Who will win the battle for diesel supremacy?

When it comes to buying a decent small to mid size diesel car, it’s slim pickings at this end of the price scale, but with the recently released Holden Cruze throwing the metaphoric cat – or is that lion – among the pigeons, we thought we’d pair this newcomer against the ever popular Ford Focus this week to see which comes out in front.

If you were to base this comparison on looks alone, those unfamiliar with the two cars tested may already have this one settled, for to the uninitiated, the facelifted LV Focus could quite easily be mistaken for the recently superseded model – and therein lies a problem.

You see as good as Focus is, Holden’s all-new Cruze has set the bar rather high when it comes to aesthetics by offering potential buyers a more modern, and ergo, more appealing car visually both inside and out.

Now that may seem a little shallow, but as looks do play heavily on a potential buyer’s psyche, to be seen driving something that is deemed to be “out-of-date” by one’s peers could mean Cruze already has half the battle won.


Upon delving in to vehicle specification levels however we can clearly see that Focus offers more equipment without even opening the door.

For starters there’s front and rear fog lamps plus stylish 16-inch alloy wheels, and with Holden not offering its suave up-spec CDX in diesel format, it would seem Ford has this part of the argument pretty well sewn up.


Inside too it’s a similar case, though perhaps not as obviously so, with both vehicles offering remote central locking, full trip computer, power windows and mirrors, tilt/slide adjustable steering column, CD tuner with auxiliary input and steering wheel mounted remote controls, and cruise control while Cruze picks up the added bonus of dusk sensing headlamps.



On the ergonomics front, much of the lay out will come down to personal preference, but I’ve got to say I am a big fan of the driving position offered in the Cruze with its more “legs forward” approach allowing you to sit deeper in the car, rather than feeling you’re simply sitting on a chair.

Availed space too is won by the Cruze with front headroom (999mm Holden/998mm Ford), front legroom (1074mm Holden/1058mm Ford) and rear legroom (917mm Holden/908mm Ford) measurements all favouring the new kid on the block.


Boot space too is won by the Cruze (400 litres Holden/385 litres Ford) while additionally both cars do allow the convenience of 60:40 split fold rear seats, even if at the moment Cruze doesn’t come in a hatchback variety.


Ride quality too is an interesting one with Cruze being a little firmer than the Focus, but at the same time, quieter, meaning choosing the best cabin for you will mean finding where your priorities lie. For me, the quieter cabin came up trumps.

As for what’s under the bonnet, it’s even closer again, especially in terms of outright performance with both cars featuring a 2.0-litre, common-rail, turbocharged, four-cylinder diesel engine, both of which are identical in terms of torque delivering 320Nm at 2000rpm.

The Cruze does however just pip the Focus in terms of power managing an additional 10kW at the same engine speed (4000rpm).


Now you could be forgiven for thinking that this would mean the Cruze is the quicker of the pair, but given the additional 50kg on board, the truth of the matter is that the two cars are actually near identical when it comes to the all important 0-100km/h. The final results – Focus: 9.4 seconds/Cruze: 10.0 flat.

As for fuel economy though, the battle is fought a little more fiercely with the Ford easily winning in real world driving conditions, a feat made all the more impressive by the fact we were testing an automatic Focus against the traditionally more economic manual Cruze.

Despite Holden’s claims of 5.7 litres per 100km during ADR testing, our 1000km week of mixed highway and city driving could not return a result any better than 6.8 litres per 100km, while the Ford, with its claim of 5.9 litres per 100km, returned a result much closer to the mark with a 6.1 litre per 100km final reading.


In terms of handling, again it’s neck and neck, and to be honest there’s not too many buyers out there that are really going to drive a small-mid size diesel to the limit, but in case you’re wondering I’ve given this one to the Focus, by a nose.

Holden have done a wonderful job in setting the Cruze up for Australian conditions, and as a day-to-day car it is excellent. But when it comes to hanging on by your toe nails the Focus, with its multi-link rear end (as opposed to Holden’s torsion beam arrangement), just feels that little more confident and settled through challenging sections of winding road.

Should you come unstuck however it would seem you’re equally well protected in either vehicle with both offering dual front, side and curtain airbags, ABS braking with electronic brake force distribution and emergency brake assist as well as the reassurance of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control.


So based on what we’ve covered so far you could reasonably conclude that the pair are fairly evenly matched, and give or take a few personal preferences on driving style, I’m inclined to agree.

But there is a rather large elephant in the room that has, until now, been ignored – and that’s the all important question of price.

At some $4300** cheaper the pendulum has swung in favour of the Cruze making it not only our winner, but the clear choice for any buyer chasing honest, value for money diesel motoring.

*Pricing shown is a guide as recommended to us by the manufacturers.

**Based on manual transmission pricing of $23,990 for the Holden Cruze and $28,290 for the Ford Focus.

Models Tested:

  • 2009 Ford LV Focus TDCi; 2.0-litre; six-speed automatic; hatch – $30,290*
  • 2009 Holden JG Cruze CD; 2.0-litre; five-speed manual; sedan – $23,990*

Ratings (Ford Focus TDCi):

CarAdvice Overall Rating: rating11.gifrating11.gifrating11.gifrating_half.GIF
How does it Drive: rating11.gifrating11.gifrating11.gifrating11.gif
How does it Look: rating11.gifrating11.gifrating11.gif
How does it Go: rating11.gifrating11.gifrating11.gifrating_half.GIF

Ratings (Holden Cruze CD Diesel):

CarAdvice Overall Rating: rating11.gifrating11.gifrating11.gifrating11.gif
How does it Drive: rating11.gifrating11.gifrating11.gifrating_half.GIF
How does it Look: rating11.gifrating11.gifrating11.gifrating11.gif
How does it Go: rating11.gifrating11.gifrating11.gifrating11.gif

Road Test the Rivals:

Specifications (Ford Focus TDCi):

  • Engine: 1997cc DOHC four-cylinder 16-valve
  • Power: 100kW @ 4000rpm
  • Torque: 320Nm @ 2000rpm
  • Induction: Turbocharged & common-rail
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Driven Wheels: Front
  • Brakes: Discs with ABS, EBA & EBD
  • Top Speed: Not tested
  • 0-100km/h: 9.4 seconds
  • CO2 Emissions: 157 grams per kilometre
  • Fuel Consumption: 5.9 litres per 100km (ADR combined)
  • Fuel Consumption: 6.1 litres per 100km (As Tested)
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 53 litres
  • Fuel Type: Diesel
  • ANCAP Rating: Five star
  • Airbags: Front, side & curtain
  • Safety: ESC with Traction Control
  • Spare Wheel: Space saver
  • Suspension: Strut (F)/Multi-link (R)
  • Cargo Capacity: 385 litres
  • Tow Capacity: 1000kg (Braked)
  • Turning Circle: 10.7 metres
  • Warranty: Three year/100,000 kilometre
  • Weight: 1458kg (tare)
  • Wheels: Alloy 16 x 6.0-inch

Specifications (Holden Cruze CD Diesel):

  • Engine: 1991cc DOHC four-cylinder 16-valve
  • Power: 110kW @ 4000rpm
  • Torque: 320Nm @ 2000rpm
  • Induction: Turbocharged & common-rail
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual
  • Driven Wheels: Front
  • Brakes: Discs with ABS, EBA & EBD
  • Top Speed: Not tested
  • 0-100km/h: 10.0 seconds (claimed)
  • CO2 Emissions: 149 grams per kilometre
  • Fuel Consumption: 5.7 litres per 100km (ADR combined)
  • Fuel Consumption: 6.8 litres per 100km (As tested)
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 60 litres
  • Fuel Type: Diesel
  • ANCAP Rating: Five-star
  • Airbags: Front, side & curtain
  • Safety: ESC with Traction Control
  • Spare Wheel: Full size
  • Suspension: Strut(F)/Torsion Beam(R)
  • Cargo Capacity: 400 litres
  • Tow Capacity: 1200kg (Braked)
  • Turning Circle: 10.9 metres
  • Warranty: Three year/100,000 kilometre
  • Weight: 1506kg (tare)
  • Wheels: Steel 16 x 6.5-inch

  • Alex

    I’ll take a Focus. I don’t mind the Cruze but I like the solidity of the Focus and when I went to see a Cruze the other week, it just didn’t quite do it for me. I think the Focus is easily the better to drive; much more of a gap than Matt thinks but I suppose that we all have different opinions in that regard.
    I also like the look of the Focus more. I think that the facelift makes it look much better and less bland.
    I do prefer the Cruze’s interior design but I like the Focus’s build quality more. I also prefer a hatchback body shape over a sedan. The fuel economy also has a lot to do with what one would pick here – if your buying a diesel you don’t want to miss out on a diesel car’s major selling point.
    However, the result doesn’t surprise me. The pricing gap is just too wide to ignore. I think it would be more appropriate to compare the Focus to the Golf rather than the Cruze.
    I can’t help but think that there’s another car though; one with the best of both worlds – the new Astra. It’s almost an exact cross between these two cars. Shame Holden won’t bring it to Australia.

  • Jake02

    Wow, what a strange Holden v Ford comparo – I never even thought of it. If the Cruze came in a diesel CDX spec I think I’d have that but the Focus is also really underequipped (30k plus on-roads :S). I’m an oddball person so I’d get the oddball choice, the Skoda Roomster TDI it’s only 29k and comes with more stuff over these two.

    I don’t like either Cruze or Focus though. The Aus-spec Focus is rubbish (it’s South-African made bar the XR5 and every spec level comes with bugger-all equipment, as well as no sedan TCDi and no Ghia spec where the equipment prob would be solved). The Cruze is alright, but I would MUCH prefer an Astra anyday. It’s such a shame for them to get rid of it, and the new Astra already looks to be a future king. If they made the Astra here instead of the Cruze hatch, Holden would have a winner on it’s hands.

    CA: How is a Jetta TDI a competitor? It’s a mid-size car and costs more too. The Jetta should be compared with the Octavia, Mondeo etc.

  • adam (aka mada)

    Personally i’d spend the extra and have the focus, however not everyone can afford the price difference.

    The only reason cruze won was due the price at the end of the day.

    • http://adriansmall1@live.com adrian small

      We all know why the Holden Cruze won, Because its a HOLDEN..you know the ONLY Australian Car Company…But remember FORD WAS HERE LONG BEFORE HOLDEN,but people, have been led to believe,that isn’t so. The first FX Holden was a small downsized chevy, my father had a chevy, i had an fx,they looked just the same, same engine. The Cruze, is a car made in KOREA by GM,and a Holden badge was fitted like all the rest of the so called Holden IMPORTS. I know that GMH Adelaide, are now going to produce the Cruze, But 99% of it is imported..If you want to be Honest with the Australian People, tell them the truth,that the FOCUS AND CRUZE are both imported.

  • Frontman

    C/A wonder how you’d find it if you were given comparable cars?? Also did you use the powershift just as an Auto in the comparison or as a dual clutch manual (which is what it really is) so as to even up the drive comparison?? Also when you add the cost of the Auto box onto the Cruze the comparison in price is evened out better.
    I somehow picked up a certain amount of Bias on comencement of reading the story as you were straight into looks, these are a very personal thing and what looks good to you may well look garish to others, however it set a negative tone and makes the review look tainted immediately (creative critisim only).
    Personally I’d go the Focus as I didn’t feel any of the Cruze’s (often criticised) “Lag” in the Focus set up, and I found it a far better handler on the go. Add to that the fuel figures of manual versus auto (assuming you drove it as an auto because that’s what you indicated) then one would be safe in assuming that the Focus Manual would be the champion.

  • Deco

    Yes the Cruze won due to the price difference, but that simply means, the focus doesn’t come up to scratch and supply the gadgets to make it worth its 30k price tag.

    I to wish the astra was coming, but seriously, they can’t sell the astra cheap enough to compete, so really, it wouldn’t be a good move economically, to sell it here.

    I’d say, as the Cruze will be a GM global car, it will be improved to superseed its competitors very quickly.

  • Ryan

    Why isn’t the Hyundai i30 disesel included in this?

  • Alan

    Would be nice if they included i30 as well as i think that would be the better choice with price being a factor as well. Between these two, Cruze obviously offers better value, but Focus has a better chassis and is better engineered.

  • jtoddy

    A rather pointless comparison as nobody will compare the manual version of one car with the automatic version of another.
    And you wonder why the price difference was so large between them???

  • http://caradvice onepoppa

    Problem with both cars is that neither is available in upmarket trim. I guess that GMH is paranoid on price, thinking that diesel drivers are totally price oriented.

    In reality what diesel drivers like is the mid range torque, so that the diesel variants, in both cars, are much better to drive in real world terms, as well as being more economical. The nearest thing to a win/win situation – compared to the petrol variants the diesels are just better cars, especially the Cruze which by all accounts has a pretty weedy petrol engine.

  • Jimbo

    Hmmm…Fair enough, not the result I was expecting.
    However I am with Ryan and Alan on this one. The i30 is a more like for like comparison. From a financial point of view the Cruze and the i30 do make the Focus seem very overpriced as it is a budget European after all.

    The Focus with its engineering, tech and price is more comparable to a Golf/308, even if the Golf and the 308 make the Focus seem a little bland and cheap.

    For me though if I didn’t have the budget for a Golf or a 308 I would go an i30 over the two featured in this article. The Focus is too expensive for what it is and I am not yet convinced about the Cruze.

  • davie

    There’s been numerous mentions of the new Astra in this discussion and how it would beat both.

    Is it true that the Cruze and new Astra share the same platform underneath?

    If so, does this mean the new Astra shares lots of other bits also gets a torsion bar rear end?

    Is the cruze in effect an Astra sedan?

    can someone clear this one up?

  • Jimbo

    Also the manual vs auto aspect of this article does taint the results for me.
    I thinks the Cruze would be made to loo a little foolish if it was auto vs auto.

  • o

    I feel that the foucs looks much more dated in darker colours than bright ones. Also we got jipped on the facelift not getting new side door panels. Also the is a price difference but for does not offer a lower spec diesel and holdena higher spec.

  • FrugalOne


    Most if not all hatch/sedans, ie Mazda3, Lancer, Corolla are the EXACT SAME price, neither is cheaper or more.

    In theory the hatch *could* be a little more expensive to manufacture, but just average it out and sell for the same.



  • Frontman

    Matt, allow me the opportunity to apologise, upon re reading your story I did bother to look at the ** on the pricing so my comment was covered about auto v manual price however I stand by everthing else.
    I’d be interested to know which manufacturer you went to first to get the test cars? I understand Ford supplying thr auto as that is the new one, but if Holden werre the second contacted, surely they would’ve put forward their auto……

  • Jazrod

    Dad works for Ford, which in no way makes me bias – i am my own person.
    But he has taken home a TDCi focus (and it had 18″ XR5 Wheels), and i got to drive it – and it was awesome. Was the PowerShift Auto, and white.
    The solidity of the whole car, and the feeling of being safe – both physically and in the power stakes – the torque seemed endless.
    And opposed to Matt and Paul’s comments, i found the seats in the focus where superb! Well bolstered AND i felt asthough i was IN them, instead of ON them (like in my starlet…)
    Focus all the way – more solid, IMO, better looking and better quality with a sensational engine and transmission.

  • Jazrod

    OH YEH, and i have been to my local Holden to check out the Cruze, and i didnt like it.

  • max

    Point taken regarding the hatch pricing Frugal and fair enough.

    You don’t have an issue with comparing the pricing of an auto versus a manual I take it?

    You also don’t have an issue with comparing fuel numbers of an auto versus a manual either?

    You don’t consider it odd that the Focus auto clearly beats the Cruze manual with regard to fuel numbers, nor that the touted fuel numbers by Holden are a long way from reality?

    I could care less about these cars, and actually agree with you that the Lancer offers better value, just suggesting that if you are going to compare cars, keep the playing field level.

  • mad max

    Alex, have you driven either car? Have you driven a Cruze diesel? I bet not. So how can you say the you like the solidity of the Focus? Like a lot of people on this blog, you offer “informed” opinions, that are worthless and meaningless because you can’t be bothered to visit a dealership and drive the car. I have driven both and would take the Cruze anyday. The Focus looks ok from the outside but IMO, the inside is just so dated. The both drive well but the Cruze has so much gear and is quieter by miles.

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au OSU811

    I thought it was a silly article, considering holden has a 6 speed auto version that also would of been closer in price!,why oh why didnt you test auto vs auto?????
    as most peoples first decision in buying a car is do i want a manual or do i need an auto even before they look at the cars..

  • http://Caradvice.com.au Baddass

    To give every car a fair chance, I think the styling should be judged on how it looks, not how much it has changed from the old model (e.g Focus). I personally can’t get the Cruze’s tail lights, but the interior and headlights are fine. the focus’s headlights look aggressive, especially in XR5 spec.

  • Jimbo

    Apparently the Cruze won on interior space, but by mere millimetres in most places. Who would really notice the difference?

    Also the Cruze won on boot space, how? Technically it does have 15 litres more but the boot opening of the focus is much more user friendly as it is massive in comparison. Also when the seats are folded down the Focus kills the Cruze in boot space!

    I have been burnt in the past because I believed such claims and went a sedan over a hatch, then had to sell it 2 years later because I found it to be highly impractical.
    Until I get a good look at both I am beginning to think the only thing the Cruze has is a lower price and perhaps a less cheap looking interior.

  • adam (aka mada)


    Couldn’t agree more.
    A hatch will always win over a sedan for loading practicality.

  • adam (aka mada)

    At the end of the day the cruze performs better on a spec sheet than on the road, in the real world.
    Can GM/Holden engineer a class leading vehicle anymore!?

  • Falcodore

    I think when the Mazda3 2.2 diesel is released at the end of the year it will overshadow both these cars…Probably the Golf too…just a thought.

  • http://www.littlepixiegifts.com.au Gift-Ed

    This reads like a very fair comparo to me. It sums up the strengths and weaknesses of each well.

    The problem is for GM and Holden, the Cruze is brand new, and only just fends off the almost generation behind Focus. No doubt the new Focus will be quite a few steps ahead, and that’s the one that Ford will be building here.

  • fishman

    And remember the focus is effectively several years old (the recent facelift is just cosmetic), yet is still largely the superior car.

    When the new version comes out (next year I think?) it will wipe the floor with the Cruze, as the new Mazda3 and new Golf already do.

  • Big End

    Adam, NO GM Holden can NOT engineer a class leading vehicle. This is because they are based on old platforms\suspension systems and cheap badge engineering. Built to a price not quality. Look at VE….1 billion spent on that and it wasnt even better dynamically than an old BF. And not to mention the interiors of Holdens……the worst in all of their models.

  • Tony M

    My son owns a Ford Focus CL manual hatch. Great car, great seats, fantastic sound system and the fuel economy. In suburbia it’s 7.5l/100km. The thing that impressed me was the boot of the Focus is regular in shape. That is the wheel arches are small within the boot meaning you can fit a lot of luggage etc. My 2002 Magna has a bigger boot but the wheel arches in the back , as the photo of the Cruz seems to show, extend into the boot space. The Cruz might have a bigger boot fractionaly but I don’t think it can hand as much luggage as the Focus.
    As has been pointed out above, figures can lie in that when you put them to the test they don’t come up to par.
    The only issue that was not address in this article is servicing costs. The Ford Focus is very expensive to service at a Ford dealer and that is also the same for a Holden Astra. I would like to see what are the costs to replace brakes, service the cars and do cam belts and if they need to be done at 70,000km or 100,000 km.

  • http://www.joegakenheimer.com/05312008.aspx Joe Gakenheimer

    Nice honest read. The Cruze is much more attractive because of the price and even though Ford has a slight edge, unless one is a bimmer shopper 4k is a lot to overcome.

  • adam (aka mada)

    Tony m,

    I didn’t think focus, 3 or many small vehicles have CAM belts anylonger?

  • FrugalOne


    Very good, agree 100%, what’s the service intervals, and the said costs for say the first 100,000km?

    I think BigT[tm.F-0] is going to win that, as it’s subsidized and fixed at $130 for the cars to 60,000km.

    Brilliant really, why don’t others follow this, they copy everything else from BigT[tm.F-0.

    My 08' Falcon is $300 to service ["trade price", $340 non trade] @ 15,000km i will NEVER take it back to a Ford dealer to what amounts to a oil and filter change.

    The cheapest car to buy and own, insurance, service etc etc is the Hayundai Getz.



  • Sam, the original

    30k for a small fwd hatch back? No thanks.

  • Alex

    Mad Max, yes I have driven both. I wouldn’t have mentioned specific likes and dislikes about the cars if I hadn’t even had a tiny bit of experience.

  • ZoomZoom

    Falcodore, totally agree with your comment regarding the new Mazda 3 diesel, especially if it has the same 2.2 136kw 400nm engine and isn’t detuned.
    Back on topic, I think the exterior looks a little bit nicer on the Cruze but think that the Focus will be more reliable and fun to drive.

  • Shak

    Ezz i dont think that looks were the main contributor. I think the $4300 price gap might have played a role. But im a Holden man and i believe that the new Falcon is very good looking, and the mondeo whips the Epica for style. SO dont use some stereotype that you cooked up. But if the Cruze was offered in CDX Diesel spec this would have been Holden out in front even further.

  • george

    My sister is thinking about updating her 2002 pulsar and has driven both of the these cars, she liked the cruze better. But she did like the fact the focus is a hatch, in the end she liked how the Cruze drove. She’s not a rev head like me so she just wants something that’s good on petrol and goes resonably well..
    I went with her when she test drove the Cruze and thought the 6 spd auto goes great with the diesel and liked it better then the manual..
    My sister has now decided to wait and see what the Aus made Hatch is like since she really wants a hatch..
    I’m really not into small cars but both these cars have impressed me alot..

  • John

    Those who say they’d take the Focus obviously haven’t owned one. Yes, they are a great drive, but they are bloody noisy and come with an unwanted additional feature – truly crappy build quality. I’ve owned two, an LS and an LT (both assembled in South Africa). The first one looked like it was assembled by monkeys throwing parts together until they stuck (and maybe it was), while the paint…. well, the paintwork was just woeful. The 2nd one wasn’t a whole lot better. Maybe the build quality will be better once they start building them in Oz, but it’ll be a long time before I chance my money on another Focus.

    The thing is, the Focus is a compelling package when you look at it and drive it. Long term ownership takes the edge off those qualities, though. It’s just a shame they can’t – or won’t – build them better.

  • Bob

    F-O your statement about Toyota service is a load of rubbish.

    Yes its fixed at $130 but that is per sevice and the service intervals are 10,000km/6months, compared to the cruze 15,000km/12 months (not sure what the Focus Diesel service intervals are).

    So in reality you save nothing at all.

    Toyota Service Program = FAIL

  • Alan

    George, unless you really need to have a diesel, Mazada 3 is still the best bet in this segment. Diesel isn’t worth the extra outlay in Australia unless you drive the car a lot in the year, not only are diesel cars more expensive to purchase, they also tend to be more expensive to service, it might take a few years to recoup the initial outlay and start saving over petrol.

    I’m not yet convinced by Cruze, although it is a big leap over old Daewoo, i still feel i30 and Hyundai in general are better made and priced. Focus is a nice car, but next to Mazda 3 on which it shares the platform it really is looking outdated now.

  • Martin

    Not surprised.

    What the hell is with the Focus diesel ad!? They are comparing it to a petrol Corolla. Of course its going to be more bloody efficient. They should have done an ad with this Cruze, oh wait, they couldn’t because it’s better.

  • Stevothedevo

    European quality vs Korean cheapness. If you can’t afford the extra $ get second hand.

  • Greg

    I think there should a disclaimer at the beginning of this article saying that the two cars being compared are not comparable.

    The Focus Sedan has a larger boot than the Cruze sedan, and the missing cabin space figure favours the Focus – Shoulder width.

    The fatally comparison is compromised by two issues:
    1) Holden do not make a diesel top of the line Hatch
    2) Ford do not make an entry level diesel sedan

    … and yet this is not highlighted
    If it was I am guessing that the conclusion would still stand, but based on the fact that in base model sedans Cruze had a Diesel for very little extra price, and might have a better feature level for the money … but we will never know, as you did not do the comparison.

    And a trivial thing, and barely worth mentioning is that the ‘How does it drive’ rating does not seem to marry well to the comments in the text – there is little or no mention of anywhere that the Cruze is better, and several places where the more expensive Focus is better.

  • Tony

    a while back Ford were blowing out the Focus diesel for $21,990

    wait for these deals if you wanna get one… no way i’d pay $30k for a hatch that wasn’t a Golf GTI or XR5 or something decent

  • Alex

    John, you write like what happened to you is going to happen to everybody that buys a Focus when the majority of Focuses are very reliable.

  • John

    Alex, I accept that the majority of Focuses are reliable. I’m not saying they’re a lemon car – far from it. I am saying that the two I bought were poorly assembled, and that that seems to be a hallmark of South African built Focuses. My own observation of other Focuses (in car parks, at the dealers when in for a service, that sort of thing) showed me that my own problems with poor body panel fit, misaligned doors, poor quality paint (check out some of the light metallic colours, especially the colour mismatch between the bodywork and bumpers) were not unique. Once, I had the opportunity to compare a South African-built LS Focus side by side with the previous model Euro-build Focus – the difference in build quality and paint quality was very apparent.

    I just wish that we were getting our Focuses from Europe, not South Africa.

  • what the

    What european quality???
    The focus is made in south africa.

    Mercedes saw their JD Powers quality rating dive when they made the mistake of manafacturing their last C Class in south africa, the new model switched back to germany and the quality rating improved.

    And anyway the quality of cheap european cars does not match the quality of similar priced japanese cars.

  • Mumble Duck

    Good point you make their ‘What The’. The Focus is made in South Africa.

    Holden deserved to win, specially look at the price tag difference between the two as nearly everyone has noted.

    And people who state that the Cruze’s interior quality is poor are quite wrong. People like Hayman for instince.

  • TomasTheTankOfAnEngine

    Martin says- What the hell is with the Focus diesel ad!? They are comparing it to a petrol Corolla.Holden already used that when they compared the newly released diesel Epica to a petrol Mondeo.

  • colin

    Just a little query. In the how it goes section the cruze has 4 stars and the focus 3 and a half yet the focus has better acceleration to 100kph and has better fuel economy also you say the focus handles better

  • Frontman

    Couple of other note worthy deletions from the comparison, where are the boot hinges for the Cruze?? Inexcusable in this day and age. Do the testers look at all the “gadgets” that the cars have? Or don’t you think things like “Global locking” (the almost standard European system of lowering and raising windows from the key fob) could ever be helpful? like when you return from the 18th in summer.
    Also things like the Guages? The photographer didn’t include a direct line of sight shot of the instrument cluster, I actually find the Focus to be more informative and easier to use. Sure the centre console looks plain with it’s wider spaced buttons an large twist knobs, but it is extrememly easy to get acustomed to. I found the Cruze to be more fidly and less intuitive.
    You say the Cruz is roomier with a larger boot, well the other side of the story is the Cruze is 4597mm Vs the Focus 4337mm (the Focus sedan is 4481mm and has a 505l boot so go figure).
    Martin, the Corolla is the number 1 seller in the segment sold predominately on fuel economy, why wouldn’t you aim at it??
    Anyways these are just some little points from the story, also, if you are claiming one vehicle is larger than the other I would ensure that when the Photographer takes a phot of the rear leg room the seats were at least equal or adjusted to make the larger one look bigger. Just a question on that, how did the rear seat passengers find the comfort of both? Also the split folding ability, and whether you can flip the bases up for front seat protection etc???
    HAve a nice day guys

  • Andrew M

    I too am disappointed in the comparison.
    When I entered I was expecting a very imformed article, but in the end it was a mis matched comparison.

    Its also interesting that when the Cruze Diesel was tested on its own on this very site it only ranked 3.5 stars, yet today its 4 over all……..
    Also it was the Auto version that should have been used here. The Auto diesel was tested as having fuel consumption of around 8L wasnt it????

    Also on the looks thing, as already pointed out, they are subjective. For me the Cruze has the more modern looking front end, but the Focus wins the rear end looks challenge as the Cruze screams of typical Korean.
    Step up to the XR5 though and the Focus wins all round.

  • Andrew M

    Please dont forget the Captiva Advert that compared a diesel Captiva to a Petrol Territory.

    Also dont forget the Aurion ad that Uses a VR Commodore to say the game has moved on. That one is totally like N/S Shirlock, the entire game has moved on from the days of VR Commodores

  • Andrew M

    Actually I think the “Big T” does a bit of copying themselves.

    For starters the servicing cost saver was actually tried by Ford in 2000. They actually took it one step further though in making it FREE servicing up to 60,000k’s.

    They no loger carry the idea though because it obviously cost a bit of coin, and they decided that its more beneficial to keep the initial purchase cost down.

    Dont for one minute think that it was Big T’s idea, and also dont think that the money they lose in servicing turnover isnt recovered in higher purchase cost

  • o

    Of all the caradvice reviews this one has the worst photos! The cars jsut blend in to the road. Also have a look at the rear legroom in the cruze behind the driver it is non existant!

  • gasman

    Just my opinion on where products are made…

    I would rather buy cars (or electronic goods for that matter) made in Japan, Korea (e.g Hyundai, Kia, Renault Koleos) or Taiwan (Ford Escape) any day… over cars made in South Africa, Mexico or Thailand. Remember, Sth Korea and Taiwan are technologically advanced countries nowadays, with ‘first world’ economies with living standards to match. Although most major companies are outsourcing their work to make their products (price) competitive, the attitudes of workers in advanced countries are more likely to be concerned about the reputation of their companies and be more educated-hence I believe their products in the long term will be superior. However, in general, you get what you pay for!

  • Roddy

    At some $4300** cheaper the pendulum has swung in favour of the Cruze making it not only our winner, but the clear choice for any buyer chasing honest, value for money diesel motoring.
    *Pricing shown is a guide as recommended to us by the manufacturers.
    **Based on manual transmission pricing of $23,990 for the Holden Cruze and $28,290 for the Ford Focus

    How is this mismatched, apart from the gearboxes?
    $4300 is a truly massive chunk of coin…

  • jweb

    In reading other websites and car magazine reviews,it seems that you are heavily outnumbered in your positive review of the cruze\’s speed,handling,and most importantly noise.
    I do not mine the cruze,however from the back it looks like a kia cross honda civic.
    I have driven both,and i believe you must have numb nerve endings,as the focus handled much better by comparison.
    However i do agree with the comments on the interior,it is a very bland unattractive interior too me,but built like a tank.

  • Steve


    interesting comparo , we can only see how the Cruze stacks up in the real world though I suspect quite well , like the Hyundais . korea builds better cars than some people realise … I know it wouldnt be worse than our company Focus sedans which are very nasty cars . not only to drive but are quite unreliable with regards to electrics ,switchgear and interior bits which fall off in our hands .Poor interior presentation and bland as white bread . Terrible our fleet isnt getting anymore of the lemons … I have heard similar stories about the early astras and some golfs too..just goes to show doesnt it .My money’s on the Koreans !

  • Direct Injection

    Steve….our company has 7 Focus’s and they are brilliant. We had Astras and Hyundais but find the Focus is a better drive and very reliable. We have had no problems and find the build quality to be excellent. We actually love driving the Focus as it feels very safe and secure in all road and driving conditions. Overall fuel economy is fantastic as is the performance. A few minor problems does not make a car a lemon. As for the Cruze, it looks really cheap and I found the overall feel of the car on the road was not up to todays standards. The rear suspension feels awful and the front isnt alot better. Holden(Daewoo) interiors have an inbuilt cheap feeling and this car is no exception.

  • Martin

    As for the other ads comparing, I could not care less about the Corolla or the Aurion or even the Captiva for that matter. I like and respect cars for simply what they are, not who reviews them or who makes them. But I can see when a car is lacking, regardless of who makes it, which too many people who post here cannot seem to comprehend.

    Since when was Ford this great car maker that can do no wrong?

  • Andrew M

    you brought the advert side of things up didnt you????

    If you couldnt care less then why bring that, and only that to the table??

    Surely a man of your calibre that “respects cars for what they are” shouldnt be getting your knickers twisted over a silly little advert

  • Harley Stone

    Ford is Ford , and Cruze is Korea junk……

  • undecided

    What about the Hyundai i30… that’s also got a good wrap, where would that sit in this comparison?

  • Martin

    Point beingm, Andrew M, you try to make out that anyone who opposes Ford, must be a supporter of Toyota or Holden or whoever else. I brought it up because you clearly find the fact Holden did the same thing pathetic or what have you, but it is suddenly different now Ford have done it?

    “…knickers twisted…” uh? I’m sorry? I called Ford out on something, how exactly are my “knickers twisted”, as you say?

  • Casey

    It never ceases to amaze me the utter dribble posted in the comments section of this website, usually by the same morons over and over again.

    That aside, I think it’s a good read and makes a fair point. Any one questioning the pricing difference obviously can’t read or simply skimmed through that part in a rush to express their own point of view.

    A lot of negative comments also seem to be racially motivated. The Korean product has come a long way in recent years. We have a number of Korean cars on our fleet (KIA/Hyundai) – all run with not a problem what so ever and only ever need scheduled servicing.

    Anyway, just my 2 cents.

  • HAL

    ^ Amen to your opening paragraph Casey.

  • Devil’s Advocate

    To answer a question/point made earlier wrt the Cruise and Astra sharing the rear suspension etc. The next Astra now has an independant multi link rear suspension.

  • max

    Casey the read was fine, but you have to compare apples with apples.

    The 4k price difference is huge, point noted. But the Ford is an auto, and just as importantly I would suggest the diesel engine is much more refined with regard to fuel efficiency. I suspect the Cruze auto is going to average 8 liters per 100k a long way away from the Fords diesel score of 6.2 liters per 100k. Thats almost a 25% fuel efficiency win to the focus which is quite substantial.

    As an aside this would indicate that the Cruze has an ordinary diesel,

  • max

    OR..a combination of ordinary diesel/drive train. If you are going to buy a damn diesel, I would suggest your primary reason for doing so is to save money..goodbye Cruze.

    Peaple are merely suggesting that generally an auto adds 2k to the price of a vehicle, the Focus simply has a more efficient drive train/Diesel combination as well, adding further value to its price point.

    Yes I agree the Focus is overpriced, but it has a much more refined diesel.

    The CRUZE is priced right, you get what you pay for. Nice interior, looks okay, but as with most holden offerings no real substance once you look a bit harder.

  • Jazrod

    honestly… everyone here is saying “had the cruze been a CDX diesel blah blah…” THEN that would have been unfair!

    you see, those who don’t know, the TDCi focus is infact based on the focus LX spec level. so in order for it to be fair with the CDX cruze, the TDCi would have to be spec’ed either with a Zetec or a Ghia focus, and the engine IS NOT applicable to either of those grades.

    so the comparison is fair spec wise. i think holden have done a good job – sorry *cough* daewoo/GM, but Ford Europe/Australia have done a better job – check mate.

  • Andrew M

    Where did I say when Holden resorts to such tractics its considered pathetic???

    You initially said Fords use of the tactic was pathetic, so I chimed in and reminded you of the other companies that have used the same tactic before.

    Personally though, Im not a fan of that sort of marketing no matter who employs it.
    Where did I say its ok for Ford to do so???

    I simply reminded you that all the main players have done it in the past

    I say you are getting your knickers twisted because you are getting worked up about something I never said.

    Yes you did “call Ford out” on that one, I simply reminded you to shine the whole “smear campaign” style in bad light, not just Fords.

  • filippo

    Like others, I have a number of complaints about this article. First of all, I find it bizarre that an automatic Ford and manual Holden were used, essentially rendering at least 50% of the comparison as useless. An automatic Cruze would have shone an extra light on how awful its fuel economy is for a diesel car, whereas a test of the manual Focus would have shown even further how dynamically superior it is. Secondly, the as-tested prices displayed at the top of the article seem to deliberately serve the purpose of shocking the reader that the Focus makes it into the 30k bracket (despite the ** note at the bottom). Thirdly, there is no mention of how much alloy wheels and fog lamps cost for the Cruze (to lift it to equivalent spec), nor the equivalent prices for both cars as automatics.

    Essentially, the models were specifically chosen so that the Cruze could win. Not since the Wheels magazine EpicaoverCamrygate affair have I seen such dodgy motoring journalism. I would have expected better from Car Advice.

  • Martin

    Andrew M, maybe you misread, I didn’t quote the ads from you as being pathetic, hence the lack of quotation makes, it was simply the feeling you gave me and the same goes for about it being ok for Ford to do so. But like I said, your comments really appear to make out those things even if you did not directly say them.

    As for calling Ford out, rightly so. You are dragging up stuff from the past not the present, thus it is not important. I was pointing something out that I found kind of stupid but instead of you explaining all that could be made out that was others have done it, so it must be ok for Ford to do so too.

    If anything, you are the one getting their knickers twisted. You crack up as soon as anything bad gets put on Ford.

    As for people complaining about the so called bad journalism, if you don’t like it just leave. Simple.

  • DesignEng©™

    If you don’t like the adds perhaps you could complain the the Advertising Standards Bureau…….

  • Andrew M

    you accused me of what you were doing your very self.

    By you not acknowleging that other manufacturers also frequently use the same tactic, you are implying that its ok for toyota and Holden to do so, but as soon as ford does it you see it as unacceptable.

    By me bringing up the other examples of the “low” marketing tactic, I was just adding to your list.

    You were dead set hanging dirt on Ford for doing so when in fact everyone else is doing or has done it too.

    And no, I dont have a Focus so therefore there isnt any bias on my behalf. After shopping out the small car market, I decided the Mazda 3 was the best car in the class. Sure I know the Focus is a good car (Ive given a loaner Focus a flogging once or twice), but it lost out because for my tastes I find it a little, well, bland.
    Its got great performance, and was on sale for excellent value, But I couldnt see past its blandness and neither could the other half especially since it was her new replacement

    My stance……..
    Is Ford marketing crap…….Yes
    Is the Focus a good car……Certainly
    Would I buy the Focus……..Not in current guise
    Is the Focus the best car….No
    Was this comparison flawed…Yes, and Im not the only one that sees it

    If people see bad journalism on this site, they have every right to offer constructive critisism
    I mean, there has probably been 10 good points as to why this article is flawed

  • Martin

    DesignEng©™, Son, before posting learn some grammar. Add; that would refer to the word addition. If you shorten, advertisement, it is simply one ‘d’, ad. Secondly, only three full stops/periods ‘…’ is correct in some cases six are ok as well, it is known as an Ellipsis. Finally, I find it a little odd that you worded your entire comment, strikingly similarly to that of Andrew M…

    Andrew M, I enjoy a good debate as much as the next person, but I am not one for arguments. Perhaps my previous statements were… lacking. I can accept that the Focus is a good car, I won’t deny that, just in this review, turns out the Cruze was better, IN THE OPINION OF THE REVIEWER.

    I do acknowledge the other advertisments, but seeing this article featured the Focus, I did not see a real valid point to bring them into it to begin with.

    I do not own an Aston Martin, but I still have bias towards them.

    When you initially replied my first comment, it appeared to me as though you were trying to divert the fact that Ford also did such “low” advertising, at least now you have actually verified that you were adding to the list.

    As for constructive criticism, rightly so, but just because the review didn’t turn out how people wanted, some of the straight up criticism is not valid. When I see a KIA article where it is being compared, and the KIA didn’t come up on top as I’d hope/like, I don’t start bitching and attacking the reviewer, I accept it and move on.

    Not too say that everyone here has just done that, there are some genuinely constructive comments, as you have said, there well may be at least 10 points.

    I still find it childish though, that when some people here don’t get their own way, in terms of how they think the review/comparison should have gone, they crack up about it.

    Can we finally get past this immature bickering? That is what it is in the end.

  • Devil’s Advocate

    LOL @ Martin. Giving DesignEng a lecture about how they should “learn some grammar”, yet in the same post in the 7th paragraph uses “too” instead of “to”! Last time I checked they meant “two” completely different things……(I used 6!)

    At the end of the day Martin, you still knew what he meant. If you had a go at DesignEng for that post, why didn’t you have a go at many of the other posts that have FAR worse grammar? Like some of mine for example! (however now I think you will, bring it on as I am up for a good laugh) I guess it was the only way you could of attacked their post as deep down you knew it was true and you couldn’t find any other way to respond! Who is childish now… ;-)

    I am finding this thread rather amusing and have ran out of popcorn, keep up the good work! :-)

  • http://www.shopcarefully.com carlosmessi

    I like the comparison and I agree the choice. Diesel is the best choice now, look at the economy everyone need a diesel car like myself. Thank you again and keep up the good work.

  • Rowiti

    Completely agree with Gift-Ed

    Quote: The problem is for GM and Holden, the Cruze is brand new, and only just fends off the almost generation behind Focus. No doubt the new Focus will be quite a few steps ahead, and that’s the one that Ford will be building here.

    This shape Focus came out in 2005 as the LS followed by the LT upgrade in 2007, This puts Cruze along way behide concidering a new Focus is just around the corner,

    Typical Holden mediocrity.

  • DesignEng©™

    Gee, you try to introduce a little humour, tied into Karl’s latest post on the BMW ad, and someone gets all huffy.
    It was at the end of a 12 hr shift, who cares about spelling and grammar!
    Martin you are taking life far too seriuosly, sonny boy

  • Andrew M

    The method of the comparison was flawed, end of story.

    Lets take it to the extreme……..

    Say CA were to compare an Aston Martin to a Corolla
    Lets say the Corolla got slammed because the Aston ran rings around the Corolla in terms of performance, looks, handling, quality etc.

    Would you be still sitting there humming to yourself, yep, yep, the Corolla certainly is worse????

    There comes a point where one must speak up when a comparison isnt apples for apples.
    As I said I was looking for a really good indication of how each stacked up when I first clicked on this page, but after the first few lines detailing how they were conducting it, I got seriously disappointed.

    Its also funny how when these 2 vehicles were tested by CA separately a week or so ago the Cruze copped a hiding, yet the Focus got a good wrap.
    No consistency, and a mismatched comparo rightly so has people speaking up

  • Brett

    the hyundai i30 diesel is so far ahead of these two cars it isn’t funny

  • Neil

    Come on CA – Surely you can do better! Matt Brogan comments on the $4300 price difference making the Cruze the winner but add an Auto & add Alloys and they are almost price matched.

    Another fundementaly flawed article by CA – how long do we have to put up with this dribble before someone kicks the editors butt!

    The public need & deserve a good report on comparative vehicles which they can use to help them make their next buying choice – CA has missed the mark AGAIN!

  • Love GT-R

    At the end of the day..people only buy these cars because they are cheap and economical forms of transport to get from A to B. They are not cars u drive around and feel proud of. So price will always win in these types of comparison…that’s why people still buy Barinas even though they are crap when compared to other similar size vehicles.

  • Dude

    Nice and all, but 3yr old used SS would be a lot more fun..for bout the same price :)

  • paul

    a daewoo or a volvo if im not mistaken

  • jansjetta

    A few comments form me -
    A decade ago, if you could have optioned up the $19990 Corolla to what a new base Golf IV had on it as standard for $27490, you would have paid the same. It’s what you can afford I suppose. By the way, the new Golf VI is the 2009 World Car of the Year and you can get it with the 2009 World Engine of year.
    I also read an article a few years ago concluding that after a drive day, if you put a BMW badge on anything, people would pay $10,000 more for it. More fool them I say, but it’s all about product perception and the ability to get a product to market as cheap as reasonably possible.
    In a comparrison should you look at things like the doors going ‘twang’ or ‘thud’? Does it have a 12yr anti corosion warranty? Knee air bags? Cotton wool stuffed glove boxes? Instructions on how to get rid of your mother-in-law? An encyclopedia in boot? Air in the tyres? ….. or even tyres at no extra cost?
    I’d better stop now. I think I’ve made my point.

  • Martin

    Devil’s Advocate, honestly, I have not a single clue what you are on about in your second paragraph where you attacked me.

  • t

    Well thats a surprise!! I expected the focus to annihilate the cruise!! a lot closer than i expected.

    the one thing that amuses me is how much BIGGER the cruise is on the outside… yet only mm bigger inside? That tells me, its not that smart of a desgin, in an era when cars seem much bigger inside than out ( see honda jazz )

    in the looks dept, im not a fan of either, the focus looks dated for sure, and compared to its xr5 hero, looks rather povvo. The cruise still looks like a late 90s korean, the dash looks like its trying to be an astra? Im not sure what astras diesel is like but i hope cruises petrol is a better effort than astras of recent times!

    but the price difference will see the cruise a winner here… well… one would think it should… but we also thought that about the Epica diesel too when it was released…. havent seen one yet!!!

  • t

    oh and id say the reason they only do these little diesels in lower spec is to TRY to compete with the hyundai i30 diesel which is a RIPPER!!!

    and kia will also have their cerrato diesel available soon too… ( damn they are selling some petrols!! )

  • Rob

    I have a i30 Hyundai diesel automatic. After 4500k I can still not fault it in any way. Historic fuel usage for 4000k is 6.3l/100k for the driving I do. (25%town/75% highway)
    Criver comfort is excellent. Headroom and legroom beat all comparable cars. 1200kg towing capability and more power thhan you ever need. This diesel has drivability that is netter than most petrol cars I have driven.
    By the way I have replaced a Nissan Maxima with this vehicle and the only difference is a slightly firmer ride and very small increasein road noise. Fuel cost has dropped by 40%.
    I would like to see a review that include the i30 even though the other cars are (theoretically) higher class.
    Don’t forget the 5yr warranty and inexpensive service costs.

  • FrugalOne


    Already TO MANY i30 tests here @ C/A, but not ONE[1] on a AlfaRomeo [for instance]

    The BEST car for the coin is the Lancer ES, Made in Japan and quality/value etc untouchable, new/update model about a month away.



  • FrugalOne

    While i agree 100% with the others here, the cars are not even close to same spec. what a waste of a comparison.

    As so not to waste this invalid comparison, and to save face, C/A should have compared the GLOVEBOX’s of the said 2 x vehicles.

    Which is better, and who would win?You can tell a lot about the design team and contruction of a vehicle from its glovebox.



  • Rob

    The i30 has gloves in the glovebox. Very handy when refueling the diesel. Seriously though, any decent review should compare like vehicles or at least fully disclose differences at the outset.
    For me at the tall end of the population one of the important considerations is the head and legroom. I only wish someone would work out a standard method of measurement. Another useful piece of information is TCO, (total cost of ownership) which is the real important consideration for any car buyer who does not have heaps of money to splash around.

  • richard

    Ditto with regard to the other comments about the new Astra. What on earth are Holden doing with this Cruze thing? Flew off to the dealership to see the Cruze and was really disappointed. Nasty looking cheap korean car and not a scratch on the car it superceded. Diesel was lacklustre – not a scratch on the thumping Astra CDTI manual. Going to look for one of these secondhand instead of going for a brand new car. By the time we are finished with it Holden may have woken up to themselves. If not, then lion and I are done. On this review. Looks? The Focus – by FAR!

  • Graeme

    Like so many American cars, the nose is overstated – bring out the Opel or Vauxhall nose – how much oil does this new car use every service interval? Do we get 1 litre or 5 litres for every 15,000 km service interval or perhaps a dry sump arrangement with a tank in the boot?
    I will never buy another 4 cylinder Holden again – 6 is enough.

  • Byron

    Good to see Holden Cruze Won. Holden annouced it’s adding a CDX Diesel Version Of the Cruze & I hope Astra still comes. I’m not liking the new look of the focus. Go HOLDEN!!! :)

  • Shak

    Hey Byron where did you find that info. I was really waiting to buy one and stopped because i wanted the extra equipment in the CDX but the torque of the diesel. Would be nice to know.

  • Jinsei

    Seems like a lot of people here believe the Cruze can never ever match the Focus in any respects simply because it s Korean Daewoo-made junk.

    Those of you,

    I should tell you that Daewoo is not what it used to be in the 90′s. While many other GM subsidiaries or brands like Oldsmobile had gone through hard times and had to close down, GM-Daewoo (as it s called thesedays) have consistently increased its participation in GM’s new model design and other R&D matters. They have been recently making brilliant cars like the Captiva and the Cruze. I m sure many of people here know the Cruze has got 5-star ENCAP rating, that s something a ‘junk producer’ can’t achieve obviously.

    Build quality? Japanese and Korean’s build quality is by far the best. No argument. Please do not try to compare with that of South Africa, Thailand and the likes.

    You can check that out in JD power quality surveys where you would find many Hyunnais and Kias at top 5. And also look at the brand you have got for your TVs, Mobile phones, Fridges, Washing machines etc. Many people would find it s either LG or Samsung…

    So when it comes to build quality Korean-built HOLDEN CRUZE can only be better than Thai-made, South African made Focus or whatever… Korea is a huge industrial nation extremely advanced in techologies.. Have a look at what comapanies they ve got and what technologies they enjoy there.

    • Dan

      The reason that GM are flooding these cars under their name is they are cheap. Cheap to research, cheap to develop and cheap to manufacture. GM are selling themselves and their employees short.

      Immagine the production costs if these were manufactured and produced in the US (which is a shame, id like to see as many players in the game as possible). Just a guesstimate but i reakon GM would spend more each year on US employees than their euro and asian employees combined.

      Ford do this also but to alot lesser extent. The focus is Euro designed keeping europe happy and they are built on several continents which keeps other countries happy. In the end both these monsters need as much cash as they can get, so this is just a easy cash grab.

  • Jinsei

    And this is for your fun,

    Hyundai’s new generation YF Sonata is soon to be launched this month.

    But some pictures of it have leaked somehow… have a look and it s up to you to believe it looks better or worse than the current NF.

    here is the address.

  • KJ

    Haha, so you tell people the Daewoo is better than the Focus? What a joke!

    • Mitch1

      How is it being built in Korea any different than Honda building their cars in Taiwan? Grow up.

      The Cruze is a global GM product, not a puss bucket daewoo like the Viva.

  • Jinsei

    KJ, oh… I m sorry for insulting your beloved Focus by comapring it with Holden Cruze. But as a matter of fact, GM-Daewoo is a GM subsidiary sharing basically everything with other GM affiliates like Holden does… So you re actually saying every single Ford has got to be better than whatever GM brings out to the market. Well then I can t help you with that, that is such a biased opinion though..

    Seems like 5 Star rating from European Car Assessment Program doesn t really tell you anything does it?… Most car shoppers in the market would take a note of it while very few like you wouldn t. Maybe you believe that s something any ‘junk producers’ should be able to get?

    It is really silly for you to keep on babbling ‘Korean junk’ because many of recent European/US/Australian car reviews would prove you wrong.

  • Kris

    Having driven both, the dynamics of a Focus cannot compare to a Cruze, sorry. If you are buying asmall car and want a degree of driver involvment, the Focus is the choice. Just my opinion.

  • Vid_Ghost

    wow that New generation YF Sonata is a sunning car! wow wow i would buy one! :)

  • Camski

    I’d pick the focus anyday if it was just based off looks.
    The sonata does look good. I hope they bring it here with the R diesel engines.

  • Carfanatic

    I’ve not yet driven the Cruze, but I can attest for how sweet the Focus Chassis is, shame the interior is a bit Dull. My choice would still be the Focus

  • Gavin

    Test drove a Cruze Petrol the other day. Very impressed by the fit, finish and ride quality. Feels like a very refined car. Can’t wait till the new turbo engines are in production

  • Dave

    Is it just me or are all these cars now looking the same?

    • Golfschwein

      It’s just you, Dave. Just you………..

  • mitch01

    Oh no! Not another Daewoo from the general!

  • Aldric

    I think that Holden has done a great job with improving their small car stance in the Australian market. Focus is a tough little car and there are some aspects where it betas the Focus. The seats are more comftable (slightly) however I like the Focuses’s simple yet functional design layout. Engine in the Focus is better than the Cruze, build quality is likewise. It really comes down to personal preferences….

  • Geoff Stephenson

    Anyone prepared to knock the new Cruze either hasn’t driven (or lived with one), or has an inbuilt bias. I have just bought CDX auto Diesel (now 3500K’s) and my girlfriend has a CDX auto petrol (6000K’s). Previous cars Audi A3, Mazda SP23 CDX Astra and SRI Astra, all recently. The Cruzes’ in comparison are just great. Sure they aren’t all that “sporty” to drive but they drive very well, and look great (one red and one white). The petrol auto, now with 6000 K’s on it goes better than it has a right to considering it’s weight. In urban and extra urban driving it has settled into 7.9 lt/100k. Around the ‘burbs it now seems almost spritely. The diesel not much better at mid 7′s, but the power for overtaking is generous to say the least. The fit, finish, equipment continue to impress. The seats are superb and the ambience of the interior is much nicer than the boss’s new C class Merc. These cars are not race cars and when looked at in the context of their designed purpose, will satisfy anyone who is not a motoring snob or an ill informed jerk. I have cutomers in mine from time to time and they are all amazed, particularly the space, ambience and grunt (diesel). This is one of the few cars I have owned (over 30 new cars)that I am continually impressed by another feature nearly every day. If you think I am happy with our Cruzes’, you are dead right.

    • Jabba the Hut

      I took the CD Diesel auto for a test this week and can confirm your comments. I then went and tested the i30 diesel straight afterwards. I am fan of Hyundai but the i30 simply cannot match the Cruze in most areas. The i30 is more economical however it is a 1.6 diesel v’s a 2.0 ltr in the cruze and the extra capacity is more than apparenty.

      The Cruze’s ride is superior, steering is sharper, cabin noise is lower and the dash appears classier. The one area the i30 beats the Cruze is that 5 year warranty. However even with the $1100 to extend the Cruze out to 5 years the Holden still has the Hyundai beaten.

      The ride is very good and the extra capacity of the engine doesn’t equate to extra torque steer through the front wheels. I recently read some criticism of the cruze’s torque steer and couldn’t replicate it. I even pulled over to a stop and flattened it to check the turbo lag that has been previously mentioned. There is little lag and negligable torque steer. By comparison I noticed more of it in the hyundai despite not trying to flatten it in the same way.

      The seats in the Cruze were excellent and a cut above the hyundai. My single biggest concern is that I can’t get a dash mat for it and in Cairns that’s a biggy. So I will be checking for an aftermarket mat before making my mind up. People need to erase what they think they know about Daewoo as this car is not a daewoo. It has been designed from the ground up by GM and is a quantum leap above the craptiva/ epica pair.

      The diesel CD model with auto can be had for under 30k and that’s a six speed. When you consider the toyota crapolla still offers a poorly matched 4 speed and only to its rather coarse petrl engine I have to wonder why people keep buying their cars.

      The safety and strength of the cruze has been well documented already. I’m impressed.

  • Liam

    Hey there,

    I am an industrial designer and I’m very happy with my manual Diesel Cruze.

    I get around 900km per tank, Living in richmond with a few trips on the hwy per week.

    Design- The line work and manufacturing of the car is of a much higher standard than most Holden’s I have analysed, demonstrating more attention to detail than prior models.

    Although manufactured in Korea the surface treatment is quite high with very few short cuts.

    Three days ago i took my new car on a trip to the top of Mt Buller for fun and i was pleasantly surprised with the handling and turbo power with the gear ratio being so high. it was such a fantastic drive.

    I give the Australian designer a pat on the back for creating a great car for its price. The car is no longer a Daewoo in my opinion.


  • Jimdog

    I love my diesel Cruze! Comfortable, quiet, smooth, good handling and quick acceleration.
    I can’t understand all the hatred for Cruzes. Is it because they’re made in Korea and most people are prejudiced against Korean-built cars?
    Most likely.

  • Jimdog

    And funny how in all the articles containing information about the Cruze, every single comment is marked negative. Conspiracy?

  • Sue


    Today I viewed both the Ford Focus and the Holden Cruze. Being a Ford lover all my driving years, I have to admit that this time I am finding it difficult to make a choice between the two. Dare I say it, I think I am leaning towards the Cruze!! The Cruze is new and exciting, looks great and drives well. My problem is that we kinda know the Focus because its been around a while and maybe its a ‘go with what we know!’ mindset for me… l’d really like to get some kind of comparison/s of service costings on each of the tested vehicles here? Would there be a marked difference?
    And what about parts? With the Cruze being realatively new to the Australian market, can we determine what known problems they have yet? Maybe they are too new to know! Any Recalls? .. I’m sure you all think Im being paranoid but its a very big *HUGE* financial decision for me! A difficult choice overall!

    • JEKYL & HYDE


      cruze,like focus,is a global car.between cruze and astra(both delta platforms) must of sold nearly a million units next year.i cant see parts being a problem.

      a smart play would be to wait for the new diesel powerplant(cruze),released today with the locally made version.and wait for the new model focus,which at least looks the business…

  • NICK


  • Geoff Spackman

    Not much between the two, however….I’d take the Cruze purely on its looks. I find the rear of the focus “buttugly” compared to what i think is the best best looking car currently in Australia.
    With the Cruze now being built here lets hope they give us a better choice of colours….maybe a green.

  • Mr Davies

    I have a cruze auto CDX diesel has done 20,000 km very hungry on fuel.
    best I can get is 7.2 litres per 100km but it is suppose to get 5.7 lites per 100km.

    I feel I have been cheated and told lies by Holden on its fuel economy or should I say lack of fuel economy.
    Holden service manager says stated fuel economy and actual are two different things. They couldnt find anything wrong with the car
    Strangely I get similar fuel econlmy out of an all wheel drive 2.5 lite AWD subaru legacy 2.5 lite that is 14 years old!

  • GAYG

    I have owned a 2010 Holden Cruze CDX automatic for 12 months, is worst car I have ever had.  Engine & automatic doesn’t work together, therefore fuel consumption is somewhere around 10.5L per 100 Klms. Ratio between gears is so great the gears don’t change & when they do revs can hit 5000 whilst it decides what its going to do. 

    Complaining gets one no where.  I started to talk about the issues & the service guy finished he obviously had it down pat.  “All care but no responsiblity”.  I was told the engine & automatic gearbox are set up to get the best fuel economy, what a joke.  The seats are dreadful, if one wants to drive long distances take a brace!!! I had to purchase a memory foam cushion to correct the angle of the seat. 

    Holden should pay people to take the car off their hands, is like a dumb blonde or looks but no brains!!

    I sold it & bought Focus Hatch Diesel, what a joy to drive.  The Focus can actually go up hill in the same gear without screaming!!  I lost money but I am so pleased to be driving something that actually works the way it is supposed too. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1309666767 Fast Supra

    Why isn’t the I30 added to the comparison?!? BECAUSE IT’S A PIECE OF C..P, meaning it has the lamest low quality and performance trans I ever experienced.
    I have a 2009 model, done 110 000 kms, the trans has been replaced once at 30 000 and leaked throughout the entire period, had the trans-axle seal replaced twice and the transaxle itself replaced at 90 000. It jerks, and it has loooooooong gears, useless uphill. My 1.8 Pulsar manual  can beat the hell out of it if on a drag strip.

  • Warren Huck

    I had a 2010 Cruze as a work car for a while and found the following issues. The steering wheel does not line up with the seat, my left knee bangs into the center console and occasionally changes one of the aircon controls, the notable lag when putting my foot down (when the car is stopped or traveling slowly). I like driving with the windows down and found that this was impossible with the Cruze because there is a huge wump wump sound of airflow if you drop the windows and travel at 70km/hr and upwards. I think that I had some more gripes and occasionally ponder if these have been address in the newer models. I would never consider buying one of these cars. I get way more satisfaction driving my 21 year old Subaru Liberty.

  • Miguel

    Rather the Focus