We knew this was coming, but now it's official. Chevrolet will sell a five-door Cruze in the US beginning in late 2016, and here it is, ahead of its debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. Previously, the Cruze Hatchback was available in other markets, and the decision to not offer it Stateside was apparently "a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake," according to GM's Mark Reuss in earlier reports.

The 2017 Cruze Hatchback builds on the second-generation Cruze we saw last summer, adding a wealth of functionality – there's 42 cubic feet of cargo space available with the rear seats folded. Plus, the Cruze sedan is lighter and stiffer than its predecessor – more than 200 pounds have been shaved off the compact car's curb weight.

While the Cruze sedan is available in four trims – L, LS, LT, and Premier – the five-door will only be available in LT and Premier guise, but can be had with the optional RS appearance package. All Cruze models are powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-four engine, with 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Standard amenities include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via Chevy's MyLink infotainment system, as well as a raft of high-tech safety features.

Pricing information isn't available as of this writing, though we expect the Cruze Hatchback to command a slightly higher premium than the sedan. For comparison, a new Cruze LT sedan starts at $21,995, with the Premier coming in at $23,995. We'll have official numbers closer to the Hatchback's on-sale date this fall.

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Chevrolet Introduces 2017 Cruze Hatch

HERE'S THE STORY


Ahead of its debut at the North American International Auto Show, Chevrolet today introduced the 2017 Cruze Hatchback. Developed with all the technologies and dynamic driving attributes of the all-new 2016 Cruze sedan, the new hatch adds a functional and sporty choice for customers. It joins Colorado and Trax as the latest Chevrolets to push into new segments.

PRODUCT DETAILS

The Cruze Hatch has the same, class-leading 106.3-inch (2,700 mm) wheelbase as sedan models, but features a unique roof and rear-end structure – including wraparound taillamps and an integrated spoiler at the top of the liftgate. It opens to offer 18.5 cubic feet (524 liters) of cargo space behind the rear seat. With the rear seat folded, cargo space expands to 42 cubic feet (1,189 liters).

ON SALE

Fall 2016

QUOTABLE

"With 9 percent 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. "As Cruze continues to set the tone for Chevrolet globally, it articulates the brand promise of offering cars with the latest technologies, more features and greater efficiency, performance and safety with fresh, distinctive styling."

ABOUT THE NEW CRUZE

An all-new, more rigid and lighter architecture is the Cruze's foundation for driving dynamism, while also playing a significant role in safety and efficiency. It is more than 200 pounds (91 kg) lighter than the previous-generation model due largely to a body structure that is 100 pounds lighter and an engine that's 44 pounds (20 kg) lighter.

The Cruze lineup in North America is offered in L, LS, LT and Premier – and a more expressive RS package, featuring unique front and rear fascias, rocker panels, rear spoiler, fog lamps and – on the Premier model – 18-inch wheels.

The 2017 Cruze Hatch will be offered in LT and Premier trims, and with the RS package.

KEY FEATURES

- Segment-exclusive standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility via the MyLink radio systems and available 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot
- More standard safety features than any other compact car – including Corolla and Civic – with available adaptive features including Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Park Assist
- Available Teen Driver feature helps support safe driving habits and offers driving statistics for parents
- Standard 1.4L turbo engine with direct injection and Stop/Start technologies, electric power steering and, on Premier models, a Z-link rear suspension
- Interior with midsize-level roominess, including two inches greater rear legroom than Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra
- 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.

FAST FACTS

- Cruze is Chevrolet's best-selling car around the world, with 3.5 million sold since it went on sale in 2008
- Since Cruze's introduction, Chevrolet's retail share of the segment has grown from 5.8 to 9.4 percent
- 35 percent of Cruze customers are new to Chevrolet
- In the U.S., Cruze is the segment's second-best seller to customers under 25.

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