Barely three weeks ago, rumours flew that Chevrolet was planning to add a hatchback to its compact Cruze line, and that speculation was correct. Chevrolet today introduced the car ahead of its official unveiling next week at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show.
Riding on the same platform as the 2016 Cruze sedan, the new hatch shares that car’s lightweight structure (the new sedan is 91 kg/200 pounds lighter than its predecessor) and “class-leading” 2,700-mm wheelbase, which Chevrolet says gives the car two inches more legroom than the Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus. (We say it’d be more telling to line this Cruze up next to the Corolla, with its class-leading rear-seat legroom.)
The hatch will also get the sedan’s 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, good for 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque, presumably with the same choice of automatic or manual transmissions as the sedan. What will differ is the hatchback’s range of trims: it will not be offered in the sedan’s price-leader L or LS trims, but only in LT and Premier, with the RS package as an option. In the sedan, the LT will be sold with manual and automatic gearboxes, but the Premier is auto-only, and we figure those options will carry over to the hatch.
Today’s news didn’t include pricing, but we’d count on the hatch carrying a slightly heavier pricetag; on the sedan side, an LT automatic sedan will go for $21,295, and the Premier for $23,895. The Cruze sedan arrives in dealers this spring, but the hatchback comes to Canada in the fall.
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