Competes with: Mazda3, Hyundai Elantra GT, Ford Focus
Looks like: A Cruze hatchback
Drivetrain: 153-horsepower, turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder; six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission
Hits dealers: Fall
Since its introduction in 2008, the best-looking version of the Chevrolet Cruze has been available only in overseas markets such as Europe and Australia. For 2017, that oversight will be rectified with the introduction of the Cruze Hatchback for the U.S. market, where sales of hatchbacks rose in 2015 in a down-market overall for car models.
Related: More 2016 Detroit Auto Show Coverage
Debuting at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the new Hatchback is mechanically identical to the 2016 Cruze sedan shown at last year’s show and going on sale this spring, but features a larger cargo area and more upright styling that should improve backseat headroom.
A new body structure includes, obviously, a hatchback and taller cargo compartment to increase vehicle space. It rides on the same wheelbase as the Cruze sedan. A spoiler has been added to the top for visual effect, and new wraparound taillights complete the sleek exterior look. Like the sedan, the Hatch can be had in RS trim, which adds some more aggressive styling features and unique wheels. The only other two trims for the hatchback model will be the midlevel LT and Premium – there will be no basic L or LS trim levels.