Review: 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatchback

– Ann Arbor, Michigan

American car writers have been bitching about a lack of hatchbacks in our market for years. The shortage of small, functional, and fun-to-drive cars in the States has caused me to lust over European and Japanese metal for decades now. But the truth is that the U.S. has more hatchback options today than it has in quite some time.

And I’m not talking about small wagons or crossovers, either (though those are hardly in short supply). Fiat, Ford, Honda (soon), Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mini, Nissan, Smart, Toyota, and Volkswagen all rock hatchbacks in their diverse lineups. More brands get added to that list when you factor in hybrids and electric cars with accessible rear load spaces.

In all, Chevy’s director of marketing Steve Majoros tells me, hatchback volume in the U.S. is a yearly 350,000 units. And it’s a place that Chevy dearly wants to use to capture some long-term customers, via this newly hatched Cruze five-door. We had generally positive things to say about the Cruze when our Managing Editor first drove the thing, in sedan form, in Tennessee. I spent the day in Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan, sorting out if the added functionality ultimately produces a better overall vehicle.

 

 

Pros

  • I’m a car journalist, so I’m morally obligated to tell you that the hatchback version of the Cruze looks a lot better than the sedan. Sorry, trunk lovers, I just can’t see it with different eyes. This is a handsome little transportation pod, with a nice stance, and int...