Introduced in 2011, the second-generation Chevrolet Cruze rolled out five years later. Lighter, larger and more polished than the original, no encore is needed. But don’t tell that to Chevrolet as the first compact hatchback since the Cavalier joins the sedan for 2017. We think the new body style will be well received as customers discover the extra measure of versatility hatchbacks provide.
What's New for 2017
Yes, a hatchback joins the sedan this year. This five-door model sits on the same roomy 106.3-inch wheelbase as the sedan, but comes in nine inches shorter overall. Where the sedan’s trunk measures a generous 14.8 cubic feet, the hatchback offers a whopping 47.2 cubic feet of cargo space when the second row is down. The new model is designed to appeal to a variety of people, including pet lovers, do-it-yourselfers, and campers.
Also new for 2017 is the second-generation Cruze Diesel, offering a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder turbodiesel that returns up to 52 miles per gallon on the highway.
Choosing Your Chevrolet Cruze
You have your choice of four trim levels with the sedan and two trim levels with the hatchback. All models are powered by a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine making 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Except for the top trim levels, a six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic transmission is available.
Models equipped with the automatic transmission get better fuel economy, making an EPA-rated 30 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. Manual transmission-equipped Cruzes are rated at 28 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.
The new diesel model uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder to produce 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. Fitted with the standard six-speed manual, it returns 30 mpg in the city and 52 mpg on the highway (!). The optional nine-speed automatic improves the city rating to 31 mpg while dropping the highway figure to a still thrifty 47 mpg. Regardless of transmission, the EPA rates the Cruze Diesel at 37 mpg combined.
Technology savvy customers will be drawn to the Chevrolet Cruze as this model offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. The latest Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system is available and you can opt for Wi-Fi, turning your Cruze into a hotspot. Available safety features include rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, and forward collision alert.
America’s earlier love affair with hatchbacks may be on the return. Consider this body style, especially if you prize the versatility found in SUVs, but prefer a more affordable substitute. Chances are the extra room when the back seat is folded will prove most welcoming when you need it.