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2017 Chevy Malibu LT

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Last weekend my brother got married in Destin.  Since we were only staying a few days, we decided it was worth it to rent a car for the trip from Cincinnati to Destin.  I was hoping for a Malibu or Fusion and we received a Malibu that had about 1900 miles on it.  The 1.5L was a solid engine.  I've read where some people complain about turbo lag, but it seemed fine to me.  The sound system was pretty good, although it had a weird issue with my iPod where it would randomly skip a few seconds ahead in the song.  The usb location could have been better.  It's out in the open, so you have to remove whatever device is sitting there if you don't want to worry about someone breaking in.  Not a huge deal, but it would have been nice if there was some kind of cover. 

The ride was really smooth.  I'd say it was about a half step below our Taurus.  Wind noise was minimal as well.  On the way down we averaged 33mpg, which I guess is on target considering we were doing about 80-85mph most of the time.  Driving around in Destin brought the average down a bit and when we got home it was at 31.3mpg.  I think the EPA rating is 37mpg highway

I can see why people want GM to give the option to turn off the start stop feature.  Too many times it almost felt like the car was stalling instead of starting up.  If there was any kind of incline it had issues as well.  This was my first experience with it, so I'm not sure if it's an issue with all cars, but it definitely felt as though there were some kinks to be worked out.  It's also possible that over time I would adjust how I let off of the brake pedal to make it feel more seamless. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the car and would consider it for my next car if I liked the front end.  Maybe they will fix it in the next refresh, but the Impala will probably always have my attention before the Malibu anyway.    

2017%20Malibu_zpskbhoeddq.jpg

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GM has the strangest stubborn streak about certain things. They've doubled down on the useless +/– button on top of the shifter and they refuse to put a Start/Stop cancel button on the interior of many vehicles with the option. Both of these things were universally disliked by owners and reviewers on the previous generation Malibu (and every other Chevy/GM car with those features), yet here they are on a ground-up new car for 2016.

I will say that on the Malibu forum, there's a lot of enthusiasm from the new owners. The Premier 2.0T in particular really has a lot of people smitten. It's a legitimately quick car and people are getting mid-30s mpg on the highway. Even people with the 300 horsepower trifecta tune are exceeding the EPA rating.

For a low $30k family car (for Premier 2.0T), it's kind of impressive that you can push high 13s with an intake and an aggressive tune.

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1 hour ago, cp-the-nerd said:

GM has the strangest stubborn streak about certain things. They've doubled down on the useless +/– button on top of the shifter and they refuse to put a Start/Stop cancel button on the interior of many vehicles with the option. Both of these things were universally disliked by owners and reviewers on the previous generation Malibu (and every other Chevy/GM car with those features), yet here they are on a ground-up new car for 2016.

I will say that on the Malibu forum, there's a lot of enthusiasm from the new owners. The Premier 2.0T in particular really has a lot of people smitten. It's a legitimately quick car and people are getting mid-30s mpg on the highway. Even people with the 300 horsepower trifecta tune are exceeding the EPA rating.

For a low $30k family car (for Premier 2.0T), it's kind of impressive that you can push high 13s with an intake and an aggressive tune.

That makes the new Regal sound promising from a performance standpoint.  We're in a bit of a jam with what we're going to do about our current car situation and I'm trying to hold out until the new Regal arrives. 

About not being able to defeat start/stop.  I wonder how much of that is an EPA thing.  Like do they get bonus points from the EPA for not offering a disable?

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6 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

That makes the new Regal sound promising from a performance standpoint.  We're in a bit of a jam with what we're going to do about our current car situation and I'm trying to hold out until the new Regal arrives. 

About not being able to defeat start/stop.  I wonder how much of that is an EPA thing.  Like do they get bonus points from the EPA for not offering a disable?

When does the new Regal show its face, NYIAS?

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15 minutes ago, Paolino said:

When does the new Regal show its face, NYIAS?

I doubt it, Enclave is showing there.  But it's gotta be soon.

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19 hours ago, cp-the-nerd said:

It's going to be this with a different grille:

open.jpg

I'm not sure what their strategy is to bring in the buyers.  I'm not a huge fan of the look of this... it definitely looks more muscular... have to hear the specs and see the interior and options.

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3 hours ago, Paolino said:

I'm not sure what their strategy is to bring in the buyers.  I'm not a huge fan of the look of this... it definitely looks more muscular... have to hear the specs and see the interior and options.

2.0T, 8-speed or 9-speed, optional AWD

This one is a manual transmission and obviously not for US consumption, but here is the Opel interior.

2017-Opel-Grand-Insignia-interior.jpg

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I really hope Lincoln's re-Americanization of their lineup gains traction and becomes the standard.  There is no luxury or near luxury American automotive brand out there that does not double over on itself apologizing for its nationality... long live the Lincoln Continental, MKZ, and Chrysler 300!

Edited by ocnblu

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10 minutes ago, ocnblu said:

I really hope Lincoln's re-Americanization of their lineup gains traction and becomes the standard.  There is no luxury or near luxury American automotive brand out there that does not double over on itself apologizing for its nationality... long live the Lincoln Continental, MKZ, and Chrysler 300!

Buick is geared towards the Chinese these days, primarily because they buy three times as many of them as we in the US do. <_<

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Thus why the new LaCrosse looks communist?

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5 minutes ago, ocnblu said:

Thus why the new LaCrosse looks communist?

I'm not seeing that... but it no longer interests me like the prior two did.  This Regal, I like what I see so far.

It's odd.. most of the recent cars coming out of GM are failing to interest me in any way. I find myself looking more at Ford/Lincoln, Mazda, FCA, and Volvo lately.  The only exceptions from GM are the CT6, Escalade/Yukon/Tahoe (which one could argue are no longer "recent"), and the big trucks. 

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21 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Buick is geared towards the Chinese these days, primarily because they buy three times as many of them as we in the US do. <_<

Would you like some Dim Sum with that Buick today?

I make you good deal! :P

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@ocnblu I am very excited for you and so happy you did not go with the Mazda's. I expect the jeep will be much better.

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16 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

2.0T, 8-speed or 9-speed, optional AWD

This one is a manual transmission and obviously not for US consumption, but here is the Opel interior.

2017-Opel-Grand-Insignia-interior.jpg

This I like a lot.  The problem with the last Regal (and I'm assuming this one will have it as well) is that the roofline is very low... and being 6'3", getting in and out is a daunting chore to not crack your head on the door frame.  I even had that problem with my last LaCrosse, although it wasn't too bad.  Once you got into the car, you had plenty of headroom, it was just ducking to get in and out of the Regal that I wouldn't have appreciated (that, along with the (in my opinion) underpowered base 2.4L being standard when I was shopping).

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The Regal is supposed to be MY2018, right?

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Nice photo of the Malibu in the original post.  I like the character lines.  The kink in the metal trim on the upper side of the rear "opera window" in the C pillar drives me nuts.  That could so easily be designed out.

I'm betting that the ride is indeed smooth.  I've only driven as late as the last gen, so 2016, I believe.  For it to get the rave reviews, the ride, insulation, and handling had to have been dialed in on quite well.  And 33 mpg is GREAT if you were going down the highway at 80 mph.  Destin, FL, huh?  I'm envious.  I love the FL Panhandle.

In terms of styling, I currently think the Cruze is Chevy's best work in terms of pulling off a good silhouette within its length and width.  I had the chance to drive the new Cruze and loved it.  I will have to write it up.

So it looks like they haven't fixed the start-stop eco mode when at a light.  I, too, wish it could be disabled.  I flat out don't like it.  If it's not seamless, then forget it.

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On 3/16/2017 at 1:29 PM, cp-the-nerd said:

GM has the strangest stubborn streak about certain things. They've doubled down on the useless +/– button on top of the shifter and they refuse to put a Start/Stop cancel button on the interior of many vehicles with the option. Both of these things were universally disliked by owners and reviewers on the previous generation Malibu (and every other Chevy/GM car with those features), yet here they are on a ground-up new car for 2016.

I will say that on the Malibu forum, there's a lot of enthusiasm from the new owners. The Premier 2.0T in particular really has a lot of people smitten. It's a legitimately quick car and people are getting mid-30s mpg on the highway. Even people with the 300 horsepower trifecta tune are exceeding the EPA rating.

For a low $30k family car (for Premier 2.0T), it's kind of impressive that you can push high 13s with an intake and an aggressive tune.

I really like the +/- button atop the shifter.  I only manual shift on steep hills and things.  I know of few folks who paddle shift, if any.  For me, the +/- is in the perfect spot.

SHO's mpg for his rental is consistent with what i have experienced.  Mine is around 8500 miles now and after the ECM reflesh and a bit warmer weather, the mpg may finally be coming back around again.

i am surprised to hear anyone mention turbo lag on the 1.5.  It really has no lag at all.  What it does lack is overall power and torque, but that is due to engine size.  I am in the camp now that would go for a larger engine but the mpg was partly why i went with the 1.5.  GM charges too much for the 2.0 upgrade and the 1.5 is there to help CAFE.  May favorite part of driving the 1.5 is how light and nimble the car is.  The 2.0 has a boat anchor front end in comparison (or at least it feels that way).  I don't like the heavier feel of the steering and the different weight balance of the 2.0.  I do think the 2.0 could stand to be replaced, too.  It's not as smooth as the 1.5.  What GM should really do is put a new 2.0 in it.  I would even scrub the 1.5 except for the LS and make a 1.8 variant for the volume seller.  What's crazy is i was watching an Opel insignia video for 2018 yesterday, and it mentioned that in Europe that there are like 2 other engines that are going to be offered that have less power than the 1.5 we know (one version is a detuned 1.5).  To circle the wagon, the powertrain (aside from getting the oil pan leaks fixed twice) is very very good and the deliberately planned weakness is the lack of power.

I've had the hybrid for a loaner twice now and it does get 40-45 mpg.  The car as a whole feels different though.  Its way heavier and therefore the ride is not amazing because the suspension is not tuned amazing.....they spent all the dollars on powertrain development and slapped a suspension in it.  The electric motor noises and powertrain whine become evident when the car is in electric mode.  Normally you wouldn't hear fine detail like this in an all gas car, but if electric cars want to be full mainstream they will have to work on fine detail things like that.  Its sort of petty when considering overall the powertrain behaves quite well in the hybrid, much better than any other hybrid I've driven.  The trunk is not as compromised as has been made out to be.

I would LOVE to see this car with a light v6 turbo, like a 2.5 and real sophisticated sport suspension to go with it.

next time if i get another malibu or the regal i will for sure pop for the moonroof to lighten up the cabin and get rid of some of the claustrophobia.  Otherwise the driving position and front seat space is so nice, especially compared to the last gen Malibu.

I still am not in one camp or another on the auto stop, but i absolutely would love to have a switch to turn it off at my discretion. 

 

 

On 3/17/2017 at 8:41 PM, Drew Dowdell said:

2.0T, 8-speed or 9-speed, optional AWD

This one is a manual transmission and obviously not for US consumption, but here is the Opel interior.

2017-Opel-Grand-Insignia-interior.jpg

STOP IT, THAT GETS ME HOT  (except for the seat cover)

On 3/17/2017 at 9:18 PM, Drew Dowdell said:

I'm not seeing that... but it no longer interests me like the prior two did.  This Regal, I like what I see so far.

It's odd.. most of the recent cars coming out of GM are failing to interest me in any way. I find myself looking more at Ford/Lincoln, Mazda, FCA, and Volvo lately.  The only exceptions from GM are the CT6, Escalade/Yukon/Tahoe (which one could argue are no longer "recent"), and the big trucks. 

The LaCrosse got ZERO love at the auto show.  Aside from me, i am not sure i saw anyone get into one or really look at them.

IMO its the Hyundainess of it that is a huge turnoff.  Well, that and the small interior and the, you know, crossovers.

Edited by regfootball

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On 3/18/2017 at 0:48 PM, Paolino said:

This I like a lot.  The problem with the last Regal (and I'm assuming this one will have it as well) is that the roofline is very low... and being 6'3", getting in and out is a daunting chore to not crack your head on the door frame.  I even had that problem with my last LaCrosse, although it wasn't too bad.  Once you got into the car, you had plenty of headroom, it was just ducking to get in and out of the Regal that I wouldn't have appreciated (that, along with the (in my opinion) underpowered base 2.4L being standard when I was shopping).

Apparently the same headroom as the previous Regal.  Roof is lower, but so is the seat.

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