2011 Volkswagen
Jetta TDI
vs. 2012 Chevrolet
Cruze LT

2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

9.6

starting from

$24,865

Reasons to buy the Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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Good braking distance from 60mph
113 ft
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Moon roof
Standard
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Navigation system
Optional
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Has a semi-automatic transmission
2012 Chevrolet Cruze LT

9.4

starting from

$19,225

Reasons to buy the Chevrolet Cruze LT

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Safer for the driver in head-on collisions
5 stars
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Safer for the driver in side collisions
5 stars
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Average-sized front seats
52.7 ft3
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Safer for the front passenger in head-on collisions
5 stars
Crash Test Ratings 8.6 vs 10.0
2012 Chevrolet Cruze LT Winner: Cruze LT
[details]
  • The Cruze LT has 2.1x less risk of serious injury, 5 stars vs 4 stars
  • The Cruze LT has 1.5x less risk of serious injury, 5 stars vs 4 stars
Road Tests 10.0 vs 9.0
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Winner: Jetta TDI
[details]
  • The Jetta TDI needs around 20% less space to stop from 60mph, 113 ft vs 139 ft
  • Almost the same, 0.82 g vs 0.81 g
Luxury Features 10.0 vs 9.3
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Winner: Jetta TDI
[details]
  • Almost the same
Cost 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Shorter-lasting basic warranty
  • Shorter basic warranty
Safety Features 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Child door locks come standard
Performance 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Both have an air compressor, quite rare for this class of vehicle
  • Neither has a good drivetrain for off-road or bad weather driving
  • Underpowered
Practicality 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
Entertainment System 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Neither offers an entertainment system
Overall 9.6 vs 9.4

Crash Test Ratings

Volkswagen
Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2012 Chevrolet Cruze LT Chevrolet
Cruze LT
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Rollover resistance 4 stars vs 4 stars Poor protection, 10% to 20% chance of rolling over during emergency lane change
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Front driver crash test 4 stars vs 5 stars The better is 2.1x safer than the Jetta TDI
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Driver side crash test 4 stars vs 5 stars The better is 1.5x safer than the Jetta TDI

Road Tests

Volkswagen
Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2012 Chevrolet Cruze LT Chevrolet
Cruze LT
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0-60 mph 8.3 seconds vs 7.8 seconds Neither car's 0-60 time is remarkable
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Braking distance at 60mph 113 ft vs 139 ft The Jetta TDI has above average braking ability, but the Cruze LT is quite bad
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1/4 mile 16.2 s @ 86 mph vs 16.1 s @ 87 mph Both have average 1/4 mile times for this class of vehicle
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Lateral acceleration 0.82 g vs 0.81 g The Jetta TDI has OK cornering abilities compared to the below average Cruze LT
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Top speed 130 mph vs 132 mph Both vehicles' top speed is just average

Luxury Features

Volkswagen
Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2012 Chevrolet Cruze LT Chevrolet
Cruze LT
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moon roof Standard vs Not Available Enjoy additional natural light with the Jetta TDI's standard sun roof
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power seats Not Available vs Not Available Neither has a power seat option
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keyless entry Standard vs Standard Both have keyless entry
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leather Not Available vs Optional Have your choice of leather or cloth seats on the Cruze LT

Cost

Volkswagen
Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2012 Chevrolet Cruze LT Chevrolet
Cruze LT
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MSRP $24,865 vs $19,225 The Cruze LT has a great price and the Jetta TDI is pretty reasonable
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In-city gas mileage 30 mpg vs Unknown
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basic warranty miles 36,000 mile vs 36,000 mile Shorter basic warranty
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basic warranty years 3 year vs 3 year Shorter-lasting basic warranty

Safety Features

Volkswagen
Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2012 Chevrolet Cruze LT Chevrolet
Cruze LT
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antilock brakes Standard vs Standard Both come standard with ABS brakes
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Stability control system Yes vs Unknown
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Airbags 5 vs 6 The Cruze LT has a good number of airbags, but the Jetta TDI is just OK (missing Knee)
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Rear brakes Unknown vs Drum
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child door locks Standard vs Standard Child door locks come standard
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Roadside assistance system None vs OnStar

Performance

Volkswagen
Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2012 Chevrolet Cruze LT Chevrolet
Cruze LT
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Horsepower 140 HP @ 4,000 RPM vs 138 HP @ 4,900 RPM Underpowered
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Number of gears 6 vs 6 Average number of gears
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Transmission Semi-automatic transmission vs Manual transmission Both the Jetta TDI's semi-automatic transmission and the Cruze LT's Manual transmission are unusual transmissions for this class of vehicle
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paddle shifters Not Available vs Unknown
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Air compressor Turbocharger vs Turbocharger Both have an air compressor, quite rare for this class of vehicle
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Power-to-weight ratio 22.9 lb/hp vs 22.5 lb/hp Both {better} and {worse} are sluggish relative to their competitors
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Drivetrain type front-wheel drive vs front-wheel drive Neither has a good drivetrain for off-road or bad weather driving
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Curb-to-curb turning radius 36.4 ft vs 35.7 ft Both cars corner comparably to other vehicles in their class

Practicality

Volkswagen
Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2012 Chevrolet Cruze LT Chevrolet
Cruze LT
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Passengers 5 vs 5 Average number of seats
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Highway driving range 609 miles vs Unknown
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Cargo space 15.5 ft3 vs 15.4 ft3 Both have OK cargo room
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front seats 48.7 ft3 vs 52.7 ft3 The Cruze LT has average-sized front seats, while the Jetta TDI is very cramped
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folding rear seats Standard vs Standard Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
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power outlets Standard vs Standard Both have power outlets
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roof rails Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers roof rails
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navigation system Optional vs Not Available The Jetta TDI offers an optional navigation system; not available on the Cruze LT
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Cupholders 4 vs Unknown
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front air conditioning Standard vs Standard A/C for hot summer days comes standard

Entertainment System

Volkswagen
Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2012 Chevrolet Cruze LT Chevrolet
Cruze LT
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Number of speakers 6 vs Unknown
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Has speed sensitive volume No vs Unknown
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CD player Standard vs Standard CD player comes standard
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premium radio Standard vs Not Available Have your pick of music from around the world with the Jetta TDI's satellite radio
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Has auxiliary audio input Yes vs Unknown
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Has subwoofer No vs Unknown
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entertainment system Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers an entertainment system

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2012 Audi A3 Premium Jetta TDI vs A3 Premium
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2011 Volkswagen Golf Jetta TDI vs Golf
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2011 Toyota Camry SE Jetta TDI vs Camry SE
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2012 Ford Fusion SE Jetta TDI vs Fusion SE
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Jetta TDI vs Passat TDI SEL Premium
2012 Chevrolet Cruze LT 2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT Cruze LT vs Malibu LT
2012 Chevrolet Cruze LT 2012 Chevrolet Sonic LTZ Cruze LT vs Sonic LTZ
2012 Chevrolet Cruze eco 2012 Chevrolet Impala LS Cruze eco vs Impala LS
2012 Chevrolet Cruze eco 2012 Ford Fusion SE Cruze eco vs Fusion SE
2012 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 2011 Toyota Camry Cruze LTZ vs Camry

Comments Which car would you recommend, and why?

Showing 2 comments

Avatar for rrdonovan rrdonovan (7:41 PM, March 02, 2013)
Yeah, but it is still a Chevy dude! Yuk! It is nothing more than an uncomfortable, unreliable, and gone tomorrow rusting tin can. I have a Jetta TDI. It is indeed fast, solid, comfortable, and most reliable at high speeds. High quality parts are used instead of your standard Chevy garbage bin parts. When you buy Chevy=ripped off.
 
Aaron_flyboy (7:56 PM, June 24, 2012)
terrible review. half of the info is wrong on here about the cruze.  The Cruze has 10 standard airbags, and while you say it is underpowered, it has much more low end torque than the jetta.