Originally Posted by dan50
Funny how perceptions differ. I looked hard at a Cruze and thought its powertrain was superior to the Focus, with more low rpm torque, better throttle response and an automatic transmission that was less of a drama queen. It's also a bit bigger inside. I thought the Focus had a much nicer interior, much more interesting styling and was a better highway cruiser, being quieter and having much, much better steering feel.
Bought the Focus. Not sure that was the right decision.
The Cruze used a port injected turbocharged engine with much less displacement, when the car also weighs much more in every single trim level. This is a poor decision on GM's part. If you're going to downsize the engine and turbo charge it you really need to directly inject the fuel so that you can run more advanced timing and make more power on less fuel.
I recall being sorely disappointed with the gearbox as it would never pick the right gear and was always hunting, like a poorly programmed automatic. The interior seemed cheap and ugly even in the higher trim variants. Its a little bit bigger inside because its a 3/4 scale midsized car rather than a standard compact, since its attempting to be large enough for the world.
The Cruze did have more rear interior space than even the Malibu. That wouldn't cause me to buy one however.
Over all I would rank the Cruze somewhere just ahead of the old Corolla, behind the Dart, and way behind the Focus in terms of driving dynamics, feel, interior quality, but that's just my opinion. This is why I bought the Focus over its rivals, and I went for the hatchback which isn't available from GM or Chrysler.
Not really interested in another corolla or matrix either. My last car was a 1994 Geo Prizm with the 5MT (Toyota Corolla sedan built in California). The new ones were out of date when they were released years ago.