Chevy Cruze Vs. Ford Focus: Hatchback or Sedan? You Pick

By Justin Cupler | November 17th, 2018

On a tight budget but not willing to roll the dice on a used car? A lower-priced compact car may be a great option for you. And two great options in this segment are the 2018 Ford Focus and 2019 Chevy Cruze. Both offer a lot of bang for the buck, loads of options, and outstanding fuel economy. But which is better for our Linwood, Michigan area buyers? Keep reading to find out.

Exterior

In the compact-car segment, it’s common to see automakers offer multiple versions of the same vehicle, and this is the case with the 2019 Chevy Cruze and 2018 Ford Focus. Both of these small people haulers offer sedan and hatchback bodies, giving buyers some cargo-management and style options.

While the Focus looks great, the 2019 Chevy Cruze boasts the newer look of the two. The 2019 Cruze’s looks are far sportier than the Focus — save for the ST and RS models not included in the comparison — with its pointed nose, sharp bodylines, and sporty Cruze RS package. The Focus, however, uses a more subtle and traditional design language, which appeals to buyers who prefer a more low-key vehicle.

The Cruze sedan is 183.7 inches long, 70.5 inches wide, and 57.4 inches tall. It rides on a 106.3-inch wheelbase. The 2018 Ford Focus Sedan is shorter and wider than the Cruze at 178.7 inches long, 74.1 inches wide, and 57.8 inches tall. The Focus’ wheelbase is shorter at 104.3 inches.

As a hatchback, the 2019 Cruze measures 175.3 inches long, 70.5 inches wide, and 57.7 inches tall. It rides on the same 106.3-inch wheelbase as the sedan. The 2018 Focus hatchback is 171.7 inches long, 74.1 inches wide, and 57.8 inches tall. Its wheelbase is also the same as the sedan at 104.3 inches.

Advantage: 2018 Ford Focus

  • Toned-down looks fit some buyers
  • Shorter body makes parking easier

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Cruze

  • Sporty body
  • Longer body opens more room inside

Interior

Neither of these compact cars feature an overly stylish or modern cabin, but the recently redesigned Cruze’s cabin is a touch more modern. The Cruze’s optional leather package adds additional soft-touch materials on the dash for some added class.

Inside, the 2019 Chevy Cruze sedan’s front seats have 38.9 inches of headroom, 42 inches of legroom, 54.8 inches of shoulder room, and 53.1 inches of hip room. In the rear, it offers 37.3 inches of headroom, 36.1 inches of legroom, 53.7 inches of shoulder room, and 51.9 inches of hip room.

The 2018 Ford Focus sedan’s front seats are roomier than the Cruze’s with 38.3 inches of headroom, 43.1 inches of legroom, 55.6 inches of shoulder room, and 53.9 inches of hip room. In the rear, the 2018 Focus has more headroom at 38 inches and hip room at 52.8 inches, but its 33.2 inches of legroom and 52.6 inches of shoulder room are 2.9 inches and 1.1 inches tighter, respectively.

The 2019 Chevy Cruze hatchback’s front seats have 37.8 inches of headroom, 42 inches of legroom, 54.8 inches of shoulder room, and 53.1 inches of hip room. In the rear, this hatchback has 37.3 inches of headroom, 36.1 inches of legroom, 53.7 inches of shoulder room, and 51.9 inches of hip room.

The 2018 Ford Focus hatchback’s front seats offer more room across the board with 0.5 inches more headroom, 1.1 inches more legroom, 1.8 inches more shoulder room, and 0.8 inches more hip room than the Cruze’s front seats. In the rear, the Focus hatchback has an extra 0.7 inches of headroom and 1.1 inches of hiproom, but it comes up short by 2.9 inches in legroom and 1.1 inches in shoulder room.

Though these are small vehicles, they still have to handle some cargo. In the sedan body, the 2019 Cruze can swallow 13.9 to 14.8 cubic feet of cargo to the Focus sedan’s 13.2 cubes. The hatchback models are more versatile as the Cruze can tote 22.7 to 47.2 cubic feet of cargo, while the Focus hatchback can handle 23.3 to 43.9 cubes.

Advantage: 2018 Ford Focus

  • Roomier front seat
  • More cargo room with seats upright

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Cruze

  • More rear room where it really counts
  • Greater max cargo room
  • More options to dress up the interior

Performance

These small people haulers are focus mostly on fuel economy instead of power. The 2019 Cruze uses a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a standard six-speed automatic transmission.

Buyers looking for a little more fuel efficiency and low-end torque can opt for the 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel with 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. This power routes through a nine-speed automatic transmission.

The 2018 Focus boasts a standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission.

The Focus SE sedan is the only model in the lineup that comes with a different engine, and that is a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder with 123 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission with SelectShift.

While power is an afterthought, fuel economy is front and center for both vehicles. With the 1.4-liter engine, the 2019 Cruze gets up to 30 mpg city, 38 highway, and 33 combined. Opting for the diesel engine pushes these numbers to 31 mpg city, 48 highway, and 37 combined.

The Focus with the 2.0-liter engine delivers up to 26 mpg city, 30 highway, and 31 combined. Opt for the sedan SE and get the 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that pushes these numbers to 30 mpg city, 40 highway, and 34 combined.

Advantage: 2018 Ford Focus

  • More base power
  • Manual transmission option
  • Big fuel economy sans diesel

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Cruze

  • Diesel has superior fuel-economy ratings
  • Torque advantage delivers faster in-seat feel
  • Better base fuel economy

Pricing and Features

With its two body styles and two engine options, and array of trims, the 2019 Chevy Cruze has nine variationsthat range from $18,870 to $26,995.

The 2018 Ford Focus also has its two body styles, plus it has four trim levels. Pricing ranges from $17,950 to $24,470.

2019 Chevy Cruze Key Features and Pricing by Trim

L: $18,870

  • 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  • Electronic power steering
  • Automatic engine stop/start
  • Four-wheel disc brakes
  • Daytime running lights
  • Body-color door handles
  • Automatic-on/off halogen headlights
  • Power outside mirrors
  • Black beltline molding
  • Variable intermittent wipers
  • Single-zone electronic climate control
  • Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system
  • 7-inch color touchscreen
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Four-speaker audio system
  • Two front USB ports
  • Teen Driver
  • Monochromatic driver-information display
  • OnStar
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Rear air ducts
  • Rearview camera
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Front visors with vanity mirrors
  • Power windows with express down

LS: $19,995

  • All L features, plus
  • Front floor mats
  • Three-spoke deluxe steering wheel

Hatch LS: $20,495

  • All LS features, plus
  • Intermittent rear wiper
  • Rear spoiler
  • 16-inch spare tire
  • Cargo cover

LT: $22,595

  • All LS features, plus
  • Reduced-travel steering system
  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Compact spare tire
  • Bright beltline molding
  • Cruise control
  • Remote engine start
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • SiriusXM
  • Single-zone automatic climate control
  • Rear center armrest with two cup holders
  • Two rear USB ports
  • Cruise control
  • Rear floor mats
  • Dual reading lights
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls

Hatch LT: $22,995

  • All Hatch LS features, plus
  • Reduced-travel electric power steering
  • 16-inch aluminum wheels
  • Bright beltline moldings
  • Halogen projector-beam headlights
  • LED signature lighting
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Two rear USB charging ports
  • Single-zone automatic climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Dual reading lights
  • Rear floor mats
  • Rear center armrest
  • Remote ignition
  • SiriusXM
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • LED daytime running lights

Premier: $24,395

  • All LT features, plus
  • 17-inch aluminum wheels
  • Z-link rear suspension
  • Heated mirrors
  • LED taillights
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Heated front seats
  • Passive entry
  • Keyless ignition
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Illuminated visor vanity mirrors
  • Leatherette upholstery

Hatch Premier: $24,895

  • All LT features, plus
  • Keyless ignition
  • Z-link rear suspension
  • 17-inch aluminum wheels
  • Heated power outside mirrors
  • LED-accented taillights
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Keyless open
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leatherette seating

Diesel: $26,495

  • All LT features, plus
  • 1.6-liter turbocharged diesel engine
  • Nine-speed automatic transmission
  • Keyless ignition
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat
  • Heated mirrors
  • Heated front seats
  • Electronic climate control
  • Auxiliary cabin heater
  • Rear park sensors
  • Lane-change alert
  • Side blind-zone alert
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

Hatch Diesel: $26,995

  • All LT Hatch features, plus
  • 1.6-liter diesel engine
  • Nine-speed automatic transmission
  • Keyless ignition
  • Heated outside mirrors
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat
  • Single-zone electronic climate control
  • Heated front seats
  • In-cabin auxiliary heater
  • Keyless open
  • Lane-change alert
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Lane-change alert
  • Blind-zone alert

2018 Ford Focus Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S Sedan: $17,950

  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Five-speed manual transmission
  • Electric power steering
  • Front disc brakes and rear drum brakes
  • Active grille shutters
  • 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  • Black door handles
  • Black grille with chrome trim
  • Black rocker moldings
  • Black mirrors with power operation
  • Integrated blind-spot mirror
  • Quad-beam auto-on/off halogen headlights
  • Capless fuel system
  • Hill-start assist
  • Manual climate control
  • Power door locks
  • Power front windows with one-touch down driver’s window
  • Dual visor vanity mirrors
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • One 12-volt front power port
  • Ford MyKey
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • 4.2-inch instrument panel display
  • Four-speaker audio system with AM/FM/MP3 capability
  • SYNC Enhanced Voice Recognition Communication
  • 4.2-inch infotainment screen
  • One smart-charging USB port
  • Cloth seating
  • Rearview camera
  • Remote keyless entry

SE Sedan: 19,245

  • All S Sedan features, plus
  • 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine with auto stop/start
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • 16-inch silver-painted aluminum wheels
  • Body-color door handles
  • Body-color mirrors
  • Power front and rear windows
  • Rear 12-volt power outlet
  • Cruise control
  • Illuminated entry
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Map lights
  • Rear heat vents
  • Floor mats
  • SiriusXM radio

SE Hatch: $20,540

  • All S Sedan features, plus
  • Six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission
  • Hatchback body
  • Rear windshield wiper
  • 16-inch silver-painted aluminum wheels
  • Body-color door handles
  • Body-color mirrors
  • Power front and rear windows with driver’s one-touch down
  • Rear 12-volt power outlet
  • Cruise control
  • Illuminated entry
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Map lights
  • Rear heat vents
  • Floor mats
  • SiriusXM radio

SEL Sedan: $21,470

  • All SE Sedan features, plus
  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission with SelectShift
  • 17-inch machined-aluminum wheels with black-painted pockets
  • Perimeter alarm
  • Mirror-integrated turn signals
  • LED signature lighting
  • Dedicated daytime running lights
  • Fog lights with gloss-black bezels
  • Rear parking sonar
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Power moonroof
  • SYNC 3 infotainment system
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Sony 10-speaker audio system with CD player
  • HD Radio
  • Two smart-charging USB ports

SEL Hatch: $21,670

  • All SE Hatch features, plus
  • Perimeter alarm
  • 17-inch machined-alloy wheels with black-painted pockets
  • Six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission with SelectShift
  • Mirror-integrated turn signals
  • LED signature lighting
  • Dedicated daytime running lights
  • Black headlight bezels
  • Fog lights with black bezels
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Power moonroof
  • SYNC 3 infotainment system
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Sony audio system with 10 speakers
  • HD Radio
  • Two smart-charging USB port
  • Perimeter alarm

Titanium Sedan: $24,270

  • All SEL Sedan features, plus
  • 17-inch polished-aluminum wheels
  • Four-wheel disc brakes
  • Chrome-trimmed grille with chrome bars
  • Heated mirrors
  • Security-approach lights
  • Chrome headlight bezels
  • Chrome fog light bezels
  • Rear spoiler
  • Chrome beltline molding
  • Keyless entry keypad
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • One-touch down on all four windows
  • Rear armrest with storage
  • Remote start
  • Intelligent access with keyless ignition
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Leather seating
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats

Titanium Hatch: $24,470

  • All SEL Hatch features, plus
  • 17-inch polished-aluminum wheels
  • Four-wheel disc brakes
  • Chrome grille trim and chrome grille bars
  • Heated mirrors
  • Security approach lights
  • Chrome headlight bezels
  • Chrome fog light bezels
  • Chrome beltline molding
  • Keyless entry keypad
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shifter
  • Power front and rear windows with four one-touch down windows
  • Rear armrest with storage
  • Remote ignition
  • Intelligent access with keyless ignition
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Leather seating
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat
  • Heated front seats

Who Should Buy the 2018 Ford Focus?

Buyers who are willing to sacrifice styling and a little rear seat room for about $1,000 in savings will find the Focus a better bet than the Cruze. The 2018 Focus is also great for buyers looking for a toned-down appearance.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Chevy Cruze?

Want to save big on gas? The 2019 Cruze is the perfect buy. Plus, its optional diesel engine delivers even better fuel efficiency and a healthy helping of low-end torque. Add to that a roomier rear seat and more overall cargo space, and you have a great buy.

Ready to try the 2019 Chevy Cruze for yourself through the streets of Linwood, Michigan? Come down to the Garber Chevrolet Linwood showroom serving Bay City, Linwood, and Standish, Michigan for a test drive. Can’t make it in today? You can also check out our online inventory to see what 2019 Cruze models we have in stock.