For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Chevrolet Cruze are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Subaru Impreza has only front height-adjustable seat belts.
The Cruze LT Auto/Premier’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Impreza doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
To help make backing safer, the Cruze LT Auto/Premier’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Impreza doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Compared to metal, the Cruze’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Subaru Impreza has a metal gas tank.
Both the Cruze and the Impreza have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems and rear parking sensors.
The Cruze’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Impreza’s (6 vs. 5 years).
Chevrolet pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cruze for 2 years and 24,000 miles. Chevrolet will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Subaru doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Impreza.
There are over 7 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Cruze’s warranty.
The Cruze has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Impreza doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 41 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 30th, below the industry average.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 9th in reliability, above the industry average. With 34 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 19th.
The Cruze’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. produces 5 more horsepower (153 vs. 148) and 32 lbs.-ft. more torque (177 vs. 145) than the Impreza’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Cruze Auto’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Impreza doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
For better traction, the Cruze’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Impreza (225/45R17 vs. 205/55R16).
The Cruze Premier’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Impreza’s optional 50 series tires.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Cruze’s wheelbase is 2.2 inches longer than on the Impreza (106.3 inches vs. 104.1 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Cruze is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than on the Impreza.
The design of the Chevrolet Cruze amounts to more than styling. The Cruze has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the Impreza (.29 to .32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Cruze get better fuel mileage.
The Cruze has .9 inches more front hip room, .2 inches more rear headroom and .7 inches more rear legroom than the Impreza Sedan.
The power windows standard on both the Cruze and the Impreza have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Cruze is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Impreza prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The Cruze’s standard front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Impreza’s passenger windows don’t open automatically.
The Cruze has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Impreza has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Limited.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Cruze Premier detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Impreza doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To shield the driver’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side window, the Cruze has a standard extendable sun visor. The Impreza doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Both the Cruze and the Impreza offer available heated front seats. The Cruze Premier also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Impreza.
On extremely cold Winter days, the Cruze Premier’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Impreza doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The Cruze Premier offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Impreza doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The Chevrolet Cruze outsold the Subaru Impreza by almost three to one during the 2015 model year.