Chevrolet Unwraps 2017 Cruze Hatchback Before Detroit, On Sale This Fall

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson

No, you aren’t seeing things this morning. Chevrolet announced late Wednesday night a five-door version of their staple compact Cruze will be heading to Detroit for the 2016 North American International Auto Show — and they published some photos to prove it.

The first-generation Cruze, while available as a hatchback in other markets, was never marketed as a five-door in North America. The addition of a the new hatchback looks to fix that for the Cruze’s second generation.

As a current owner of the long-forgotten Saturn Astra, this intrigues me.

It was thought that General Motors might fill the compact hatchback-sized hole in its lineup with a Buick rebadge of the Opel Astra. In China, the tri-shield is enticing; in America, not so much (unless there’s a $3,000 on-the-hood cash incentive). So, General Motors decided against bringing its Chinese-rebadge Buick Verano GS stateside and we’ll be seeing the Cruze hatchback on our shores instead.

The five-door Cruze will swallow 18.5 cubic feet of whatever your heart desires if you bring a few friends along, or up to 42 cubic feet of cargo if you plan to drop the rear seats and run errands solo. It sits on the same 106.3-inch wheelbase as its sedan counterpart, making the space between the axles slightly greater than that of its Opel/Vauxhall Astra cousin across the pond.

When it goes on sale this fall, the Cruze hatchback will only be available in LT and Premier trims. For comparison, the Cruze sedan is also available in more basic L and LS trims. Adding the RS package means your Cruze hatchback will look like the one pictured here.

Powering the Cruze will be the same start/stop-capable 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine fitted to the sedan, producing 153 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 177 lbs-ft of torque between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm. GM expects to achieve 40 mpg on the highway with the four-door Cruze, so expect a similar claim for the hatchback.

And, as with every GM vehicle these days, the Cruze hatchback will be available with Chevrolet MyLink (and associated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto); 4G LTE (and its incredible data fees) with WiFi; a full suite of safety technology including lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, side blind zone alert and rear park assist; and heated surfaces everywhere.

We’ll learn more about the Cruze hatchback at the Detroit show next week.

Mark Stevenson
Mark Stevenson

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2 of 73 comments
  • NN NN on Jan 08, 2016

    Looks sharp, and completely Korean in design. If you want an American car these days, buy a Toyota or Honda.

  • JHawk88 JHawk88 on Jan 08, 2016

    ... I'm pretty sure that's a Ford Focus.