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The $16,000 Question: Jetta, Cruze or Focus? [w/poll]

278 posts in this topic

NewsFeeder    9

Filed under: Car Buying, Budget, Sedan, Chevrolet, Ford, GM, Volkswagen

jettacruzefocusopta.jpg

Just after we flip our calendars to the year 2011, we'll have three new sedans on the street, all poised to compete against one another and priced from around the $16,000 mark - the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta, 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and 2012 Ford Focus. Each car has a lot of positives and we're sure the automotive media will be lining up comparison tests as soon as each are ready. But right now, we want to know what you, the reader, thinks has the makings of the best $16,000 sedan. Read the details and vote for your pick below.

2011 Volkswagen Jetta
  • Dimensions (inches): length: 182.7, width: 70.1, height: 57.1
  • Engines: 2.5-liter inline-five with 170 horsepower, 177 pound-feet of torque; 2.0-liter turbo-diesel four with 140 hp, 236 lb-ft; 2.0-liter turbocharged four with 200 hp, 207 lb-ft; six-speed automatic, dual-clutch and manual transmissions will be available
  • Fuel economy: Over 40 mpg for TDI diesel models
  • Available features: Navigation, Bluetooth, 60/40 split rear seat
2011 Chevrolet Cruze
  • Dimensions (inches): length: 181.0, width: 70.7, height: 58.1, wheelbase: 105.7
  • Engines: 1.8-liter naturally aspirated inline-four with 138 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque; 1.4-liter turbocharged four with 138 hp and 148 lb-ft; six-speed manual and automatic transmissions available
  • Fuel economy: 40 mpg for Eco models
  • Available features: Bluetooth, USB connectivity, OnStar support
2012 Ford Focus
  • Dimensions (inches): length: 179, width: 72, height: 58, wheelbase: 104
  • Engines: 2.0-liter naturally aspirated inline-four with 155 horsepower, 145 pound-feet of torque, mated to a five-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch automatic; 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four reportedly in the works with 240-plus hp and a six-speed manual
  • Fuel economy: 40 mpg highway targeted for base 2.0-liter model
  • Available features: SYNC, active park assist, navigation

View Poll



Note: Official specifications for the 2011 Jetta and 2012 Focus have not been released as of this writing, but these are the details that Autoblog has learned through industry sources.




Gallery: 2012 Ford Focus

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The $16,000 Question: Jetta, Cruze or Focus? [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Jun 2010 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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smk4565    323

I like the Fusion, it looks the best and with the 2.0 turbo has the best engine. Although I think overall engine line up goes to the Jetta since they have a basic gas engine, the 2.0T and the 41 mpg diesel. The Jetta looks handsome, but is it bit boring. The new Jetta seems pretty good, at that price it is pretty good value. Personally I just prefer the Fusion. The Cruze looks underpowered big time compared to this lot.

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Nick    31

I like the Fusion, it looks the best and with the 2.0 turbo has the best engine. Although I think overall engine line up goes to the Jetta since they have a basic gas engine, the 2.0T and the 41 mpg diesel. The Jetta looks handsome, but is it bit boring. The new Jetta seems pretty good, at that price it is pretty good value. Personally I just prefer the Fusion. The Cruze looks underpowered big time compared to this lot.

Except the Jetta will be exceptionally costly to own and operate. The interior is decidedly teutonic, but the exterior looks alright by me.

A 41mpg diesel is nothing noteworthy when the eco gas versions of the other car do 40.

I like the interior of the Cruze, but ultimately I think I would opt for the Focus (what I am sure you meant other than fusion) if I had to.

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Speaking strictly between the three I've already made up my mind.

Cruze LTZ or 2LT for me plz...

The Jetta has the power but I'm not looking for the most powerful car this time around, just something that can be a nicely equipped commuter job.

Crystal Red or Black Granite, Ebony/Brick Leather, USB/NAV/Bluetooth/OnStar/XM, Power Seat, Cruise, Leather Wheel, and Disc Brakes would be nice.

Very real possibility of me purchasing one in late 2012 or early 2013, especially considering my lackluster reaction to the new Regal that was in the showroom while I was having my car serviced last week.

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Intrepidation    846

Focus, hands down. The other two are dull but the Cruze has a more interesting interior while the exterior of the Jetta looks the most polished. I don't like the detail work on the headlights, grill, and taillights of the Cruze.

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PurdueGuy    72

What's the weight of each? HP doesn't tell the whole story, you need to know how much weight it's moving.

I'd have to say I like the Ford's styling most, but am conflicted on ranking the other two. I like the sportiness of the Cruze, but I like the handsomeness of the VW. But, the VW handsomeness kinda translates into boring for me as well.

Looking at the base engines (the ones you'd get for $16k), I want to want the VW, but the record of quality issues with VWs makes me steer away from them, so the Ford again is the one I lean toward. I'm sure the base Chevy engine is fine for a base engine, but they need something a whole lot more interesting offered in the Cruze. The Cobalt SS is a car I would consider buying, and it's a shame to not see an equivalent model in the Cobalt's replacement. A Cruze SS with the 2.0T and handling on par with the Cobalt SS-TC would probably top my list with these 3 cars (comparing to the top models of the Ford & VW).

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Lamar    72

Jetta's still a VW, right? Automatic 3rd place until their parts and maintenance don't cost as much anymore.

Focus, then Cruze for me. I'd have to peruse the interiors of both before deciding.

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smk4565    323

Except the Jetta will be exceptionally costly to own and operate. The interior is decidedly teutonic, but the exterior looks alright by me.

A 41mpg diesel is nothing noteworthy when the eco gas versions of the other car do 40.

I like the interior of the Cruze, but ultimately I think I would opt for the Focus (what I am sure you meant other than fusion) if I had to.

But the Jetta TDI has 236 lb-ft vs 135-140 lb-ft or whatever the sad amount the Cruze has. The Cruze eco will have Prius-like acceleration, at that point, might as well get a Prius and get 50 mpg. The Jetta TDI will as least be somewhat entertaining to drive.

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daves87rs    330

Since this is a real choice for me, I can't give an armchair rating yet. I plan to take a good look at them, and give them a good test drive first.......

The Jetta is kinda meh, but I'd had to see it in person.

I need to drive the Focus and the Cruze before I could decide. And for the HP humpers, it's about the ride, not the handling. Power is not going to mean much if you can't point it in the direction fast enough...

It's a toss up, as the Focus is sportier (a la Mazda 3) now, so if it handles like the 3 ( A car iI like), it might be an easy sell...

The reviews in Europe show that the Cruze is no souch either. So.....

......on to the test drive!booyah.gif

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I can't imagine many of these will go off the lot at $16k..won't these typically be closer to $20k or more? A $16k comparo would be more likely among the Polo, Fiesta, and Aveo...

Of these 3 (and considering their competition--the Corolla, Civic, Sentra, Elantra, etc) I find the Focus the most appealing.

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Drew Dowdell    5,000

Note that the photos of all are either of the pre-production show cars and top line models. They'll look quite a bit different with base base base stuff.

That said, I weight my choice on interiors, exterior, fuel economy, then power, in that order.

Cruze

Jetta - if they manage a TDI as a low cost option, kicks it down to 3rd if not.

Focus

I've been in multiple NG Focuses. The interior severely disappoints me.

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daves87rs    330

Note that the photos of all are either of the pre-production show cars and top line models. They'll look quite a bit different with base base base stuff.

That said, I weight my choice on interiors, exterior, fuel economy, then power, in that order.

Cruze

Jetta - if they manage a TDI as a low cost option, kicks it down to 3rd if not.

Focus

I've been in multiple NG Focuses. The interior severely disappoints me.

I think that depends on the person. I like the Focus better than the Cobalt's......

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daves87rs    330

From the pictures, I think they're about equal (and assume you mean Cruze), but once you sit in them both, you may change your opinion.

Actually, I was referring to the older models (Cobalt & Focus)

The new ones both look pretty good....but I do agree with the sit down test.

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Blake Noble    146

Focus, hands down. The other two are dull but the Cruze has a more interesting interior while the exterior of the Jetta looks the most polished. I don't like the detail work on the headlights, grill, and taillights of the Cruze.

The Cruze's headlights, grille, and taillights do not have any detail work.

Because of the lack thereof, the Cruze looks a little dated next to the Jetta and Focus.

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Drew Dowdell    5,000

Actually, I was referring to the older models (Cobalt & Focus)

The new ones both look pretty good....but I do agree with the sit down test.

Ah. I've gotten to sit in the new models (Cruze and Focus) almost side by side. I like the Cruze interior better.

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PONTIAC06    22

The first time I saw the Focus, I would have said it wins hands down...after staring at it a while, I think it's the last one I'd pick...the interior looks really busy, and there are just enough awkward bits on the exterior to turn me off...Jetta has the best interior, and the TDI, but I think the Cruze has the best overall package...

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Z-06    493

Interior comparo:

112_2008_paris_05z+2011_chevrolet_cruze_+interior.jpg

focus4-600x348.jpg

2011-jetta-leak-3.jpg

I personally think Jetta's interior is a step backward - looks from last decade, not current. It looks too plain and jane to think VW put considerable efforts in it.

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hyperv6    774

As a GM fan I would buy the Cruze.

Now if I look at these three cars as a open mind non brand loyal buyer the other two I feel have the edge. They both look more expensive from all angles where the Cruze looks a like a econo car from most angles.

In size comfort and value I feel the Cruze may be the best buy but in looks it just has a little cheap ness in the front end.

GM will need to tweek it in two years or do a hell of a marketing job on these I fear.

The Cruze is a very good car but in todays market that may not be enough.

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