sit in the Focus with my knees splayed apart, which can quickly turn to discomfort.
Also, I don't know if you sat in the front passenger seat, but I hated it.
So, with your 2" greater inseam, leg room/knee room is more important.
With my shorter legs and wider girth, wider space and a flatter seat are more to my liking.
As you said, this is why it's important to test these cars for yourself.
In all any of these cars will fit a young family of 4 where the children haven't reached puberty and don't require much headroom or leg room.
The only one that still causes caution for the young family is the Focus, as my 6yr old nephew didn't care for the space in the Focus rear seat. He even said he didn't like it.
He like the Cruze and the Elantra a lot, and the Mazda 3 he had no complaints nor praise, as it was acceptable.
When judging back seat space in these smaller cars it makes sense to consider who will be back there mostly. If you carry full grown adults of teenagers, the Elantra is hands down your car as it's pretty much a mid-size in interior space.
Also, I wouldn't judge any of these cars based on being able to carry more than 2 passengers in the rear as they are simply not big enough nor designed for a 3rd passenger, just get something bigger.
#732 of 902 Re: Ford Focus & Chevy Cruze [backy]
Nov 21, 2011 (6:22 pm)
Ditto, I also always do a back seat test just to see how people will fit behind me or the wife, as we sit in very similar ways. Agree that the Focus was smaller in back than the Jetta...and even the Cruze & Elantra. So that will probably rule it out. Looks wise, I still like the Focus SEL hatch in the aqua color but hated it in most every other color.
#733 of 902 Re: Ford Focus & Chevy Cruze [sandman_6472]
Nov 21, 2011 (6:23 pm)
This car is for my sister and her husband and 2 young kids.
Judging these cars based on their utility for a 4 person young family I like the Elantra and the Cruze, and my preference is for the Elantra.
I am a bit leery about MPG though, as I'm reading the Elantra may not be able to do better than the old Toyota Corolla with it's now antique 4 speed automatic.
And, there is a new Corolla coming soon.
The Elantra is about 400lbs LESS than the Cruze yet they both achieve about the same real driving MPG, not the EPA listed MPG. 400lbs is a huge difference. The Elantra should easily smoke the Cruze for MPG.
But, we'll need more data and I'll keep reading.
#734 of 902 Re: Ford Focus & Chevy Cruze [tturbo]
Nov 21, 2011 (6:24 pm)
I can see why a 6 year old wouldn't like the Focus' back seat--the seat seems higher than all others, so the thigh support might have been too much for him. Most likely a lower seat like that on the Cruze would work better for him... for a few years at least.
Yep, 3 would be a squeeze in any of these except maybe the Jetta, and even there they'd better be thin adults who know each other well, or kids. I find 3 in back pretty tight even in most mid-sized cars... short trips only please. That's why I owned mini-vans for many years.
#735 of 902 Re: Ford Focus & Chevy Cruze [tturbo]
Nov 21, 2011 (6:25 pm)
Ditto. And right now, we have a longer time frame in which to purchase.