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    Chevrolet Trims The Price Of The Malibu For A Better Position In Searches


    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    February 11, 2013

    Chevrolet has cut the price of the 2013 Malibu as part of an effort to entice consumers to look at it and not competitors such as the Toyota Camry.

    The base price of the base Malibu LS saw its price drop $345 to $22,805 (including shipping), which undercuts the base Camry’s price by $235. The Malibu 2LT and Eco trims dropped $300, while up to $770 was cut from the LT.

    "We did it in order to try to generate more potential traffic on the car both on the websites as well as dealers but I can't tell you that January itself was a big change just because of that. It recognizes the competitiveness of the segment and ensures that we remain on the shopping list," said Russ Clark, marketing director for the Malibu.

    When the price drops when into effect in January, Malibu sales increased 7.8%.

    Source: Bloomberg

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    I am still very flabberghasted on the whole idea of this being an outclassed and uncompetitive car. There is a degree of correctness to the idea that the car is not say, one of the top 3 finishers in the segment. However, the deficiencies are blown way out of proportion and really most of the bad rap this car got was due to the Eco coming out first.

    Now GM does have a penchant for overpricing their cars, but usually they make up for it with rebates. But if they are just now figuring out that it weeds out the MSRP shoppers (who are idiots by the way) to have the MSRP too high, then I say at least they are doing something about it.

    Strangely enough I went a drove the 13 malibu again this weekend (added some comments to my reader review if you want to go there and read it). I drove a 3LT turbo and the 1LT 2.5 again. If the turbo were the car that came out first and if the turbo were available in the 1LT, i think the whole price and success of the car would be a lot different. Even having the 2.5 out first would have helped.

    I actually got some lease quotes because of my GM card top off and we are actually on a another targeted incentive right now too. Those two incentives are 3k for me...which theoretically is not available to other customers. WOOT!

    Problem is it also coincides intentially with rather small general public rebates on the already overpriced car. Only like a 500 dollar incentive to Mr. Joe Blow.

    Lease pricing with my 3k of gifts for being special don't mean anything real different than when they have more aggressive general rebates on the car at other times of year.

    So the root problem is GM with their MSRP's and packaging sort of screws the pooch. And that tends to muddy up whether the car is actually competitive or not.

    I've driven all these in their current form

    -12 Passat

    -13 Altima

    -13 Accord

    -12 Sonata

    -12 Legacy

    -14 Mazda 6

    ---------it's not even fair to include a chrysler so i won't-------

    haven't driven the new Fusion yet, nor the Optima. But I doubt the Optima is drastically different than the Sonata. Me no drive Camrys.

    The Malibu's truly big flaw is the back seat and that is a completely fair and real complaint. Aside from that whatever it may be deficient in (and that's subjective on most counts against it) there is not as big a deficiency as the stupid buff books and such state.

    IOW, it's quite overblown. A new 13 BU turbo with the 19's and LTZ drove by my house yesterday and it was sexy. And from driving the turbo this weekend I say WOOT. That powertrain is so boss. So much sweeter than the v6 of old.

    Chevy will take care of a lot of the issues for 2014.

    Too much piling on on this car. It's not the crap they make it out to be.

    I do admit, it really would be tough to not lean oh so tiny much to a Verano at similar money.

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    The worst aspect is they shortened the wheelbase back to near where it was 2 generations back, cutting the rear seat legroom and making the rear door opening smaller....while Ford increased the wheelbase on the new Fusion to similar to the previous Malibu. Poor packaging decisions for what is supposed to be a volume family sedan. The Fusion just seems to be a better designed and styled car all around. Then in comparison w/ the import brands it comes up short as well.

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    I wouldn't knock the interior build quality on the 'bu. I have had a rental Fusion SE 2.0T and Malibu 1LT in the last two months and I was not impressed by the quality or fit/finish of the Fusion relative to the Malibu. Squeaks and rattles, some really cheap feeling finishes, a flaky headliner around the moonroof, some parts that had way too much give in them. Certainly inappropriate for a car with less than 3000 miles on the odometer. I will have a full writeup on my impressions on the new Fusion later this week (I generally liked it) but if there was one area the 2013 Malibu wholly outclasses the Fusion it's that.

    Edited by vonVeezelsnider
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    There is another flaw in fuel economy and yet another in weight and yet another in interior build quality.

    well, for some, the weight is a plus, if the vehicle feels more substantial on the road, or if the sheet metal is more dent resistant. If GM manages to reduce the weight of the next one, they will need to keep its upper in class road trip manners.

    fusion 2.5 and malibu 2.5 have identical mpg rating. fusion does offer one powerplan with better mpg but that's assuming it didn't start on fire. Base passat is not only a lot slower, is also not as good FE. the combined 26 epa is pretty close to the top competitors. For example the Sonata is a little better, but that assumes as a Hyundai it would meet its advertised mpg. New Accords and Altimas achieve eye popping mpg with CVT's but the ugly secret with CVT's is they are even more sensitive to how they are driven than regular automatics. Malibu mpg is among the best for those who like regular automatics.

    New Malibu's interior is smaller inside, that is the fatal flaw in that regard, depending on your tastes and the color it is in, is either better or worse for the rest. It is improved over the last gen. The new Fusion interior ain't great and the Passats look cheap in many ways also. Malibu for sure is better than a Camry inside. Malibu's leather is pretty good finally also. Malibu's center stack and mylink is among the best out there now.

    Altima's new interior is plasticky and creepy. The Korean twins won't win awards for interiors. Legacy, nothing to write home about.

    Mazda 6 probably has one of the nicest of the bunch interiors, if not the best. But the whole Mazda6 is not even a complete gimme in this class. Basically there are a lot of choices and none of the cars is the total package. If you pick one of these cars, its because you are brand loyal, or you like a few select things about one of them. Or you could just have gotten a better deal. If priced properly, once the rear seat is fixed and few other minor things are tended to, the car should do fine until they rush the next gen. The next Bu ought to have an all new platform.

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    The worst aspect is they shortened the wheelbase back to near where it was 2 generations back, cutting the rear seat legroom and making the rear door opening smaller....while Ford increased the wheelbase on the new Fusion to similar to the previous Malibu. Poor packaging decisions for what is supposed to be a volume family sedan. The Fusion just seems to be a better designed and styled car all around. Then in comparison w/ the import brands it comes up short as well.

    Ford did increase the WB but they have been criticized in spots for the 13 not having as much leg room as it should or the previous fusion. I wouldn't accuse the new Fusion of great packaging either.

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    I wouldn't knock the interior build quality on the 'bu. I have had a rental Fusion SE 2.0T and Malibu 1LT in the last two months and I was not impressed by the quality or fit/finish of the Fusion relative to the Malibu. Squeaks and rattles, some really cheap feeling finishes, a flaky headliner around the moonroof, some parts that had way too much give in them. Certainly inappropriate for a car with less than 3000 miles on the odometer. I will have a full writeup on my impressions on the new Fusion later this week (I generally liked it) but if there was one area the 2013 Malibu wholly outclasses the Fusion it's that.

    base fusion's cloth is atrocious and the interior plastic in the fusion is quite cheap too.

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    base fusion's cloth is atrocious and the interior plastic in the fusion is quite cheap too.

    base versions of most cars are usually crap and to be ignored. Cloth interiors today seem to be uniformly dreadful, at least ones I've sat in in recent years..

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    I wouldn't knock the interior build quality on the 'bu. I have had a rental Fusion SE 2.0T and Malibu 1LT in the last two months and I was not impressed by the quality or fit/finish of the Fusion relative to the Malibu. Squeaks and rattles, some really cheap feeling finishes, a flaky headliner around the moonroof, some parts that had way too much give in them. Certainly inappropriate for a car with less than 3000 miles on the odometer. I will have a full writeup on my impressions on the new Fusion later this week (I generally liked it) but if there was one area the 2013 Malibu wholly outclasses the Fusion it's that.

    base fusion's cloth is atrocious and the interior plastic in the fusion is quite cheap too.

    Mine had leather which was pretty nice but that don't excuse being able to flex the buttresses on the IP with little pressure from my knees

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    Here's part of the problem... MPG:

    Sonata 2.0T: 22/34

    Fusion 2.0T: 22/33

    Altima V6: 22/31

    Accord V6: 21/34

    Camry V6: 21/31

    Malibu 2.0T: 21/30

    Altima 2.5: 27/38

    Accord 2.4: 27/36

    Camry 2.5: 25/35

    Fusion 1.6: 24/37

    Sonata 2.4: 24/35

    Malibu 2.5: 22/34

    Accord Hybrid: 49/45

    Fusion Hybrid: 47/47

    Camry Hybrid: 43/39

    Malibu Eco: 25/37

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    Hopefully, these price adjustments will help. The car looks good, imo. Saw an ice blue 1LT at my former employers' lot and it really looked good.

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    Here's part of the problem... MPG:

    Sonata 2.0T: 22/34

    Fusion 2.0T: 22/33

    Altima V6: 22/31

    Accord V6: 21/34

    Camry V6: 21/31

    Malibu 2.0T: 21/30

    Altima 2.5: 27/38

    Accord 2.4: 27/36

    Camry 2.5: 25/35

    Fusion 1.6: 24/37

    Sonata 2.4: 24/35

    Malibu 2.5: 22/34

    Accord Hybrid: 49/45

    Fusion Hybrid: 47/47

    Camry Hybrid: 43/39

    Malibu Eco: 25/37

    conspicuously absent in your comparison are the combined EPA numbers, which are actually the closest to what real world drivers get. True, the Malibu in some cases is like 2 mpg short in combined, but the major takeaway here is no one consistently gets EPA highway, so we should see comparos on the combined as well.

    also curiously absent on your list are the legacy and passat, both of which get worse mpg than the malibu. both sell in sizeable numbers.

    all of those cars with higher mpg do achieve their greater numbers primarily through less weight of structure and sound deadening removal.

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    Here's part of the problem... MPG:

    Sonata 2.0T: 22/34

    Fusion 2.0T: 22/33

    Altima V6: 22/31

    Accord V6: 21/34

    Camry V6: 21/31

    Malibu 2.0T: 21/30

    Altima 2.5: 27/38

    Accord 2.4: 27/36

    Camry 2.5: 25/35

    Fusion 1.6: 24/37

    Sonata 2.4: 24/35

    Malibu 2.5: 22/34

    Accord Hybrid: 49/45

    Fusion Hybrid: 47/47

    Camry Hybrid: 43/39

    Malibu Eco: 25/37

    conspicuously absent in your comparison are the combined EPA numbers, which are actually the closest to what real world drivers get. True, the Malibu in some cases is like 2 mpg short in combined, but the major takeaway here is no one consistently gets EPA highway, so we should see comparos on the combined as well.

    also curiously absent on your list are the legacy and passat, both of which get worse mpg than the malibu. both sell in sizeable numbers.

    all of those cars with higher mpg do achieve their greater numbers primarily through less weight of structure and sound deadening removal.

    Combined numbers are made up of city and highway numbers, 55% and 45% respectively. Malibu is lowest for both types of driving, so the order would remain.

    I only included midsize sedans from high-volume automakers. I did forget Avenger/200, so I guess Malibu is second to lowest.

    Edited by pow
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    Those price cuts won't be enough to move more cars. The segment is too competitive and the Malibu is not up to the task.

    There are several problems, one the car doesn't stand out. The 2013 Fusion or the 2011 Sonata when it came out had "Wow" styling that grabbed a ton of attention, this allows them to bring in new buyers, plus they both have full hybrids and Hyundai/Kia launched with best in class base fuel economy and their 2.0T crushed the V6s on fuel economy. So those cars made a big splash and got recognized.

    Second problem, the Camry and Accord are both new designs, and both have bullet-proof reputations. Like it or not, people will buy Camry and Accords just because of the name and their mind can't be changed. So some % of buyers will never give a domestic car a chance.

    Third problem, the Passat dropped in price, there is a new Altima, new Mazda 6. There is more competition than ever, and I feel like the 2008 Malibu was at least competitive when it came out, but this 2013 car launched already way behind the pack. This car is struggling now, imagine 5 years from now when it is still on the market how dated it will be, better get the fleet sales ready.

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    Fusion and Malibu are a wash for standard powertrains.

    For a buyer who will not choose a CVT powertrain, that eliminates the Accord and Altima.

    WHat's left then is the new Mazda6, which previously only was 21/30. The Camry and Sonata may be what, 6-7% better?

    For the uplevel powertrains, if you are spending a lot extra money, mpg is not as big a factor, because if you are spending 8 grand more over a base car, you can afford the cost of fuel difference between say the Fusion 2.0t and Malibu 2.0t.

    The combined of 26 and the highway of 34 is enough that that one single piece will not be the lone deciding factor to remove the Malibu from the discussion. Especially when a car like the Passat which is much slower, runs crappy, and such sells well and has even less mpg.

    The Japanese 3 of Nissan Honda and Toyota really sell on rep more than anything. Until chevy can crack that group, that has a lot more to do with the sales of the car than a 6% difference in FE. A lot of times FE cost can be made up in insurance cost, etc.

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    Fuel economy is a small factor, the Malibu doesn't sell because it isn't any good. The Malibu could get 50 mpg and the Camry will outsell it.

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    Sonata and Fusion have it mostly right.

    a 2.5 for the base and high volume / value car.

    a hybrid, real hybrid.

    a 2.0t for performance.

    Chevy should get a real hybrid, that would help. An 8 speed auto might help with FE on the others.

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    Sonata and Fusion have it mostly right.

    a 2.5 for the base and high volume / value car.

    a hybrid, real hybrid.

    a 2.0t for performance.

    Chevy should get a real hybrid, that would help. An 8 speed auto might help with FE on the others.

    Engine and transmission are a start, then chassis and suspension improvements are needed, longer wheelbase, better exterior design, more interior room, more refinement, better build quality. Basically make a whole new car.

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    Engine and transmission are a start, then chassis and suspension improvements are needed, longer wheelbase, better exterior design, more interior room, more refinement, better build quality. Basically make a whole new car.

    Problem is, with Epsilon II they can't make the wheelbase much longer because then they would run into the Impala....of course, the Fusion has a longer wheelbase than both the 'short' and 'long' wheelbase versions of Epsy Dos. Weak..with Epsilon II GM has downsized to 1990 era mid- and full- size FWD wheelbases.

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    2004 Malibu had the short epsilon wheelbase, but did not have the same rear seat room issues. 2004 Malibu rear seat and trunk were both pretty decent.

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    Fusion and Malibu are a wash for standard powertrains.

    For a buyer who will not choose a CVT powertrain, that eliminates the Accord and Altima.

    Altima has been running with a CVT for a generation now and Honda buyers will buy anything Honda spoon feeds them. I don't think there will be much anti-CVT sentiment out there much longer.

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    Fusion and Malibu are a wash for standard powertrains.

    For a buyer who will not choose a CVT powertrain, that eliminates the Accord and Altima.

    Altima has been running with a CVT for a generation now and Honda buyers will buy anything Honda spoon feeds them. I don't think there will be much anti-CVT sentiment out there much longer.

    I agree with Drew, the lemmings who buy Nissan and Honda will just node their head OK and buy what ever they have been given. They will never question the wisdom of those companies. They drank far too much coolaid.

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    • By William Maley
      American automakers haven’t been known for building good compact vehicles. Previous attempts have faltered when compared to those from the likes of Honda, Mazda, and Toyota. But this perception began to change when Ford brought out the Focus in 2000. It seemed progress was being made in making a decent compact vehicle thanks to their European branch helping out. Seeing this, GM decided to follow the same path. They called in their Korean and European offices to help out with the development of a new model known as Cruze. The vehicle proved to be a massive improvement from the Cobalt as it got the basics right such as fuel economy and overall interior space. Yes, the Cruze was lacking in some key areas such as design and driving fun. But it was light years ahead of GM’s previous attempts at a compact vehicle.
      When it came time to work on the next-generation Cruze, Chevrolet knew they had a good starting point and only needed to make improvements to make the model a real contender in the class. Let’s see if that has panned out or not.
      Dare I say the new Cruze is a sharp looking compact? Yes, but to a point. It is clear that Chevrolet’s design team took a lot of inspiration from the Volt PHEV when working on the second-generation Cruze. The overall profile and certain lines of the Volt appear on the Cruze. The front end features Chevrolet’s new tiered-grille and a set of slimmer headlights. Where the Cruze’s design falls flat is in the back. It seems Chevrolet’s designers really couldn’t be bothered to do something special. There two ways you can fix this. You can either go with the Cruze hatchback which to our eyes looks so much better thanks to the longer roofline and tailgate, or opting for the RS appearance package which dresses up the back with a more aggressive bumper. The RS package also adds mesh grille inserts, and sporty looking wheels - 18-inch ones on our Premier tester.
      Moving inside, Chevrolet has put a lot of effort in making the Cruze a nice place to sit in. Many surfaces are covered with high-quality materials and feature some unique touches such as a curving character line on the dashboard. Making yourself comfortable is quite easy thanks to eight-way power adjustments for the driver and a tilt-telescoping steering wheel. The front passenger has to make do with manual adjustments. In the back, there is enough legroom for most passengers. Headroom is slightly tight if you decide to get a sunroof. One nice item for those sitting in the back is the option of heated seats.
      One area Chevrolet is using as a selling point for the Cruze is technology. All Cruzes get a seven-inch touchscreen with Chevrolet MyLink and compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi also comes standard across the board. Our Premier tester came with the optional 8-inch touchscreen with navigation. MyLink has been a source of frustration in many of Chevrolet vehicles we have reviewed, but it seems they are starting to get its act together. Overall performance has seen a slight improvement with transitions into various functions being snappy. The navigation system still has some performance issues as it slows down when zooming in or out. Chevrolet has also fixed some of the bugs with their Apple CarPlay integration. We saw no issues of slowdown or apps crashing whenever we had CarPlay up.
      Under the Cruze’s hood is a turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder with 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission choice if you get the Premier. Anything below and you have the choice of the automatic or a six-speed manual. A diesel engine is coming later this year. The performance figures for the turbo 1.4L will not knock the socks off of anyone - 0-60 mph time of just over eight seconds. But you won’t think the Cruze is a slowpoke thanks the engine having a lot of low-end grunt. The vehicle leaps forward when leaving a stop and doesn’t feel that it is going to run out of breath. It doesn’t hurt Chevrolet has dropped almost 300 pounds from the new model. The six-speed automatic is quick to upshift to maximize fuel economy, but the same cannot be said for downshifts. It takes a moment or two for the automatic to go down a gear when you step on the accelerator.
      The turbo 1.4 comes with an auto stop-start system as standard. The system is quick to start the engine back up whenever you take your foot off the brake. One item that will irk some people is that you cannot turn off the stop-start system.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze stand at 29 City/39 Highway/33 Combined for the Premier sedan. Our average for the week landed around 31.2 mpg. The L, LS, and LT sedan get slightly higher fuel economy figures of 28/39/32 for the manual and 30/40/34 for the automatic.
      It seems most compacts are trying to outdo one another in terms of offering the best driving experience. So it is a bit of fresh air that Chevrolet has decided to skip this and make the Cruze ride like a bigger car. The suspension provides a cushy ride with most bumps being ironed out. Road and wind noise are kept to almost silent levels. Handling is competent in the class as the Cruze shows little body roll. However, the steering is too light in terms of feel and weight when driven enthusiastically.
      Chevrolet’s previous attempts at a compact vehicle have ranged from the punchline to a bad joke to something that can be considered at competent. But with the 2017 Cruze, Chevrolet put their heads down into making a compact that could stand tall among competitors. They have succeeded as the Cruze gets the fundamentals right and offers some distinctive traits that help it stand out from others such as the big-car ride and impressive amount of tech. Yes, it would be nice if Cruze was a slightly sharper in terms of design and the steering tweaked a bit to make it a bit more fun to drive. 
      Since I have been reviewing new vehicles for almost five years, there have been only a few vehicles that I keep thinking about to this day. Chevrolet has two to its name. The first was the 2014 Impala and the Cruze is number two.
      Disclaimer: Chevrolet Provided the Cruze, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Chevrolet
      Model: Cruze
      Trim: Premier
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.4L DOHC VVT DI Four-Cylinder 
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 153 @ 5600
      Torque @ RPM: 177 @ 2000-4000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 29/39/33
      Curb Weight: 2,978 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lordstown, OH
      Base Price: $23,475
      As Tested Price: $29,195 (Includes $875.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Sun & Sound w/Navigation - $1,995.00
      RS Package - $995.00
      Enhanced Convenience Package - $865.00
      Driver Confidence II Package - $790.00
      Floor Mats - $140.00
      Wheel Lock Kit - $60.00
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