The competition among compact four-door sedans has never been tougher.
The segment leader, the Toyota Corolla, is no longer behind the times; and the two-year-old Honda Civic received significant updates a couple of years back.
The Ford Focus also got freshened styling and several feature updates for 2015.
The Focus and Volkswagen Jetta are somewhat sportier than the Cruze, which is at its strongest racking up highway miles quietly and comfortably.
The Jetta is the only other compact that offers a diesel option, but the Cruze Diesel is more powerful and likely returns equal or better real-world fuel economy.
The Hyundai Elantra is a strong competitor, with prices consistently lower than the Cruze—though Chevy dealers will bargain to even the difference.
We see the Mazda3 as the sportiest contender, with surefooted handling and roadholding; its new SkyActiv engine returns impressive real-world gas mileage without the need for a turbo.
Only the Dodge Dart, which didn't exist in 2011 when the Cruze last launched, has failed to make much of a mark.
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|2016 Chevrolet CruzeBrowse Used Listings||2016 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings||2016 Hyundai ElantraBrowse Used Listings||2016 Mazda MAZDA3Browse Used Listings||2016 Toyota CorollaBrowse Used Listings||2016 Volkswagen JettaBrowse Used Listings|
|22 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy||19 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy||24 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy||25 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy||27 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy||23 MPG City / 48 MPG Hwy|
|Turbocharged Gas I4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4|
|Midsize Cars||Compact Cars||Mid-Size Cars||Compact Cars||Compact Cars||Compact Cars|
|4-Door Sedan Manual L||4-Door Sedan S||4-Door Sedan Manual SE (Alabama Plant)||4-Door Sedan Manual i Sport||4-Door Sedan Manual L (SE)||4-Door Manual 1.4T S|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|Manual||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2016 Chevrolet Cruze vs. 2016 Ford Focus||2016 Chevrolet Cruze vs. 2016 Hyundai Elantra||2016 Chevrolet Cruze vs. 2016 Mazda MAZDA3||2016 Chevrolet Cruze vs. 2016 Toyota Corolla||2016 Chevrolet Cruze vs. 2016 Volkswagen Jetta|