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Chevrolet Malibu wins Car of the Year

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http://money.cnn.com/2008/01/13/autos/car_of_the_year/index.htm?postversion=2008011310

Truck of the Year

January 13 2008: 10:05 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- General Motors' Chevrolet Malibu mid-size sedan, radically redesigned for the 2008 model year, won the North American Car of the Year Award Sunday at the first media preview day for the Detroit Auto Show.

The Mazda CX-9, a sporty crossover SUV, was named Truck of the Year.

The Malibu and CX-9 were selected by a jury of 47 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada representing a range of media outlets including Fortune magazine, Edmunds.com, Road & Track and the Chicago Tribune.

To be eligible, vehicles must be "all new" or "substantially redesigned" from the previous model year. The journalists selected the Malibu and CX-9 from a field of 13 cars and 15 trucks.

With the redesigned Chevrolet Malibu, GM (GM, Fortune 500) hopes to finally take on the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord which have long been the top-selling cars in America.

The mid-size sedan has been well-reviewed by the media, including CNNMoney.com. The Malibu's interior has a twin-cockpit design that mimics classic Chevrolet Corvettes. Its exterior shape, with smooth sides, wide rear window pillars and side turn signals, is intended to resemble European luxury sedans.

This marks the second year in a row that a GM vehicle won Car of the Year. Last year, the Saturn Aura, a sedan that shares most of its engineering with the Malibu, won Car of the Year.

GM also won Truck of the Year last year with the Chevrolet Silverado and stood a good chance of winning again this year since two of three finalists were GM products.

But Mazda took the award with the CX-9 winning against the Buick Enclave SUV and Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid SUV. Ford Motor Co. (F, Fortune 500) owns a controlling interest in Mazda.

The Mazda CX-9, a so-called crossover SUV, has already been named SUV of the year by Motor Trend magazine. The curvaceous CX-9 gets kudos for its ride and handling characteristics, which are especially good for an SUV with three rows of seats.

Shortly after its introduction, Mazda upgraded the CX-9's engine to a new V6 engine capable of producing 273 horsepower, 10 more than the engine with which it was originally introduced.

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To be eligible, vehicles must be "all new" or "substantially redesigned" from the previous model year. The journalists selected the Malibu and CX-9 from a field of 13 cars and 15 trucks.

Seems like they ought to rethink this approach (along with our "on again - off again" friends at Motor Trend) after watching those dirtbags at Toyota get "Truck of the Year" for a product that seems not quite up-to-par and a recall magnet too. Would seem to make sense to consider all products in a segment every year and give the award to the best product in the segment, whether it's new for the model year or not.

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C&D invites new or substantially upgraded cars (and trucks for its 5-best trucks) as well as previous year's winners. Thats why the C5 was on their 10-best list every year. MT's TotY is interesting because there are only 5 real trucks out there (Silvy/Sierra/HDs/Avalanche, F-Series,Ram,Titan,Tundra) plus the midsizers (Colorado/Canyon, Ranger, Tacoma, Dakota, Frontier) plus the Accordvalanche, which hardly seems to count. Any given year only a couple of those are going to be all-new or significantly changed, so they have slim pickings.

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This is good news. I figured the Malibu or the CTS would win. I was really hoping for the Enclave or the Hybrid Tahoe to win, but apparently they were well back in the standings. One win is good though. Sure would have been nice for GM to sweep this two years in a row though. Oh well.

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tahoe hybrid should have won truck of the year but i think the negative backlash from such a huge truck winning factored in the voting. cx-9 was the safe choice.

now let's see if the bu win helps sales. it didn't for the aura.

Edited by regfootball
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You will always be my bu!

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Congratulations to Chevrolet on a fine product!
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Bring it.

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I really hope the CX-9 won because it is that remarkable...

I just HATE to see the Tahoe hybrid be written off like it literally has in so many publications. GM's hybrid system is way better than that of TMC, and a full size SUV that gets the mileage of a Camry is astounding. Yet the truck has either been given begrudging praise or the same anti-SUV, anti-american :bs: that it gets from douchbag journalists anyway.

Anyway... Kudos to both GM and Ford for YET AGAIN showing the world that the Detroit companies build the best cars and trucks in the world.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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I bet the Enclave ends up selling better than the CX-9 though.

Ends up? It already has, and continues to.

The Mazda is very nice for what it is, but there's honestly nothing overly "wow" about it. Just well composed, refined, and trim/sporty.

It hasn't set interest and sales on absolute fire like the Enclave, and isn't as complete of a package...well, at least as far as having real 7/8 passenger room, towing capability, etc. Maybe the Enclave was more a victim of just being very large and maybe #2 or so on the crossover fuel economy list?

But the Malibu? YES...and SO expected! The CTS is a fabulous car, but not being mass market, it's greatness can't be had by as large a segment of people as with the Malibu...you can get that same incredible car in anything from a $20k model without extra goodies or around $28k with everything possible.

We're on day 4 with our new Malibu 2LT...and can't stop looking at it, let alone the drive... :D

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Anyone doubting the CX-9 is either oblivious or stupid. Take your pick. It deserved this just as much as the Malibu. The Enclave is great, but...

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22/31 for a Camry V6

21/22 for a RWD Tahoe

Not exactly the same there.

Looks pretty much the same to me.

Besides, I'm just quoting what every major source has said.

Now go waste your time somewhere else picking a fight you can actually win.

:cheers:

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One is highway, one is city, not the same thing at all. If you had said the Tahoe Hybrid gets the same mileage as anMB E350 (actually the Tahoe does better) or something that it does get similar mileage to, thats fine, but taking the low rating on one and the high on another is bunk.

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One is highway, one is city, not the same thing at all. If you had said the Tahoe Hybrid gets the same mileage as anMB E350 (actually the Tahoe does better) or something that it does get similar mileage to, thats fine, but taking the low rating on one and the high on another is bunk.

I said the very same thing stated in both the press release and the rags.

BTW, personal grudges aren't healthy for the site or the well-being of it's members. (That goes for everyone here who seems to have a problem with me)

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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Who is holding a grudge, I'm just pointing out that you made a statement that isn't factual.

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WOW ... this is GREAT news for GM!

I saw it earlier tonight on a couple different newscasts, and each time, they talked about the GM Ch#$r%*et malibu MORE than the Mazda CX-9, which would seem to be great publicity for GM. Now, they just need to get the word out ... and toot their own horn a bit.

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Who is holding a grudge, I'm just pointing out that you made a statement that isn't factual.

5 Minute search:

to a V-6 Toyota Camry–shaming 20 mpg city rating
SOURCE: http://www.caranddriver.com/previews/14282...4wd.html?al=120

For example, the 2WD Tahoe and Yukon match the four-cylinder Toyota Camry's 21 mpg city rating and beat the V-6 Camry's city rating by 2 mpg.

SOURCE: (Automotive News) http://www.cheersandgears.com/forums/index...hl=tahoe+hybrid

Once again; I'm just reiterating what we've heard from day one.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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a full size SUV that gets the mileage of a Camry is astounding.

That would be astounding.

22/31 for a Camry V6

21/22 for a RWD Tahoe

Not exactly the same there.

Just a correction. The Camry V6 is 19/28, while the I4 is 21/31. The 22/31 rating you have is the '07 EPA rating on the V6.

The Tahoe Hybrid gets a combined rating that is only 10% shy of the V6 combined rating of a sedan. That is a nice thing to see, but then I really don't see why everyone compares the two. Why not compare Apples to Apples? The Camry hybrid is rated to 33/34.

Looks pretty much the same to me.

Besides, I'm just quoting what every major source has said.

There is no logic in this statement. 21/22 does not look the same as 22/31.

Will you blindly follow what a source says (an automotive journal or magazine) even though the result contradicts itself?

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Let us further analyze the Tahoe hybrid.

It costs roughly $10,000 more than its equivalent gas-only model. Comparing features I found the LT3 to be most comparable with standard equipment, if that is incorrect please correct me.

For $10,000 you certainly get increased mileage. 14/20 for the 5.3L versus 21/22 for the 6.0L hybrid. Let us also assume that while the Tahoe has a larger engine, the extra weight of the hybrid system negates it, as the hauling and max trailer weight are both lower in the hybrid (in the hybrid's defense, it is reported to be quieter while towing, and is likely quieter around town).

Essentially you get the same usability as the non-hybrid, but with considerably better mileage and a $10k price increase.

Is $10,000 worth what you get?

5.3L = 7,142 gallons to travel 100k miles in city = $22,854 @ $3.20 per gallon

6.0L = 4,761 gallons to travel 100k miles in city = $15,235 @ $3.20 per gallon

Assuming you drive in the city 100% of the time, you're saving $7,619 per 100,000 miles traveled if you purchase the hybrid. If you spend some time on the highway, the cost difference will be less. If you spend 100% of the time on the highway, the cost difference goes down to $1,455. Obviously the Tahoe hybrid should be considered only if the buyer spends most of the time in the city. We all know this. But the results show that even if the buyer does spend all the time in the city, it will still take somewhere around 131,250 miles to recover your costs.

The Tahoe hybrid does and doesn't seem to make its case, depending on usage and having the vehicle for a while. The giant percentage increase does seem good at first, but the real numbers show that it is more marketing.

Now to give some perspective to this, let's compare the Civic EX (25/36) versus Civic Hybrid (40/45).

LX/EX = 4000 gallons to travel 100k miles in city = $12,800 @ $3.20 per gallon

Hybrid = 2500 gallons to travel 100k miles in city = $8,000 @ $3.20 per gallon

That's $4,800 saved per 100,000 miles traveled in the city if you purchase the hybrid.

The Civic hybrid costs $3,890 more than the Civic EX, which would take around 81,000 city miles to recoup the costs. That is considerably fewer miles than the Tahoe hybrid. And the advantage to the Civic hybrid is that if you take it on the highway, you also get considerably better mileage than the gas-only model, although I am not going to do that calculation right now. So while a small sedan hybrid may not have as big of a percentage increase, the real-world numbers do favor it.

In GM's defense, being the first to do this is certainly a feat. And if they incorporate an equally advanced hybrid system into their small sedans, they are sure to do well. I still have a feeling a clean and quite diesel (when they come) would be a better option for larger vehicles like the Tahoe.

Again, if I made any mistakes in my calculations, please correct me. As I did do this in haste.

Edit: And before anyone says it, I am not comparing the Tahoe to the Civic. I am comparing the Tahoe to the Tahoe hybrid, and then separately comparing the Civic to the Civic Hybrid. Then I am putting the Tahoe comparison into perspective by showing that the Civic Hybrid does indeed make sense for someone looking for a compact sedan, while the Tahoe Hybrid doesn't make quite as much sense for someone looking for an 8-seater SUV.

Edited by siegen
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