2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatch – The European centric standard is once again coming to America. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Jan. 7, 2015 GM released details on yet another desirable car within its vast lineup that should interest many here. Chevrolet is introducing the 2017 Cruze Hatchback prior to its official debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week. From the release, the all-new Chevrolet Cruze hatchback features all of the technologies and driving dynamics of the all-new 2016 Cruze sedan but with of course an all-new form factor that American’s have shunned in the past but Europeans absolutely love. And a looker it is too! 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatch The Cruze Hatch rides on the same 106.3-inch wheelbase as the sedan but features a unique roof and rear-end structure – including wraparound taillamps and an integrated spoiler at the top of the hatch. Enough of a change that there is now 22.7 cu. ft of std. cargo space behind the rear seat and 47.2 cu. ft. with the seats folded down. That is compact CUV territory and for hopefully a lot less expense. More rigid, much lighter and heavily tuned for a better driving experience than ever before. It is more than 200 pounds lighter than the previous-gen due to a body structure that is 100 pounds lighter and an engine that’s 44 pounds lighter. Aluminum is used in the strut and torsion beam suspension systems to optimize weight and handling characteristics. Interior The 2016 Cruze and 2017 Cruze hatch are going to be much larger than the B-segment Focus. GM states it is larger than the current 2016 Elantra but that remains to be seen. In other words, Interior volume specs and actual layout remain TBD. Available features include a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, Athens leather-appointed seating surfaces, true French seams and halogen projector-beam headlamps with LED signature lighting. Drivetrain The standard Cruze includes a 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque 1.4L direct injected turbo with Stop/Start is mated to a standard 6-speed MT or available six-speed AT. I am not sure if the manual will be available with the hatch yet. The 1.4L turbo features an aluminum cylinder block and head. Reduced friction, including low-friction piston rings, a low-friction camshaft drive and a low-friction oil pump also help improve its efficiency. GM says that the new turbocharged engine is expected to deliver a 0 to 60 time of 8 seconds. GM is estimating a 40 mpg highway with the AT on the sedan so maybe 38 or 39 with the hatch? The 2017 Cruze Hatch will be offered in LT, Premier and RS trims. Infotainment Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via the MyLink radio systems is the one key infotainment feature that makes the Cruze noteworthy whereas the available 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot is certainly a plus for some. Not to jump on either Audi, BMW or GM for offering AT&T 4G LTE but it would be best that the consumer upgrade their own smartphone plan for a lot more capability including Wi-Fi Hotspot – std. on T-Mobile – then to get into a payment plan for the 3GBs or whatever it is on top of your new car payment. This is a profit center, not a free feature by any means. Safety Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Park Assist are also available. Available Teen Driver feature helps support safe driving habits and offers driving statistics for parents. GM is scheduling the Cruze Hatch to reach Chevrolet dealership showrooms this fall.