2017 Chevy Cruze Hatchback: A Capable Crossover Alternative

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The 2017 Chevy Cruze hatchback strikes a pose somewhere between sporty and sensible

The 2017 Chevy Cruze hatchback strikes a pose somewhere between sporty and sensible | Micah Wright/Autos Cheat Sheet

As popular and practical as they are, the thought of owning a crossover will never appeal to certain people. Be it qualms with ownership costs, performance, or fuel efficiency, America’s hot seller isn’t for everyone. Enter: the hatchback. Even the new Toyota Camry can’t compete with a well-organized hatchback on certain levels.

Part of a hatchback’s appeal is its price. Top-end crossovers easily crest $30,000, and a loaded midsize pickup will rocket you into the $40,000 range. A hatchback might not have the clearance or locking differentials, but not everyone needs all that.

Most commuters generally require a minimum of front-wheel drive, good tires, stability assist, power steering, and a splash of traction control in order to conquer winter. The appeal of something that has ample cargo room in a tightly-bound package makes cars, such as the Chevy Cruze hatchback, an attractive option.

After driving its feisty younger nephew, the Sonic RS Turbo, it was time to climb inside the longer Cruze hatchback. Controlling the finely tuned manual version of the Sonic had left us impressed with Chevy’s perky 1.4-liter turbo motor. And because the Cruze comes standard with the same powertrain, but features even more power, things looked promising.

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