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  • Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell

    Current Cruze and Malibu to Continue as Fleet Models

    Like the Malibu Classic and Impala Limited before them, the Malibu and Cruze you know today will continue in your local rental fleet.

    We're just over 2 weeks away from the 2015 New York Auto Show where Chevrolet will take the wraps off the next iterations of the Chevrolet Malibu and Chevrolet Spark. We also know from Chevy's teaser picture of 5 in 2015 shown below that the Chevrolet Cruze will not be far behind.

    What we've uncovered however is that Chevrolet appears to be planning to go on building the current design of Cruze and Malibu right along side their newer-bodied versions.

    gallery_51_2_19805.jpg

    According to the General Motors Vin Decoder website, the current Cruze and Malibu will soldier on for at least another model year. For 2016, both the current Cruze and Malibu will gain the Limited moniker, just like big brother Impala Limited. We assume that these will largely be aimed at fleet buyers, but some of the changes for Cruze lead us to believe that Chevy is expecting to do some retail sales of the Cruze Limited as well.

    What changes? We’ll start with the Malibu:

    The current design Malibu is dropping the Eco version completely; Gone also is the 2.0T. The Malibu line-up is cut to just LS, LT, and LTZ with the single engine choice of the 2.5 liter 4-cylinder. This, however, is not the same 2.5 liter found in the Malibu in 2015. The 2016 Malibu Limited will have the LCV 2.5 rather than the LKW 2.5. What does that mean to you? The only change is a 5 lb-ft increase in maximum torque at 4,400 rpm and possibly a slight decrease in fuel economy. The possibility of a slight loss of fuel economy is due to the fact that in this change, the engine will no longer have Intake Valve Lift control as part of the VVT. Only the Malibu and Impala use the LKW engine while the LCV is used in the Cadillac ATS, Chevrolet Colorado, and GMC Canyon; so it seems as if GM is consolidating its 4-cylinder engine platforms with this move. The 2016 Impala will also drop the LKW in favor of the LCV.

    med_gallery_51_2_38143.jpg

    With the next generation Cruze possibly a little further behind from the Malibu, it seems that Chevrolet is planning on keeping the current Cruze for sale to retail customers a bit longer. It wouldn’t be an unprecedented move for Chevy as the Impala Limited is sold at retail alongside the newer Impala for a short time. The Cruze also got a mild facelift for 2015. For 2016, the Cruze Limited remains largely unchanged. Both the automatic and manual transmissions remain as well as the Eco trim. The biggest change is likely to disappoint the oil burners in the crowd; the Cruze 2.0 Diesel appears to be done.

    med_gallery_51_2_61213.jpg

    None of these moves will seem very surprising to GM watchers. This would be the second time GM has kept the prior version Malibu in production to sell to rental fleets and the previous Impala is still on sale as the Impala Limited. However, unlike those past examples which were already well beyond their “Best By” date when they made the switch, the current Cruze and Malibu are just mildly stale, so bargain hunters searching for a deal on a 2016 could find the Limited models worth a look. Next up, Camaro SS Limited?

    A General Motors representative declined comment for this article.

    Sources: GM VIN Decoder Webpage, Oppositelock

    Hat Tip to Staff Writer: Blake Noble


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    :( Not happy with the dropping of the Cruze Diesel. GM has yet to fully clean their ranks of stupid Executives and dump the lousy marketing to cover better alternative fuels.

     

    I know somewhere in the Ivory Towers of GM idiots are saying "See we told you America would not buy Diesels and we wasted money" Yet reality is if they had invested in marketing and telling the story about Diesel, CNG, etc they could have much better sales. Average people rarely hear about these things till too late and this is again another one that is a lost good cause as Diesel Cruze owners for the most part are pretty happy.

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    :( Not happy with the dropping of the Cruze Diesel. GM has yet to fully clean their ranks of stupid Executives and dump the lousy marketing to cover better alternative fuels.

     

    I know somewhere in the Ivory Towers of GM idiots are saying "See we told you America would not buy Diesels and we wasted money" Yet reality is if they had invested in marketing and telling the story about Diesel, CNG, etc they could have much better sales. Average people rarely hear about these things till too late and this is again another one that is a lost good cause as Diesel Cruze owners for the most part are pretty happy.

    Marketing I agree is poor but if everyone who asked and begged for a Cruze Diesel bought one it would still be here.

     

    The fact is Americans right or mislead do not like diesels as a whole and until they understand them will care less. Also the added emission the EPA has slapped on is a non starter for prices here. It adds so much more to the price here vs. what they pay in Europe for a Diesel.

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    This is one program GM has grown and it has paid off for them and the Customers.

     

    The moving of older models to fleets brings in needed money to GM as they can sell these cars that have already paid off their development and tooling years ago and make a good profit on them.

    The customer does not see his new car dumped on fleet sales that get dumped in about a year or two on the used car market killing their resale value.  The tail end buyers are not hit as bad as often the end of an old model gets a lot of incentives to start with do they got their deal upfront.

     

    Lets face it the Captiva and W body Impala brought in a lot of money and did not hurt the customers of the new models in any way. The guy who did buy a last year W body Impala did not Pay much for it to start with anyways. My buddy got a loaded 3.8 model for $17.999. I saw lesser models new for $16K.

     

    The Nox will join this soon as the new one will be here in 2017.

    When you see a late refresh you are looking at the next fleet car.

     

    Edited by hyperv6
    • Upvote 1

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    oh man, Classic.  wait, they aren't?  NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

     

    No, they're Limited Edition models!

     

     

    Reminds me a little of the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Classic of 1988, when the old RWD model was sold right alongside the new FWD edition....

     

     

    Cort :) www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

    1979 & 1989 Caprice Classics | pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve
    "It's a door that never closes" __ Keith Anderson __ 'I Still Miss You'

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    oh man, Classic.  wait, they aren't?  NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

     

    No, they're Limited Edition models!

     

     

    Reminds me a little of the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Classic of 1988, when the old RWD model was sold right alongside the new FWD edition....

     

     

    Cort :) www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

    1979 & 1989 Caprice Classics | pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve
    "It's a door that never closes" __ Keith Anderson __ 'I Still Miss You'

     

     

    The Cutlass Supreme was one of the best selling cars in America at the time... Oldsmobile was justified in keeping it in production so as not to alienate buyers.  It wasn't specifically a fleet only car

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    Yes the Cutlass was the so called flagship and leader of the entire line. It was a very popular car and it is sad how they took the name and slapped it on various FWD cars that just never lived up to the name.

     

    The RWD Cutlass was a top seller and even a top car for theft as they were that popular. Things just never recovered after the loss of that car.

     

    This was a perfect example that a car makes the name not the name makes the car. Just slapping Cutlass on everything did not sell many cars that were not so great in the 80's. Now have a good car with the name and it sold. This is a perfect model for the name number debates raging. If you do not have the car it matters little what you call it.

    Edited by hyperv6

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    The current Malibu is pretty much a fleet car anyway.  But I don't get how GM thinks they can successfully sell an "all new" Malibu while the old Malibu is flooding rental lots and dragging image down.

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    :( Not happy with the dropping of the Cruze Diesel.

    Did you READ the article? If so, did you understand it? 

    There will be a Cruze diesel, worry not - the diesel will be offered in all-new Cruze!

    All it means is that they are restricting sales of the diesel to the redesigned Cruze. It makes sense: the vast majority of diesel sales are to private buyers, not fleets. The Cruze Limited will be aimed at fleets. 

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    The Cutlass Supreme was one of the best selling cars in America at the time... Oldsmobile was justified in keeping it in production so as not to alienate buyers.  It wasn't specifically a fleet only car

     

     

    As I noted, it reminded me a LITTLE of that.....

     

     

    This was a perfect example that a car makes the name not the name makes the car. Just slapping Cutlass on everything did not sell many cars that were not so great in the 80's. Now have a good car with the name and it sold.

     

    Heh ... slapping names on cars is something GM got good at in the 1990s & 2000s.....

     

     

    Cort :) www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

    1979 & 1989 Caprice Classics | pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve
    "I see clearly now" __ Nelly __ 'Over & Over'

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    :( Not happy with the dropping of the Cruze Diesel.

    Did you READ the article? If so, did you understand it? 

    There will be a Cruze diesel, worry not - the diesel will be offered in all-new Cruze!

    All it means is that they are restricting sales of the diesel to the redesigned Cruze. It makes sense: the vast majority of diesel sales are to private buyers, not fleets. The Cruze Limited will be aimed at fleets. 

     

     

    I hope so, but they may need to do a different engine. 

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    The current Malibu is pretty much a fleet car anyway.  But I don't get how GM thinks they can successfully sell an "all new" Malibu while the old Malibu is flooding rental lots and dragging image down.

    What is not to get? You build a better car market properly and people will buy it.

     

    In this segment people are reaching out to the latest and greatest. 

    Ford went from a even more forgettable car to the Fusion with no issues and GM will do the same.

     

    The present car is not really dragging it down as it is a good car but it is an older design than the others and just not as good as the best. This by all means is not a 2004 Malibu we are speaking of.

    Get with the program you are smarter than that..

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