Chevy Cruze vs. Honda Civic

June 22nd, 2015 by

For generations, Chevrolet has been a top dog in the American automotive industry.

However, the success of the brand has not been limited to sales in the U.S. Chevy is popular overseas as well, but wasn’t necessarily competitive against some of the imports from abroad. This was especially true of the compact segment.

That is until the Chevy Cruze. That little car was a big game changer in 2011. And it continues to be, giving the Honda Civic a run for its money.

Check it out at your favorite Chevy dealers in Lexington, KY.

Cruze Control: Chevy’s Champion Compact Car

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Celebrated for its impressive fuel efficiency and comfortable ride, the Chevy Cruze is among the most versatile in the compact segment.

The Chevy Cruze runs on a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, generating 138 horsepower, with an available 1.4-liter turbo for additional torque and enhanced fuel economy. A two-liter turbo-diesel returns 151 horsepower and is able to get 46 highway miles per gallon, and 33 combined.

An Eco option in the Chevy Cruze gets 42 miles per gallon on the highway.

Operated by a standard six-speed manual transmission, the Cruze also has an optional six-speed automatic transmission.

After a significant makeover in 2013, the Chevy Cruz came equipped with more standard features including Bluetooth, rearview camera, and a near best-in-class interior.

With the Cruze, Chevy made the compact segment competitive again.

Current Model Options

And it seems that Chevy is just getting started, already tweaking and adjusting the Cruze to make its rivals sweat.

For 2015, the Cruze features the new “L” base trim level, an updated grille, overall tweaks to the trim levels, and a WiFi hotspot outfitted in the Onstar system.

Available in six trim levels, all Chevy Cruze models have an exceptionally large trunk for the compact sedan class, giving them a significant edge when it comes to cargo capabilities. With the exception of the diesel trim level, which offeres 13.3 cubic feet, the rest of the Cruze line has 15.0 cubic feet, ample space to meet all kinds of transporting and storing needs.

The six model options are the LS, the 1LT, the Eco, the 2LT, the LTZ, and the Diesel, ranging in price from $16,170 – $25,660.

The L and LS come standard with 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, a 60/40 split folding seat, power accessories, height-adjustable front seats, Bluetooth, and the Chevy OnStar system, which now offers 4G LTE and WiFi, able to connect up to seven personal devices simultaneously.

With the LT you get the upgraded 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with 16-inch alloy wheels and cruise control.

Improved aerodynamics, in the form of a rear spoiler and 17-inch lightweight alloy wheels wrapped by low-rolling resistance tires and a tinier fuel tank feature on the Cruze Eco.

The 2LT has the same features as the 1LT, with the addition of the power driver seat and MyLink touchscreen interface as extra, but still standard features. Other standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, four-wheel disc brakes, leather upholstery, sport-tuned suspension, and dual illuminated visor mirrors.

For the premium trim level, check out the LTZ, outfitted with everything seen on the 2LT with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, outstanding interior trim, as well as keyless ignition and entry.

The diesel option combines the best of both worlds when it comes to fuel economy and performance, particularly with respect to acceleration.

Operated by its own unique six-speed automatic transmission, the Cruze Diesel lets you pass other commuters, getting you to work faster.

Safety Matters

No matter which trim level you choose, the Chevy Cruze is a safe compact car, awarded a five-star safety rating in government crash testing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Cruze its highest rating of “Good.”

All 2015 Cruze models feature Stabilitrak Electronic Stability Control, a collection of airbags, including full-length side curtain, front knee, front and rear side-impact, as well as a high-strength steel safety cage.

Additional active and passive safety features are available in the form of the OnStar Automatic Crash Response  system, and optional technology like Rear Cross Traffic Alerts controlled by the rear vision camera, and the Side Blind Zone Alert to let you know if you’re veering into a nearby lane.

Edmunds tested the brakes on the Cruz LTZ and found that the car was able to stop from 60 mph in 120 feet, which is better than average for that segment.

Critics and automotive journalists have a tough time criticizing the Cruze. Its reliable, comfortable, and with its range of trims and options, sure to satisfy any driving needs.

Civic-Minded: Honda’s Old Standby

While there is nothing wrong with the Honda Civic, its same oldness makes it kind of a snooze. And who wants a tired ride?

The front-wheel drive Honda Civic comes as either a sedan or coupe.

Similar to the Cruze, the Civic comes in six trim levels, and while the Cruze offers a diesel option, the Civic comes in a hybrid.

Also, where the 2015 Cruze model year introduced the L model, the Civic added the SE trim, which is available only as a sedan.

Gasoline-powered options include the LX, HF, SE, EX, EX-L, and Si.

The Honda Civic operates with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, generating 143 horsepower and 129 lb.-ft. of torque. The LX sedan offers drivers the choice of a five-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which comes standard on the SE, EX, EX-L, and HF sedans.

When it comes to the coupe, manual transmission is only offered on the EX.

Additionally, Honda offers the Civic Hybrid, powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack, generating 110 horsepower with 127 lb.-ft. of torque in four options: the base, leather, Navi (meaning navigation system), and Leather with Navi, as well as the available Civic Natural Gas, which comes either base or Leather with Navi trims.

The EPA estimates the hybrid’s fuel economy as 44 city and 47 highway, with 45 mpg combined. Similar to most highly fuel-efficient and affordable hybrids, Edmunds recorded the Civic Hybrid’s stop time as 0-60 in 10.1 seconds.

With respect to the Civic Natural Gas model, it shares the same 1.8-liter engine as the majority of the Civic line, creating 110 horsepower with 106 lb.-ft. of torque.

But for real driving fun, check out the Civic Si, outfitted with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder and 205 horsepower and 174 lb.-ft. of torque, operated by the only transmision offered: a six-speed manual. Equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, a limited-slip front differential, a larger engine, rear spoiler, sport-tuned suspension, and a host of interior upgrades, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel and aluminum shift knob, the EPA estimates put the Si’s fuel economy at 25 mpg combined. Tests prove that the Si is able to zip from zero to sixty miles per hour in 6.8 seconds, which is average compared to its competitors.

While the Civic is known for its smooth and quiet ride, the competition has knocked it off its pedestal and challenged its supremacy.

What used to be a no-brainer answer to the question of the best compact car, the Chevy Cruze is now giving drivers something to think about.

The Conclusion: Cruise in a Cruze

Though they are both five-seaters with a laundry list of similarities, the Cruze ultimately wins out when compared to the Civic.

The 2015 Chevy Cruze trumps the Civic for superior trunk space, the option of a diesel engine, competitive fuel economy, spacious cabin, and the easy to use available MyLink infotainment system.

When it comes to affordability, the average base price of the Chevy Cruze at $17,745, is lower than the Civic’s at $18,490, which is a serious consideration if you’re looking for an inexpensive vehicle, or a reliable, first time car for a new driver.

Why go with an old standby when you can turn heads in something new? Let your Chevy dealers in Lexington, KY introduce you to the new Chevy Cruze and help you “Find New Roads.”