• Mar 1, 2011
2012 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback – Click above for high-res image gallery

Last Fall, we spent some quality time debunking the myth that American consumers don't buy hatchbacks. The Europeans, however, need no such convincing, as five-doors and wagons rule the roost in many a segment overseas. Chevrolet understands this, which is why it has rolled out the Cruze hatchback in Geneva. With General Motors estimating that 65 percent of all compact sales in Europe are of the hatchback variety, this model is arguably more important than the sedan in much of the world.

Slated to go on sale in the middle of this year, the Cruze's 60/40 split rear seat and around 14 cubic feet of cargo space should add some utility to Chevy's very mature compact offering. Check it out in the gallery below and then hit the jump for GM's official presser.




Live photos copyright ©2011 Steven J. Ewing / AOL
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Chevrolet has plenty to celebrate at Geneva 2011

2011-03-01

* Full production version of Cruze hatchback
* New Aveo shows how good small sedans can look
* Camaro coupe and convertible coming to Europe
* Record figures in 2010
* Centenary year 2011

Whether it's having three model debuts, record European market share figures or a Centenary to celebrate, there will be plenty of activity on the Chevrolet stand (Hall 1) in Geneva between March 3 and 13.

Proof that the amount of news the company had in Paris in September, last year was not a one off, visitors to Chevrolet will again be greeted by an array of new product and good news stories, as its momentum in Europe continues to pick up pace.

Top of the bill is the world premiere for the production version of the sporty Cruze hatchback as well as the European debuts for the handsome new Aveo sedan and the iconic Camaro convertible. Chevrolet's multiple award-winning electric vehicle with extended range capability, the Volt, will not only be on display this time. The North American Car of the Year will also be available for short test drives as part of Chevrolet's activities at the show's green pavilion (Pavillon Vert) during press and public days.

Backing up all the new cars on the stand, Chevrolet recently announced its best market share ever in Europe in 2010, while this year the company embarks on an ambitious program of activity to mark 100 years since the first Chevrolet went into production.

Cruze hatchback

The full production version of the new Cruze hatchback is shown for the first time at Geneva. The launch is perfect timing for Chevrolet, with the manufacturer celebrating winning the World Touring Car Championship for the first time with the Cruze four door in December.

The introduction of a new hatchback version gives customers an alternative body style to the award-winning sedan and is further evidence of Chevrolet's intention to bring value for money to all mainstream segments in Europe. The compact segment in Europe represents a quarter of the total market and hatchbacks play a critical role, representing around 65% of all compact segment sales.

With its attractive sweeping coupe roofline and short overhangs at both the front and rear, the new Cruze hatchback has the same dynamic 'stance' as the sedan and will be instantly recognizable. The hatchback uses the same body-frame integral system (BFI) to ensure taut ride and handling, well suited to European tastes. It has already convinced Chevrolet customers around the world , with the Cruze notchback exceeding forecasts in 2010 to become the brand's best-selling passenger car.

Cargo capacity for the Cruze hatchback is close to 400 liters and it will feature 60/40 split rear seating. On sale is scheduled for mid 2011.

Aveo sedan

Widening the appeal of its new Aveo, Chevrolet's handsome new sedan version of the small car makes its European debut in Geneva.

From the front, the notchback and hatchback share the same powerful look with exposed twin-headlamps, dual port grille and compact taut body panels. The rising shoulder line of the sedan is particularly striking, giving the new four-door a premium profile, while the mildly flared wheel arches house wheels up to 17 inches, accentuating the upscale look of the small sedan.

Chevrolet expects the more mature design of the notchback to appeal to a different type of customer to the hatchback, in particular families. The sedan's practical credentials are evident in the levels of space it provides for a small car. With a 4,389 mm length and 1,735 mm width, the new Aveo is both longer and wider than the current model, giving it a spacious interior. Cargo volume is also among best in class at a generous 502 liters.

The new Aveo's interior is also characterized by modern design such as the motorcycle-inspired instrument binnacle with an analogue tachometer combined with a digital speedo and warning lights.

A comprehensive range of gasoline and diesel engines will be available, the gasoline options including two 1.2 liter versions (at 70 hp and at 86 hp), a 1.4 liter unit (100 hp) and a 1.6 liter (115 hp). For the first time, Aveo will be offered with two versions of a 1.3 liter diesel engine (at 75 hp and at 95 hp) featuring Start/Stop technology. All engines incorporate the latest technologies such as variable valve timing, double continuous variable cam phasing and common rail fuel injection for the diesels.

Chevrolet's first 6-speed automatic transmission on a small car will feature on the Aveo 1.4 and 1.6 as an option in most markets; manual transmissions are of 5 or 6 speed depending on engine choice.

The Aveo sedan and hatchback will on sale across Europe in the summer.

Camaro coupe and convertible

The Camaro coupe and convertible are sure to get plenty of attention at Geneva. Available in V8 form when it goes on sale at selected Chevrolets dealers in September, Camaro's low-slung stance and front to rear body proportions remain true to the original concept, a design that acknowledges its legendary past without appearing retro.

Under the hood, Camaro's 432 hp, 6.2-liter V8 generates 569 Nm of torque to give the new Camaro the muscle to match its looks. With the six-speed automatic transmission, it delivers 405 hp/556 Nm and includes GM's fuel-saving Active Fuel Management system, enabling it to cruise on only four cylinders during light load conditions.

Camaro's interior is characterized by the perfect balance between heritage and modernity, while detailing, such as the large, chrome-trimmed controls, low-gloss surfaces and premium fabric.

Camaro's chassis features electronic stability control (GM's StabiliTrak system) and traction control as standard equipment while an adjustable "Sport" mode is fitted for performance driving, such as on track days. A Launch Control feature will ensure quick and safe take-offs with large, ventilated disks (355/365 mm front/rear), complete with four-piston aluminum Brembo calipers for impressive braking performance.

A comprehensive range of safety features includes dual-stage front airbags, front seat- mounted thorax side airbags and head curtain airbags for front and rear occupants.

The coupe's convertible sibling was designed from the outset to be built in both coupe and convertible form – features the latest power-folding top which takes only 20 seconds to retract. Built in partnership with the same manufacturer as the Corvette convertible, it folds into a simple "Z" pattern and latches with a single, convenient handle located at the center of the windshield header. It is made of thick, durable canvas and features acoustical headliner material that provides a quiet ride when the top is up. It also incorporates a glass rear window and rear window defogger.

Chevrolet's engineers are keen to point out that the convertible is no boulevard cruiser but can match the coupé for ride and handling, thanks to four strategic reinforcements which enhance the already stiff body structure; these include a tower-to-tower brace under the hood, transmission support reinforcement brace, underbody tunnel brace and front and rear underbody "V" braces.

2010: a year of record sales

Winning the WTCC wasn't the only cause for celebration at Chevrolet in 2010. The year culminated in total European sales of 477,194 vehicles, an improvement of 12.0 percent over 2009 and the second best result ever for Chevrolet in Europe.

Chevrolet's market share in Europe rose to an all-time high of 2.5 percent. The year ended with all-time market share records for the fourth quarter of 2.7 percent and for December of 3.0 percent. Over the year as a whole, market share improved in a total of 21 countries in Europe.

2011: Centenary year

The strong results set the scene perfectly for 2011, Chevrolet's centenary year. It was in November 1911 that renowned Swiss born racing driver and engineer Louis Chevrolet, in collaboration with American businessman William Crapo Durant, founded the Chevrolet Motor Company in Flint, Michigan, with the first Chevrolet car being the luxurious six cylinder Classic Six which went into production soon after. To mark the historic occasion, the company is planning an ambitious program of activity. Watch out for more news throughout the year.

About Chevrolet

Chevrolet is General Motors' largest global brand with annual sales of about 4 million vehicles in more than 130 countries. It is the fourth biggest global car brand in terms of sales and also one of the fastest growing brands in the world. Chevrolet cars combine passion, bold design and practicality. They provide outstanding value for money. After re-launching the brand in Europe in 2005, Chevrolet more than doubled its sales to over 500,000 in 2008. In 2010, Chevrolet grew its market share in Europe to 2.5 percent, selling 477,194 cars. Chevrolet has a network of more than 2,700 dealers and service points in Europe. The Chevrolet line-up includes the Spark city car, the small Aveo, the compact four-door Cruze, the Captiva SUV and the legendary Corvette sports car. In 2011, Chevrolet is launching seven new cars: the all-new Orlando family van, the new Captiva SUV, the Corvette Grand Sport Coupé, the all-new five-door and four-door Aveo, the five-door Cruze, the Camaro coupé and convertible and the award-winning extended-range Volt electric car. Chevrolet's biggest markets in Europe are Russia, Italy, Germany, Spain, France and Turkey. Established in the U.S. by Swiss émigré Louis Chevrolet in 1911, the brand is celebrating its centenary in 2011. More information on Chevrolet can be found at http://www.chevroleteurope.com or http://media.chevroleteurope.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 62 Comments
      usmc32yrs
      • 3 Years Ago
      Every time I see one of these little cars , I thank the Good Lord I'm not so poor as to have to drive one of those.....I love my Hummer H2 .....Before anyone has a heart attack about gas mileage , I can afford it ....I would hate to know I had to defend my car by saying " I know it's a piece of crap , but it gets good mileage ".....
      Ken the Great
      • 3 Years Ago
      GM IS INCAPIBLE OF DESIGNING A GOOD LOOKING RIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      "I've heard your CV a hundred times before. You're only impressing yourself by posting it."

      I haven't posted my CV - I'm simply telling you how things are from life experience. But if you have some epiphanal inside knowledge that the Cruze will somehow turn the fortunes of Korean cars around in Europe, then I'd appreciate it if you'd share. The Cruze saloon so far has had decent revies but none have been stellar, and not because it isn't a hatchback either. The reviews all refer to average handling and engine specifications, and in the European C-segment, those are certainly quite often dealbreakers. Personally, I'm a fan of the Cruze; it has a very appealing design and the interior is a huge leap forward in the quality of Korean cars. But that alone won't break the all-conquering Astra/Golf/Focus/308 crowd.

      "I brought up the point of price, not Korea. If you have never heard anyone else say that cheaper cars sell better, then you aren't listening nor looking closely. If cheaper cars didn't present their own advantages over more expensive cars, then no one would offer cheaper cars."

      You're looking at price from an American perspective. The Cruze hatchback will be sold in Europe, and I am telling you how Europeans view budget cars from the Far East. Despite the enormous leaps Koreans cars have made in recent years, they are still perceived - and sold - as budget appliances in the European arena and they haven't yet been able to knock the European leaders off their mantles. Nor will they likely to.

      "And yet there are quite a few cheaper cars sold. Europe has far more selection of different configurations of cars (you can't get a Golf with manual rear windows in the US) and more lower end brands (French cars, Skoda, SEAT). And somehow you say lower prices don't matter. Why are companies offering lower-priced cars then?"

      A number of issues here. French cars aren't lower-end brands. They're mainstream brands alongside Opel, Ford, and VW. Seat isn't a lower brand either, although Skoda is considered to be. But with Skoda winning many honours in quality surveys and developing a separate lineage of vehicles from the rest of VAG, the "cheap" moniker is quickly evaporating. That said, Skoda's sales in the UK are small compared with those in the rest of VW's empire in the same market. You're right, you can't get European base model editions in the US (such as the Golf), but you can't get any of the twincharged Golfs in the States either.

      "Europeans don't seem to mind buying Skodas which are made on the same platforms as VWs but in Eastern Europe. Why would they mind buying Cruzes which are on the same platform as Opels, but made in Eastern Europe?"

      All European-market (except Russia) Cruzes come from Korea. As I have said, Skoda is becoming more popular but it is far from a major player in western Europe.

      If you want to ignore the realities of the European C-segment, that's fine with me. I'm simply telling you they way the market is. I'm certainly not demeaning the car, it's a fine product. But as I said initially, it's a shame it won't ever topple the Astra which uses the same platform, even though the Astra costs several thousand more. I've given you the reasons why, that's the reality of it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Work out the kinks in Europe, bring it stateside a year later.

      Please?
      • 3 Years Ago
      An elegant looker, but in Europe it'll be completely overshadowed by GME's own Astra which is a greater variety of engine options and contract hire availability.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "And lower prices make a big difference in sales."

        Europeans are nowhere near as price sensitive as Europeans when it comes to cars.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "Maybe there's a price difference? Chevy is a lower end model than Opel/Vauxhall, so perhaps it will undercut the Astra on price."

        It no doubt will undercut the Astra on price, but consumers see Chevrolet as inexpensive Korean imports - which they are. There's no doubting the Cruze is a good quality vehicle, and it'll command a certain market share, but as I said before with so many C-segment cars in the company car sector, the Cruze will almost certainly be completely overshadowed.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "And lower prices make a big difference in sales."

        Oops. I meant to say Europeans are nowhere near as price sensitive as Americans when it comes to cars.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "I've heard your CV a hundred times before. You're only impressing yourself by posting it."

        I haven't posted my CV - I'm simply telling you how things are from life experience. But if you have some epiphanal inside knowledge that the Cruze will somehow turn the fortunes of Korean cars around in Europe, then I'd appreciate it if you'd share. The Cruze saloon so far has had decent revies but none have been stellar, and not because it isn't a hatchback either. The reviews all refer to average handling and engine specifications, and in the European C-segment, those are certainly quite often dealbreakers. Personally, I'm a fan of the Cruze; it has a very appealing design and the interior is a huge leap forward in the quality of Korean cars. But that alone won't break the all-conquering Astra/Golf/Focus/308 crowd.

        "I brought up the point of price, not Korea. If you have never heard anyone else say that cheaper cars sell better, then you aren't listening nor looking closely. If cheaper cars didn't present their own advantages over more expensive cars, then no one would offer cheaper cars."

        You're looking at price from an American perspective. The Cruze hatchback will be sold in Europe, and I am telling you how Europeans view budget cars from the Far East. Despite the enormous leaps Koreans cars have made in recent years, they are still perceived - and sold - as budget appliances in the European arena and they haven't yet been able to knock the European leaders off their mantles. Nor will they likely to.

        "And yet there are quite a few cheaper cars sold. Europe has far more selection of different configurations of cars (you can't get a Golf with manual rear windows in the US) and more lower end brands (French cars, Skoda, SEAT). And somehow you say lower prices don't matter. Why are companies offering lower-priced cars then?"

        A number of issues here. French cars aren't lower-end brands. They're mainstream brands alongside Opel, Ford, and VW. Seat isn't a lower brand either, although Skoda is considered to be. But with Skoda winning many honours in quality surveys and developing a separate lineage of vehicles from the rest of VAG, the "cheap" moniker is quickly evaporating. That said, Skoda's sales in the UK are small compared with those in the rest of VW's empire in the same market. You're right, you can't get European base model editions in the US (such as the Golf), but you can't get any of the twincharged Golfs in the States either.

        "Europeans don't seem to mind buying Skodas which are made on the same platforms as VWs but in Eastern Europe. Why would they mind buying Cruzes which are on the same platform as Opels, but made in Eastern Europe?"

        All European-market (except Russia) Cruzes come from Korea. As I have said, Skoda is becoming more popular but it is far from a major player in western Europe.

        If you want to ignore the realities of the European C-segment, that's fine with me. I'm simply telling you they way the market is. I'm certainly not demeaning the car, it's a fine product. But as I said initially, it's a shame it won't ever topple the Astra which uses the same platform, even though the Astra costs several thousand more. I've given you the reasons why, that's the reality of it.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Maybe there's a price difference?

        Chevy is a lower end model than Opel/Vauxhall, so perhaps it will undercut the Astra on price. And lower prices make a big difference in sales.
        • 3 Years Ago
        From reading endless euro auto mags, it seems that Chevy in UK and other parts of EU is seen as a value brand which could in some ways compete with Skoda, Honda and Toyota. I think Hyundai/Kia have gone considerably upmarket to take on Opel, Ford, VW, and so forth.

        I think Cruze is going to be a story where you'll get a ton of standard equipment at a reasonable price, but if you're expecting panache, terrific interior and refinement then I'd say look elsewhere. That elsewhere will obviously be the Opel/Vauxhall, in GMs eyes of course.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The Cruze is made in St. Petersburg, Russia. You're telling me those are exported from Europe instead of being sold in Europe? That's odd.

        http://en.rian.ru/business/20110217/162650547.html

        Skoda and SEAT are definitely lower end than VW. And although I always see arguments for some reason, Citroen definitely sells a lot of their cars based upon price. It's sure not based upon reliability!

        I find it difficult to take Kia's statements about the C'eed being created in Europe seriously when they simultaneously claim the identical Forte was designed in the US. Most likely both were designed in Korea and just styled for the different markets.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I do agree the Chevy will be seen as a lower-end car compared to the Astra.

        But I think your argument that Europeans aren't price-sensitive is false or at least overstated. There's a reason there are other cars besides the Mercedes C class in the D segment.

        Not everyone (every car in this case) can be on top, you just have to make the best of where you are.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "And yet there are quite a few cheaper cars sold. Europe has far more selection of different configurations of cars (you can't get a Golf with manual rear windows in the US) and more lower end brands (French cars, Skoda, SEAT). And somehow you say lower prices don't matter. Why are companies offering lower-priced cars then?"

        French, Skoda or Seat are not exactly lower end, their quality and price is similar to VW (Peugeots 308 and 508 have even higher quality interiors than Golf and Passat for about the same price). Cheap C-class cars in Europe are Hyundai i30, Kia Cee'd, Chevrolet Cruze. Pretty good plastics, sufficient handling but still not as good as Golf/Astra/Focus and Co. That's why they don't sell very well.

        PS. European Cruze comes from Korea while Cee'd and i30 were designed and manufactured in Europe.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "But I think your argument that Europeans aren't price-sensitive is false or at least overstated. There's a reason there are other cars besides the Mercedes C class in the D segment."

        You're entitled to your opinion as anyone is. My own comments are based on years of experience living in both Europe and the United States and over those years, I've had this discussion many times with car people with similar life experience. You're the first person I've experienced to state an entirely opposing opinion. Europeans aren't as price-sensitive as Americans for a number of reasons: a) cars in Europe are generally more expensive to begin with and the cost of motoring is accepted as a large part of one's budget compared to that of the average American; b) the company car market is enormous in Europe in comparison, and many C-segment cars are part of company fleets; and c) there's much more of a stigma attached to Korean, Malaysian and other cars from the Far East in Europe than there is in the States. Furthermore, there are far more choices in Europe within this market segment and the Korean manufacturers do not offer quite the same unbeatable decade-long warranties that they offer in the United States.

        One very good example is the Kia cee'd. As a product, the car is dynamically as good as many European competitors and some even go as far as pitching it is a credible rival to the likes of the Focus and Astra. It's well-built and drives beautifully. However, despite its competitive pricing, it remains a comparative rarity.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "There's a reason there are other cars besides the Mercedes C class in the D segment."

        You need to understand that while in Europe, Mercedes, Audi, and BMW are seen as quality marques, over the years they have encroached into the pricing territory of upper-spec mainstream D and E-segment cars with their base models. In Britain, the Mercedes C-Class starts at a price point which is £3K lower than a top-flight Mondeo. That's a whole hill of money. Furthermore, the company car market dictates which models are offered to junior execs and which are offered to sales reps in most businesses. As a result, sales of the German Q-cars have flourished while at the same time, almost all of the mainstream manufacturers have pulled out of the E-segment entirely.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like the utility of a hatchback. A Cruze coupe/ hatchback would really do it for me.... and an SS model.
      • 3 Years Ago
      FINALLY,,,THE CITATION IS BACK
      JP
      • 3 Years Ago
      GM devastated their North American manufacturing base on purpose, amazingly now they have record sales and are giving out big bonuses this year, while still in debt. The car still looks like a mashed turd, butt ugly, with no sense of style. GM, it will be a bitterly cold day before I would buy anything you produce.

      If this is all we as consumers can look forward to for future cars, rather than to be forced into driving this type of garbage, I am ready to hand over my drivers license. It is easy to tell the passion is over for everyday vehicles, and the General is contempt to add lackluster vehicles as filler at will. All we need to do is wait for JD Powers or consumer reports to tell us which car company will be the newest & greatest for this year.

      Wake up people they are sending America industry down the drain, or is that across the water?
      • 3 Years Ago
      More fawning over the junk produced by obama motors.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe we've just been spoiled with awesome-looking compact hatchbacks lately, but I'm not a fan of that bulging rear end or the overly rounded taillights. Is anyone else with me on this one?
      • 3 Years Ago
      What is not to like about the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze? It is affordable, gets great gas mileage and is sporty and comfortable (http://www.2011ChevroletCruze.com for reference). I think GM finally hit the nail on the head with this one. Testing it in Europe first was a great idea also to make sure it was attractive enough (and affordable enough) to catch buyers attention.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks nice!
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