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OshKoshBerJosh

Feb 2004 Motor Trend Compariosn with the 2004 Malibu

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I found an article from the February 2004 issue of Motor Trend. The article is a comparison between the then-new Chevy Malibu, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Mitsubishi Galant.

Here is the money quote from the Malibu (which placed 3rd of 4, beating only the Camry) : "After years of producing also-rans, Chevrolet has turned out a family sedan that's competitive with the best in its segment. Families especially mindful of the bottom line need look no further."

-Motor Trend 56.2 (Feb 2004): p92(11). (3745 words)

I think we're hearing much of the same now with the new Malibu coming out. Only time will tell if this new generation escapes the journalistic fate of the last one, in terms of initial praise and then eventual scorn.

Edited by OshKoshBerJosh
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I found an article from the February 2004 issue of Motor Trend. The article is a comparison between the then-new Chevy Malibu, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Mitsubishi Galant.

Here is the money quote from the Malibu (which placed 3rd of 4, beating only the Camry) : "After years of producing also-rans, Chevrolet has turned out a family sedan that's competitive with the best in its segment. Families especially mindful of the bottom line need look no further."

-Motor Trend 56.2 (Feb 2004): p92(11). (3745 words)

I think we're hearing much of the same now with the new Malibu coming out. Only time will tell if this new generation escapes the journalistic fate of the last one, in terms of initial praise and then eventual scorn.

the difference is in the timing. Accord and Camry are brand new and a year old. in that time both were two years old at least. the last generation Malibu had a cycle that only lasted 4 years. Altima was also released in 2002, and now it's less than a year old. I believe Mazda6 was released in 2004, and just beginning to garner praise. That competitive field in that comparison test was mostly lameduck compared to what is out there now. Edited by turbo200
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the difference is in the timing. Accord and Camry are brand new and a year old. in that time both were two years old at least. the last generation Malibu had a cycle that only lasted 4 years. Altima was also released in 2002, and now it's less than a year old. I believe Mazda6 was released in 2004, and just beginning to garner praise. That competitive field in that comparison test was mostly lameduck compared to what is out there now.

The Camry had been out for two years, you are correct on that (new for 2002)

The Accord had only been about a year (new for 2003)

The Galant was new for 2004 so it was just as new.

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It amazes me how quickly things age these days and then looked at like a rolling piece of $h! on wheels. The 04-07 Malibu was pretty well received back in 2004 and offered several neat innovations not offered on most other mid size sedans: factory remote starter, telescoping wheel, fold flat passenger seat, power pedals, electric steering, ultra Lux seats on LT models, the Maxx hatch/wagon, 32 MPG highway rating from a V6 etc and I never mistook one for anything other than a Malibu. Now it's looked at like a total piece of crap that didn't compete well with anything. I would like to see 2008 Malibu owners obtain 32 MPG with the Malibus only 3.6 liter V6 option. I would like to see any new 08 Malibu model with a fold flat passenger seat or a Maxx model. Try buying a V6 for under 19K or a Ecotec for 17K. The new 08 Malibu also has less total interior space than the 04-07 despite a longer wheelbase!

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The Camry had been out for two years, you are correct on that (new for 2002)

The Accord had only been about a year (new for 2003)

The Galant was new for 2004 so it was just as new.

Galant quickly receded into the background. I remember this comparison well, Accord placed first, Galant placed second, Malibu third, and Camry fourth. How is that ranking in a comparison of some second-tier cars [where was Altima, Camry wasn't considered anything special back then, where was Passat] "competing with the best in class", is all I'm saying. The point of your post was to show how a glowing reception upon intro can quickly fade. My point is to show you why in this specific comparison the Malibu placed "well". Most comparison tests done quickly after the intro of Malibu found it near last place. I remember one done by Edmunds where Malibu placed 5th of 7th or 8th, off the top of my head. My point is it wasn't all that well received. Individually the car was probably decently recieved, which the Malibu now so far has been reviewed individually, but the stakes are much much higher today, the competition is much much more fierce today, and the reviews are glowing with praise. Though, the real test will be the comparos. Edited by turbo200
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Galant quickly receded into the background. I remember this comparison well, Accord placed first, Galant placed second, Malibu third, and Camry fourth. How is that ranking in a comparison of some second-tier cars [where was Altima, Camry wasn't considered anything special back then, where was Passat] "competing with the best in class", is all I'm saying. The point of your post was to show how a glowing reception upon intro can quickly fade. My point is to show you why in this specific comparison the Malibu placed "well". Most comparison tests done quickly after the intro of Malibu found it near last place. I remember one done by Edmunds where Malibu placed 5th of 7th or 8th, off the top of my head. My point is it wasn't all that well received. Individually the car was probably decently recieved, which the Malibu now so far has been reviewed individually, but the stakes are much much higher today, the competition is much much more fierce today, and the reviews are glowing with praise. Though, the real test will be the comparos.

Fair enough. Point taken.

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The hype from GM back then was comparable to today's ((lots of emphasis on panel gaps, magnesium cowl braces, Epsilon architecture, remote start), but the difference is now it's actually well received by the press.

The case with the GMT360s, however, was different. The press liked it (Envoy was MT TOTY), but new competition and excessive rebadging damaged it. Hopefully the Lambda experiences a different fate.

Edited by empowah
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