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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    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

    • Upvote 1

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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.

    • Upvote 1

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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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    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.

    • Upvote 2

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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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    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.

    • Downvote 1

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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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