CHOP CHOP CRUZE

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback | Angela Gilltrap

True confession: I've never had a real Christmas tree. Growing up in Australia—tropical QLD to be exact—it wasn't an option. I'm not sure I even knew anyone with a real tree. Each year, we all gathered around and reassembled our plastic trees of varying colors (ours was white and silver), decorating with tinsel while wearing a tank top and shorts in the heat of summer. This year, in Manhattan, New York the Christmas fairy came early thanks to Chevrolet and the all-new 2017 Cruze Hatchback. What better way to test a car's hatchback capabilities than with a tree chopping experience?

Myself and a group of eager journalists met first thing Saturday morning at the Hotel Americano Restaurant to learn more about our mission. We were to drive up to Dixiedale Farm in New Jersey, select our Christmas tree and put the Hatchback's 47.2 cubit feet of cargo space to good use. Caffeine ingested, address confirmed and wifi systems go, we headed out in our sporty, red Cruze Hatchback.

 

Features

The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback is the first of its kind and features a diesel engine with an all-new nine-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual. It has a rigid and lighter foundation for driving due to a body structure that is 100lbs lighter—and engine that's 44 lbs lighter. The car is extremely responsive thanks to a standard 1.4L turbo engine with direct injection which enables 0-60mph acceleration in 7.7. seconds—an ideal attribute for city driving.

For those tech junkies, it features wifi and car play connectivity as well as OnStar system backup which provides you with real-person assistance 24/7. It has all the safety aspects you would want including ten standard air bags, including driver and front passenger knee air bags as well as premium features such as heated front cloth seats, heated rear outboard leather-trimmed seats and a heated, leather-trimmed steering wheel.

 

Things to Know About Tree Cutting

Tim Barrett Fitness

For many, felling your own Christmas tree is a tradition shared by generations of family members. For me, it was completely alien and a little unusual. For one, they handed me an actual saw when I arrived. Secondly, we quickly realized I probably shouldn't be in charge of picking the tree, as I tend to overestimate the square footage of our New York apartment and instead opt for the most conversation-worthy items which in this case, was a Rockefeller sized tree (see right).

When forced to be slightly more practical, I apparently select trees that closely resemble a cactus rather than a Christmas tree—this was quickly explained away due to my tropical upbringing. Having had to bring in the big guns, Chevy's Joe LaMuraglia, we were finally able to make a decision and I gratefully let my lumberjack (Super Tim) fell the tree.

Once packaged up—like in the movies—we put that Hatchback to good use and our tree fit perfectly. Then it was off to nearby Target to pick up decorations. Yes, New Yorkers, you read right, we got to go shopping. At Target. In a car!!!!!! It was all my Christmas dreams come true.

Back in the city, it was time to haul that bad boy up five flights of stairs and sadly, return our 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatchback—not before having our fill of SiriusXM Radio '90s hits. Whether you're in the market for a great ride or a stella tree, I'd highly recommend the new 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback. While having a car in New York doesn't always seem like the most practical thing, there is a sense of freedom that comes from being able to hit the open road—even if it is, for that palette of mason jars you've been eying!

For more information about the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback click here.