General Motors’ Chevrolet brand, which has just announced record half-year sales, is launching a long-awaited five-door hatchback Cruze beginning this northern summer.

The hatch finally gives dealers in the UK and northern Europe, where buyers prefer hatchbacks to sedans (in the UK Vauxhall and Ford have dropped their Astra and Focus sedan models), a chance to compete in the biggest slice of the high-volume C segment. The sedan has been in showrooms for several years and assembly outside Korea has recently begun in the US and Australia. GM has not confirmed rumours a wagon version is also in the works.

Depending on market, the hatchback is sold with 1.6- (124hp) and 1.8-litre (141hp) petrol engines, the 1.8 with optional six-speed automatic transmission. 

A two-litre turbodiesel (163hp) is also available, also with optional six-speed automatic. 

Like the sedan, the hatch has three different trim levels –  ls, LT and LTZ. All versions have electronic stability control, six airbags, ABS with electronic brake force distribution, electric front windows and CD radio with four speakers.