Browsing all articles in Hatchbacks

Ready, Set, Cruze: 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatchback Revs into the New Model Year

Author JoeC    Category Hatchbacks     Tags

2017 Chevy Cruze HatchbackChevrolet officially unveiled its new 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatchback at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and this highly anticipated new vehicle is set to hit dealerships in the fall of 2016.

The Cruze currently reigns as Chevrolet’s best-selling car worldwide, and a forthcoming hatchback version has fans smiling.

Everything Cruze Drivers Love and More

The Cruze Hatchback gives drivers a practical, sporty option among the members of the Cruze family, still retaining the technologies and driving features consumers have enjoyed in the 2016 Cruze sedan.

The Hatchback features the same class-leading, 106.3-inch wheelbase that is found in the Cruze sedan models, adding a unique roof and rear-end structure that includes wraparound taillamps and an integrated spoiler at the top of the liftgate.

The Cruze Hatchback does not disappoint in the realm of roominess, offering 22.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 47.2 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

You Want It, Cruze Has It

The 2017 Cruze Hatchback lineup will include LT and Premier trims as well as an RS package.

The Hatchback offers a more rigid architecture that is more than 200 pounds lighter than the previous-generation Cruze model, serving as a dynamic driving basis and also enhancing safety and efficiency.

Impressive features found on the Cruze Hatch will include:

  • More standard safety features than can be found in any compact car, including available Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, and Rear Park Assist
  • Segment-exclusive Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility via MyLink radio systems the and available 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Standard 1.4L turbo engine with direct injection and stop/start technologies, electric power steering, and a Z-link rear suspension (Premier models)
  • Midsize-level interior spaciousness
  • Available Teen Driver technology, which promotes safe teen driving habits and informs parents about their teenagers’ performance behind the wheel
  • Available Athens leather seating surfaces
  • Available heated front and rear seats
  • Available heated steering wheel
  • Available halogen projector-beam headlamps with LED lighting

Great Expectations

As drivers wait excitedly for the new Cruze Hatchback to hit dealerships in fall 2016, they can keep busy in the meantime by exploring and test driving the impressive, currently available 2016 Chevy Cruze models.

As the old saying goes, “Time flies,” and fall and the new Cruze Hatchback will be here before you know it!


Ford Reveals 2015 Focus ST at Goodwood

Author JoeC    Category Hatchbacks     Tags

With the Focus hatchback and sedan already seeing a refresh for the 2015 model year, it was only a matter of time before the sport-tuned hot hatch Focus ST got its due. ford-focus-st-2015-4Ford has just unveiled the 2015 Focus ST at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed in the United Kingdom.

What to Expect

First of all, most of the changes in this refresh—like most refreshes—are cosmetic in nature. We like the look of the new Focus ST, but you’ll have to see it for yourself to know if it’s right for you.

Updates to the exterior of the Focus range from sportier fascias on the front and rear to a brand new hood, 18-inch Rado Gray alloy wheels, slim headlights with LED accents, and a more aggressive front end. You might notice the larger lower grille and the raised upper grille along with the low-mounted fog lights if you’re staring down the Focus ST head on.

Of course, not all of the changes were just for show. The Focus ST does receive some mechanical upgrades, including a new suspension and steering set up to go with the 2.0L EcoBoost I-4 with 252 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque.

New front springs and a sportier tuning for both sets of shocks comprise the suspension update, which is said to deliver improved agility, responsiveness, and precision while behind the wheel. The steering improvements come from an updated electric power steering system.

While we’d be happy to talk about the 2015 Ford Focus ST all day, the fact is that no matter what we tell you about it, this is a car that demands to be driven to be understood, and we can’t wait to put our pedal to the floor.

Visit Your Ford Dealer for More

The best way to stay up to date on vehicles like this is to follow our blog here on For Car Fans, but the best way to know when you can drive one home is to contact your local Ford dealership. They might not know much about the Focus ST yet, but just give it time and let them know you want to get in line for this incredible new car.


Kia Rio vs. Suzuki SX4

Author JoeC    Category Hatchbacks     Tags
2013 Kia Rio

2013 Kia Rio

In this era of auto-industry transition – from power to efficiency, from luxury to utility – the hatchback has become one of the primary weapons in the ever-intensifying competition between automakers. They balance versatility, economy, and style – perhaps the most important features that a vehicle can have these days – in a way that no other segment can compete with. Kia and Suzuki aren’t big players in the North American market, but that doesn’t mean that they haven’t made their gambits in the hatchback segment. So, how do the Kia Rio and the Suzuki SX4 compare?

Efficiency and Power

Drivers looking for a hatchback are most likely in search of a vehicle that can offer great fuel-economy. From this angle, the Rio is the clear winner. While the Rio EX with the Eco package gets an EPA estimated 30 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, the Suzuki SX4 falls short with a mere 25 mpg city and 32 mpg highway for the base-model with continuously-variable transmission, for which you’ll have to pay extra.

2013 Suzuki SX4 Crossover

2013 Suzuki SX4 Crossover

The SX4’s 2.0L four-cylinder engine does pump out a bit more power than the Rio’s 1.6L engine, but that merely compensates for the SX4’s heavier curb weight. You do have the option of AWD with the SX4, so if you’ll be driving in lots of inclement weather or rough roads, that may tip the scales in favor of Suzuki’s hatchback.

Features and Value

The Rio EX ($16,700) sports features such as cruise control, upgraded cloth upholstery, Bluetooth connectivity, and an upgraded sound system, in addition to basic features like 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, CD/satellite/USB audio system, and power windows.

The base-model SX4 Crossover ($16,999) is somewhat less full-featured, lacking cruise control, satellite radio, and USB audio options, though it does add 16” wheels.

The Verdict

Most of the evidence does add up in the Rio’s favor, though the SX4 offers a more comfortable, smooth, and quiet ride overall, in addition to a four more cubic feet of cargo space. And though both are entirely serviceable hatchbacks, they are generally outclassed by other hatchbacks like the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Accent, and Chevy Sonic – so check those out before you make a decision.