2020 Mercedes A-Class vs. 2019 Chevrolet Cruze

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/02/17

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes A-Class have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Chevrolet Cruze doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The A-Class’ optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Cruze doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The A-Class offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Cruze doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The A-Class offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Cruze only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

The A-Class’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Cruze doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the A-Class and the Cruze have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

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The A-Class comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Cruze’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The A-Class’ corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Cruze’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability

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From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 4 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

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The A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 35 more horsepower (188 vs. 153) and 44 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 177) than the Cruze’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mercedes A-Class is faster than the Chevrolet Cruze:

A-Class

Cruze

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

8.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

16.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.3 MPH

82.7 MPH

Transmission

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/02/17

The A-Class offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Cruze doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the A-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Cruze:

A-Class

Cruze

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

10.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.6 inches

10.4 inches

The A-Class stops much shorter than the Cruze:

A-Class

Cruze

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the A-Class has larger standard tires than the Cruze (205/55R17 vs. 195/65R15).

The A-Class’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cruze L/LS’ standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A-Class has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Cruze L/LS. The A-Class’ optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Cruze Premier RS.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the A-Class can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Cruze doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Mercedes A-Class has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Chevrolet Cruze has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The A-Class has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the A-Class flat and controlled during cornering. The Cruze’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The A-Class offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Cruze’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The A-Class has vehicle speed-sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Cruze doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The A-Class’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Cruze doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A-Class’ wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the Cruze (107.4 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

The A 220 4MATIC handles at .95 G’s, while the Cruze LT Sedan pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The A 220 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Cruze Premier Sedan (26.5 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 27.4 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the A-Class’ turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Cruze’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

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The design of the Mercedes A-Class amounts to more than styling. The A-Class has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the Cruze (.29) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the A-Class get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The A-Class has 1.4 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front shoulder room and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cruze Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the A-Class easier. The A-Class’ trunk lift-over height is 26.1 inches, while the Cruze’s liftover is 27.4 inches.

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the A-Class’ trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The Cruze’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge (except wagon).

The A-Class’ standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Cruze L/LS’ standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the A-Class. The Cruze doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the A-Class’ available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Cruze doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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The A-Class uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Cruze uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 25% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 13th.

Ergonomics

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When three different drivers share the A-Class, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions and outside mirror angle. The Cruze doesn’t offer a memory system.

The A-Class’ standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Cruze doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The A-Class offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Cruze doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The A-Class’ power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Cruze’s parking brake has to released manually.

The A-Class’ front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Cruze’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its front windows open automatically.

If the windows are left open on the A-Class the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Cruze can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The A-Class’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Cruze’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the A-Class offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Cruze doesn’t offer cornering lights. The A-Class also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The A-Class’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Cruze and aren’t offered on the Cruze L/LS.

When the A-Class is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Cruze’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The A-Class’ optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Cruze doesn’t offer the luxury of automatic dimming mirrors.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the A-Class keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Cruze doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The A-Class’ standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Cruze doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the A-Class and the Cruze offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the A-Class has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Cruze doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the A-Class offers an optional Active Distance Assist Distronic, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Cruze doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The A-Class’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Cruze doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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