Compact cars are growing in popularity because they’re fuel efficient and inexpensive. The biggest problem is that there are so many choices. Two vehicles stick out the most in this category: The Honda Civic due to its great reliability and the Chevrolet Cruze because of the low price and attractive appearance. Those who are stuck between the two may find it easier after this comparison.
The most common reason people purchase compact cars is the affordability. Between the two, the Cruze is the least expensive option. Chevrolet lists the starting MSRP for the Cruze LT Sedan at $17,850. The Cruze also allows customers to purchase a hatchback, although the starting MSRP is increased to $22,115.
The Civic has a higher price tag with Honda listing the LX with a starting MSRP of $18,740. At first this may seem like a significant price hike, but with a 60-month auto loan, customers will only pay an extra $14.84 per month. Is it worth it paying the extra money?
The second huge reason people purchase compact cars is the get excellent gas mileage. The choice doesn’t get any easier between these two vehicles with both the Cruze and Civic getting 28 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.
However, it does change when you purchase a manual Cruze. The fuel economy increases to 30 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. Honda Civic’s mileage improves to 30 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway with the CVT upgrade.
A compact car may have some significant benefits, but how much space will each passenger have? The Cruze was heavily redesigned last year and reviews on U.S. News state that there is ample room to comfortably seat five full-size adults, although taller passengers may be required to duck to climb into the back seats. The sloping roof also restricts visibility in the back seat.
The Honda Civic has always been roomy enough for adults, but the newer models can fit four adults comfortably. Along with being roomier, it also feels more upscale in the cabin because of soft-touch surfaces for your elbows and attractive dashboard. Even with all the passenger room, Civic found enough space to add deep storage bins that can fit iPads and even large water bottles.
The Chevrolet Cruze has a safety package that includes stability control, four-wheel antilock disc brakes, full-length side curtain airbags, front knee airbags, and front and rear side-impact airbags. It also comes with OnStar standard, which includes a host of assistance from crash notifications to remote door unlocking. Even with all this stuff, it can’t beat the Honda Civic.
It’s hard to compare any vehicle’s safety to the Honda Civic, which has received top-notch crash test safety scores. Standard safety equipment on the 2017 Honda Civic includes stability control, antilock disc brakes, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, and a rearview camera. Drivers can also upgrade to the Honda Sensing package which has adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane departure intervention, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking for an extra cost.
Everyone wants a car that will last several years—including past your last payment. You may be surprised to hear that the Chevrolet Cruze is equally as reliable when compared to the Honda Civic. Both vehicles received 3.5 out of five reliability score according to J.D. Power and Associates, which means it’s slightly better than most cars on the market.