Despite its affordable price, the 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatchback doesn’t feel or look like a budget hatchback. Its exterior is attractive, as is its two-toned interior, but beyond its good looks, there’s lots of tech packed inside to help make the Cruze look and feel like a more premium vehicle.
The centerpiece of those tech features is the 7″ color touchscreen running the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, which comes standard — not always the case for infotainment systems. But, if you prefer to use a smartphone with the car, MyLink is compatible Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
There’s also an optional built-in OnStar 4G LTE hotspot with OnStar support. Small luxuries like heated front seats are standard, and heated rear seats are available as options. In addition, the car works with the myChevrolet Mobile App, which lets you start and stop your engine and lock and unlock the car from your phone. The weakest part of the in-car tech is the Cruze’s speaker system, which isn’t very powerful or impressive. That’s a shame, but not surprising at its price point.
The car is powered by a 1.4-L turbo engine with 153 horsepower. When it comes to the actual drive, the car often struggles to accelerate. Suspension is solid, but the Cruze does struggle on bumpy roads. However, its performance is what we’d expect from a car in this price range.
The car is quite compact, but doesn’t feel cramped on the inside. Despite its small footprint, the hatchback version of the Cruze is pretty spacious. Its back seats fold down to make room for 47.2 cu. ft. of cargo space, making the car suitable for trips to Ikea or the supermarket. Even the rear seats have a decent amount of legroom for passengers.
The Chevy Cruze is packed with lots of safety tech, making it an especially reassuring vehicle for parents buying their teen their first car. Rear park assist, rear vision camera, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, side blind zone alerts and forward collision alerts are of course useful for all drivers, but especially for new drivers. The Cruze is also the first car in its class to pack in 10 standard air bags.
In addition to all of that safety tech, the Cruze features Chevy’s Teen Driver technology, which helps drivers learn about their habits. This also allows parents to get insight into how their teen is driving by seeing data on things like how many times certain safety features were triggered. Parents can even see the vehicle’s max speed and when it was taken out — if your teen sneaks out in the middle of the night, you’ll know.