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01Malibu

Chevy Malibu: 49% sales increase and 32 MPG

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n a flashback to the 1980s, high gas prices pushed smaller cars to the top of the list of biggest percentage sales gains in September. Among the biggest gainers are models not normally in the limelight: Dodge Neon, Chevrolet Malibu and Nissan Sentra.
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The five vehicles showing the biggest percentage increases in September over a year ago were all smaller cars, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Autodata sales figures for vehicles that sold at least 10,000 units. By contrast, four of the five biggest percentage losers were SUVs or pickups. (Photo gallery: Small cars, big sales)

"The two hurricanes and the subsequent spike in gas prices led consumers to reconsider their traditional car-buying choices," says Mark McCready of CarsDirect.com.

The September sales increases show that consumers are interested in different high-mileage vehicles, not just the hot-selling gas-electric hybrid models.

"I don't think Americans are telling us all of a sudden they want small," says Dan Gorrell of consultant Strategic Vision. "They are telling us they want more
affordable."

The biggest gainer was Ford's Mustang, up 73%, helped by comparison with September 2004, when a redesign went on sale. But it is followed in the listing by these automotive introverts:

•Dodge Neon. Even though Chrysler recently stopped making it, the Neon is getting its last hurrah, including a 69% sales gain in September. "The dealers are calling and asking for more," says Steven Landry, a Dodge vice president.

Landry says there's no hope of restarting production. The company has enough Neons to last through January, he says. It will be replaced by the larger Caliber.

•Chevy Malibu. Despite Malibu's 49% sales gain, General Motors hasn't gotten as much notice as it deserves for the strength of its car line, says Tom Libby of J.D. Power and Associates. GM has advertised Malibu as one of its best-mileage models at 32 miles a gallon highway. Sales of its stretched version, the Malibu Maxx, which gets 2 mpg less, fell 20% last month.

•Nissan Sentra. Sales of Nissan's small car rose 66% last month, even though it hasn't been redesigned since 2000. "Sentra has consistently exceeded our business plan," says Mark McNabb, a Nissan vice president. A part of the increase was from higher fleet sales, including to rental-car firms bulking up after the hurricanes.

Small-car leaders Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla also cashed in with 36% and 21% increases, respectively. "Fuel prices played a role," says Honda spokesman Sage Marie. So did a redesigned 2006 Civic, which just went on sale. "It's been flying off the trucks."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/20051010/...gsalesincreases Edited by Josh
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The Sentra's continued strong sales is amazing to me. It's long overdue for it's redesign... I think it sells well off the strength of the Altima and Maxima.
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I think GM is wise to be really pushing the Malibu. In Canada at least, we are looking forward to the $19,999 price point with the 2006 model. It isn't much more than a base Corolla. With all the quality awards and the general solidness of the vehicle, it has done consistently well in the Toronto area. Again, it won't set the world on fire with its looks or touchy-feely of its plastics, but with a lot of features packed in for under $20 grand it is a helluva deal!
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the Malibu in v6 form or 4 cylinder, is a great commuter car. I wish a 4 cyl. with stick was available...either the 2.4 or 2.0 turbo.
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The Malibu is a GREAT car for the money. Around here one can get a Malibu for darn near the price of a Cobalt.
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The biggest gainer was Ford's Mustang, up 73%, helped by comparison with September 2004, when a redesign went on sale.


How is that helpful? Launching a new in high demand vehicle?

•Chevy Malibu. Despite Malibu's 49% sales gain, General Motors hasn't gotten as much notice as it deserves for the strength of its car line, says Tom Libby of J.D. Power and Associates.


Congratulations!!! You've just been awarded FOG's "Understatement of The Year" award!!!


3 domestics.... HMMMMMMMM?.?.
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Does anyone know why the EPA rating on the 4 cyl Malibu fell from 35 to 32 for 2006? Did the front-end freshening mess up the aero dynamics or something? Reg, I could not agree with you more...a 4 cylinder Malibu or better yet Malibu Maxx with a stick shift would be just an outstanding commuter car and a fantastic value too. I'm sure you could push 36 or 37 on the highway with a 2.2L ecotec and a stick...cheap fun too. Doesn't Cmattson have a 4 cyl Malibu? If you're looking at this thread Cmattson, what is your real world mileage under different conditions on the 2.2?
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Thats good news for the General. I got to drive a Malibu Maxx about a year ago, I wasn't sold on the styling at first, but I relly like it now. It was a V6 with the manu-matic, it was reasonably fun to drive and got pretty good milage. One of the things I really liked about the maxx was the skylight over the back seats, thats pretty damned cool. Go Malibu! :booyah:

Talking about the Neon here:

It will be replaced by the larger Caliber.


Isn't that that bastardized Magnum/new Durango looking thing? I think I hate that even more than I hate the Neon :puke:

// c0ld_phuz10n Edited by c0ld_phuz10n
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I would venture to say that the biggest reason for the increase in Malibu sales is the discontinuation of the Classic. Rental companies are now purchasing Malibus.
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I would venture to say that the biggest reason for the increase in Malibu sales is the discontinuation of the Classic.  Rental companies are now purchasing Malibus.

[post="26989"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

I'd say your right about that. GM doesn't even advertise the Maxx as well as they should. It is a fantastic alternative to an SUV but I don't think too many people even know about it. The only ones I ever see are rentals. The Maxx won another award this week ( Total Value Study) and the 2 cars have an impressive list of awards the past few years. GM just has to talk about them more, especially the fuel economy. Edited by I hope GMRULES again
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I would venture to say that the biggest reason for the increase in Malibu sales is the discontinuation of the Classic.  Rental companies are now purchasing Malibus.

[post="26989"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


(I'm real sorry.....'cause I'm gonna piss off some Malibu fans....)

One of the most disappointing drives I had recently was a Malibu LS V6 rental car that I drove from Fresno to San Francisco.

First, the crappy steering feel. We ALL know about that. To say it's far too light at low speeds is an understatement....and it's devoid of feel at higher speeds and the transition of steering heft as you speed up feels unnatural.

The seats were really unsupportive and uncomfortable and we were in serious pain an hour into the 2.5 hour trip.

The chassis seemed old-school GM to me.....which is a surprise because the Malibu architecture is an up-to-date setup. Could it be the actual suspension tuning...? While it wasn't exactly floaty, and body roll was pretty well controlled, the suspension didn't seem to have much composure over freeway ridges and ripples, and in-town bumps and potholes. Driving on a smooth road, it feels good. Then as soon as you start to hit somewhat rough pavement, the shakes and wiggles are all too apparent.

The powertrain had GREAT punch....I just wish it didn't groan so much as you get your foot into it. Quiet at idle....and torquey....but somewhat breathless on the freeway as you pull out to pass at 65-70+mph. The 4-speed auto has GOT to go. Too much of a chasm between gears and even with only 4 speeds and a torquey V6, it seemed to hunt constantly depending on throttle position. Shifts were definitely not the GM norm for smoothness.

I'm not a fan of the sea-of-grey interior either. (The new darker dash top in '06s should help here.) The center stack also looks tacky. This car really needs the new Impala's radio and HVAC controls.

All considered, it was very disappointing. I'm sure there's many people that will buy the car for the sheer value of the equipment you get for the money.....but I need way more than that in a car....even an inexpensive midsize car.

What really made it worse, was the '05 Accord LX 4cyl rental I had from Enterprise the next week (I know...rare to see a Honda in a rental fleet.) The difference in the sheer quality of the interior, the powertrain refinement, and the incredibly solid feel of the car on the road made an embarrasment of the Malibu. The Accord, even in LX 4cyl trim, felt like it was from a much more expensive car segment. I ENJOYED driving the Accord...even around town. I COULDN'T WAIT to get out of the Malibu at the end of our trip.

It's not GM-bashing.....or Asian-loving.....just solid honest feedback and opinion.
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the Malibu in v6 form or 4 cylinder, is a great commuter car.  I wish a 4 cyl. with stick was available...either the 2.4 or 2.0 turbo.

[post="26654"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Hmm... 4-cylinder or V6. As opposed to?
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So did a redesigned 2006 Civic, which just went on sale. "It's been flying off the trucks."

[post="26557"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



And it looks like it did just that..... I saw a new body Civic next to me at the gas pump over the weekend. From the front, it's even more ugly then the pictures show. From the back, I was imediately reminded of the new Audi. From the side the proportions just look all wrong.


Despite it's uglyness, I'm sure the car rags will rate it better then the Cobalt in every way possible.... even if they have to complain about the rubber spikes on the underside of the floor mat not being high enough quaility for their exacting standards.
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Chevy has done a good job updating the 2006 Malibu. But one sore point remains - the horrible seats and the cloth they are made of. If Chevy could only use the same material as the new Impala with it's softer more high quality feel I think this car would do even better. With the bewildering increase in sales of the Neon whos 4 cylinder will buzz your fillings loose and never win you a race with automatic transmission, I think the Cobalt may see a sales increase in the coming months wiht it's traditional coupe and sedan profile as opposed to the Calibres weird overly aggressive wagon like body and lower fuel economy.
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(I'm real sorry.....'cause I'm gonna piss off some Malibu fans....)

One of the most disappointing drives I had recently was a Malibu LS V6 rental car that I drove from Fresno to San Francisco.





All considered, it was very disappointing.  I'm sure there's many people that will buy the car for the sheer value of the equipment you get for the money.....but I need way more than that in a car....even an inexpensive midsize car.

What really made it worse, was the '05 Accord LX 4cyl rental I had from Enterprise the next week (I know...rare to see a Honda in a rental fleet.)  The difference in the sheer quality of the interior, the powertrain refinement, and the incredibly solid feel of the car on the road made an embarrasment of the Malibu.  The Accord, even in LX 4cyl trim, felt like it was from a much more expensive car segment.  I ENJOYED driving the Accord...even around town.  I COULDN'T WAIT to get out of the Malibu at the end of our trip. 

It's not GM-bashing.....or Asian-loving.....just solid honest feedback and opinion.

[post="27043"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I haven't compared the Accord to the Malibu directly like that. I actually haven't driven the Malibu yet, but I know that engine in the G6 fairly well, and I agree with your assessment. The punch is enough to live with the noise...IF all you're concerned with is value, otherwise it has a cheaper feel than competitors.

It's disappointing to hear these things about the suspension on the Malibu. I really have not driven it yet because I'm not the type to go to a dealer and just ask to drive, I think it annoys them. And I'm not old enough to rent cars yet, so I haven't been able to sample it. I have been very anxious to sample Epsilon cars just so I can finally get my opinion down on the platform itself.

I know you wouldn't say these things unless you honestly felt them though. I do remember in comparison tests the Malibu's steering and suspension were still criticized in comparison to the Accord, especially one done by MT, I think. I have been considering getting something practical lately, my desires have been changing and I am thinking I want to give up fun for easy in CA traffic, never thought I'd say that [I think Los Angelenos need a daily driver [i]and[/i] a fun car]. So my practical side knows the Malibu is a good car, especially for the money. It will all come down to a test drive, but just thinking of having something more spacious and easy to live with is making me wish, but losing the fun in my car is not something I'd like either.

Hey, there is always the next generation of the Malibu, and at least it has good mileage for now.
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I haven't compared the Accord to the Malibu directly like that. I actually haven't driven the Malibu yet, but I know that engine in the G6 fairly well, and I agree with your assessment. The punch is enough to live with the noise...IF all you're concerned with is value, otherwise it has a cheaper feel than competitors.

It's disappointing to hear these things about the suspension on the Malibu. I really have not driven it yet because I'm not the type to go to a dealer and just ask to drive, I think it annoys them. And I'm not old enough to rent cars yet, so I haven't been able to sample it. I have been very anxious to sample Epsilon cars just so I can finally get my opinion down on the platform itself.

I know you wouldn't say these things unless you honestly felt them though. I do remember in comparison tests the Malibu's steering and suspension were still criticized in comparison to the Accord, especially one done by MT, I think. I have been considering getting something practical lately, my desires have been changing and I am thinking I want to give up fun for easy in CA traffic, never thought I'd say that [I think Los Angelenos need a daily driver [i]and[/i] a fun car]. So my practical side knows the Malibu is a good car, especially for the money. It will all come down to a test drive, but just thinking of having something more spacious and easy to live with is making me wish, but losing the fun in my car is not something I'd like either.

Hey, there is always the next generation of the Malibu, and at least it has good mileage for now.

[post="27070"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


You're right Turbo200.....I may be overly critical sometimes of some GM stuff, but I only do it if I believe it.....

I'm thinking a G6 might be a safer bet if you want to get a feel for the Epsilon cars. The seats, at first sit, seem better....but I haven't driven a G6 yet. I'm assuming (hoping) that Pontiac was more diligent in the suspension tuning/tire choices, etc. of the G6.

This will make me REALLY sound like a prick.....but honest-to-God, the Malibu I had didn't feel all that better than the old Malibu (Classic) at least in suspension tune/ride/handling. AND I wasn't the only one....the person riding with me shared the same comments and observations about the car....

Trust me....I don't like having to make these observations about a "new" GM product.
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And it looks like it did just that..... I saw a new body Civic next to me at the gas pump over the weekend.  From the front, it's even more ugly then the pictures show. From the  back, I was imediately reminded of the new Audi. From the side the proportions just look all wrong.
Despite it's uglyness, I'm sure the car rags will rate it better then the Cobalt in every way possible.... even if they have to complain about the rubber spikes on the underside of the floor mat not being high enough quaility for their exacting standards.

[post="27055"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



LMAO!!!! :lol:

That is an ugly sum beach...

I'm sure it's WAAAY better though, and no one will mention or notice (when they purchase) the bulldog ugly looks.

This will make me REALLY sound like a prick.....but honest-to-God, the Malibu I had didn't feel all that better than the old Malibu (Classic) at least in suspension tune/ride/handling. AND I wasn't the only one....the person riding with me shared the same comments and observations about the car....


I almost wonder if it isn't suspension tuning..... I've always thought that GM has handicapped most of it's more traditional offerings to either keep those old school GM buyers or protect another division with an identical mechanical offering. Handicapping one division for another is annoying to me (i.e. The GP GXP and it's balance compared to the Impala SS and its supposed overweight, sloppy feel which might also be the case between the Malibu and G6) but I don't know if I can blame GM, as annoying as it may be, for keeping some of it's cars tuned for traditional GM buyers. That's a base we need to hold on to.

Nonetheless I think ALL of GM's cars should drive well.. If we have to up Chevrolets tuning to compete with the imports therefore calling into question the importance of Pontiac, then Pontiac should go the next step and strive to be THAT MUCH BETTER.
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the Malibu in v6 form or 4 cylinder, is a great commuter car.  I wish a 4 cyl. with stick was available...either the 2.4 or 2.0 turbo.

[post="26654"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


It is. A friend of mine with an Bu' w/ the 2.2 loves the milage he's getting right
now. He's easily pulled over 30 mpg even with a heavy mix of both (driving)

His lease is up in a few months...and he is thinking about anpther Malibu..

He likes the "euroish" look to the new grill....so I can see him picking up a 06
LS... :)
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I think a big help to the Malibu's sales is the freshening of the front end.  It looks much better now without that huge bar across the front.

[post="26963"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Agreed...the chrome bar almost gave a a truckish front end..
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To combat the fleet argument. I've seen more HHR's in the lots of rental car companies than I have new Malibu's.

[post="27121"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Then again, I've seen more Impy rentals than both Malibus and HHRs.
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I have read reports of 36-37 miles to the gallon on the highway for the 4 cylinder Malibu which is really good. Even the 32 highway for the V6 is good for the performance it gives. Some people want a manual but how would that sell in this day and age? The automatic already gets 37 miles to the gallon on the highway. Would there be an improvment if there was a manual.
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The V-6 can get 35 MPG on the highway no problem. I drove one to Florida and back last winter (4000 miles) and that was with 4 passengers and a full trunk, and mostly cruising at 80 MPH. The transmission was perfect, the motor more than powerful enough if a bit rough in the high RPM range, and nobody ever complained the seats were uncomfortable.
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It is interesting to hear the complaints about the Malibu's suspension and steering. I had a customer hop out of a BMW SUV and drive the Malibu (for his son) and complain about the steering. "Not enough road feel," he opined. Really? What do I want power steering for, then? I countered. If I want road feel, perhaps I should go for an Echo, that has no power steering. Power steering, by definititon is supposed to make cornering effortless. In my Malibu, I can navigate 180 degree turns (in my underground garage) while still putting my card scanner back in its slot, or while readying my sunglasses. I can't do that with a Monte Carlo, or an Uplander, or a Grand Prix, or any of the other vehicles I have taken home recently. GM engineers claim 7/10 mpg better with the electric steering, because hydraulic steering requires power even while driving in a straight line. I had a Venture for a week and loved the softer ride, but it cornered like a beached whale. Engineers are constantly gaining and giving up when they decide how a vehicle should ride. People, understand one thing: your opinion of a vehicle is going to effected by your own beliefs, misconceptions, preconceptions, etc, for sure - but the biggest influence will come from what you just got out of. Your daily driver. Frankly, when I spin around the lot in non-elecric steering cars, I find the steering heavy and dangerous. There is a difference in the steering feel between an Equinox and the Malibu, but they are similar. Perhaps the steering isn't as light in the Equinox, but then it is a truck! Twenty two years ago, when I was a car jockey in a luxury hotel, I drove BMWs, Mercedes, Cadillacs and Lincolns every day. I always found the Bimmers and Mercedes to feel harsh. I found the Lincolns and Rolls of the day to be too mushy. I always found the Cadillacs to be just right. You need to drive a LOT of vehicles to realize they each have unique characteristics, not always bad, but when judging a vehicle it must be judged against who is going to buy it. Although it is fair to say YOU wouldn't buy it, don't just slam the vehicle because it isn't what you would buy.
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