Last post on Nov 23, 2012 at 2:56 AM
You are in the Chevrolet Cruze
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Cruze, Sedan
#729 of 896 Re: Ford Focus & Chevy Cruze [tturbo]
Nov 21, 2011 (6:11 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 896 Re: Ford Focus & Chevy Cruze [tturbo]
Nov 21, 2011 (7:08 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 896 Re: Ford Focus & Chevy Cruze [backy]
Nov 21, 2011 (7:13 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 896 Re: Ford Focus & Chevy Cruze [backy]
Nov 21, 2011 (7:22 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 896 Re: Ford Focus & Chevy Cruze [sandman_6472]
Nov 21, 2011 (7:23 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 896 Re: Ford Focus & Chevy Cruze [tturbo]
Nov 21, 2011 (7:24 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 896 Re: Ford Focus & Chevy Cruze [tturbo]
Nov 21, 2011 (7:25 pm)
Ditto. And right now, we have a longer time frame in which to purchase.
#736 of 896 Re: Ford Focus & Chevy Cruze [tturbo]
Nov 21, 2011 (7:29 pm)
For that kind of family, one of the new sub-compacts e.g. Sonic, Accent, Mazda2, Rio, Versa, Yaris or the older Fit might... fit. I found the Accent for example to have as much usable leg room in back as some compacts such as Cruze and Mazda3 (but YMMV as we discussed). (Fiesta was really cramped in back for me, but I've heard it's nice otherwise.) And these are all available as a hatch too. And for less money than the compacts.
Nov 22, 2011 (6:53 pm)
We both didn't like the Fiesta in that it was to close and cramped in the front seating department...and the view forward was terrible. Our current '08 Accent is such a better car in both areas, more airy and more useable space for the two front occupants. We crossed it off the list immediately and when I went back for a test drive the next day, I knew we made the correct choice. It didn't accelerate properly, made our Accent feel like a race car. The shifts were abrupt, the cloth seating surfaces were low rent...something we'd never ever consider. Our three year old Accent is such a better car hands down and from what I've read and heard, the new 2012 Accent is that much better. So my question is with what's out there, why would anyone even look at a Ford Fiesta? Would rather buy a one or two year old economy car with more room and power to boot.
The Sonic looks like it'll be a winner for Chevy. Prefer the sedan style, looks more cohesive to my older eyes. The dash maybe a bit boy racer for my tastes, but a good effort overall. Hopefully the view forward will be more airy and the front seat occupants won't be on top of each other. Motor Week had good things to say about it which speaks volumes to me...a good show with knowledgeable folks reviewing the current crop of autos out there. I usually agree with 99% of their comments so looks like Chevy may have a hit on their hands with this one. Will definitely test drive one soon and come back and give my thoughts. Backy, would appreciate you test driving one also and giving one of your well thought out reviews as we usually come to the same conclusions.
#738 of 896 Re: Fiesta [sandman_6472]
Nov 22, 2011 (10:11 pm)
I doubt I'll test a Sonic. It's not that much less money than the Cruze, and I like the interior of the Cruze a lot better. And in a hatch, I prefer the Accent over the Sonic (FE, interior, styling). So if I go Chevy it will be the Cruze, preferably the Eco 6MT but given it's price I'd have to get a good deal on it. The LT 6MT might work also.