Fuel Economy: 26 City / 36 Hwy
MSRP: Starting at $17,170
Inside the 2015 Ford Focus:
The Ford Focus has been completely redesigned for 2015. Available trim options include the S, SE and Titanium. The Focus is also available in either a 4 door sedan or 5 door hatchback model. The base model, or Focus S, includes the same flex-fuel capable 2.0L, 160 horsepower engine from 2014. However, there are several different engine packages to choose from including a new option with the 1.0L EcoBoost I-3 engine that we’ve previously seen in the Ford Fiesta. This manual-only 1.0L engine hasn’t been certified by the EPA yet for a fuel rating, but we expect it to be around 36MPG combined city/highway. The Focus has a completely electric version that requires no fuel or oil changes and has a range of roughly 76 miles depending on if you use the A/C or CD player.
The exterior of the Focus received some major changes including a new grill and a sleeker front and rear fascia. The interior appears to be more modern with the center control console receiving improved audio and climate controls. The technology in the Focus is also improved and the rear camera is standard fare with additional safety features including blind-spot warning and lane-keeping assist. The infotainment center comes standard with a 4.6in display with an 8in MyTouch option available.
Fuel Economy: 25 City / 36 Hwy
MSRP: Starting at $17,745
Inside the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze:
The 2015 Chevrolet Cruze is available with 3 powertrain options which include the base 1.8L package, 1.4L turbocharged or a 2.0L turbo. Owners can choose from 4 trim options with the LS, LT, RS and LTZX. The base package 1.8L engine boasts a fuel economy of 25 MPG city and 36 MPG highway. The crown jewel in the Cruze lineup is the 2.0L Clean Turbo Diesel with an astounding 46 MPG highway EPA rating. The 15.6 gallon tank gives the Cruze a range of 717 miles. The Cruze Eco also touts a higher-than-average EPA fuel rating of 42 MPG highway.
The 2015 Chevy Cruze received its own mild facelift from the 2014 model, including a bigger two-part grill and new rear tail lights. The Cruze received high marks in terms of safety rating from the IIHS, or Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Standard in all 2015 models is 10 airbags throughout the vehicle. Additional safety options include rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and side blind-spot alert. A new feature for 2015 comes in the form of connectivity by adding 4G LTE Wi-Fi. Passengers can turn the vehicle into, quite literally, a mobile hotspot to run game and tablet devices on.
Our Pick for Winner:
Base Model: Ford Focus
The redesign in 2015 for the Ford Focus brings many great updates to an already phenomenal vehicle. The Ford Focus also includes a bigger engine with more horsepower and comparable fuel economy while still being a more affordable vehicle. Chevy added subtle changes from the 2014 Cruze, but the Focus is practically a new vehicle.
Upgrades: Chevrolet Cruze
While we greatly appreciate the 1.0L EcoBoost engine in the 2015 Ford Focus, it lacks the get-up-and-go type of power until you hit midrange speeds. The Chevy Cruze offers two engine upgrade options that are capable of hitting highway MPG in the low 40’s. The Cruze gives consumers more sub-trim options and upgrade options, which made it the winner of this category.
This was one of the toughest bouts we have looked at. The Ford Focus has improved greatly compared to the 2014 model, however, we aren’t comparing the 2014 and 2015 models. The Chevy Cruze takes the cake with safety features and increased fuel economy over the Focus. Drivers of the Cruze will need to disregard their negative beliefs towards a diesel vehicle and reap the benefits of the best highway EPA rating for a non-hybrid vehicle.