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What have we done? 2016 Malibu 1LT 1.5t

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Progressively wider, 'all season' tires have pushed cars into AWD powertrains for winter traction. It's not weight-driven, as cars now are heaver relative to their footprint than ever before.

Edited by balthazar
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On 6/30/2016 at 9:15 AM, regfootball said:

Start stop hasn't come on much so far. If you are soft on the brake pedal, it won't shut off.

It's no CTS but it'll do. :)

Mazda is way overrated. The car gets good test numbers because of the way they ring it out but in normal driving it doesn't shift or wind up fast enough to feel quick. And it's not quiet sounding like the Mali. I'm surprised at how Sprite the 1.5 and real tranny is when you learn the torque band. When off the gas it just cruises well and is really quiet.

I would totally agree with this.

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2 hours ago, balthazar said:

Progressively wider, 'all season' tires have pushed cars into AWD powertrains for winter traction. It's not weight-driven, as cars now are heaver relative to their footprint than ever before.

2016 Malibu is noted at 3,159 pounds in Car and Driver's road test of the 2016 model.  Car and Driver's road test of a 2014 with the 2.5 Ecotec is listed at 3,571 pounds.

The 2016 (new) Cruze they have noted as 2,944 pounds, and the LTZ of the old 2011 Cruze is listed at 3,206 pounds in one of their articles.

The AWD 2018 Buick Regal GS (platform shared) is listed as 3,820 pounds.  The 2014 Regal GS AWD that C/D tested was listed at 4,022 pounds.

Edited by regfootball
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^ That's cool, I realize GM has put dieting on the short list, and that's good. It's also spurred a number of other OEMs to follow suit. Generally speaking as I was tho, vehicles have gotten extremely porky vs. their size.

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On 2/10/2019 at 7:07 PM, regfootball said:

2016 Malibu is noted at 3,159 pounds in Car and Driver's road test of the 2016 model.  Car and Driver's road test of a 2014 with the 2.5 Ecotec is listed at 3,571 pounds.

The 2016 (new) Cruze they have noted as 2,944 pounds, and the LTZ of the old 2011 Cruze is listed at 3,206 pounds in one of their articles.

The AWD 2018 Buick Regal GS (platform shared) is listed as 3,820 pounds.  The 2014 Regal GS AWD that C/D tested was listed at 4,022 pounds.

 

On 2/10/2019 at 7:27 PM, balthazar said:

^ That's cool, I realize GM has put dieting on the short list, and that's good. It's also spurred a number of other OEMs to follow suit. Generally speaking as I was tho, vehicles have gotten extremely porky vs. their size.

That '14 Regal GS weighs more than my '81 Oldsmobile!

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1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

 

That '14 Regal GS weighs more than my '81 Oldsmobile!

All the stupid safety Nanny devices probably.

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3 hours ago, dfelt said:

All the stupid safety Nanny devices probably.

Or... like airbags and structural rigidity. 

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Car did some weird sh-t just now at stoplight with the autostop. Engine stuttering and check engine light and stabilitrak warning and behaving like it wanted to stall out. A few months back I had one time where there was a problem with the brake switch and auto stop I had lost my brakes for a bit and the car didn’t want to move ahead appropriately. Hmmmmm..... 

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45 minutes ago, regfootball said:

Car did some weird sh-t just now at stoplight with the autostop. Engine stuttering and check engine light and stabilitrak warning and behaving like it wanted to stall out. A few months back I had one time where there was a problem with the brake switch and auto stop I had lost my brakes for a bit and the car didn’t want to move ahead appropriately. Hmmmmm..... 

Bad fuel?

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I wonder. Recently with bad snow some of the stations have been getting water in tanks. But this was weird. It’s like twice now the brake switch for autostop has been confused. But for a check engine light to come on is troubling. The CEL went away when I restarted the car.  

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Posted (edited)

so I am in month 37 of the 39 mo lease, and i've been shopping but avoiding dealerships and to be honest i am kind of opening up the list a bit on what i may consider next.

But as the Bu crossed 44,000 the other day I think its good to sort of run down what i've learned about this car in 3 years.

-it's a good car, especially for the class of vehicle it is in, but i don't give it an A, it's a B.  It's got enough things about it that keeps it from being an all star.

-engine, i've written about it enough.  it's good for what it is and most of the time it's adequate and fine.  It's smooth and runs well for a tiny turbo, and in particular for a GM four cylinder.  GM is really learning how to make good four cylinder turbos.  This one is capable of stupid good mpg's when conditions are right, and then in winter and cold it can really take a dive.  Hot summers in city driving also, mpg and drivability takes a hit.  in particular when its super hot and the A/C is running you really wish you could turn the auto stop off.  The throttle linkage or whatever also feels a little like it doesn't exactly respond to your foot like it used to.  The turbo still has nice mid range pick up.  Overall for what it is the engine is smooth but the fact that its a small turbo means it comes off as overworked and buzzy at times.  I actually believe putting the new LSY 2.0 turbo in the Malibu as a low cost option would be a great solution since that motor also gets good mpg closer to the 1.5, and it runs well on regular gas (whereby the 2.0 currently in the Malibu really likes premium).  In my one test drive of the 19 with CVT it actually sounds a bit noisier at times due to the CVT or less sound deadening (it seems like it has less anyways).

-transmission, the 6 speed works mostly well but over time gets slower with shifts and some other behavior that lets you know the car has miles.  When you kick down on the six speed it really doesn't respond super quick.  Sometimes that can be a bit dangerous so drive accordly.  My CVT equipped 19 test drive revealed a difference in the way the car shifts... maybe not as great a pickup from a stop but perhaps better roll on response.  In any event, the 6 speed does a good job considering it has only 6 speeds, but i can understand the motivations of trying the CVT (lower cost and possibly better roll on response).  The Malibu doesn't come off the line great in either scenario but the only sensible way to correct that is a larger 2.0 option with 9 speed on the LT.  I don't think Chevy and GM and Barra's crew is bright enough to make that smart move.  The car would be flat out amazing with that powertrain.   Actually the higher output version of the 1.5 and 9 speed auto would have also been good for GM to try in this car to keep high mpg and boost acceleration a bit.

-interior, i do like the interior still after 3 years but i am so tired of the all black.  It is just so dreadful.  The cloth is actually a better option to tone down the darkness I think (mine is leather).  I think if i had the nice 2 panel moonroof it would have helped immensely; it still feels like a bunker inside.  2019 on some trims has an option for light wheat interior which i saw at the auto show and was really a nice change.  But it already had lots of marks on the seats, that color will be tough to keep clean.  Overall GM and chevy have to learn how to get some variety in the interior environments of these cars on more of the cars available on the lot.  Gauges I wish were larger, and they need to work on the menus and look of the info screen inbetween the gauges.  The ipod on the dash was always perfectly functional but the interface looks old and has been updated for 2019.  The shape and configuration of that screen on the dash needs a change.  And its a bit out of reach.  The climate controls I love, super simple but I wish my car has dualzone.  And also the climate should have a display on the screen to show what functions are on and what temps etc. and should show them when carplay is in use as well.  The area below the climate control and in front of the shifter is hard to make efficient use of and a bit of a reach, especially for trying to find the USB ports.  The steering wheel is nice except i've grown weary of the rubberized buttons.  I would prefer real buttons.  I like the stalk arrangement, very simple for the wipers.  Window and door lock switches are nice and better than my perception of older GM cars.  The storage under the armrest is nice sized.  The armrest itself is comfy, even if its thinner and a bit cheap looking.  The cupholders work well and I like them as they have them set up.  I like the real shift lever although it is kind of big.  I have a rotary shifter in our van and have tried some other shifters and I do like the basic shift lever concept as it is.  Still.

-the seats, seating space and room is good, and of course more room is always nice but for the class it works. I am even comfy in the rear seats.  The front seats and the driver seat in particular I don't like much anymore.  They feel like they don't have enough heft, structure and padding.  Therefore the support feels less than it should be.  The power recline mechanism jerks, feels like its gonna go off its track or something.  The lumbar pad can always be felt digging into your back, at least that's what i think it is....the cloth versions i had in my rental one time felt more comfortable.  Maybe the heated seat and lumbar pads take away from the padding and support of the seat and telegraph through the material. GM was trying to engineer all parts efficiently on this light car and i think they needed to add a little bulk back into the seats and make them more comfortable and feel like they will last longer than 5 years before something breaks.  The shape of the backrest and bottom is ok apart from maybe needing a bit more wdith but the rest of the seat needs work.

-Carplay, its been buggy.  Its almost for a separate post, and i'm glad i've had it.  But i've been beta testing for 3 years I feel.  You never always know if its going to work, or if it will not like the cable.  Or if it will stumble all over itself during functioning.  And part of it is Siri, that bitch.  Like I said it could probably be a separate post.  Still an overall benefit but not completely enjoyable or dependable.

-trunk, nicely trimmed IMO and lots of space for the size of the car.  The extremely light lid and spindly arms have remained in perfect function and felt nice and precise the whole time.  Very good body engineering by GM here.

-ride and handling, still like the steering a lot.  at times it can feel a bit heavy.  I mean, for a cheap FWD car its quite good.  But its no CTS.  The ride is comfortable until you start getting imperfect paving then its a crapshoot.  Sometimes it can feel like a harsh dumptruck with no compliance and make loud thunks on even tiny bumps.  Other times it can just feel good.  This is really just what you get with this class of car.  Econo ride and feel.  I do believe it is one of the better rides and drives in the class, its just that i think this is partially why crossovers are so popular.  They feel like they ride and drive cushier.  The malibu chassis is great and deserves and sport tuned steering and suspension that take it from being a commodity priced experience to something athletic and a comfortable responsive sport sedan with ride compliance.  The 2.0 LSY motor and a well tuned ride and handling package would make a really good real RS package for this car I believe.

-brakes.. fantastic brakes.  firm feel, stop well.  But actually the pedal can be too hard at times and be hard on your feet.  It's that firm.  But the brakes are great...you used to never be able to say that about GM cars.

-winter ability.  The car did well in winter the first couple years but this year i needed snows because otherwise it was so light and skating so much.  The very thing that helps the car feel agile and gives it efficiency makes it an occasional bear to deal with in winter.  The snow tires did help a lot.  But just be sure to know a large light car with fwd in winter you may want something heavier.

-mpg.  in the last 6-9 months the mpg has dropped overall.  by 1-2 i think.  Overall the life of the car will probably average out to 30 mpg which is good for a large car.  And this is through winters and about 2/3 city driving.  I think for a little more heft on the car, and a larger motor i would give up 3-4 mpg and be ok with it.  If the CVT can get back more mpg then that's ok too.  If not, what is the point of the CVT. 

-durability.  aside from the getting the oil leaks fixed a few times, and the engine computer fix for the potential piston issues it seems to holding well.  That said if i would be to keep this car i would get a lot of maintenance / fluids etc, done on it.  I had one incident where the autostop malfunctioned and the brakes gave out and the car died.  I was able to restart it and things came back...but it was a slightly unsettling incident at a left turn that i was fortunately able to not have accident.

End game, GM won't do many more updates to this car in a dying class but I know if they put in a new dash, put the moonroofs in more cars on the lot, set up their option packages better, gave it a more sophisticated ride, and offered a low priced 2.0 option with the LSY i think they can keep growing interest in this car.  By 2022 model they should look at a full reskin though.  And GM won't i bet.

Edited by regfootball

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Thank you for the updates on your Malibu.  May I recommend an Equinox/Terrain as your next vehicle?

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

Thank you for the updates on your Malibu.  May I recommend an Equinox/Terrain as your next vehicle?

I can almost barely stomach a Terrain, i really don't like the Equinox; the Regal TourX or Sportback is at this time, if all works out, destined to be my next vehicle.  If i had to get into an Equinox i would make sure it was equipped correctly.  An Envision is better than both the Terrain and Equinox.

But now the new Explorers are coming out, i really want to see if the hype is worth it.  And if a cheap deal on a Blazer (I said i would never be caught dead in a blazer) came up I would consider it.  Sometimes they lease out the Enclaves cheap too.  I was looking at an XT4 as well but its just a bit small.  Large enough for just me but family of four occasional road vehicle its a bit small. 

An Atlas might be ok.  Actually the FWD 4 cylinder Atlas is a good fun ride but you can't do an AWD 4 cylinder atlas.  If i buy an SUV i would probably want it to have AWD.  If it were a short lease i could do FWD.

I could have liked a used LaCrosse but i just don't like the constrictive center console.  The CTS used if it had a little more backseat room may have been something to consider more.

Checked out the Hyundais again the other day.  I swore i never would do Hyundais but the Palisade or Sonata that is going out before the new crazy ones come in could be late options.  Accord 2.0 would be an option if Honda had blind spot monitoring, plus I just can't deal with the looks of it.

I went back to looking at the Fusion also.  AWD 2.0 Fusions brand new are SOOO cheap right now.  

Not really an SUV guy so if i got into an SUV it would be me giving in to the crowd more than seeking something i would have fun in.

Edited by regfootball

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“so I am in month 37 of the 39 mo lease...”

I always look forward to these updates; what once was a bright, shiny penny inevitably morphs into an impression involving dump trucks and how vehicle X isn’t vehicle Q. It takes a while, but I’ve realized it’s not the vehicle that has changed.

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600 mile one day round trip in the Malibu yesterday.  Likely the last big road trip in it. 

Also. Turned in a 50.9 mpg 25 mile best. Didn’t top my all time 25 mile best of 52.0 but it would have if I had two more miles before needing to exit. The 50 mile Best was 47.8 and just shy of my all time 50 mile best of 48.0. Nice mpg. 

C88CFAD3-6BF4-4DBE-8A8D-4DE98CAA8FC1.jpeg

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Posted (edited)
On 7/13/2019 at 7:58 PM, regfootball said:

Checked out the Hyundais again the other day.  I swore i never would do Hyundais but the Palisade or Sonata that is going out before the new crazy ones come in could be late options.  Accord 2.0 would be an option if Honda had blind spot monitoring, plus I just can't deal with the looks of it.

I went back to looking at the Fusion also.  AWD 2.0 Fusions brand new are SOOO cheap right now.  

If it's a 2.0T Accord, it has blind spot monitoring, standard. That's a pretty common Honda feature now, and unlike GM's invisible version, you can 1) see it, and 2) it has the audible beep not just a silent yellow amber light. 2.0T Sport, EX, EX-L, etc. have it, along with the other lane keep, and such.

Fusion, not a bad move. Deal, etc. too. Lots of solid options.

Edited by caddycruiser

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