Cruze, Focus, or Civic? See How These Popular Compacts Measure Up

The compact car segment was eagerly welcomed into the United States when gas prices were at an all-time high, and anxiety over the Earth’s health was of equal concern. Drivers were trading in their hefty gas-thirsty SUVs for more economically satisfying sedans, coupes, and hatchbacks. Every major automotive brand jumped on board the compact car craze, turning this relatively new segment into one of the largest and most popular in the industry’s history. As more and more new car shoppers made it clear that they yearned for a capable compact car, the big name brands in the industry took notice. From your neighborhood Chevrolet dealership, to the Ford dealer in the next town over, to the Honda lot down the street – the compact car segment has taken over in terms of practicality, affordability, and popularity

The Big Three Compacts Battle it Out

Despite the fact that nearly every automotive brand has tried to deliver capable compact cars to the market, three of the most successful have been from Chevrolet, Ford, and Honda. The Cruze, Focus, and Civic sedans regularly outsell other models offered by different auto brands, which is why we have narrowed our focus to these three cars for today’s blog.

The Honda Civic is the oldest running nameplate among these three compact car models, first offered to the world all the way back in 1972. The compact car from Honda sits between the Fit and Accord in terms of size, and has plenty to offer buyers.

Next up, is the Ford Focus. The middle-aged compact option between these three models, the first Focus model was sold in the United States in 1998. Boasting a portfolio of various body styles and variants, the Focus is a compact car that seems determined to remain a top choice among new vehicle shoppers.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Chevrolet Cruze. The compact sedan from the bowtie brand was introduced in 2009, which obviously makes it the youngest model in this trio of cars. Now well into its second generation, the Chevy Cruze continues to improve upon a well-established formula that compact car buyers look for.

Which One is Right For You?

With three competitive compacts ready to win over the hearts of buyers across the country, it’s no wonder why so many shoppers have a hard time deciding between the Cruze, Focus, and Civic. When it comes down to it, the only way to decide which one is the right compact car for you, personally, is to compare them side by side. Without further ado, check out the areas that matter most to compact car buyers, and see how these three cars measure up. For our purposes, we are going to explore the higher-end automatic options of each of these compact cars, rather than the entry-level versions. Keep this in mind as you read on, and determine which car may be your best option.

  • Price: The 2017 Cruze offers the lowest price point for its high-level trim, with the Premier Automatic sedan coming in at just $23,475. The Ford Focus Titanium comes in at a close second with a price of $23,575, and the Civic Sedan EX-L CVT has the highest price of $23,800. The difference in price between these three is quite small, so let’s move on to other areas of importance.
  • Performance: Let’s start off by clearing the air – no one buys a compact car for its power. The segment isn’t known for this, and neither are these three cars. Despite that fact, the 2017 Cruze model offers the most powerful ride of these three, with 177 lb.-ft. of torque. The Focus comes in the lowest with 146 lb.-ft. of torque, while the Civic lands in the middle with a rating of 162 lb.-ft. All three models offer front-wheel drive across the board, along with respectable horsepower ratings.
  • Interior Space: Compact car shoppers are well aware that space is usually on the restrictive side, but added interior capacity is a bonus, none-the-less. The 2017 Cruze offers the highest profile, along with the most interior front head room. With 38.9-inches of front head room, the Cruze bests both the Focus and the Civic when it comes to interior space to stretch your neck.
  • Fuel Economy: Right up there with price and passenger space, is the fuel economy score of compact cars. The Honda Civic outshines in this category, with an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 32 miles per gallon in the city, and 42 on the highway. The Cruze comes in second, with 29 miles per gallon in the city, and 39 MPG on the highway. Finally, the 2017 Ford Focus comes in last with a mere 26 MPG in the city, and 36 MPG on the highway. If saving money at the pump is at the top of your list as a compact car shopper, definitely steer clear of the Focus, and focus instead on the Cruze or Civic sedan.
  • Warranty: All three of these automotive giants offer similar warranty packages, with one single exception. While Chevy and Ford both offer a roadside assistance program of 60,000 miles or 5 years as a part of their warranty package, Honda maxes out similar coverage after just 36,000 miles or 3 years. As confident as Honda seems in their cars, it is a bit unsavory for the manufacturer to prematurely terminate roadside assistance warranties. We wonder if they know something that we don’t?

As you can see, there are tons of similarities and small differences between these three compact car models. Whether you are sure of your decision, or more confused, the best way to know which car is right for you, is to take each one for a test drive. To experience everything that the 2017 Cruze has to offer, head into McCluskey Chevrolet and get behind the wheel of our favorite compact car. Sure, you can check out those other models too, but save yourself a trip and come down to McCluskey Chevrolet, first. Our expert and friendly sales team will help answer any questions you may have, and give you complete and total peace of mind as you journey through the new car buying process. See you soon!