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    Spying: Chevrolet Malibu Gets Some Drastic Changes


    • Big Changes Are Coming To The Malibu

    Chevrolet appears to have some big changes in store for the next Malibu as shown by some spy shots. A huge change is with the greenhouse as the mule gets a sleek roofline that slopes downward dramatically to a shorten rear end. The speculation is that Chevrolet is taking some ideas from Chrysler 200 and Ford Fusion to inject some European design into the next model. We can't tell much about the front aside from the fascia appearing to stay the same.

    There are mechanical changes in store as well. Chevrolet could drop the 2.5L four-cylinder for a smaller four-cylinder with a turbocharger to increase fuel economy.

    Source: Automobile Magazine

    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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    FAILURE!, Sorry to all those that love this whole coupe thing, but the loss of headroom, the squashed look of the rear. I do not care if Europe thinks it is great, these cars suck for big people and families. I do not see any positive gains on it even from an MPG standpoint. This screams to me of just following the lemming heard and will cause a hard small opening to the trunk.

     

    DESIGN FAILURE in My Book. :nono:  :thumbsdown: 

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    First of all, this was on 'the other place' a few days ago. Second of all, I think it's highly likely that this is the next LaCrosse instead of Malibu. Third, all the improvements the story discusses are what the Malibu needs. More back seat, more head room, less of a trunk. Longer wheelbase.

    I don't see a new Malibu for 2016 but a new lacrosse makes sense. Malibu for 2017 seems right. I would guess they might fleet build the current Malibu for awhile after the next one comes out. My buddy has a 14 Malibu as a fleet car and says it's great. He had one of the prior fen and he says this newer one is indeed nicer.

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    Malibu lost me when it shrank.  I get that they were trying to open up some space at the top for the Impala, but my '07 is plenty compact.  Gets a little crowded with me, my wife, and the 2 kids.

     

    And as for "less of a trunk"...I hope you don't mean losing volume.  A family sedan needs a big trunk.

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    Malibu lost me when it shrank.  I get that they were trying to open up some space at the top for the Impala, but my '07 is plenty compact.  Gets a little crowded with me, my wife, and the 2 kids.

     

    And as for "less of a trunk"...I hope you don't mean losing volume.  A family sedan needs a big trunk.

     

    I hope so as well, but that is unknown at this moment.

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    Good. The current Malibu is just awkward all over.

     

    dfelt, what are you doing sitting in the backseat anyway? If you've got a family, that's where your kids should sit, and they don't need a mile of headroom.

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    First of all, this was on 'the other place' a few days ago. Second of all, I think it's highly likely that this is the next LaCrosse instead of Malibu. Third, all the improvements the story discusses are what the Malibu needs. More back seat, more head room, less of a trunk. Longer wheelbase.

    I don't see a new Malibu for 2016 but a new lacrosse makes sense. Malibu for 2017 seems right. I would guess they might fleet build the current Malibu for awhile after the next one comes out. My buddy has a 14 Malibu as a fleet car and says it's great. He had one of the prior fen and he says this newer one is indeed nicer.

     

    We initially thought it was a Buick... But they did a rather poor job hiding the bow-ties on the wheel caps. You can see right through that tape and the mesh covering the grill, as well. Also, It's worth mentioning that in the test group or 4 or 5 prototypes, there were also a few cars for bench-marking: A current Malibu, Fusion, and a Camry. 

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    Good. The current Malibu is just awkward all over.

     

    dfelt, what are you doing sitting in the backseat anyway? If you've got a family, that's where your kids should sit, and they don't need a mile of headroom.

    Not sure about you but I was 6' tall by age 12 and my kids are no different. All vehicles have to fit me in front and back seat and then I know family and friends can also fit just fin. Back seat are not just for small people.

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    Malibu lost me when it shrank.  I get that they were trying to open up some space at the top for the Impala, but my '07 is plenty compact.  Gets a little crowded with me, my wife, and the 2 kids.

     

    And as for "less of a trunk"...I hope you don't mean losing volume.  A family sedan needs a big trunk.

    i certainly did not mean less trunk space.  i guess meant that they need to extend and lengthen the green house, and reduce the length of the trunk deck.

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    First of all, this was on 'the other place' a few days ago. Second of all, I think it's highly likely that this is the next LaCrosse instead of Malibu. Third, all the improvements the story discusses are what the Malibu needs. More back seat, more head room, less of a trunk. Longer wheelbase.

    I don't see a new Malibu for 2016 but a new lacrosse makes sense. Malibu for 2017 seems right. I would guess they might fleet build the current Malibu for awhile after the next one comes out. My buddy has a 14 Malibu as a fleet car and says it's great. He had one of the prior fen and he says this newer one is indeed nicer.

     

    We initially thought it was a Buick... But they did a rather poor job hiding the bow-ties on the wheel caps. You can see right through that tape and the mesh covering the grill, as well. Also, It's worth mentioning that in the test group or 4 or 5 prototypes, there were also a few cars for bench-marking: A current Malibu, Fusion, and a Camry. 

     

    If Chevy does in fact come out with a new Malibu in 2016, then even more Kudos.  A 3 year model run for chevy would be absolutely uncommon but it would show them addressing a need pronto.

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    Malibu lost me when it shrank.  I get that they were trying to open up some space at the top for the Impala, but my '07 is plenty compact.  Gets a little crowded with me, my wife, and the 2 kids.

     

    And as for "less of a trunk"...I hope you don't mean losing volume.  A family sedan needs a big trunk.

    i certainly did not mean less trunk space.  i guess meant that they need to extend and lengthen the green house, and reduce the length of the trunk deck.

     

    Disagree with you here, all auto's that have extended the stupid coupe look green house and reduced the deck lid also reduced access to get things into the trunk. You need a decent size deck so you can get stuff easily into the trunk. Coupes do not cut it.

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    ford taurus has a nice big ass trunk, that is your ride.  I really don't mind lift backs.  I wish there would be a well done split lift back.  where the rear glass could stay closed most of the time.  I know BMW tried this i think but the way they did it was effed.

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    Ever since the Mercedes CLS, everyone wants a 4 door coupe, but it is so overplayed now and most of these supposed 4-door coupes don't look at all like a coupe anyway.  And the CLS worked for Mercedes because it was a niche car, and they had the traditional 3 box design sedan in the E-class already there.

     

    GM trying to redo this Malibu over and over shows how desperate they are.  They did a new one for 2004, refreshed it in 2006, a new one in 2008, another new one in 2012, a refresh in 2013, and it still sucks.  The Malibu seems to sell worse now than it did 5 years ago, and the competitors keep getting better.  I don't get why this segment is so hard for GM to figure out.

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    The term "4-door coupe" is overplayed, but the style is not. Faster rooflines are becoming the norm. As automakers try to eke better gas mileage out of their sedans, they have to make them more aerodynamic, and the traditional 3-box shape just isn't.

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    That sleek roofline for aerodynamics is myth, my E-class has a .27 drag coefficient and it is basically a 3-box design, the new S-class has a .24 drag coefficient, it beats the Prius, and the S-class doesn't look like a 4-door coupe and it has a big vertical front end. 

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    I honestly believe the product people at Chevy do not understand their customers and the segment.

    If they did, the crap back seat on the current version would have never made it past proto stage. Likewise the narrow and cheap cabin of the 08-12.

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    I honestly believe the product people at Chevy do not understand their customers and the segment.

    If they did, the crap back seat on the current version would have never made it past proto stage. Likewise the narrow and cheap cabin of the 08-12.

     

    Ever since the W bodies, GM does not understand FWD sedans. GM partially gets the trucks and RWD sedans right , more likely gets the SUVs right, and almost gets the sports cars right.

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    That sleek roofline for aerodynamics is myth, my E-class has a .27 drag coefficient and it is basically a 3-box design, the new S-class has a .24 drag coefficient, it beats the Prius, and the S-class doesn't look like a 4-door coupe and it has a big vertical front end. 

    It's not a myth, it's an elementary aerodynamic principle. Those are indeed impressive drag figures, and they've no doubt used lots of clever clean aero detailing to achieve them, but with a properly designed fastback roof they would be even lower.

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    Perhaps the best comparison for sleek roofline drag coefficients is to compare CLS vs E-class since they are the same chassis.  The first-gen CLS had a drag coefficient of .30, vs .27 for the same era E-class, so the CLS design hurt aerodynamics.  The current CLS and E-class are both .26 cD, so they are the same.

     

    A swept back roofline is only going to hurt backseat room in the Malibu, already a weak spot of the car.  They need to get more interior space inside, without making it any bigger on the outside.

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    SMK your comments about aluminum strength and now drag coefficient makes me think that your highschool physics knowledge needs a lot of work out using steroids.

     

    Why is the Malibu thread becoming Chevroletdes Benz thread?

     

    And also, if you want to boast about your Chevroletdes Benz knowledge and be its free cheerleader at least be accurate. MBUSA states cd for latest E and CLS as 0.28. Last gen E class had cd of 0.27 so based on your logic, the new E class is a step backward because it has cd of 0.01 less than the old E class number. But again with your logic Chevroletdes Benz is purveyor and beacon of technological leadership.

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    First of all, this was on 'the other place' a few days ago. Second of all, I think it's highly likely that this is the next LaCrosse instead of Malibu. Third, all the improvements the story discusses are what the Malibu needs. More back seat, more head room, less of a trunk. Longer wheelbase.

    I don't see a new Malibu for 2016 but a new lacrosse makes sense. Malibu for 2017 seems right. I would guess they might fleet build the current Malibu for awhile after the next one comes out. My buddy has a 14 Malibu as a fleet car and says it's great. He had one of the prior fen and he says this newer one is indeed nicer.

     

    I still think that this is the Malibu.  Despite it's recent face-lift, which is gorgeous and makes it, IMO, the best looking Mid-Sizer or at least equal to the Optima, the vehicle, is due for a complete makeover as this model was always meant to be a short life. In fact, at one point the 2008-2012 Body was supposed to simply move over to Epsilon II and carry on with a few visual changes to make it look new. They went with the shorter wheelbase when it was decided that the Impala was coming back on the Super-Epsilon platform instead of going ZETA. At least that's was I was told by several GM employees. Essentially instead of the "SS"  and Caprice, we were supposed to get a RWD based ZETA Impala and possibly the Caprice, the Malibu essentially sporting the Lacrosse WHEELBASE, the Cruze (hence the Cruze size being slightly larger than most compacts), the Sonic and Volt. The Spark was a compliance vehicle for CAFE, gaining steam after the BEAT was shown.

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