For years, hatchbacks have been a preserve for the European market; however, of late, many buyers in North America are turning to hatchbacks as their preferred transport mode. In a recent statement, the president of GM North America Alan Batey said that time was ripe for their company to introduce the Cruze Hatch in America.
Batey recognized the fact that the small hatchbacks market segment had grown by 9% during this past year. The news come as a relief to many enthusiasts who wondered whether the automaker would introduce the hatchback in the US considering its sedan sister is the 2nd best selling model to customers under 25 years.
The Cruze is Cheverolets’s best-selling car in the world having sold over 3.5 million units since its introduction in 2008. The automaker’s share in this segment has also grown from 5.8% to 9.4% since introduction of the Cruze.
2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Exterior
Design wise, the front end of the Cruze hatch looks identical to that of the Cruze sedan. Actually the hatchback’s roof and the rear end are the only parts that tell it apart from the sedan. It has the same wheelbase as the sedan which at 106.3 inches is the segment leader.
The front looks more raked than its predecessors. At the front, the vehicle features a modified dual front grille which is flanked by narrower headlights similar to those of the Volt (halogen projector-beam headlights with LED lighting are offered as a option). These headlights seem to wrap around the front and then angle sharply above its front fenders. The hatch also features LED DRLs which augur well with the general design. It also features a layered line work on the hood and its side panels which complement its long wheelbase by giving the vehicle a beefy look.
At the back, the hatch features wraparound taillights and a stylish lift-gate which is integrated with a spoiler. Unlike the sedan which is offered in L, LS, LT and Premier trims, the hatchback will only be offered in LT and Premier trims. The vehicle will ride on 16-inch wheels though buyers have an option for 18-inch wheels. There will also be a sporty RS package that adds fog lights, side skirts, a splitter as well as an air diffuser at the rear.
2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Interior
The interior of the new Cruze hatch is identical to that of the sedan except for its increased space. The hatchback has 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats. This space can be expanded to 42 cubic feet by folding the rear seats. The hatch accommodates five passengers and offers sufficient leg and head room to all passengers though tall passengers will find the rear a bit constrained. Its interior is roomier than its direct competitors e.g. it provides 2.0 inches greater legroom than the Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus.
In terms of technology, the hatchback features as standard the Chevy MyLink infotainment system which integrates Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There is an option for 4G LTE connection including a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Available options include leather-upholstered seats, a heated steering wheel, heated seats and French seams. Safety features such as rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, rear parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring are offered as options. In addition, you can select the Teen Driver feature which helps you keep track of your children’s driving habits.
The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback will derive its power from a single drive-train. This is the same drive-train on the Cruze sedan. It is a turbocharged 1.4 L, 4-cylinder engine. The engine is capable of producing 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. The engine will be mated to either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic HydraMatic transmission system.
The engine is expected to produce an impressive fuel economy just as the sedan. As such it is estimated to return up to 40 mpg on highway drives. Details on acceleration, top speed and official EPA ratings will be communicated as the model nears its release date.
Price and release date
The 2017 Cruze Hatchback is scheduled to hit dealer showrooms in the US this year (2016) in the fall. Cheverolet is yet to determine its price but we hope it won’t vary much from the sedan whose LT trim sells at $ 21,120. If you missed the car at Detroit, head over to Chicago Auto show where it will be displayed from 13th to 21st of this month.
The biggest rival to the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatcback will be the Ford Focus ST which contributed around 40% of Focus sales last year in US alone. The Mazda 3 hatch and Volkswagen Golf will also have something to say.