2020 Toyota Prius vs. 2019 Chevrolet Cruze

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Prius are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Chevrolet Cruze doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Prius has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Cruze doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Pre-Collision System optional in the Prius as “Superior.” The Cruze scores only 1 point and is rated only “Basic.”

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Prius LE/XLE/Limited has standard Parking Support Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Cruze doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

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

The Prius LE/XLE/Limited has standard Intelligent Clearance Sonar to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Cruze doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The Prius’ 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 Prius and the Cruze have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Toyota Prius is safer than the Chevrolet Cruze:

Prius

Cruze

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

182

245

Chest Movement

1 inches

1.2 inches

Abdominal Force

183 G’s

214 G’s

Hip Force

8 lbs.

273 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

269

497

Hip Force

484 lbs.

937 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Prius the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 101 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Cruze has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Prius for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Chevrolet only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Cruze.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

The Cruze’s redline is at 6500 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Prius has a 4000 RPM redline.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Prius’ reliability 31 points higher than the Cruze.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked fourth.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 23rd.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

On the EPA test cycle the Prius FWD CVT gets better fuel mileage than the Cruze Diesel Sedan (58 city/53 hwy vs. 31 city/48 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Prius’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Cruze doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Environmental Friendliness

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Toyota Prius higher (7 out of 10) than the Chevrolet Cruze (3 to 6). This means the Prius produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Cruze every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Prius has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Cruze doesn’t offer a CVT.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Toyota Prius 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 Prius has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Prius flat and controlled during cornering. The Cruze’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Prius 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 Prius Limited handles at .90 G’s, while the Cruze Premier Sedan pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Prius Limited executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Cruze Premier Sedan (26.3 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.4 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Prius’ turning circle is 5.2 feet tighter than the Cruze’s (33.5 feet vs. 38.7 feet). The Prius Limited/XLE FWD’s turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the Cruze’s (35.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

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The design of the Toyota Prius amounts to more than styling. The Prius has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .24 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Cruze (.29) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Prius get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the Prius uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Cruze doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Prius L Eco is quieter than the Cruze LT Sedan:

Prius

Cruze

At idle

26 dB

36 dB

Full-Throttle

71 dB

77 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Prius a Mid-size car, while the Cruze is rated a Compact.

The Prius has .5 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more front hip room, .1 inches more front shoulder room and .1 inches more rear headroom than the Cruze Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

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The Prius has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Cruze Sedan (27.4 vs. 14.8 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Prius’ hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. The Cruze’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge (except wagon).

The Prius’ 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.

Ergonomics

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The Prius (except L/LE) offers an available 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 Prius’ 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 Prius the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Cruze can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Prius has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Cruze doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Prius XLE/Limited’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. 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 improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Prius has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Cruze only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Prius (except L/LE) offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Cruze doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Prius has standard extendable sun visors. The Cruze doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Prius’ 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.

The Prius’ optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Cruze doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Prius has a standard Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, 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 Prius LE/XLE/Limited’s Intelligent Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Cruze doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Prius owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Prius will cost $265 less than the Cruze over a five-year period.

The Prius will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Prius will retain 44.07% to 45.12% of its original price after five years, while the Cruze only retains 36.53% to 41.46%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Prius is less expensive to operate than the Cruze because it costs $409 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Prius than the Cruze, including $313 less for a water pump, $151 less for a muffler and $20 less for front struts.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

Both are recommended, but Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Prius as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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