Two Schools of Thought

By Don Armstrong

The popularity of crossover SUV’s continues to grow, while the sedan market gets smaller every day. In fact, Chevrolet announced the death of the venerable Impala, an American icon since 1958. This month we blur the line between the crossover and sedan.

Jeep Compass
The all-new 2017 Compass is a completely redesigned crossover in the Jeep lineup that is a marked improvement over the outgoing model. Its exterior design is a nod to its larger sibling, the Grand Cherokee, with its iconic 7-slot grille.

There are 4 trim levels from which to choose, Sport, Latitude, Limited and the off-roader model, Trailhawk. The higher up the food chain you go, the more you get. We love the red trim bits on the dash that gave our Trailhawk the pizzazz others in its class wish they could offer. The Uconnect infotainment system is among the best on any brand’s lot.

Power is generated by a 180-horsepower, 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine that delivers up to 31-MPG when coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission.

The 9-speed automatic is great for fuel mileage but tends to hunt for gears on the highway.

Whether delivering the kids to school and soccer practice or making runs to the grocery store, this just may be your new ride.

Starts at $25,655.

2018 Chevrolet Cruze Hatch

Chevy Cruze Hatchback
For those that appreciate a lower-to-the-ground type of sportiness, may we suggest a romp in the Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback?

If you like sports car swagger and handling agility that can also store loads of school projects, backpacks and sports equipment and the crossover is just a little too big, here’s your do-all.

The Cruze is equipped with a 153-horsepower 1.4-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine the turns the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. A diesel powerplant and manual transmission are also available.

The 2017 Cruze looks as if it just rolled out of the wind tunnel, with its low-slung front facia, laid-back windshield and overall aerodynamic swoosh.

The interior design team gets an A-plus from us with its sculpted dash, attention to detail and available contrasting color pairings, plus, you can still get two in the backseat. The infotainment system is spot-on featuring ease of use and functionality.

Responsive steering and sporty handling complete the package. Comes in 4 trim levels and is priced beginning at $22,190.

So, which of these are you ready to graduate to?

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