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trinacriabob

The inevitable Malibu and Fusion/Milan comparison

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I've probably said I time or two how much I like the Fusion/Milan...especially the Milan, and especially in white. (I took some pictures and, once I get my phone data cable, I'll post them). I still like the Fusion/Milan and, at the present time, I like them more than the current Malibu.

However, the way the next-gen Malibu is shaping up (on that sub-forum), I am fairly impressed.

Fast forward: this afternoon, I went to a nearby dealership and was looking at the Milans. I asked the salesperson (he was not pushy) if I could open up a four-cylinder and start it up...and I was able to do that.

The bottom line: the four-cylinder in the Milan is a little loud, despite being given high marks for reliability. I've rented V6s in these cars, so this was a new experience. The four-cylinder in the Malibu (EcoTec) is a lot more pleasing to the ear. With updated styling and the already reliable powertrain, the new Malibu is looking good!

Do you have any opinions on the Ford or Chevy 4-cylinder engines?

Edited by trinacriabob
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My Fusion was never obtrusive, I really only heard the engine when I pushed it. I'd take the Fusion over the current Malibu in a heartbeat. Wouldn't even have to think twice. GM will have to do one hell of a job to make the next 'Bu better than the current Fusion.

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Each have their merits, the Ford has a bigger trunk and a nicer shape. The Sport model is very nice to drive and has a manumatic mode that you shift with the gearshift (which is nice). All in all the Malibu has a much more stylish interior.

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The only Fusion I've driven was a V6, but I've rented Malibu's with the EcoTech, and I think it is a very competent engine for normal day to day driving. I think it really depends on styling, although both are hard to beat in the segment as far as that goes...

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If you prefer the size and heft of your W-bodies, you'll prefer the Malibu.

IMHO neither of them hold a candle to a good W-Body... With Epsilon II coming that may change but as it stands the Malibu is so much narrower that there is much less hip and shoulder room... it feels kinda tight in comparison to say an Impala or Allure.

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any idea if the '11 'bu will get the 2.4L DI? or will that have to wait for the '12?

Edited by loki
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No complaints here on the Malibu 2.4 (6-spd HM). Good off the line, quiet (until 5K+ RPM), but even then, linear sound quality. Just turned 10K miles, average speed 28 MPH, average mileage: 25+. Had it up to 90 yesterday- very well planted & solid- felt like lots left beyond that (for those interested).

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Will be interesting to see how the Regal compares to these.

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If you prefer the size and heft of your W-bodies, you'll prefer the Malibu.

I'm not buying in the near-term future but, after yesterday, I share your opinion that the GM 4-cylinders are probably better than their Ford counterparts. There's a huge difference in revving a Milan when sitting inside as opposed to revving a Malibu, which remains fairly quiet.

However, I do agree with the post that the Fusion/Milan...right now...has the more pleasing shape/silhouette. That may change.

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I'm not buying in the near-term future but, after yesterday, I share your opinion that the GM 4-cylinders are probably better than their Ford counterparts. There's a huge difference in revving a Milan when sitting inside as opposed to revving a Malibu, which remains fairly quiet.

However, I do agree with the post that the Fusion/Milan...right now...has the more pleasing shape/silhouette. That may change.

Since you are Buick fan, are the Regal and LaCrosse on your comparison list for the the future?

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Since you are Buick fan, are the Regal and LaCrosse on your comparison list for the the future?

I plan on keeping my newer car for a long time...and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I am one of the few who does not like the new LaCrosse at all. I sat in one at a dealership in Chico about a month ago. Sure, the interior ergonomics are very advanced, but visibility is poor and it is too expensive. The Regal makes more sense, but it looks like an American Passat.

If I had to buy in the near-term future, I would wait for the new Malibu and get the base, or LT, model with a 4-cylinder. (I onced rented an 09 Malibu 4 and it was great...I wrote a review). If it turned out I didn't like that car once released, I would buy a base Milan 4-cylinder. There aren't many cars out there that turn my crank right now. In fact, the more I see the current inventory, the happier I am with my decision to purchase the '08 LaCrosse.

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I pick Ecotec over Ford & I'm waiting to hear,see,feel what Fiat brings to ChryCo's table. They do 4 bangers and that being their forte &what I've read leads me to see them as THE competition of the Detroit 3

I was just wondering what those here thought of engine NOISE er make that sounds not knocking or metallic in origin.

Do you guys think that the engine in a modern sedan should sound like a sewing machine or is it acceptable to hear the intake resonance & exhaust. I'm not talking about a sport model, just plain Jane vanilla.

I'm of the opinion that an engine should sound like an engine not an electric motor. Muffled exhaust note some intake sound that lets you know that your into the throttle uh too much. The quietness is the sound of economy the roar the sound of hurry up & get into traffic :2cents:

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Do you guys think that the engine in a modern sedan should sound like a sewing machine or is it acceptable to hear the intake resonance & exhaust. I'm not talking about a sport model, just plain Jane vanilla.

I'm of the opinion that an engine should sound like an engine not an electric motor. Muffled exhaust note some intake sound that lets you know that your into the throttle uh too much. The quietness is the sound of economy the roar the sound of hurry up & get into traffic :2cents:

If it sounds like a lawn mower or a sewing machine, then I don't really like it. Electric engines sound like golf or maintenance carts, so they might take some getting used to. I've heard that the quietness of an electric engine poses a danger in and of itself.

I've grown accustomed to the sound of the Buick (and other GM)V6s over the years and I now like it. However, for me, the most beautiful engine note is that of a small block Olds V8 when it is newer...and the exhaust system is in perfect condition. Nothing sounds as confident and as balanced.

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I've driven the 2010 Fusion and Malibu each twice now.

The Fusions have been sticks though. The Fusion before 2010 was not worth considering. Now its pretty good. My main beef with the Fusion is that the gauges are cheap and there's a little vibration that comes up through the floor. Overall the Fusion is pretty good now.

The Malibu 6 speed hunts too much but so much to be a deal breaker. Power wise its probably a non issue. Both about the same.

I think its really a matter of what your preference is based upon looks or whatever. The Malibu rides a bit too low for my tastes and has a fairly inconvnenient trunk. Neither is a deal breaker if the price is right. I prefer the Malibu's styling although the Fusion at least has nice door panels inside.

Thing is, sit in and drive the new LaCrosse and Taurus and you'd pretty much would want to save up some more money to get one of those.

FWIW the Altima with CVT is a smoother drive than the Malibu and Fusion but not by a lot. All the cars in this class are close. Just pick the one you like the styling and features. Either is a good car.

In just terms of engines, the GM Ecotech is a lot more refined than the Ford 4-cylinders.

the new ford 2.5 is as good or better.

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the new ford 2.5 is as good or better.

Has there been a change since the 2.5 I just had in the 2010 Fusion Hybrid? Cause that one got rough at higher RPMS... the 2.4DI Terrain was much smoother all over the RPM band when the transmission wasn't lugging the engine <i.e. not in ECO mode>

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IMHO neither of them hold a candle to a good W-Body... With Epsilon II coming that may change but as it stands the Malibu is so much narrower that there is much less hip and shoulder room... it feels kinda tight in comparison to say an Impala or Allure.

That is where I stand. Say what you will about the W-body but my Impala fits me like a comfortable pair of shoes. The Malibu doesnt quite do that for the same reason you just described. I also dont like the door openings as a whole with the Malibu. I have to make sure I dont hit my head on them where the Impala I can more or less just slide right in. I cant say how the Malibu drives since I have not driven one but I sure like how my Impala drives. Smooth, quiet easy controls(Though the brake can be a little touchy). The 3.5 liter in it is powerful enough for me and the fuel economy is excellent in my opinion. About 21-22 city and 30-31 highway. Huge trunk, back seat could be a little larger but nobody has complained.

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That is where I stand. Say what you will about the W-body but my Impala fits me like a comfortable pair of shoes. The Malibu doesnt quite do that for the same reason you just described. I also dont like the door openings as a whole with the Malibu. I have to make sure I dont hit my head on them where the Impala I can more or less just slide right in. I cant say how the Malibu drives since I have not driven one but I sure like how my Impala drives. Smooth, quiet easy controls(Though the brake can be a little touchy). The 3.5 liter in it is powerful enough for me and the fuel economy is excellent in my opinion. About 21-22 city and 30-31 highway. Huge trunk, back seat could be a little larger but nobody has complained.

I, too, will relentlessly defend the W-body. What great cars ... though some more than others. Obviously, I'm partial to the Buick versions of this platform, but others were also great. I, too, found the 2006-2007 MCs (in rental experiences) to drive nicely enough, have sufficient power, and get great gas mileage (I hit 33 mpg (!) in a 3.5 V6 between Portland and Tacoma).

Still, I'm waiting to see what this next "tune up" holds for the Malibu. I accept that the W-body is gone, just like the rear-wheel drive GM mid-sizes were eventually phased out. They all had their place in the sun, and we await the next great GM platform.

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Has there been a change since the 2.5 I just had in the 2010 Fusion Hybrid? Cause that one got rough at higher RPMS... the 2.4DI Terrain was much smoother all over the RPM band when the transmission wasn't lugging the engine <i.e. not in ECO mode>

Fusion Hybrid uses an Atkinson cycle engine... not sure if that makes the difference or not. As far as Duratec vs Ecotec, it really depends on the application. The 2.0L DI turbo motor in the Cobalt SS seemed pretty smooth, but the 2.2 in the normal Cobalt I rented was pretty intrusive.

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Has there been a change since the 2.5 I just had in the 2010 Fusion Hybrid? Cause that one got rough at higher RPMS... the 2.4DI Terrain was much smoother all over the RPM band when the transmission wasn't lugging the engine <i.e. not in ECO mode>

keep in mind I think the fusion hybrid is on the Atkinson cycle. I've also driven the Escape 2.5 with auto6 and man5 and it's an equal to the ecotec. The ecotec revs freer and seems more lively. But basically the two engines IMO are a draw. The ecotec may be less thirsty in real world mpg but that is just my guess. The ford four is a little smoother seemingly in the escape than the fusion. I hope ford's next fusion excercises all of mazda6's crappiness out of the next gen.

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Fusion Hybrid uses an Atkinson cycle engine... not sure if that makes the difference or not. As far as Duratec vs Ecotec, it really depends on the application. The 2.0L DI turbo motor in the Cobalt SS seemed pretty smooth, but the 2.2 in the normal Cobalt I rented was pretty intrusive.

The cobalt /hhr SS is one of the smoothest engines I know of. It's like buttah smooth.

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I plan on keeping my newer car for a long time...and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I am one of the few who does not like the new LaCrosse at all. I sat in one at a dealership in Chico about a month ago. Sure, the interior ergonomics are very advanced, but visibility is poor and it is too expensive. The Regal makes more sense, but it looks like an American Passat.

If I had to buy in the near-term future, I would wait for the new Malibu and get the base, or LT, model with a 4-cylinder. (I onced rented an 09 Malibu 4 and it was great...I wrote a review). If it turned out I didn't like that car once released, I would buy a base Milan 4-cylinder. There aren't many cars out there that turn my crank right now. In fact, the more I see the current inventory, the happier I am with my decision to purchase the '08 LaCrosse.

Wow you and I are just about on the same page with this. I also do not like the new Lacrosse very much and will defend the W-body cars of which I have owned and worked on many. The current Malibu is a great car in search of some interior width and a trunk and the Fusion/Milan needs a tad more refinement to there base 2.5 4 cylinder. The new Regal coming from Buick may be a contender but suffers the usual GM problem of being a bit overweight and only the 2.4 DI L4 is going to be initially offered with no V6 option, even on the top notch GS which I think is a huge blunder. If I want a fast and the Furious type noisy high revving cammer 4 banger the last car I would look at would be a Buick. And I agree about how there are few cars left that float by boat anymore. They are all looking more and more alike and bland as if the very same designer was penning most of todays designs, V8's are slowly dissappearing ala 1980 all over again, V6's are slowly being withdrawn from mid size sedans, exteriors are getting plainer and plainer, interior colors have gone the way of the Edsel with few choices left other than black, tan or gray and technological do dads are running riot promising extremely high repair costs down the road when the warranty runs out. If you keep a car built today for around 10 years statistics say you will have problems with over 60% of the technology alone not counting normal wear items in your car after the warranty runs dry and the miles rack up driving repair costs through the roof.

I have driven every combination of Malibu and previous generation Fusion/Milan. I badly want to test some 2010 models which are promised to be quieter and more refined and more economical. I can say that between the two cars the Malibu has a nicer looking and finished interior and I slightly prefer it's exterior styling to the current Fusion/Milan with there overly toothy grilles, lack of bodyside moldings and plainer overall look. The 2.4 in the Malibu is quieter than the previous Fusion/Milans twins but I'm not sure about the current ones. I did start up a 2010 Fusion SE 2.5 and revved it up in park and it sounded a tad loader than the Malibu so that may be indicative of real road driving too. The Fusion/Milan however win me over with a larger interior with more room for shoulders, head, legs and cargo with a noticeably larger trunk, more engine choices and options, available AWD, better V6 gas mileage, cheaper prices when similarly equipped, Fords excellent SYNC system and a hybrid that knocks Toyota off there almighty pedestal with superior mileage and interior quality for less coin. I also like the fact that the Fusion/Milan give you std alloy wheels, rear seat center armrest and overhead assist handles for less dough than a base Malibu LS. The Malibu counters with more upscale interior ambience, std stability control, std Onstar and XM radio and a power lumbar and height adjuster.

On another note I heard from a source that the DTS and Lucerne are soldering on for another model year in current form and that the W-body Impala is getting a slight MCE for 2011 with new DI V6 engines and 6 speed autoamtic transmissions and other revisions to keep it from getting stale until the all new 2013 arrives for the more traditional sedan buyer.

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