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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Chevrolet Readying A Malibu Refresh For 2013

    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    December 4, 2012

    The new Chevrolet Malibu has been getting panned for a multitude of reasons; rear head and legroom is poor, the interior is over-styled, and the powertrains are meh. Sales haven't great either; in September and October, sales dropped by 3%.

    Because of this, General Motors has announced mid-cycle refresh of the new Malibu coming out late 2013, eighteen months after the Malibu was launched.

    "We are going to do a midcycle enhancement, not dramatic, by this time next year," said GM CEO Dan Akerson.

    Akerson told Automotive News that a revised front fascia would be part of the refresh, but wouldn't reveal anymore.

    "I think it's a good car. It'll do OK. It is a tough segment and it's one we need to be successful in. We'll see how it plays out," Akerson said.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at [email protected] or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    The SS/Impala front and rear clips are almost a given

    Perhaps redesigned seat cushions to eek out a few tenths of an inch of rear legroom.

    Maybe they replace the strakes on the dashboard (which i actually like) with a piece of plood or brushed plaluminum that fills it.

    I wouldnt expect much change in the way of powertrains

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    They could dish out the back seat like they did on the ATS to make it seem roomier too. They're probably going to do something about that strafe across the dash and the ridiculous plood and trowel applied chrome while they're at it.

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    Thisis the refresh I had been asking for here. This will help lot.

    The Bu overall is not a bad car it just is a dated car as it was delayed by the chapter 11. By the time it made it to market the styling was dated and the compitition had moved on.

    The styling will solve a great issue and I agree the dished seats would help address back seat room with only a upgrade of 2 seat backs. My 08 seats are dished too.

    The powertrains are already being addressed as the Eco launch was the wong choice. They just now need to tell someone about it so they just don't thing the ECO is all there is.

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    Well darn it I said this would happen. Launching this car with the ineffective, expensive, space-robbing, CRAPPY eek-assist did nothing but confuse customers.

    I don't think this is a bad car with the 2.5L, but they blew their marketing wad with the pissy Eco model at launch.

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    Thisis the refresh I had been asking for here. This will help lot.

    The Bu overall is not a bad car it just is a dated car as it was delayed by the chapter 11. By the time it made it to market the styling was dated and the compitition had moved on.

    The styling will solve a great issue and I agree the dished seats would help address back seat room with only a upgrade of 2 seat backs. My 08 seats are dished too.

    The powertrains are already being addressed as the Eco launch was the wong choice. They just now need to tell someone about it so they just don't thing the ECO is all there is.

    This Malibu was not delayed by bankruptcy. Previous gen Malibu was release in 2007 as a 2008, won COTY in 2008. Bankruptcy took place in 2009, the car was in its second MY. Work for this Malibu started after the bankruptcy. GM wronged this car no need to offer excuses.

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    Thisis the refresh I had been asking for here. This will help lot.

    The Bu overall is not a bad car it just is a dated car as it was delayed by the chapter 11. By the time it made it to market the styling was dated and the compitition had moved on.

    The styling will solve a great issue and I agree the dished seats would help address back seat room with only a upgrade of 2 seat backs. My 08 seats are dished too.

    The powertrains are already being addressed as the Eco launch was the wong choice. They just now need to tell someone about it so they just don't thing the ECO is all there is.

    This Malibu was not delayed by bankruptcy. Previous gen Malibu was release in 2007 as a 2008, won COTY in 2008. Bankruptcy took place in 2009, the car was in its second MY. Work for this Malibu started after the bankruptcy. GM wronged this car no need to offer excuses.

    The new one was shown to the press long ago and it was put on the shelf till other projects like the Cruze and some other projects were done. Most of this work was done pre chapter 11 like the ZL1 and other products and pulled back to be finished when they got the money and man power to do it. The Malibu came late mostly due to the decent sales of the last one. The Cobalt and old Delta could not wait.

    They then put a rush on it as it was not ready as soon as they had liked to had it.

    If I recall they showed this car to the press around 09 to the press and they loved it but could not give details. Since then it did not age well.

    No need for excuses as that is what happened and they screwed up by not taking the time to finish it right or launching properly. No company hits them all out of the park and if they are smart they fix the mistakes fast as like Honda did.

    I wonder if there's merit to quietly killing the Eco as is and eventually replacing it with the diesel that's slated for the Cruze.

    Or just keep it the Eco and fix it with the Diesel. That is if anyone would buy it? I still have some fear and hope I am wrong.

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    the way chevy needs to look at this is from a sales guy point of view (trust me, if a shopper has an objection- real or put in their head by the public or press- you just can't really get over it until you gash the price.

    so, let's look at perhaps each of the biggest Malibu objections.

    rear seat room. this actually is part of a larger packaging problem. a looksy under the hood reveals probably close to a foot of open air between the engine and radiator. imagine what that room would do in the backseat. now though, all they can do is fix soft things. the rear seat positions are designed in with the crash structure and air bags. GM's seats are really bulky and thick, and have intrusive mounting points. there is no footspace, and typically GM roofs are low. there are too many problems here. But look at the new Fusion seats, very thin. If Chevy could redesign the front seats to be less bulky and return room to the back....dish out the rear seatback a little farther, and get the seat mounts off the floor to provide a flat and long surface to stretch out your feet, then they could steal two or three inches of room. It still does not fix poor ingress and egress. But at least it begins to diminish the sales objection of the back seat being useless, if it's the only objection. I think Ford improved the rear seat on the contour when they had the similar problem. The difficulty is in doing it within a body with a diving roofline and a fixed rear shelf.

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    mpg- i have a hard time believing that in real world usage, the new malibu has a significant deficit over competition. But it lacks a high mpg figure on the highway. 26 combined is quite good! But the highway is 34. Altima is 38, Like realtors and square footage for homes, the competitive battle is often reduced to things that are easy for boneheads to compare. MPG is the new horsepower. Maybe we need the 8 speed auto pronto.. Maybe the Eco model should be a 1.6t. Current Eco should top 40 mpg to really make a marketing splash.

    Warranty and price - again, misleading. Chevy has a big powertrain warranty. But that and the BTB cannot match the hyperbole of the Hyundai.

    Styling- unfortunately a good design concept is hampered by the short wheelbase epsilon architecture. Lesser overhangs, a more aggressive windshield, longer wheelbase, shorter hood and trunk may have helped this car a lot. As it is, they did quite well with what they could. The interior is improved over the past but maybe not enough. At this point there is not a lot you can fix to run out the model.....just knock em dead on the next one.

    Electrification- current stop start is a great idea (as long as I can defeat it). But it doesn't compete as a hybrid. Chevy, despite the Volt, needs a hybrid malibu....or a larger volt.

    Price- all new cars are getting too pricey. But GM pushes it luck more than most with ambitious pricing. GM needs to play dirty with the biggest market whore and really pimp out incentives, leasing, financing and great MSRP on this volume model.

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    When you CEO says the car is OK but the refresh will be OK as it is a segment they need to compete in, this does not leave me with a rosy feeling that they are in it to win it.

    Some times I wonder if GM should not be broken up into 3 car companies Chevy, Buick/GMC and Cadillac. Ohh wait they are supposed to be that with the power to reduce costs as they bring out better product.

    Still waiting on this for some models.

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    Thisis the refresh I had been asking for here. This will help lot.

    The Bu overall is not a bad car it just is a dated car as it was delayed by the chapter 11. By the time it made it to market the styling was dated and the compitition had moved on.

    The styling will solve a great issue and I agree the dished seats would help address back seat room with only a upgrade of 2 seat backs. My 08 seats are dished too.

    The powertrains are already being addressed as the Eco launch was the wong choice. They just now need to tell someone about it so they just don't thing the ECO is all there is.

    This Malibu was not delayed by bankruptcy. Previous gen Malibu was release in 2007 as a 2008, won COTY in 2008. Bankruptcy took place in 2009, the car was in its second MY. Work for this Malibu started after the bankruptcy. GM wronged this car no need to offer excuses.

    The new one was shown to the press long ago and it was put on the shelf till other projects like the Cruze and some other projects were done. Most of this work was done pre chapter 11 like the ZL1 and other products and pulled back to be finished when they got the money and man power to do it. The Malibu came late mostly due to the decent sales of the last one. The Cobalt and old Delta could not wait.

    They then put a rush on it as it was not ready as soon as they had liked to had it.

    If I recall they showed this car to the press around 09 to the press and they loved it but could not give details. Since then it did not age well.

    No need for excuses as that is what happened and they screwed up by not taking the time to finish it right or launching properly. No company hits them all out of the park and if they are smart they fix the mistakes fast as like Honda did.

    Partially true Hyper, the design was shown in 2009, post bankruptcy to the journalists. The fact is GM's efforts in this car have been ho-hum and lack of attention to details.

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    I counter that it was a good car in 2010 but we are now into the 2013 MY and a lot has changed at the other brands.

    I feel they just sat on what they had in 2009 and did not advance the design as they should have.

    The other factor is this car in LTZ trim and a Turbo engine is a much different car vs the Eco and the Eco set the wrong Image of this car from the start. Too few people have ever seen a LTZ Malibu.

    Also the Cruze came along and raised expectations even more. Even the Eco Cruze is so much more than what the Eco Malbu turned out to be. The greatest sin the Malibu commited is being a car 3 years behind the market.

    Still the leg room has no excuse after the previous model.

    The bottom line is GM and Chevy have all the chips on this one and they picked the number that came up on the last spin. I just hope the refresh is enough to get them back into the present MY.

    Edited by hyperv6
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    LTZ plus 19 inch wheels really is a knockout.

    Turbo, if they ADVERTISE IT and keep the price within reach, I think will bring new buyers in looking at the Malibu as more of a budget sport sedan. How about a nonsense turbo sedan.......18's or the 19 inch wheels, heated cloth seats, available MT?

    Play with the interior some and see if you can introduce some european austerity, give it the cheap sport package....heck let's make a 2.5 sport package also. The 2.5 is quite nice.

    All the competition has become dramamine, it's time for Chevy to bring the swagger back to this class. IMHO something akin to the original Taurus SHO or something that can outdrive the Accord (and trust me the press gushing over the accord is way overdone).

    I have a feeling an 8 speed tranny would help the car a lot with mpg numbers.

    A 1.6t Eco with some lightened bits ala Cruze Eco might be a neat trick too. Although its not like there is a cheaper version of a rear suspension to stuff in there. But take a base 2.5, find 100 pounds to lose, gear top gear for high speed cruising, give it stop start also, now you are talking.

    The key for a Malibu will always be how good a deal will it sell for. More than ever now. Currently all the other competitors are whoring out their cars with cheap leases and crazy give away incentives. Malibu's MSRPs are too high and so yes they need incentives like everyone else to move. I have no problem with GM cheap leasing the car or throwing 1500 on the hood. If there is one car besides the Cruze that GM needs to sell buckets of, its a Malibu. And Malibu + Impala sales together has always been GM's tack. But Malibu from 14 on will have a greater chance of taking away a sale from a midsize competitor than the 14+ Impala will.

    I have no problem with this Malibu getting fleeted also.

    Where can a Malibu lose 100 pounds? Wheels and tires could find 20-25 pounds. Seats, 5-10 pounds. Wiring, 5-10 pounds. A couple aluminum panels, 10 pounds. That's about 50 right there.

    Edited by regfootball
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    I agree that this car could have swagger if they do a sports package like Ford did the SHO on the Taurus. As far as reducing weight to help get the MPG up, make the front nose and rear trunk all alumin so it becomes one large crumple zone to protect the people inside. Yes more expensive to fix, but very safe and should easily reduce weight.

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    I really don't understand the interior is over styled statement other than the wood not looking convincing enough maybe. It is a refreshing change from the dull drab over used gray in the Camry's and the excessive black lung of the Fusion/Mazda6 etc. Replacing the turd 2.4 eAssist with the 1.6 turbo would not only save costs and complexity but would also make the car lighter and open up the trunk so it;s like the other non Eco models. It would be a win win. The rear seat issue should not be all that difficult to deal with. Just scallop out the rear seat backs a little and mount the seat up an inch or so higher for toe space.

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    Not so much a SVO package that only 10,000 people will buy but do some things to the LT that nearly everyone buys.

    So your saying a Hopped up LT package that is just under being an SS package?

    No I am saying make the LT a much more attractive package at a good value.

    The 08 LT2 I have now is a great value. I had priced a LTZ that Stickered at $31K and the dealer would only come to $28K.

    I found a LT2 Loaded less other less only the sun roof that Stickered at $27k and I was able to buy it right at $20K. It was model year end so that is part of the great discount and incentives GM offered also my GM card money. Now the LT2 came with the V6, 17" wheels and tires and nearly all you could need or want in a mid size passenger sedan.

    The fact is the Malibu is not a performance car but it is a mid sized car that needs to perform well and get good MPG. This segment is not about high performance it is about value, MPG and quality.

    Now a SS would be nice but lets face it even if they did one it would not sell in great numbers and it would be expesive.

    My hunch is since the Malibu and Regal on based on a older Opel they will get a new platform before long. The key now it to make a attractive package that would kill the others in this group price wise and still make money. GM can work deals here as if they can increase volume they will make up the profits.

    Look around at the older Malibu and how well it sold. If you take note most were 2.4 engines and LT1 or LT2 packages. Most V6 models were LTZ and a handful of LT2 with the V6 package deal GM offered.

    If you want to know what engine just count the tail pipes or note the lack of 17" wheels.

    I think a well optioned LT2-3 will be the path to the Malibu salvaging the future along with the refresh improvments.

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    I really don't understand the interior is over styled statement other than the wood not looking convincing enough maybe. It is a refreshing change from the dull drab over used gray in the Camry's and the excessive black lung of the Fusion/Mazda6 etc. Replacing the turd 2.4 eAssist with the 1.6 turbo would not only save costs and complexity but would also make the car lighter and open up the trunk so it;s like the other non Eco models. It would be a win win. The rear seat issue should not be all that difficult to deal with. Just scallop out the rear seat backs a little and mount the seat up an inch or so higher for toe space.

    ...for truth

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    Not so much a SVO package that only 10,000 people will buy but do some things to the LT that nearly everyone buys.

    disagree. some sort of sport trim could really distinguish this car. it's not like they couldn't do improvements to the other trims.

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    The fascias don't really need help, from both an aesthetic and practical standpoint the car's problem is more than skin deep: its the shorter wheelbase. Not only is it down on rear legroom, but the proportions are all off. I've been saying that since day 1 though.

    08-Chevy-Malibu.jpg

    doingitright

    2012-Malibu-Korea-00803-thumb-530x352-15473.jpg

    doingitwrong.

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    Not so much a SVO package that only 10,000 people will buy but do some things to the LT that nearly everyone buys.

    disagree. some sort of sport trim could really distinguish this car. it's not like they couldn't do improvements to the other trims.

    I have no issue with a sport trim like the RS on the Cruze that could be added to a LT. I just see little need for a full blown SS that would end up costing as much as a GS and selling in numbers less than 10,000 units when the LT needs reworked in bing just a better car in class.

    If you can't make people in the center of this segment buy your car now making it faster is not going to fix it as that is not what they are looking for.

    Besides they already have the other Turbo that does fine just make it readlily available if you want it.

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    Interesting but looking at the two pictures, I like the silver car stance and just something about it flows right. The marron car just reminds me of a camry and carries the wrong stance.

    What really hurt the new car is the nose. It looks old and they had make it taller for the new crash standards in some countries. It almost looks like they has designed the car for another nose and then grafted this one on when they got the new rules.

    The old car flows well as I can feel it when you wash the car. The sweep of the roof line is graceful. But it has its faults too as the rear looks like they go to the tail and ran out of time and money to finish it. I never have liked the tail lights.

    I am hopeing they can redo the nose with the new face and better fit it with the car.

    This is not the only car with tall nose issues. Even the Fords look ok but they would look much better with a few inches lower in the hood area. The Tuarus looks almost SUV like coming at you. Then the rest of the car was made so tall to compensate for the tall nose.

    Edited by hyperv6
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    Interesting but looking at the two pictures, I like the silver car stance and just something about it flows right. The marron car just reminds me of a camry and carries the wrong stance.

    What really hurt the new car is the nose. It looks old and they had make it taller for the new crash standards in some countries. It almost looks like they has designed the car for another nose and then grafted this one on when they got the new rules.

    The old car flows well as I can feel it when you wash the car. The sweep of the roof line is graceful. But it has its faults too as the rear looks like they go to the tail and ran out of time and money to finish it. I never have liked the tail lights.

    I am hopeing they can redo the nose with the new face and better fit it with the car.

    This is not the only car with tall nose issues. Even the Fords look ok but they would look much better with a few inches lower in the hood area. The Tuarus looks almost SUV like coming at you. Then the rest of the car was made so tall to compensate for the tall nose.

    Your right it is that nose that is higher and gives the car a brick like stance. Some of the rules/regulations are killing design flow for an issue that affects less than 1/10th of 1% if even that. The gov's around the world are so trying to protect to the point of actually hurting the drive of humanity to take any risk at all.

    How will we ever get out into space to explore if we are so scared of hitting a person who runs out in front of an auto.

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    The 2008 model still looks great. The 2013 looks...well, "Japanese". I don't mean that in any kind of ethnic sense, I mean it in the sense of Honda-ish or Toyota-ish (emphasis on "ish"). Even the taillights look like they were cribbed from a Corolla to me.

    The styling, the rear seat squeeze, and the lack of an affordable V6 option have conspired to take the new Malibu completely out of the running for me.

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    The old car flows well as I can feel it when you wash the car. The sweep of the roof line is graceful. But it has its faults too as the rear looks like they go to the tail and ran out of time and money to finish it. I never have liked the tail lights.

    Can't agree with this. Rear end is crisply & appropriately truncated, works very well with the overall design. I get zero 'we ran out of money/time' feel to it, that's a bit of an overstatement. Overall, this gen Malibu is a modern classic, IMO.

    I believe the tails are just too different from usual Chevy-esque lights for most folk, because the multi-segment shape is a LOT of modern vehicles, chief among them many of the older bmw 3-series. I have no aesthetic issue with them (tho we do have an '09 in the driveway).

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    A few thoughts:

    • The shorter wheelbase, unforunately, is here to stay to prevent size overlap with the 2014 Impala. The wheelbase isn't the issue; the issue is that GM tried to apply design principals that would've worked fairly well on the old wheelbase to the new one.
    • The previous-generation Malibu had a better flow to its design due in part to its perpendicular, more horizontal lines. I think the new car feels dated because it tries to be "wedgier." Sadly, there isn't much you can do here without reskinning almost the entire car.
    • Lowering the ride height by at least a half inch would certainly help the stance of the car. The old Malibu had a decent stance and ride height. The new car feels like a step back to pre-bankruptcy GM cars here. Remember the "four-by four" ride height on cars like the old Cobalt?

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    Well here is where we are at.

    The new car gives me the vibe as if the car was styles and then the new Hood to Engine space as added. I am sure that is not the case but keep in mind this styling was done at least in 06-07.

    Either way the nose and the rest of the car just do not work together.

    Second todays cars are getting taller for several reasons and two are side crash standards and the hood standars. Most are having issues adapting styling too it but some have figured it out. Ford on the Fusuion has a high hood but the car is tall all the way around to keep it in porprortion. The hood also has a continused slope to the fron and sides to give the effect it is jot as tall.

    Lowering the Malibu even an inch would not change the visual effect of the nose. The real issue here is most of the Bu's we have seen have the smaller wheels and the older car also had a more clamp down roof that many complained about head room on.

    I found it telling that even Automobile Magazine in the most recent issue stated on the BU. "Bankruptcy delayed development. What would have been class leading 2 years ago is now only competent."

    I am not sure if they could fix the nose entirely with just a front clip but I feel they could make enough change to buy time for the rest to be changes when the next one comes along. I know they can help the rear leg room but the question is will they. Just using the seat back from my 08 would solve the issue.

    The Cruze is proof that a well built car even without a true sports package can sell in great numbers and proof that this car could too with some changes. I think GM knew this car was dated when they pushed the release up and that is also why the refresh is also so far along. I suspect they knew they were running out of time and either had to risk bringing this car out ASAP or having to go back and start over and get stuck with the old car for 2-3 years longer.

    Haviing lived with the old Bu this is what I can tell you first hand. The flow stops and looks unfinished. Though the trunk is large the deck lid is so short it limits much of what you can put in that is very thick or tall. The Tail Lights speak little to Chevy and look unfinished. But in this era most Chevys had poor or unimaginative tailights. I am not saying the old one was horrible but I think we all could easily admit they could have done a much better job on the tail lights.

    The case is at times while different is good it does not always work well unless you have a good design. The Aztek was not like anything else on the market in class too but was that a good idea?

    As for looking "Japanese". we can stop that think anymore as there sadly are little national styling anymore. The companies are working globally and the customers have pretty much taken to any automaker regaurdless of the nation or origin.

    We now have Koreans desiging Camaro's and Americans over seeing Korean cars while Germans are now styling Mazda's. Styling is now global and with cars getting smaller with more regulation more difficult to design cars. When you have simply less canvas and a smaller box to work with you get what we are getting. The abilty to creat flow has been diminished. The more stylish you make a smaller car the more limited you become in head room, storage space, ground clearance etc.

    All this car needs to do is this.

    Look good ]great is not required in this segment just unoffensive.

    Practical for daily use.

    Good on MPG with average power.

    Cost to be in line with the others and if you can under cut it all the better.

    Reliable to a fault. No mistakes or massive recalls here. This is a car someone can drive for 8+ years and never have a problem kind of car or major required work needed other than brakes, tires and oil changes.

    Also this is a class where a little flash will get you noticed but don't over do it. This is not a class where people care to stand out as if they were driving a show car. While many here complain about plain the truth is in this segment that is what many seek. This is not a C&G car and not one that many here should love. We should like it for the reason it is here but I would suspect few of us would rush out and want to buy one. The one I own we bought for my mother and she move from a Le Sabre to it and just loves it. Though she was worried when she chose the crystal red was too much and here friends would say she was too old for that color. That is some of the crazy thinking many in this segment use and they do not think like us. If the Bu was built to our standards it would be too expensive, ride harsh and the owners would hit their heads getting in and tear the air dam off pulling into a parking space on the curb. These are things we all over look with glee but the average buyer hates. Car buyers are about as split as the Democrates and Republicans.

    Edited by hyperv6
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    An RS package a la Cruze, would compete with Fusion SE Sport, Camry SE and Accord's new Sport model. It doesn't have to offer real performance gains in this segment, it just has to project an image of sportiness to satisfy. That is what I want to happen, and what I feel is most likely to happen in production as opposed to an all-out SS.

    I like the retro style of the new Malibu except for the jutting taillight treatment. I respect the quad Chevy taillamp archetype, but I think it was handled badly here. A 2014 Impala-esque face and less prominent taillights in a quad style would be enough for me as far as styling changes.

    As far as legroom, I agree with those that say a hollowed out front seat with foot room underneath might be the only solution on this wheelbase. I see nothing wrong with the rest of the interior. It is refreshing to see some distinction on interior design.

    Edited by ocnblu
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    I agree the RS like package offered with the Turbo option on a LT would be all you need here.

    If you offered an all out SS based on the GS you would end up with a Malibu that stickers at $35K and about 5K in sales. Save the mid size performance version for a possible Alpha sedan down the road sharing the bits from the coming Camaro.

    Now if if the new Malibu was on the Alpha I would say hell yes as a RWD SS would have a lot of appeal.

    In due time I am sure we will have no options other than a FWD performanc sedan at the rate things are going in 15 years.

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    This car should be of interest to anyone that loves GM cars or at least some of GM's cars. This is the kind of car that make things like the Camaro, Corvette, Super Sport and many other fun cars possible. If GM tanks on the volume cars that pay the bills the first thing they do is pare back on the cool things they do with the fun cars.

    The way the Malibu, Cruze and Sonic go the way Chevy goes no sales no cash flow. Sorry I also have to add trucks sales too.

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    >>"I found it telling that even Automobile Magazine in the most recent issue stated on the BU. "Bankruptcy delayed development. What would have been class leading 2 years ago is now only competent.""<<

    Do not overlook the fact that publications (paper or cyber) have a prime vested interest in portraying "The New" in order to move copy. Fact of the matter is, while there has been some degree of lateral movement in car design since 2011, we've had no forward movement. Malibu is clear evidence of moving backward, in fact.

    The position that a car built in 2011 is no longer "competitive" may speak to the OCD test-drive junkie, but it's laughable to 98% of the vehicle consumer pool. The 'competition gap' within a given year's vehicles are closer than ever in design, safety, reliability, economy, & amenities now, COO included. I would extend that to include a 5-yr span of model years, for the most part.

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    When you CEO says the car is OK but the refresh will be OK as it is a segment they need to compete in, this does not leave me with a rosy feeling that they are in it to win it.

    Agreed. This is a segment that GM never seems to go all in on. It is the biggest segment in the auto industry and GM comes out with a less than mediocre 2004 Malibu, an average 2008 Malibu, and a sub-par 2013 Malibu. They need to put way more focus on the Malibu, it should be seen as the most important vehicle in all of GM, but it isn't.

    They almost need to blow it up and start over, a refresh of crap is not going to compete with the 400,000 units a year Camry.

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    ^ Camry is crap in all categories but sheer mass mainstream quantity. Not sure that's what GM should focus on as a prime directive.

    And the '08 Malibu was certainly above 'average' (just not in volume).

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    Problem with the Malibu is beyond a sport or LTZ or Eco trim, it is that the car overall isn't that good, and the consumer perception of the Malibu is poor at best. The Camry and Accord have legendary reputations, they can sell on that alone. The Sonata, Optima and Fusion have great looks, great feature content, great driving dynamics which helps them sell cars. Plus the Altima is the #5 selling vehicle in 2012, another good product with a good reputation.

    The car basically needs restyled inside and out, better build quality and more marketing. They barely advertise it, and the ads are weak, the car is so bland there is nothing even to put in the ads to lure buyers in. I think the warranty needs to be bigger too, perhaps doubled, because people buy Toyota/Honda due to belief in low ownership cost and reliability, Hyundai used a mega warranty to combat that, Chevy needs to also.

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    ^ Camry is crap in all categories but sheer mass mainstream quantity. Not sure that's what GM should focus on as a prime directive.

    And the '08 Malibu was certainly above 'average' (just not in volume).

    It may be, but it is the #3 selling vehicle in the country behind the F150 and Silverado. So why does it sell? Consumers know and trust it. I'm not saying Chevy should make the Malibu drive like a Camry, but they need to build in the consumer confidence.

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    Camry doesn't sell on 'confidence', it sells to automatons too lazy to do a lick of research. If consumerism was based remotely on things that consumers supposedly value, like reliability & quality, the camry would be moving 1/10th it's volume. It's crap, but in many walks of consumerism, crap sells.

    I haven't been in the current Malibu, but the prior gen drives more engagingly than the camrys I've been in, so that's not it.

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    Camry doesn't sell on 'confidence', it sells to automatons too lazy to do a lick of research. If consumerism was based remotely on things that consumers supposedly value, like reliability & quality, the camry would be moving 1/10th it's volume. It's crap, but in many walks of consumerism, crap sells.

    I haven't been in the current Malibu, but the prior gen drives more engagingly than the camrys I've been in, so that's not it.

    Exactly, seems way to many humans are happy to be a lemming.

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    One does not question why they buy one just gives them what they want if they want to sell volume.

    The market as a whole today is far from enthusiast driven and when looking at this segment we much not think so much as auto enthusiast but as general consumers.

    Many buying here just want MPG proven by Honda, Quality as proven [not so much today but in the past] by Toyota and they would like value price as proven by Hyundai. All these companies enjoy a preception of all these values. GM has yet to win in any one of these values in this class. Now they have with the Cruze with near 200,000 sold.

    The only sin with this car was it was designed a while ago and GM took the chance bringing it to market late after everyone else moved on from the party. like stated in the magazine this was a class leader 2 years ago. The fact is anything can be fixed it just takes time, money, man power and the want to do it. The question is how soon does GM plan to want to do this?

    I am not sure who had to call the shot here but they were at a point do you risk selling the old car for a few more years or do you take a chance on the new car that is already outdated and avoid the delay. Some how I suspect this refresh was already in the works as fast as it is coming and they kind of expected this. Kind of a damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    I know much of their efforts were put into the trucks and the new Impala that was way too old. I almost think they should have just refreshed the old car for a couple years and fixed this one before it came out. I am sure not everyone at GM was happy about putting this car out as it was but not it is what it is so fix it.

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