Aimed at younger, tech-savvy drivers and at steering attention away from the Ford Focus, the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback is about to make its US debut.
The Cruze is Chevrolet's most popular car globally but until now, it's been unavailable as anything other than a sedan in its native US. But as demand for hatchbacks continues to grow, especially among the younger generation, Chevrolet will be remedying this omission at the North American International Auto Show.
"With 9% market growth in small hatchbacks last year, it's the perfect time to bring the Cruze Hatch to America," said Alan Batey, president, General Motors North America and Global Chevrolet.
And when it arrives at dealerships in the Fall of 2016, it promises to do so with more standard safety features than any other compact car.
It will also come with Android Auto and Apple's CarPlay compatibility as standard and with a huge list of other features as optional equipment including Lane Keep Assist, a Blind Zone alert and Rear Park Assist.
"[The Cruze] articulates the brand promise of offering cars with the latest technologies, more features and greater efficiency, performance and safety with fresh, distinctive styling," said Batey.
And in terms of external aesthetics, the car does look as sharp as a Focus or a Honda Civic hatchback, but with an extra emphasis on sportiness, thanks in part to the integrated rear roof spoiler.
Inside, because the new car shares its platform with the Cruze sedan, it has the same 2.7m wheelbase but because the trunk is larger and more accessible and because the rear seats drop flat, there is a potential 1,189 liters of load space available.
Chevrolet also highlights that due to packaging, the Cruze will provide passengers with 50mm more legroom for rear seat passengers than offered in the Ford Focus or the Hyundai Elantra.
The car will be offered in just two trim levels -- LT and Premier with a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine as the entry-level powerplant. As well as a higher level of standard equipment, Premier models also benefit from a Z-link rear suspension set-up. To underline the car's sportier look, an RS package is also available that adds 18-inch alloys, fog lamps, tweaked grille and rocker panels.