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Get Excited For Detroit 2016: Hatchbacks and Crossovers

Chevrolet Cruze! Facelifted Infiniti QX60! Not much else after that!

Despite being its home motoring expo, General Motors doesn’t really have much to showcase at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. Sure, Buick’s got the Envision to show off, but the rest of the brands that make up The General’s huge portfolio are unusually unaccounted for. In fact, it seems only Chevrolet is willing to step up to the mark alongside its more upmarket GM stable mate, with its rather down to earth Chevrolet Cruze hatchback scheduled to make its official debut at the show.

Chevrolet’s new Cruze hatchback isn’t particularly revelatory in comparison with the sedan it’s based on, but that’s no real bad thing. After all, the five-door model looks like it will be a sizeable leap forward from the current car, so we expect similar things from the hatchback. That sentiment is also buoyed up by the fact it’s based on the Opel/Vauxhall Astra, which has currently gone down as a treat with the motoring press in Europe. So, whilst we won’t know how good the new Chevrolet Cruze is until later this year, the early signs are very promising.

Offering a Chevy Cruze hatchback that shares a lot with the Astra family also gives us a wee bit of hope that a warm or hot hatch model in the vein of the Astra OPC/VXR will be given the go ahead. Go on, General Motors, you know you want to give the Ford Focus ST and VW Golf GTI a bloody nose on your home turf! As far as conventional hatchbacks go, though, that’s all that’s being unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show this year. Should you decide to stretch that definition to the crossover market, though, then you’ve also got the facelifted Infiniti QX60. Like the Chevrolet Cruze, there isn’t that much about the Infiniti QX60 that will really pique your interest.

However, the tweaks that have been made are of some worth: The new shocks, for instance, are claimed by Infiniti to improve the QX60’s ride quality. That's an impressive achievement if true, considering the current car is one of the more comfortable crossover SUVs on the market. That pursuit of improved refinement also extends to the added noise insulation, to further suppress road, wind and tire noise at speed. Even the windshield has been thickened in a bid to make the Infiniti QX60’s cabin as quiet as possible!

Rounding off these new changes are a range of oh-so-subtle styling tweaks (like new LED headlamps, a new front grille design and some better quality interior trim pieces) that will likely only be of serious long-term importance if you’re stuck for ideas on an impromptu game of Spot The Difference. So, that’s the Detroit Auto Show 2016's hatchback and crossover reveals done and dusted. It’s not a particularly big selection, but you’ll be pleased to know that this is the exception rather than the rule for our remaining ‘Get Excited For Detroit 2016’ pieces...

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