By on November 9, 2007

x08ch_ma076.jpg
We’ve all heard GM’s party line too many times: “Sure, we’re not doing so well with our current products. But we’ve redesigned the [insert model name]. It’s going to bring new car buyers flooding back to [insert brand name].” Each time, the new product has fallen short. Each time, GM has surrendered market share, especially in the midsize sedan segment it once dominated. Does the latest object of GM’s hype, the redesigned 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, continue this downwards trend?

Let’s face it: only die-hard loyalists listen to/believe anything GM says these days. So the only way a new GM product is going to get noticed outside the fold is if it looks 1) like nothing else and 2) damn good. Despite sharing sub-skin bits with the Pontiac G6 and Saturn Aura and cribbing from the Acura TL, the new Malibu actually delivers on both counts. People who haven’t considered a Chevrolet in eons may become interested after seeing the car.

As a Chevrolet, the Malibu is theoretically at the bottom of GM’s totem pole. For once, GM isn’t aesthetically hobbling a Chevrolet to make room for other divisions’ models. The Malibu’s artfully curved bodysides, formal C-pillar and Lexus-like brightwork provide a more upscale appearance than the equivalent Pontiac or Saturn. The prow might prove controversial, but it makes a strong, distinctive statement without the use of a gaping grille or sci-fi aesthetics. Trim alignment could be better, though.

x08ch_ma065.jpgInside, we’ve got two tones, retro curves and cut lines galore— the sort of multivarious approach GM’s interior designers have long favored. In the past, after the bean counters and manufacturing engineers had their wicked way, the result has been a tacky mess. This time GM stayed true to the concept.

The Malibu cabin’s lines flow the way the original designers intended, the workmanship is first-rate and the materials vie for best in segment. Sure, the door pulls and some close-at-hand panels are hard plastic, but so are the same bits in the competition. There’s more of the soft-touch stuff than you’ll find in an Accord or Camry.

The Malibu’s driving position falls close to class average– not too low or too high. Legroom is plentiful in both the front and rear seats. The moderately firm seats provide proper support. And au courant ambient lighting is a welcome and unexpected standard feature in this class.

x08ch_ma084.jpgIf there’s one place the interior falls down, it’s shoulder room. Time was American cars were much beamier than their competitors. But the Epsilon platform that underpins the new Malibu was developed with European markets in mind, so you’ll actually find a couple inches more shoulder room in a Toyota Camry or in the newly supersized Honda Accord. A relatively tight cabin lends the Malibu a sportier feel, but isn’t good if you want to scrunch three adults into the back seat.

So the new Malibu’s exterior and interior styling could bring people back into a Chevrolet showroom for the first time in decades. The test drive could still disappoint.

Chevy offers two engines: a 169-horse four and a 252-horse V6. The four, like those in competing sedans, provides merely adequate acceleration. The V6 is literally overwhelming. Mash the go-pedal at low speeds and the steering wheel jiggles this way and that as the Eagle LSs fight for traction. Either transmission shifts smoothly, but the V6’s paddle shifters are about as useful as mammaries on a mule. The six-speed slushbox doesn’t react promptly to manual inputs, preferring a prod from your right foot.

chevymalibu014.jpgToss the new Malibu through some turns and you’ll find excellent composure and well-checked body lean– but not the sharpness of a hardcore sport sedan. The base 16-inch tires look dinky and provide little grip; the V6’s 18-inch treads hang on considerably better, and mutter quietly as their limits are approached.

Weighting feels more natural with the V6’s hydraulic steering than with the electric rack in the four, but neither system provides much feedback. The feel through the wheel is solid and steady rather than quick and sharp. Enthusiasts should opt for the LT2, where faux suede center panels usefully augment the seat’s side bolsters.

x08ch_ma077.jpgThe Malibu’s chassis excels in one key area: providing a smooth, quiet ride. Even over nasty stretches of pavement you’d better keep an eye on the speedometer to avoid flashing lights in the rearview. For the typical midsize car buyer, the ride-handling balance is outstanding. The Bu serves-up less wallow than the vanilla Camry, and it’s smoother than the Accord or Camry SE.

The bottom line: the new Chevrolet Malibu backs up its upscale looks with an upscale feel. Potential customers [theoretically] drawn to Chevrolet showrooms by the Malibu’s sheetmetal won’t be disappointed by the rest of the car. GM has finally built it. But will they come?

[Michael Karesh invites Malibu buyers to join TrueDelta's reliability panel.]  

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

198 Comments on “Chevrolet Malibu Review...”


  • avatar
    f8

    Not bad! Although I hate how the rear end looks – worst part of the design in my opinion

  • avatar
    glenn126

    I’d be curious to know if the V6 is an ancient overhead valve engine with central camshaft, or a modern engine worthy of competing against a Hyundai Sonata (never mind a Toyota Camry, Honda Accord or Nissan Altima).

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    No worries, the V6 is a 24V DOHC.

    But another question. Is it profitable?

    If so, then GM does have the secret recipe for success in midsizes.

  • avatar
    f8

    glenn126, the V6 in the Malibu is apparently a 3.6 DOHC with VVT, while the one in the new Accord is a 3.5 SOHC VTEC. They have comparable outputs at 252 hp for Malibu and 268 for Accord. The Malibu’s engine is an LY7 from the CTS/Aura/many other recent GM cars. Honda’s V6 has Variable Cylinder Management though, don’t know if LY7 does

  • avatar
    Kevin Kluttz

    I’ve heard that it is a twin overhead cam engine. The V-6, that is.

  • avatar
    confused1096

    Hmm, interesting. If these are still holding together five or six years from now I’ll believe GM is serious about making a decent car.

  • avatar
    Joe C.

    Nice, balanced review, Michael. Thanks.

    I’ve been buying/owning cars for over 30 years and the closest I’ve owned to an American make has been a Ford/Mercury Capri. I have a long-standing and admitted bias toward Japanese cars. [I remain skeptical of my wife\'s Jeep, but she owned it long before we met.]

    I want to check this car out. That’s monumental.

  • avatar
    bleach

    Glad to see some photos in normal lighting unlike the ads. Looks good from the side but agree with f8 that the rear is just blah.

    Can’t wait to rent one when it shows up at National, and I mean that in a good way.

  • avatar

    This sounds so much better than the Camry I tested. Inside and out, stylistically and mechanically. Wow.

    Thank you Michael, and thank you GM!

  • avatar

    Thank you Michael. But the car to beat in this segment/price is neither the Accord, Camry, or the Altima. It is the new 2009 Mazda6, which from all accounts is dropdead gorgeous, and no doubt will be best in class in terms of zoom-zoom.

    http://www.leftlanenews.com/mazda6.html

  • avatar
    jdv

    I’m suprised. I actually like the styling and I think you just said it measures up well against a Camry and Accord which is mind blowing. I figured it would be a couple more generations of cars before detroit could be truly competitive in that class.

    Now the trick is to get people shopping in that class an honest evaluation without resorting to huge rebates.

    Would also be nice if they announced they wouldn’t be selling ANY to fleet sales.

  • avatar
    allythom

    I’m really heartened to read this review (and I admit I’m a something of an import bigot -being an import myself). It sounds as though GM has finally got it together, I truly hope so.

    If the cars are reliable and sell, then this serves as impetus for everyone else to get off their laurels.

  • avatar
    blautens

    It looks like a step in the right direction (although I personally abhor the Chevy corporate front end, including this one, especially with the giant tacky gold bowtie and of how it clashes with some color schemes worse than others)…

    But after burning SO many people with subpar reliability, the dealer experience from hell, and resale values that make sure you feel the pain for years to come, it’s gonna be a long road back, even if the car drives well.

    I know I wouldn’t be willing to get into a long term relationship with GM, when there are safer bets around the corner.

  • avatar
    KatiePuckrik

    The back end reminds me of a VW Passat and Jetta.

    Good effort on GM’s part.

  • avatar
    f8

    It’s interesting that the negative points of this review (torque steer, numb steering feel, lackluster handling) can all be applied to the Camry as well. I don’t think those are all that important to an average consumer. According to the review “this one’s still for … those who put a low priority on the driving experience”, but I think that happens to be most people, as many just want an appliance and not a sporty sedan.

    The Malibu looks like an angry hog, which sets it apart from Camry’s boring jellybean styling. I’m not sure it’ll lure away those that want a faux-BMW (aka Accord), but Malibu’s styling easily trumps Sonata and Camry, even with the horrible rear.

    CarNut:

    The 2009 Mazda 6 looks like a cross of the current 6 with the 2008 Accord. It’s a good-looking car, but certainly not stunning

  • avatar
    allythom

    At the very least, providing the quality is really there, these could end up as a tremendous used car bargain (I doubt GM residual values are going to make an immediate about face).

  • avatar
    beetlebug

    I also agree: Nice review. I’ve logged a lot of time in Chevy’s first step on “the road back” the Impala. While the Impala is better than I expected (but not as good as I hoped) this car seems to take Chevy another step forward in “honest transportation”.

  • avatar
    gogogodzilla

    Nice, while I don’t go for a tan and charcoal interior… I figure that GM offers a different color choice.

    As for the rest, it definitely warrants a test drive.

    I wonder what the V-6′s fuel economy is.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    It doesn’t sound like the chassis can handle much power without hurting driveability, so there wouldn’t be much point to criticizing the V6′s output. I’d like to know about its other characteristics though.

    Actually I’d like to hear more about the 4 cylinder version’s shortcomings, those are what people actually buy even though all the reviews focus on the 6s.

  • avatar
    mospeada

    Nice review and I agree that this car definitely looks the part. I despised the looks of the old Malibu, this gives hope for a company that’s not shown us much lately.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Thank you for that very level headed review Michael. Looks like GM may have finally seen the light. If the reliabilty meets expectations then GM could be back in the car game.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    When I tested the Aura XR, I did not find torque steer to be an issue. The paddles were indeed useless, but appropriate application of throttle worked every time. The steering was well-weighted with decent feedback. It sounds like these attributes have been compromised on the altar of ride quality in the Malibu, which is pretty much my expectation for the segment.

    It also sounds like the interior quality shortcomings of the Aura have been partially rectified in the Malibu. Good on GM for not crippling the Chevy, will they update the Saturn? Will it even matter before the next Vectra makes it to our shores and replaces the Aura in a few years?

    jazbo123 asked the right question. GM is bringing some great products to market now (CTS, Malibu, Astra, G8), but if they’re not profitable it will only accelerate GM’s troubles.

  • avatar
    LastResort

    Nice, while I don’t go for a tan and charcoal interior… I figure that GM offers a different color choice.

    To my surprise, they offer a huge variety of interior combinations. Good for them.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    Michael Karesh, so you say the Malibu “wallows less” than a Camry, but which Camry trim are we talking about? There is a big difference in smoothness and sportiness between an XLE and SE. Speaking of which, no surprise this Malibu is smoother than a Camry SE since the SE is the sportiest Camry trim. Chances are an SE handles better than a Malibu too.

    Styling is subjective, but I’m willing to bet the average consumer isn’t going to like that 1992 rear end. It makes the car look dated.

    Good point about the Malibu having less shoulder room than a Camry, yet being so large exterior-wise. Perfect example of just how inefficient the Epsilon platform is.

    The Malibu also is down on features and options compared to the Camry and Accord.

    Overall I would agree with the main point of the review: this 2008 Malibu is a solid effort, but it doesn’t even match the Camry or Accord, let alone surpass them. This new Malibu can now be considered somewhat competitive in this class, and nothing more. Overall it won’t do much to sway Accord or Camry buyers. At most, it might sway Sonata buyers especially as the Malibu will likely see big incentives. Unfortunately for GM, this Malibu could also cannibalize Impala sales.

  • avatar
    maxo

    Johnson: how did you come to see that as the point of the review? It sounded like the Malibu was on par with the Camry and Accord, even though it is not the exact same as either. Just because the cars don’t all match doesn’t mean it “can’t match” them (using the term with a negative connotation).

  • avatar
    labrat

    The outgoing Malibu slogged in the pit of mediocrity for so long that this new car should have gotten a new name. Too bad this isn’t the new Chevelle.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    It looks to be a promising vehicle, and it’s high time that Detroit delivered a solid mid-sized sedan.

    My one concern is that reviews of domestic cars have a bit more of a playing-for-the-home-team tinge to them than I’d like to see. If Honda, Nissan, Toyota or, for that matter, Hyundai produced this car, would there be all of this ebullient hopeful optimism attached to it, or would we be more inclined to view the vehicle more critically?

    As Carlismo indicated, I am inclined to think that the key to the success or failure of this car will rest with the four-cylinder version. That’s what most people buy in this class, and if it’s a dog, it won’t impress anyone. Based upon prior experience, my expectations for the smoothness and reliability of the Ecotech 2.4 liter are low. If they get the styling right but the drivetrain wrong, it will have proven to be a 50% effort, which means more incentives, more discounts and the kind of sales success experienced so far by the Aura (read: none.)

  • avatar
    Johnson

    maxo, did you read the Desirability section of the review summary where Karesh gave it 2 out of 5 stars?

    Michael Karesh:
    Solid effort, sharp looks, but I’m afraid this one’s still for the fleets and those who put a low priority on the driving experience. (Higher trims more desirable.)

    This tells me that the car is decently competitive and nothing more.

    As for whether or not it’s on par with the Camry and Accord, that’s my conclusion based on the facts. Does the ‘Bu come with 7 airbags standard like the Camry? Can you get Nav & Bluetooth in the ‘Bu like Camry/Accord? Does the Malibu have active headrests standard like the Accord? Does the Malibu offer class-leading fuel economy? Does the Malibu offer the same interior room as a Camry or Accord? The Malibu offers less rear legroom, rear headroom, shoulder room, and hip room than the Camry for example. The only thing the Malibu beats the Camry at in interior space is front legroom and front headroom. It loses in all other dimensions.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    I drove one Monday and my impressions were much the same as this review – except I have a stronger dislike of the front end.

    It’s a very nice car. IMO every bit as nice as Accord/Camry/Altima. I’m a long time Honda buyer, but I was very impressed with it.

    Will it get conquest sales? I doubt it will get many, simply because lots of people are not suddenly going to trust GM again. But it should help stop the loss of customers, and in time, may win over some import buyers.

    It’s really nice to see an American company get it right, and in a very competitive segment.

  • avatar
    willbodine

    The thing is, many Cam-cord drivers are on their 3rd, 4th, even 5th ones. They know that their rides, given decent care, will last 200+k miles without a major engine or transaxle rebuild. 30-40 years ago, this demo group bought Impalas and Galaxies for the same reason (well, maybe not 200K back then). So the question isn’t getting these folks to try the ‘Bu, it’s getting them to trust it enough to buy it. My hunch is that it will take a generation for the word-of-mouth cred to catch up with the US brands. And I don’t think they have that long.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    I don’t think the import makers will be sitting around either. Don’t think for a second that Honda and Toyota will let their Camry and Accord flounder in mediocrity while GM improves their sedans. While this brand new Malibu is decently competitive, it may get blown out of the water by the next Camry and the next Sonata which is coming soon, not to mention the next Mazda 6.

    The next Camry is still a few years away, but we will get a new Sonata and new Mazda 6 very soon.

    Fact is GM and the other American makers need to be not just competitive; they need to be beating the class leaders RIGHT NOW. Not in a generation, or even a few years but right now if they want to have any chance of survival.

  • avatar
    labrat

    Pch101-

    I’ve read in other reviews that Chevy has implemented an elaborate set of acoustic baffles integrated into the engine cover that greatly reduces the intake roar, and according to the reviews, the 4 cyl ‘Bu is quieter than the new 4 cyl Accord. I haven’t driven one to verify this, but at least they’re acknowledging the problem and making good efforts to fix it.

  • avatar
    Hippo

    The brown and black interior is downright revolting, and that’s before the silver plastic.

  • avatar
    brownie

    Wow, sounds great. Let’s hope they actually turn it into a profit center rather than pumping out so many they are forced to sell them for a loss.

    I feel like we’re on the verge of some kind of domestic auto renaissance, higher gas prices or not. Being too young to remember a time when domestic cars were class leaders, I am positively giddy – I never thought the day would come where I might step into a domestic showroom, for any reason, ever.

  • avatar
    Drew

    CarNut: “But the car to beat in this segment/price is neither the Accord, Camry, or the Altima. It is the new 2009 Mazda6, which from all accounts is dropdead gorgeous, and no doubt will be best in class in terms of zoom-zoom.”

    Damn, that is good looking! It’s the Seabring’s rear end done right. These short rear decks are all about aerodynamics. If it’s not too huge and heavy and drives well, I know a few people who will be interested in one.

  • avatar
    poltergeist

    Actually kinda glad to see Chevy may have a competative sedan in this class.

    One thing ensures that I will never own one….no M/T available?….in any trim level?

    At least Honda will still give those that want one a manual transmission.

  • avatar
    Seth L

    The dealer experience is a big hurdle.

    Car sounds nice though!

  • avatar

    3, nay, 30 cheers for GM! This car is decades overdue, but it is heartening to see that GM has overcome it’s natural inclination to crap up good cars, and with the Camry somewhat on the decline I think this is gonna be a good fight.

    These last few years as I’ve driven around in my wife’s Lumina, I would dream of the day I could replace it with a more rewarding import, a Legacy or Accord or something along those lines, but this new Malibu really is changing my perspective on our options a couple of years down the road.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    Good point poltergeist, forgot to mention that.

    The new Malibu indeed does not have a manual transmission available in any trim. Both the Camry and Accord still offer manuals in some trims.

  • avatar
    drifter

    Forget Camry and Accord, Malibu doesn’t surpass Sonata on the lower-end and Altima in V6 form.

  • avatar
    86er

    If there’s one place the interior falls down, it’s shoulder room. Time was American cars were much beamier than their competitors. But the Epsilon platform that underpins the new Malibu was developed with European markets in mind, so you’ll actually find a couple inches more shoulder room in a Toyota Camry or in the newly supersized Honda Accord. A relatively tight cabin lends the Malibu a sportier feel, but isn’t good if you want to scrunch three adults into the back seat.

    This is really unfortunate, as this is one of the primary reasons why I buy (traditional) American. That, and the hip room.

    If it has a bowtie, and it’s sold in N. America, it should be an unabashedly American car. Where’s the link to landmark cars like the ’66 ‘Bu here? The CamCord got more popular the larger they got with each successive generation, thereby supplanting the domestic offerings in more ways than just reliability and resale.

    GM has to decide if this is the car they want to compete with new entries from ToyoHonda or if they’re going to keep two cars on either side of the CamCord, dimension-wise.

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    People who haven’t considered a Chevrolet in eons may become interested after seeing the car.

    Not a chance. Not because of the Malibu but because of GM itself. As someone has already said, the truth on whether GM has a Camry/Accord/Altima/Sonata/Mazda6 beater on it’s hands will be if it does the usual fall apart gig after 3 years that is common with much of GM’s iron.

    As for the car itself, it’s just as bland as any of the other blandmobiles we hear so much about on the outside. It’s nice alright but nothing special. Taken on it’s own merits however I can’t see Camcordima owners rushing to Chevrolet dealers to buy one. It just does not have the ‘wow’ factor needed to produce the ‘gotta have it’ feeling. However much you might admire this effort from GM (and it is a good effort), ringing in the back of my head is the thought, ‘but it’s still a GM product….’ For a lot of people who have been burned by shoddy GM products (and there are generations of them) this will be a stumbling block. It does not help giving it the same name as earlier Malibu’s. A much maligned vehicle which deserves much of the criticism it has accumulated over the years.
    People are fickle for sure. Some are saying ‘at last GM is finally getting it together’ or words to that effect. It’s a good first step and I hope this new Malibu lives up to the hype but it will take many more Malibu’s to prove that GM has in fact ‘got it’s act together”! If I had to buy a vehicle from one of the big 2.8, I’d rather have a Fusion. That said, I wish GM well with the new Bu’.

  • avatar
    bill h.

    Like others, I’d like to see a manual option for this car in the future, perhaps even with a detuned turbo 4 setup that the Cobalt SS now has (and of course with a sportier suspension setup).

    Without a manual option, some folks may look instead with the Asian competition, or the Fusion.

  • avatar
    Macca

    Nice review. I’m looking forward to reading more reviews of the new Malibu as well.

    Pch101 said it well though – it does seem as if there’s so much expectation built into this vehicle that you wonder if many reviewers won’t be looking at it through at least somewhat rose-tinted glasses.

    I didn’t read anything in this review that made me think that, however.

    Pch101 also hit the nail on the head with the Ecotech concerns. That’s the model that will undoubtedly sell more, so I’d like to hear how it stands up to the competition.

    What gets me about the folks that love to bash the Camry/Accord is that they act like the domestic auto makers are really pumping out “driving excitement”…the new Malibu has very clean styling – but is it really that distinctive over any other midsize sedan? Frankly I still think the Altima is the standout in this category. I think most midsize sedan shoppers aren’t really looking for overtly distinctive designs – for better or worse – anyway.

    I don’t think there’s any question that this car has the attributes to please any import owner – but like others have mentioned, does it stand head-and-shoulders above the rest? It needs to, to actually score the “conquest” purchases it’s looking for. People on their 3rd or 4th Camry or Accord aren’t likely to even shop this because of their brand loyalty and the knowledge of GM’s not-so-distant past. Plus, anyone counting on Toyota to simply rest on their laurels and let the Camry wither on the vine (like so many domestic cars have – even the promising ones) needs to think again. Add in other cars like the Mazda6 into the mix, and it’s clear that the Malibu is going to need to have a wonderful reliability record in a few years to really make waves.

    I also agree that they should have dubbed it something else, given the Malibu name’s poor-quality connotation.

  • avatar
    Luther

    “But the Epsilon platform that underpins the new Malibu was developed with European markets in mind, so you’ll actually find a couple inches more shoulder room in a Toyota Camry or in the newly supersized Honda Accord.”

    I think this will be a big problem for the Malibu.

  • avatar
    bfg9k

    willbodine :
    The thing is, many Cam-cord drivers are on their 3rd, 4th, even 5th ones. They know that their rides, given decent care, will last 200+k miles without a major engine or transaxle rebuild.

    Well, they may be on their 5th but an awful lot of them still get traded in after 3 years. Longevity is not that important what with the popularity of leasing.

    Does anyone know if the Malibu will offer the 4-cyl with the 6-speed transmission at some point?

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    Could a TTAC be quoted in a Chevy ad?

  • avatar
    umterp85

    Word has it that the 4 cyl will be available with the 6 speed by June ’08.

    However, given the reviews I have read to date—it seems like the 4 speed offers no noticable handicap and shifts smoothly.

    Oh well—perceptually more gears the better these days even if the real difference isn’t much.

    BTW—my trip to the Chevy dealer revealed much the same as this review. Nice work by GM even on the stripper model I viewed.

    The new Malibu combined with the new Altima and Accord (+ others like the Fusion and Sonata)—-make the new Camry look like the old Malibu by comparison.

  • avatar
    EJ

    Let’s start a betting game: how many of these is GM going to sell per month at retail (fleet doesn’t count)?
    This is my guess: 10K/month.

  • avatar
    pdub

    Looks like a nice car and sounds like a nice ride. Certainly the best looking GM product for the masses that’s not niche market. The back end looks Audi A4/Infiniti M35. The front looks, well, silly. At least the profile is Volvo S60.

    CarNut, thank you for pointing out the best design yet for this class. The 2009 Mazda 6 is stunning, almost perfect. Let’s hope the new Fusion is equally beautiful.

  • avatar
    umterp85

    The Edge is doing 12-13K a month…assuming this is mostly retail—–I say that a solid midsize entry like the Malbu will do 15K+ a month.

    That said—I do not think that the numbers will be truly incremental to GM as the new Malibu will pull sales from the Impala not to mention the Aura and G6….guess this breeds another discussion about the need for brand consolidation at GM eh ?

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I’ll predict retail sales of 100k per year. Main casualties: Fusion, Aura, Impala and Sebring.

    The core problem here is that the Malibu needed to be better and different than the market leaders. This car is almost certainly better than the last Malibu, but it doesn’t seem to be distinctly better than the leaders among the competition, which is what counts.

    The Malibu should have made a special and unique styling statement to earn some attention, but it doesn’t. It’s not different enough from the Altima, Camry or Accord to convince very many of those buyers to switch. And I will maintain my doubts about the appeal of the Ecotech until proven otherwise.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Hurray for GM. Seriously.

    I hope that the sales do come at the expense of their Japanese rivals and not through cannibalizing the Impala. I hope GM stays the hell away from rental agencies with this. They already have the Impala, the G6, Cobalt, and LaCrosse. Keep this one for ‘real’ customers only.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Now that GM apparently has a potentially good car to sell it must build positive word of mouth. Treat customers well when they return for service. Assign them the benefit of the doubt on warranty issues.

    There will be a steep corporate and dealer learning curve. Many of the con artists, thieves, and bandits will not survive.

    The enterprise’s survival is at stake.

  • avatar
    rtz

    GM can build a good uni-body. They fail at putting decent motors in them. Might make a comparable rental car though. You’ll be driving one at an airport near you soon enough.

    Nothing new or exciting about this car. Just more of the same.

    Let’s park one next to a Civic, Accord, and Camry. Best mileage? Best performance? Best price? Best resale? Best reliability?

    Sometimes I just don’t think GM wants to be number one. They only go half way. They say, “here’s a nicer looking version then the one before it. The motors lame though and there is nothing special or unique about this car.”

    It’s like they took any Malibu from any year ever made and repainted it and shined it up and handed it back to us and wanted us to think or feel it was all new and great when it’s really just the same as the first 1997 Malibu.

    It’s a lot like the 2008 Mustang. Just the same as the 2005 model. Will a 2010 Mustang be exactly the same as a 2005 model? That’s what’s so frustrating and disappointing about the automotive industry anymore. There is no excitement ever.

    Look at the Mustang time line:

    1964.5-1966
    1967-1968
    1969-1970
    1971-1973

    4 completely different cars. That `67 is dramatically different then a `66. Ford had serious hard core drug problems from 1974-1978 and couldn’t build anything decent.

    1979-1993. What were they thinking? Can you imagine buying a brand new 1993 Mustang and it being no different then the 1979 model? Unreal they could run a car that long. And the fact that the floor pan/chassis from 1979 to 2004 were essentially all the same!!

  • avatar
    i6

    I hate FWD, automatic, 3-box designs, but I love this car. I hope it kills.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    GM is asking the public to take a leap of faith. That this car is for real. Since all we have is past performance to judge by, I know I wouldn’t plunk down money at this point.

    It looks nice, sounds like it drives well, but it’s the customer who will get bent over a bicycle rack if residual stinks and it’s build quality is sub par.

    Biggest problem: price

    Starts at $20k
    Accord starts at $20,360.

    GM needs to pull a Hyundai – price this at $18500 and offer a better warranty. Otherwise, why would anyone take the risk on this car?

  • avatar
    shortthrowsixspeed

    this is a great step for GM. i had serious doubts about the new malibu, but if it’s everything Michael says, it should get some buyers. unfortunately, “should” is not enough to get them into the showroom. GM’s failures have left it off of many consumer’s radars. if i’m looking for a new midsized sedan, i go to honda, toyota, mazda, and nissan first. i do not visit chevy and ford dealers. the heavy emphasis of marketing of this car should help that a little. if GM can get people on the lots and in the seats they should make sales.

    i agree with others that this segment doesn’t sell on driving dynamics. all people want is a good looking car, with a nice and comfortable interior, a smooth ride, and enough power to pass when necessary. no one’s planning on corner carving in a malibu. most importantly though, they want value. people don’t buy midsized sedans because they want to, they buy them because they have to. that means value is king. in other words . . . good point jkross22.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    On the subject of price, the Camry’s base MSRP is at $18.5K. The Sonata base MSRP is under 20K. With 20K base price for the Malibu, big incentives are almost guaranteed. Otherwise GM will have trouble moving large volumes of Malibus especially given the Accord has roughly the same MSRP.

  • avatar
    Phil Ressler

    Can you imagine buying a brand new 1993 Mustang and it being no different then the 1979 model?

    While I agree in general with the pattern of your frustration, I must also say that if you, for instance, had driven a 1993 SVT Cobra and a 1979 Fox Body ‘Stang, the deepest impression would be how vastly improved and different two cars on the same platform could be. In fact, there are a lot of Mustang owners who’d like some of the Fox body attributes back, like its lightness. Those ’79 – ’93 cars feel like Lotus Elises compared to the current expanded waistline car. If only we could have 2007 build quality and body integrity with 1980s mass.

    Phil

  • avatar
    jaje

    I’m pretty stoked for Chevy – one of their first cars in a long time that actually in a picture looks like it was not designed specifically for fleets. I need to ironically take in my low mileage Chevy truck as some interior parts have broken just from normal use (I love giving the dealer grief to fix every little thing) and the cab makes some squeaking noises and sounds like they need to retension the mounting bolts (that’s why I got a warranty). I will drop over and check on the new Malibu if it’s in stock or unhidden.

    As for reliability – that’ll be the judge of it. My brother-in-law has an Impala and Malibu and they are complete crap cars. He only buys them b/c when 2 years old they only cost 50%. His 2002 Venture minivan had 100k miles on it but costs him $2k in repairs each year, the Impala stalls for no apparent reason and it’s related to the airbag computer / electronics. His Malibu has been slightly more reliable but it looks like a headgasket is slowly rearing its ugly head.

  • avatar
    Cicero

    As much as I believe that GM has richly earned the pariah status that it holds among a substantial slab of the American automobile market, a solid effort should be noticed and encouraged. I hope GM manages to sell a boatload of these. Maybe this is a real first step in GM’s quest to break the lock that the Camcords currently have on the American mid-sized sedan market.

  • avatar

    Wow. Definitely a decent looking car. I don’t particularly like the face, but then it’s hard to think of any current 4 door sedans in the larger classes that have faces I like, except for the Acuras. But this is not bad, something I can’t say about most of them. Now, if only the reliability is up there, they might actually have something.

    I do wish it looked like a Chevrolet. By that I mean it should look as if it’s related to the Chevies of the ’50s and ’60s. A face akin to the second gen Corvair, and a clutch, and I’d find it tempting.

  • avatar

    Sorry I’m just getting to the comments.

    The star ratings appear to have gotten oversimplified on the way to publication. The problem is that I first wrote the review based on a test drive of the LS 4 cylinder. Then this morning I drove the LT2 V6, and revised the review to cover both cars.

    But it’s not possible to have more than one set of stars. So many of those only apply to the base car. I tried to indicate where the V6 deserves higher ratings, but some of these bits don’t appear to have made it onto the page.

    With the V6, both performance and desireability get four stars.

    Some asked which Camry. By “vanilla Camry” I meant to refer to the LE and XLE. The SE isn’t vanilla in my book. It rides much harder than the Malibu.

    I think some people are coming away from this review thinking the handling isn’t very good. Actually, it’s very good for a mainstream sedan. Otherwise I wouldn’t say that the ride-handling balance is outstanding.

    Similarly, the torque steer isn’t especially bad as torque steer goes, it’s just there, much as in many other similarly powerful front-drive sedans.

  • avatar
    Rday

    It is great to see GM come out with competitive products. BUt as one poster said, if it is holding together well in 5 or 6 years, I will have to take a look at GM again. Many consumers will not be seduced by this model until it earns its’ credits.

  • avatar
    barberoux

    It’s not bad looking but it just catches up. There are better looking cars in the competition, like the Mazda6. GM can be praised for creating a car that is at least in the same league as others but is it enough. I think those paddle shifters are still for those who can’t handle a clutch and I consider them dorkshifts. Let’s pretend I have a real transmission.

  • avatar
    Freezin

    Nice review Michael. My wife and I recently (July) bought a Saturn Outlook. I gave the Aura a good look over while visiting the dealership. Although a nice looking car, I wasn’t very impressed. The cabin seems to be narrow, and the foot wells are narrow as well. I certainly hope Chevy sells a bunch of these. But I still don’t think the car will be in the same league as an Accord or Camry. Honda and Toyota have been refining those two cars for decades now. Maybe they could sell the same car at Saturn and Chevy dealers and call it the Aurabu?!?

  • avatar
    willbodine

    Michael (or anyone) is there a center rear armrest? GM erred big time by not including one in the Aura.

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    Aurabu? or Maliura? after all, they share the same hard points and powertrains except the 3.5L OHV V6. ‘Cam’ and ‘Cord’ don’t even come from the same company.

    The side profile is awfully familiar, pioneered by the VW Phaeton, also seen in the current Acura TL and Toyota Avalon. No shame in copying from the Germans and Japanese, right?

    The Aura XR 3.6 just got the dreaded Not Recommended tag from Consumer Reports, just like the Camry V6. And on Michael Karesh’s own TrueDelta.com, the Aura went to the shop more often than other vehicles. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em…

  • avatar

    The biggest problem with the Malibu, from where I sit, is Chevy’s dismal reputation. A friend of mine is looking to buy her mom a car in this class to replace her 2003 Impala, and if I suggested she even consider the Chevy at this point, she’d slap me. The Impala, barely four years old and not excessive in its mileage, has in the last year cost her more than $1,500 in nonwarranty repairs. Serious stuff, like failed hydraulic lifters, a bad transmission clutch pack, and most recently a broken rocker arm that caused a complete compression loss in one cylinder. And this on the elderly 3800 engine that powered Methuselah’s first car, in an automobile being driven by the proverbial little old lady. Every time the Impala has visited a Chevy dealership for repair it’s left in worse condition than it came in.

    She and her mom have always had American cars, Fords and GM, but she told me, “I can’t take any more of this.”

    It doesn’t matter if it looks halfway decent or has good scoot. She feels Chevy has betrayed her, and it would take more than rebates to get her back in a Chevy dealership voluntarily.

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    The biggest problem with the Malibu, from where I sit, is Chevy’s dismal reputation.

    Argentla,

    That’s it in a nutshell, well said. Look at what this car is up against and it’s not just the current competition from Toyota, Honda, Nissan etc. it also has to overcome Chevrolet’s (GM’s) reputation for building unreliable, poor quality and lack-lustre cars. I don’t think it has come home to GM yet just how much they have squandered the good will of it’s customers over several decades. Of course those with GM koolaid in their bloodstream will think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread!

  • avatar
    Ashy Larry

    A few comments:

    1. I love how so many (Johnson, for one, but others as well) are writing the car off onthe basis of a few token comments in a review without actually having driven in one.

    2. For all those riding the Mazda6′s jock, I really like the new Mazda6 too (wagon — droooool), but don’t think for a minute that its redesign will pull in materially more buyers than the current Mazda6. The current one is not selling well, and frankly it never really has. Plus, I am more than a little concerned with Mazda’s habit of picking up some of the mediocre reliability of Fords.

    3. Compared to its past efforts under this nameplate, sounds like GM hit a home run with the Malibu, where the prior cars were groundouts or bunt singles. Obviously, GM needs more than that, but still, the message has been sinking in, slowly but surey, that they need top notch product not just “good enough” product.

  • avatar

    No center rear armrest.

    The interior materials are similar to those in the Aura, the styling is just more coherent. As in the Aura, some padding on the door-mounted armrests would be a welcome addition. But at least there’s no fake stitching.

    TrueDelta reported a high repair rate on the Aura last May. CR did so in October. By the time CR chimes in, the model year is alreay over.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    Hey Carnut,

    Thanks for the link. That new Mazda6 does look nice. If it refines the balance of acceleration, hadnling, and interior room that the current Mazda6 provides it along with the Mazda3 and Miata (I don’t car what they want to call it now, it’s a Miata) should certainly increase the foot traffic in Mazda showrooms.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    I think the exterior looks nice, but I hope that interior coems in different color combinations. The interior pictures in the review are a little to jarring for my taste. I hope that this car delivers and helps GM recapture some midsize sedan market share from Honda and Toyota, which are way overrated now IMO. One thing, though, no manual transmission offered is a big drawback for me. I know most people won’t mind, but I wish GM weren’t eliminating manual transmissions from their vehicle lines.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    Phil Ressler :
    November 9th, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    While I agree in general with the pattern of your frustration, I must also say that if you, for instance, had driven a 1993 SVT Cobra and a 1979 Fox Body ‘Stang, the deepest impression would be how vastly improved and different two cars on the same platform could be. In fact, there are a lot of Mustang owners who’d like some of the Fox body attributes back, like its lightness. Those ‘79 – ‘93 cars feel like Lotus Elises compared to the current expanded waistline car. If only we could have 2007 build quality and body integrity with 1980s mass.

    Phil

    So true. Fox body Mustangs are actually becoming somewhat popular with younger hot rodders. They’re cheap, light, and there’s plenty of relatively cheap after market parts. 73-79, well those are still complete garbage. :-0

  • avatar
    packv12

    rtz

    “It’s a lot like the 2008 Mustang. Just the same as the 2005 model. Will a 2010 Mustang be exactly the same as a 2005 model? That’s what’s so frustrating and disappointing about the automotive industry anymore. There is no excitement ever.

    Look at the Mustang time line:

    1964.5-1966
    1967-1968
    1969-1970
    1971-1973

    4 completely different cars. That `67 is dramatically different then a `66. Ford had serious hard core drug problems from 1974-1978 and couldn’t build anything decent.

    1979-1993. What were they thinking? Can you imagine buying a brand new 1993 Mustang and it being no different then the 1979 model? Unreal they could run a car that long. And the fact that the floor pan/chassis from 1979 to 2004 were essentially all the same!!”

    Ford has always let their products sit and stink. The 64.5 Mustang was based on the 1960 Falcon. That platform wasn’t changed until the 1969 model year, to accommodate engines larger that the 390. The new Mustang platform spawned the Maverick and the Granada.

    The Pinto based Mustang was the right car for the time, it sold fairly well while the Camaro didn’t. Granted, even with the 302, it was a slug.

    The fox platform was indeed well used, but for Ford, that’s par for the “corpse”.

    Platform sharing and badge engineering have been going on for so many years, it’s just manufactures could make more model year changes to the bodies. It’s the engineering under the skin that’s expensive.

    That said, I think that it will take too long for GM to be able to capture any good will from consumers. Too many sub-par models for too many years to overcome.

  • avatar
    Macca

    I know this has been mentioned before…but what’s so inexcusable to me about the Malibu is why did it take so long? Why did it take GM so long to create a (beyond) competent competitor in this segment?

    It’s not like the pace-setters in the midsize sedan segment are such thoroughly advanced vehicles – they’ve just been reliable, good cars. Even import-leaning folks like me know that the domestics have been equally capable of producing a similar vehicle. Ford revolutionized things with the 1986 Taurus, but we all know how that story ends up.

    Now what we’ll watch unfold over the coming months is how these new offerings, such as the Malibu, fare against the competition – in sales. GM obviously knew that it was time to create a worthwhile competitor because of their dire straits, but why couldn’t they have done this with the original (1997) Malibu (the car America designed – remember that slogan?). Hindsight is 20/20, but shouldn’t this have been the game plan all along?

  • avatar
    BassPilot

    Reading everyone’s comments about the Malibu and the lack of confidence in the reliability of GM products started me thinking about the last time I actually bought a piece of Detroit iron. It was a 1977 Olds Cutlass Supreme, whose steering wheel lost part of its faux-wood trim midway through its tenure with me. The panel between the trunk lid and the rear window began to shed its black paint, due to improper surface preparation I assume. Mechanically, it was fairly reliable. But its fit and finish stunk. I replaced it with an ’82 Mazda 626 and we’ve owned Mazdas ever since (although my wife and I are considering a Honda the next time around).

    The Malibu has generated a fair amount of interest in me and I admit to liking what I’ve seen so far in photos. But it would take a real leap of faith to get me to purchase a new GM product anytime soon. I think I’ll wait until the long-term verdict comes back on this and the next couple of new GM models before I darken the showroom door of my local dealer.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Between this and the rather un-Pontiac-looking (save for the hood which I wish would lose the boy-racer vents/scoops/whatever) G8, I do hope this starts GMs much-needed turnaround in the non-pickup truck/SUV market. It benefits no one to have a company so large as GM go under and take the rest of the jobs with them. I think the make or break for GM isn't the introduction of the G8 and the Malibu, it's what happens two years from now. That's when sites like TrueDelta, Consumer Reports and the rest have enough solid data to show reliability, resale value, and owner satisfaction. Two years down the road, the General should have implemented any needed updates and fixes that consumers have asked for (like what Nissan/Infiniti did with Gen 1 to Gen 1.5 of the G35 – added better plastics and smoothed the front out a bit.) If they can keep a series of continued improvements, they can start winning conquest sales. If not…and history has shown that to be true – exhibit A, the Solstice/Sky – it will be another GM car in the trash heap of automobile history. Would I buy a Malibu? Probably not. The Chevy corporate grill doesn't seem to fit the car – much like Audi's corporate grill only really works on several models. Would I consider the G8? Maybe. I have some friends in Australia that own the Holden version and they really like it. I have to agree with so many of the posters on the site – we all have been burned so many times by GM's less than stellar rep, dealer service, and resale values that in order to win us back, it's going to take more than a Malibu. It's going to take a whole new attitude towards the customer and not just the shareholders and unions. It looks like this car will finally rid our memories of the Celebrity, Lumina, Corsica, and other mid-sized GM flops.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    I agree with many other posters. Will the car hold up? Will the market be forgiving to GM and give it a chance? GM has come up with nice cars over the past decade, only to see them not become the great sellers they hoped for.

    If they get the volume, and the cars last, then GM will as well. They might want to put all the folks in the plant on a stock option that vests in seven years. Either they build the cars well, and collect, or they don’t and the ship sinks.

  • avatar
    jurisb

    Malibu looks great. the same like american economy. only it is build upon flowing sands. something like us economy over Big china wall of currency reserve held in dollars and the continuous debt bulge.
    let`s look at malibu from other prospective. It is not a new car.. it is a chevy version of Saturn aura/ buick lucerne. even a-pillars are identical. ( gas cap configuration suggests it is a copy cat from Aura), meaning bucks have been saved on exterior. interior is the same- identical. how can you hope for huge sales if it is the same car there is in the market under other badges. it is built upon epsilon platform. meaning german built opel vectra platform. the engines- 3.6 designed and engineered in germany by opel. ( my friend was working on that program for vvt modulation.). the other option – 2.4 liter- designed and engineered by opel in germany. even the basic Aura design is a mould-copy-cat from german opel vectra.. some parts from Signum as well.
    well, does this car have gm hydra -matic or japanese aisin gearbox? other components…….
    great car, except that it is no american at all.
    as i said- american and great can never fit in one sentence, otherwise you wouldn`t have 850bn annual negative trade balance.
    well done Germany! Good presentation USA!
    FAIR GAME. MAybe Ron Paul could bring it back!

  • avatar
    jurisb

    refering to mazda6 sales hit. there is only one problem. the dashboard lacks seriousness. if the 3 a/c knobs would be replaced by a serious digtal screen with buttons it would add `gadgetry` impression giving it more `value` looks. otherwise it couldn`t compete with audis , etc. designwise- exterior is a progress. driving, agility, etc as well of course.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Judging by the comments and interest, it looks like the new Malibu ads are correct. This is the car “you can’t ignore.”

    Jurisb: If you don’t like the Malibu — a car you’ve presumably never seen let alone driven — that’s your business. But I would ask that you save your anti-American rants for another forum.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    I really don’t understand where all the GM hating is coming from in this thread. In fact, a few of you are just about as off base as OJ is when it comes to discerning fact from fiction.

    In the remarketing business, GM models are generally considered to have above average reliability and very good durability. They are easily seen as the best of the big three, and considered better overall than most of the second-tier Japaneses manufacturers as well (Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, etc.)

    I can see certain specific cases where GM is not at the head of the class (minivans and subcompacts in particular), but overall the powertrains and components will generally outlast and outperform the majority of the Japanese and European marques.

    Think about it folks. Buick and Cadillac are routinely at or near the top of the quality rankings for durability (J.D. Power and Polk are usually the two mmost cited ones in the industry), Pontiac, Saturn and Chevy are usually between average and above average (same models, different demographics as far as cars go). The only ones I can say are below average time and again are Saab and Hummer.

    You would be very surprised what is typically seen as the best ‘values’ at the auctions. Vehicles that would generally be spited here, such as the Ford Escort and Saturn S-series, are considered to be high quality vehicles that will generally outlast most of the other models from that time period. The same is true for Mazda Protege’s, Mitsubishi Mirage/Lancer/Galant’s, and virtually any Buick in the market over the last 8 years (except the Rendezvous and Rainier).

    There was a time period where Toyota’s and Honda’s were two clicks ahead of the competition in terms of quality, but that time was over by about 10 years ago. Toyota went through a ferocious ‘decontenting’ spree starting in 1997 which helped the price competitiveness of their models. But it hurt long term quality and lead to a series of defective designs and sub-par models. Engine sludge issues, interior wear issues, the overall ‘cheapness’ of the prior generation Corolla and Echo, the middling quality of the Scions, and now the loss of the Toyota Camry V6 and Toyota Avalon as recommended models by Consumer Reports… just to name a few.

    For Honda it’s their subpar automatic transmissions (especially in the Odyssey), the odometer issues on the early 2000′s Accords, and well… that’s really about it. Overall I would consider them to be the best in the industry overall as it relates to cars.

    One other thing… I would consider the following three models to be the most influential when it comes to America’s perception of Japanese quality.

    1st Generation Lexus LS 400

    Ist Generation Acura Legend (this name still has plenty of equity, even after nearly 15 years)

    3rd Generation Toyota Camry (1992 – 1996, the level of luxury and durability for this model was better than the majority of ‘flagship’ models from that time period. The successful development of the ES300 was also primarily due to the qualities of this platform.)

    4th/5th Generation Toyota Celica (the quality of these vehicles were perhaps the best ever for that market segment) You can also throw in the late 80′s and early 90′s Civics into the list as well.

    Mid to Late 80′s Toyota Pickup – If it weren’t for the legendary durability of the compact pickup’s, Toyota would have experienced far more difficulty in the full sized pickup market segment. The T100 and prior generation Tundra were not market leaders. But the compact Toyota pickups, from the 80′s models to the Tacoma are considered to have excellent quality and durability.

  • avatar
    musah

    This vehicle looks gross and that interior, nasty and ugly. Michael, whats with the VERY VERY FAVOURABLE REVIEW, the first i’ve read in TTAC.

  • avatar
    Freezin

    Steven Lang wrote:

    “I can see certain specific cases where GM is not at the head of the class (minivans and subcompacts in particular), but overall the powertrains and components will generally outlast and outperform the majority of the Japanese and European marques.”

    I politely disagree Steven, and my disagreement comes from personal experience. We recently got rid of our 2002 Buick Century due to mechanical problems which were out of warranty. At 70K miles a blown head gasket and manifold gasket. About a $900 repair. New brakes would have set us back an additional $500. Last year faulty wire harness affecting the tail lamps cost $350 to fix. New ABS sensors since the wires to both front sensors broke, plus a new oxygen sensor $350. At 20K miles a complete brake overhaul since the CHEAP original rotors wore through and were unable to be resurfaced.

    We had similar issues with our 1998 Silhouette minivan. New manifold gasket at 50K miles, $1000 to fix. Gasket went bad AGAIN at 120K miles. Traded the van in for a Saturn Outlook XR. I hope it holds up better than these last two GM products I’ve owned. The Buick was traded in this past Tuesday for a 2008 Scion xB. Our first Japanese car and certainly not the last. I will not buy a GM, Ford or Chrysler product again.

  • avatar
    Macca

    So Steven Lang, you’re saying that a 1997 Malibu was equal to or better than the Japanese competitors in refinement and reliability? How about a 1997 Cavalier – how does it compare to a ’97 Civic/Corolla/Sentra? Or a ’97 Grand Am/Grand Prix/Bonneville (all had poor reliability records) against their Japanese competition?

    “I can see certain specific cases where GM is not at the head of the class (minivans and subcompacts in particular), but overall the powertrains and components will generally outlast and outperform the majority of the Japanese and European marques.”

    So, for instance, the Ecotech is a better engine than Toyota/Honda/Nissan’s 4-cylinder engines? Even a 16-year old Nissan SR20DE engine is smoother, quieter, and overall offers more refined power delivery than current Ecotechs. Someone’s been gulping down the GM koolaid…

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    What Ford or Chrysler had to do with your experience is beyond me… but anyhow…

    The 2002 Buick Century outperformed the Camry AND Accord in J.D. Power’s Durability Study.

    http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:Eh-33WR6-qUJ:www.cartest.ca/what_are_the_most_reliable_v.htm+2002+durability+study+and+buick+century&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

    You can also tell from the study (which used tens of thousands of owners, not just one) that long-term quality is usually more variable on the model rather than the marque. A well designed domestic minivan will outperform a Japanese or European counterpart, and the converse usually holds true as well.

    I will continue to give Toyota kudos for building very high quality sucompacts and luxury cars. They have been the gold standards in those segments for over 15 years now. However, the rest of their line-up has always been a mish-mash since at least the last 1990′s.

  • avatar
    jurisb

    sherbornSean- I like new malibu, it is just not my relative. It is not really that american. it is like an adopted child. If americans think their cars are so good and reliable, why do they have to outcource all the components that have more than 2 screws in them? if they are so good, how come they get depreciated so fast? if they are so good , why do they score so bad at `consumer reports`? if they are so good why nobody outsources detroit`s metal, and rebadges some buick as bmw or jaguar? If they are so good why they can never score even `9 ` in fit and finish category, while Honda constantly hits 9 or 10. if they are so good, why educated americans avoid them? if american cars are so good why the stupid europeans or stupid japanese don`t buy them?
    If they make such good and reliable cars, why should they bother about chapter 11, and factory closings?If you make good cars why do you have to discount them heavily? which are those good and reliable american cars? what is the percentage of in-house engineered components there? i am not bashing americans, i am bashing those who avoid elbowgrease and blisters on their hands to get easy profits. And so often, by coincidence, it happens to be american cars! Sean? can you name 3 things that are good about malibu, that wouldn`t be outsourced?

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    “This vehicle looks gross and that interior, nasty and ugly. Michael, whats with the VERY VERY FAVOURABLE REVIEW, the first i’ve read in TTAC.”

    I can’t answer for Mr. Karesh, but I can answer based on my own very recent test drive. It’s a very very favorable review because it’s a very very good car. GM actually seems to have looked at the market leaders for inspiration, and has made a car that is on par with it’s competition. You really should go test drive one.

    Of course, there is the reliability issue, and that is something that will just take time to sort out. I don’t blame anyone for feeling safer buying an Accord.

    As far as the interior goes, it looks better in “real life” than in pictures. There are certain color combos I don’t care for, but there are other tasteful combos as well. You don’t have to settle. The interior is anything but nasty. Again, go look at the real car.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Jurisb,
    I like your posts – they are often on the nose, and always entertaining.

    GM is obviously moving to a business model in which platform engineering is sourced globally. Which makes sense to me — why spend the cash to engineer 4-5 separate midsize platforms, as Ford has done with the Mazda6, Volvo S60, Fusion, Falcon and Mondeo.

    So we are seeing midsize and C-class platforms developed in Europe, Subcompacts by GMDAT in Korea, RWD in Australia, and eventually hybrids in China, apparently. That leaves trucks and premium vehicles to be engineered in the US.

    By specializing, GM can concentrate its engineering talent to ensure it is making best-in-class vehicles. In large pickups (Silverado), and large crossovers (Acadia/Enclave)this has worked well, as GM is certainly competitive and arguably best-in-class.

    If I understand you correctly, Jurisb, your point is that American firms, and carmakers in particular, are failing because they don’t engineer the best products in the world in America. OK, but I think GM is focused on having the best products, period. If that means they are engineered elsewhere — where talent is abundant an inexpensive — I don’t see the problem.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    Ashy Larry:
    I love how so many (Johnson, for one, but others as well) are writing the car off on the basis of a few token comments in a review without actually having driven in one.

    Without even having to drive it, the Malibu is already behind the class leaders in several key areas. I’m sure the ride/handling is quite good, but the reliability is a bigger question mark than an Accord or Camry. The Malibu is down in several key areas in interior space compared to the Camry and Accord. Michael Karesh has mentioned there is no center rear armrest. The 4 cyl Malibu is down on power compared to a 4 cyl Accord, and both the V6 Camry and Accord trump the V6 Malibu in power *and* economy. The Malibu also lacks certain features and options that the competition offers. This list can go on and on.

    Some of us are just being realistic about the Malibu’s chances. While sales could increase, fact is it won’t achieve much conquest sales and fleet sales will still be a significant chunk. There are a myriad of reasons for this.

    When GM makes a class-leading, not simply class-competitive car only then will import buyers start to take notice.

    Michael Karesh
    No center rear armrest.

    I’m actually shocked to hear this. I expected something so simple as that to be on the Malibu.

    Steven Lang, how about you show something else other than JD Power? What are the reliability stats on a 5 or 6 year old Malibu? The JD Power dependability survey only tests cars for up to 3 years. How reliable is that Buick after 6 or 7 years? Do you honestly believe an 8 or 9 year old GM vehicle is equivalent (or better) in reliability than a Honda, or Toyota? How much on repairs and maintenance will you spend on a 8 or 9 year old Toyota/Honda vs a GM vehicle?

  • avatar
    davey49

    This car doesn’t have to be number 1 in sales. It can’t be unless other models (Camry, Accord) take a significant dive. I’m glad it’s a decent car but don’t expect miracles.
    Accord L4- 162 torque
    Accord V6- 248 torque
    Malibu L4- 160 torque
    Malibu V6- 251 torque
    Camry L4 161
    Camry V6 248

    torque is what you feel, no one will notice a difference.

  • avatar
    davey49

    No point comparing the Malibu to the SE Camry, no one buys the SE Camry. Anyone who would think of the SE Camry would buy a Mazda6 or Subaru Legacy anyway.

  • avatar
    Sammy Hagar

    The problem w/this car is still going to be GM depreciation. Granted, it looks like a lot of value for the money…styling misques aside. However, why buy this car new when there will be fleets of year-old Malibus on GM lots next year at $13K? It’ll sit in good company w/all the “certified 100k/5year” G6′s and Aura’s currently clogging up dealerships.

    Of course, if you don’t care about “brand stigma,” a used Malibu at clearance prices may be the best bargain out there. I have no shame…so I’ll probably be seriously looking at a used one of these come next fall.

    BTW, which is less cool: Living w/the “family truckster” grill or buying a bra to hide it? And does the pictured interior come w/the dream catcher or do you have to buy it separately?

  • avatar
    Freezin

    Sorry Steven, but I just don’t buy those stats. The survey you mention was for three year reliability, and my Buick developed the engine issue five years after purchase. I didn’t have engine problems during the first three years of ownership, which is what the survey results are based upon.

    The 3.1L V-6 engine is PRONE to this sort of problem. The two different mechanics I had look at the car told me the same thing. That is, poor design and that LOUSY Dexcool coolant both contribute to this failure. As I mentioned earlier, I am FINISHED with GM, and I am a GM family!

  • avatar
    Turbo G

    I think the most favorable reviews of these domestic mid-size cars come from comparisons to the previous outgoing models. With the bar set so low, it is easy to be 50% better than the last edition. Remember all of the glowing reviews about the GMC Envoy/Trailblazer/clones in 2002? Now we all bash that truck. It was just better than its pre 02 models-not a very good SUV… The same can be said about many domestic car reviews in all the car rags.

  • avatar
    jurisb

    Sean, if a Silverado is being built in mexico, I still consider it a pure American car, because its blueprints origin from GM domestic offices. If a chevrolet Nubira or whatever is designed at gmdaewoo it means only one thing- 100% korean blueprint. Gm owns shares in daewoo, not anything dealing with engineering affiliate.
    Why not a single japanese company uses foreign shareholding affiliates for global parts bin?
    If the new Malibu is based on epsilon platform, it means only one thing- german engineering. You really believe that german and american engineers gathered together and jointly developed a new platform? gotta be kiddin`!
    Outsourcing only witnesses companys shortage in engineering capacity and ability to deal with competition. NOT A SINGLE SERIOUS COMPETETIVE CAR COMPANY DOES OUTSOURCING OF FOREIGN PARTS, PLATFORMS OR ENGINES! NONE!
    you see being American was the last bastion for american companies because they could sell subpar products refering to homerun. today this homerun competetive edge is killed, that`s why most people if unable to get american, go to the best. meaning to japanese. I agree that malibu is a great car, but is it better than the new Accord? because only THAT matters. Altima?
    If only american economy was manufacturing based, with meaningful export , today we wouldn`t have to eyewitness the abolition of m3 and upcoming collapse of dollar.Turns out it is all about FAIR GAME!

  • avatar
    Autogeek69

    Sammy,

    Drive both the V6 Accord and Malibu and you will feel a big difference in take off. The 2008 Accord V6 uses a Torque management system. This is why most reviews talk about how slow the car accelerates from stand still. This is to slow down the rash of transmission problems that Honda has been having for the past six years. The Malibu might have a little torque steer, but GM is giving you all of the Malibu’s torque, when needed.

  • avatar
    1169hp

    “As I mentioned earlier, I am FINISHED with GM, and I am a GM family!” (Freezen)
    Just curiuos as to why Freezen bought another GM product (Saturn Outlook)?
    Reference the Malibu. So far, I like what I’ve seen and would “consider” it for my next vehicle. If the quality is there, I won’t even see the dealer service department, as I prefer to do oil changes etc… myself.
    Perhaps I’m a little young to relate to the GM (domestic) horror stories of yore. I was raised by my grandparents and they owned a slew of Buicks and Olds. They were reliable, and as such, they kept them forever. I learned to drive in a 73′ Olds Delta-88. I don’t recall any mechanical issues with their past GM cars. They still buy GM’s (most recently, a 06′ CTS)
    This new Malibu is the first Chevy sedan in years to be taken seriously. I’m not this big GM fan, as I have a CR-V and an old Mustang in my driveway.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    To be honest, Johnson, you’re incredibly nitpicky.

    The Malibu is down in several key areas in interior space compared to the Camry and Accord.

    I just checked on carpoint.com and compared the Malibu against the Accord and Camry. Interior space between the three vehicles is within 3 inches of each other, and the only thing the Malbu gives up to either vehicle is shoulder room, which Mr. Karesh already explained was due to the vehicle’s global platform being intended to underpin European cars.

    The 4 cyl Malibu is down on power compared to a 4 cyl Accord, and both the V6 Camry and Accord trump the V6 Malibu in power *and* economy.

    The difference in power between all three four cylinder engines is 19 horsepower. The difference in power between all three V6 engines is 16 horsepower. When the Camry and Accord has a combined fuel economy that beats the Malibu by 2 mpg, I have to wonder what trumping you’re talking about.

    I’m actually shocked to hear this. I expected something so simple as that to be on the Malibu.

    Personally, I can’t see why this would be such a point of contention. In a family sedan where it’s likely that the rear seat would be fully occupied three across, I don’t think a rear armrest would be that important. For those who own Camry/Accords, how many of you folks actually use that rear center armrest?

    Steven Lang, how about you show something else other than JD Power? What are the reliability stats on a 5 or 6 year old Malibu? The JD Power dependability survey only tests cars for up to 3 years. How reliable is that Buick after 6 or 7 years? Do you honestly believe an 8 or 9 year old GM vehicle is equivalent (or better) in reliability than a Honda, or Toyota? How much on repairs and maintenance will you spend on a 8 or 9 year old Toyota/Honda vs a GM vehicle?

    Reliability is really the only legitimate thing you have against the Malibu, and if you search around on places like carpoint or edmunds, you’ll get an idea about reliability trends for the previous generation Malibus.

    If build quality for this Malibu is that far ahead of previous generations like it appears to be, then I doubt reliability is going to be the mountainous issue you’re making it out to be.

  • avatar

    Just back from a test drive of the all-in LTZ ($28k).

    I can confirm all the major points of this review.

    1. Astonishing build quality. Everything thunks, clicks and clunks with unprecedented (for Chevy) solidity. Attention to detail extends to the engine bay (duct tape notable by its absence) and trunk (love the leather pull-down strap, double hinged lid). All surfaces well finished. No complaints about the plastics.

    2. Quite, smooth. Well, ish. The VVT six sounds a bit cheap and intrusive under load. The ride quality is only good, about a three out of five. It could be better with the smaller wheel and tire combo.

    3. Narrow. You got THAT right. Anyone with a wide ass kiddie car seat in the back is looking at a four-seater. Three full-size adults won’t be happy in back. This is NOT an American-style car.

    4. Handling. No complaints. The tires chirped once when moving away from rest, but I can’t see this being a problem. Acceleration adequate.

    5. Gearbox. Definitely this car’s weak spot. The six didn’t respond to throttle inputs quickly, the paddles are useless and I even managed to make it CLUNK once (unintentionally I swear).

    6. Great tunes. XM radio well-integrated. Liked the power point in the back as well.

    All in all a worthy competitor to, uh, the competition. Nothing that moves it ahead, but definitely what the Brits call level pegging.

    All that said, there is a HUGE problem with this car. But I’ll save that for Monday’s GM Death Watch.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Steven Lang, how about you show something else other than JD Power?

    Okay, here’s how owners who responded to the MSN survey on customer satisfaction rated the Camry and Century.

    Toyota Camry: 1997 – 2006

    http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/default.aspx?make=Toyota&model=Camry#used

    Buick Century: 1997 – 2006

    http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/default.aspx?make=Buick&model=Century#used

    You can visit a variety of owner’s sites that offer you this type of information. The reason why I provided the results from J.D. Power is because they have the largest sample of owners.

    This is also a good way of finding ‘sleeper’ models. Those models that have been thoroughly depreciated and yet, have very high levels of customer satisfaction, performance and longevity. The Buick Park Avenue is a great example of this… as are the Century and Windstar.

  • avatar
    LamborghiniZ

    Damn it’s got an ugly backside. Ugly as sin.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    Other reviews are reporting that the rear seat is very uncomfortable because of the rear seat cushion being positioned too low (which has been a chronic problem with GM vehicles seemingly since the beginning of time. It creates a little more room for EPA classification purposes, but still, it just screams “cheap rental car”.

    And the door panels look “cheap” too.

  • avatar
    davey49

    I hope the wide exterior and narrow interior help with the side impact crash ratings.
    The VW Passat feels narrow also IMO
    I’m guessing that more than 80% of these will never have rear seat passengers. Most people now who regularly have passengers will buy X-overs/SUVs

  • avatar
    davey49

    RF- I’ll read the Deathwatch when it comes out but I’m guessing this car costs too much to build. There’s a reason why the Chrysler products are so cheap.

  • avatar
    umterp85

    To davey49: Good call on the cost side. I reckon this deathwtach will either be about cost or GM branding overlap……kudo’s to GM as the worst thing this deatchwatch could be about is the product itself.

    Like Michael and Robert…what I saw at the Chevy dealer was a very solid entry that beats the Camry in a number of areas including build quality and attention to detail (I noticed the interior trunk pull as well)—and gives the new Accord a run.

  • avatar

    Ran out of room in the review, but the rear seat actually seems a bit higher off the floor than in the typical GM sedan. It’s a little lower than optimal, but so is the one in the Accord. I think the Camry’s is a bit higher off the floor, but haven’t sat in one of those in a while.

    If you want well-positioned, comfortable rear seating, get a 2008 Taurus.

  • avatar

    RF,

    I’d go a four myself on ride quality with the 18-inch wheels. The 18′s do clomp a bit over patchy pavement, but not loudly, and I thought the impacts were heard more than felt. I’m also rating against others in the class, not all cars. On a universal scale, it’d be a three.

  • avatar
    windswords

    Jurisb,

    If Europeans think their movies are so good and entertaining, why do they have to go in great numbers to watch American movies and TV shows? If they are so good, how come they don’t get the ratings and advertising dollars Americans do? If they are so good, why do they score so bad at in the Nielson ratings? If they are so good why does no one in Hollywood outsource European directors or stars, and rebadges some Latvian TV show for ABC, CBS, NBC, or Fox? If they are so good why they can never score high in an American award show like an Oscar for best picture, or an Emmy for best TV show. Why does it have to be best FOREIGN movie?. If they are so good, why do Europeans watch American entertainment even if it means avoiding their own? If Polish or Estonian TV shows are so good how come the stupid Americans or stupid Japanese don`t watch them?
    If they make such good and entertaining mvoies and TV shows, why can’t they make the kind of international sales and money that American entertainment does? If you make good moves and TV shows why do you have to discount them heavily? Which are those good and quality Ukranian movies? What is the percentage of in-house engineered cutting edge special effects there? I am not bashing Europeans, I am bashing those who avoid elbow grease and blisters on their hands to get easy profits. Jurisb, can you name 3 things that are good about French TV shows, that wouldn`t be done better in Hollywood?

    (This is sarcasm of course to prove a point)

  • avatar
    poltergeist

    -Autogeek69-

    “Sammy,

    Drive both the V6 Accord and Malibu and you will feel a big difference in take off. The 2008 Accord V6 uses a Torque management system. This is why most reviews talk about how slow the car accelerates from stand still. This is to slow down the rash of transmission problems that Honda has been having for the past six years. The Malibu might have a little torque steer, but GM is giving you all of the Malibu’s torque, when needed.”

    What??? Care to tell where you heard this? AFAIK this is simply not true.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    A few things:
    1) I have never in my life used a backseat center armrest. I’m not even sure I have ever seen one being used, and if it was, it was more out of curiosity than out of necessity

    2) A lot of you are talking about GM’s poor resale. How do you expect this car to have decent resale if you’re not willing to give it a chance? GM will apparently not be selling this to fleets as much as Malibus in the past. That, coupled with the fact that this is actually a competitive car (apparently), means that resale for this car should be higher than typical for GM (assuming it proves reliable). It might take some time but the only way to turn around something like resale value is by putting forth your best effort to make a competitive, reliable, desirable car, and from all indications that seems like what GM has done with the latest Malibu

  • avatar

    Very good review.
    I was there at the event as well.
    I have a review and a video of the drive on my site.

    I like the car very much and I do think the 2.4 Liter is good enough. I found it very similar to the Camry’s. And about as quiet.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    The Malibu wasn’t always at the bottom of the Chevrolet line in any real or even figurative sense. It started out, mid-pack, back in 1964, somewhere between the Nova and Corvair – the latter two fighting it out, back then, to be Chevrolet’s compact of choice.

    Of course, once the Pontiac division shoe-horned a 389 cid V8 into the Tempest and created America’s GTO, the lines of demarcation shifted all over the place. By the time you could get a Malibu with a high-output 350 cid V8 or even, albeit briefly, a 454 cid V8, the Chevelle Malibu was considered a “muscle car” in good standing.

    Then, the Chevelle and Malibu became separate models; and finally, by the mid-Seventies, the Malibu was gone, to return at a much later date.

    It was 1999, by my recollection when it returned, and by then, hardly anyone buying new cars really remembered the original incarnation of this car. It changed shapes, engines and all sorts of things, as the General tried to give it definition and that elusive thing called character.

    They may have finally hit the mark. John Houlihan, a young guy I know who drives a 1997 Ford Taurus his dad gave him for college, but really loves Audis (such as the A8 his dad owns and, occasionally lets him drive) asked me about the current Malibu and expressed admiration. Who knows? Maybe when John finally gets his civil engineering degree in a few years, he’ll buy a new Chevrolet Malibu, instead of an Audi. Then, we’d know that the man some call “Rabid Rick” had us all fooled.

  • avatar
    jurisb

    Windswords—- You can`t compare hi -tech engineering with subjective movie making. engineering is one of the highest, most complex challenges, that can be physically measured- in inches, pounds, torsional forces, g-numbers etc.
    Hi quality of hardware applies to all consumers.
    While hi quality films apply only to educated and demanding people. And a good film and a box office triumph is not the same category! People are herds of sheep, they run for the popcorn, not for the meaning of life!
    American film industry is the most vivid in the world, i dare to doubt if it is the best. The best is always about value you receive. And if a value of a car can be measured in options list, or parts failure, then value of a film is measured subjectively. the less demanding is the audience, the lower level of film they will find satisfactory!
    unfortunately american film industry doesn`t represent manufacturing. manufacturing is always about tangible physical end product. And there is the biggest exodus of american manufacturing in world history. It is not the car industry only! it is every industry that deals with precision machinery! that`s why any company that doesn`t need microns on their equipment can exist in usa, because it doesn`t require mould and crafting precision. fork lifts, trucks, stereos, dvd cameras…you name it.
    what is the cause of it? Lack of higly skilled engineers who would be in charge! Lack of attitude and detailing! I dare to add GREED! Greed breeds as little input as possible for sooner profits!
    See Windwords, i am writing this to you typing on a Sharp lcd, I could also phone you using my Sony ericsson, but probably the background noise from my Sony MHC s7av booming Michael Jackson`s `No Friend of mine` would be too disturbing. I could use my Mitsubishi platformed car to teleport to you, And I could send you pistures from my nikon or sony . i could send you a video message shot on any panasonic videocamera. All these things include precision crafting and assembling. And all of them are bought by regular people, not by feinschmekers!( Would all of those people watch ~Citizen Kane`? I guess not. ) And all these precision crafted things are imported in the USA, not BUILT.All these things represent ADDED VALUE , so much necessary for economy! Here you have an answer for housing market crash, dismal currency reserves, zillion dollars external and national debt( oh, this crediting!), and dollar on verge of a historical collapse! anyway it was all about malibu being good, but not enough american, or enough Accord -killing!

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    RF:

    All in all a worthy competitor to, uh, the competition. Nothing that moves it ahead, but definitely what the Brits call level pegging.

    All that said, there is a HUGE problem with this car. But I’ll save that for Monday’s GM Death Watch.

    Hmmm. Increased sales at the expense of cannibalizing of other GM mid-size cars? Hyping a product (Aura) which has basically already been out for a year? Introducing an overpriced and merely competitive (as opposed to class-leading) product into an already full, cutthroat, rebate-laden market segment? A Camry in my neck of the woods can now be had for $900-$1500 below invoice which equals $2500-$6000 off MSRP.

    Finally, as another reader said, cost – there’s a reason the Fusion/Milan/MKZ are built in Mexico…

  • avatar
    poltergeist


    Terry Parkhurst :

    The Malibu wasn’t always at the bottom of the Chevrolet line in any real or even figurative sense. It started out, mid-pack, back in 1964, somewhere between the Nova and Corvair – the latter two fighting it out, back then, to be Chevrolet’s compact of choice.

    In the mid/late 60′s the Malibu was a trim level of the Chevelle. It was certainly not a “compact”…it was the midsize car between the Chevy II (Nova was also a trim level) and the fullsize Belair/Biscayne/Caprice/Impala.

    In those day’s the Chevelle was considered one of the better cars in it’s class and easily outsold the other GM midsizes, but then again there wasn’t nearly the competition we have today.

  • avatar
    locker1776

    On Saturday I went through the Automotive Ads in the Chicago Tribune. Looking through them, a person would have no idea that Chevy had a new car that was ready to beat the imports. Nothing, nada, zilch, zero.

    One Chevy dealer had hidden in the middle of the page (we have 20 malibu’s). No mention on price, options, colors, etc. Just that they were there, and only if you were looking for them.

    However there was a huge truck splashed across the page with all sorts of special deals and incentives. So check your local paper, and see if you can find a new Malibu.

  • avatar

    locker1776:

    So check your local paper, and see if you can find a new Malibu.

    They’re not advertising them for one simple reason: they don’t have any.

  • avatar
    umterp85

    ….could the Malibu supply issue (?) be a fatal flaw with this launch.

    Big advertising budget and positive reviews could drive potential conquest buyers to Chevy dealers for the first time in awhile. If there is low supply or minimal selection…it could reinforce Camcord owners negative perception of GM (re: a company that does not have its act together).

    Chevy will have one chance to get these people interested—-they need to do it right—–inventory and mix at the dealer level is one of the things they need to get right.

  • avatar
    Jordan Tenenbaum

    I did not read all 13 pages worth of comments so forgive me if I sound crass, but I think GM has a winner here. For the average joe schmoe who doesn’t give two shit in the wind about the stuff we do this car is like automotive Viagra. They will love the interior. Hell, I love the interior. Even with the anemic Ecotec people will love the base model Malibu which comes well optioned. Steel wheels that don’t look like it? Honda doesn’t do that, nor does Toyota. GM also has plans for a 4 cyl./6 speed option down the road. No other manufacturer does that. For once, GM is actually being innovative. The car may not be perfect, but it’s eons ahead of anything they’ve made up ’till now sans of course the Corvette. I think the biggest hurdle GM has it marketing this car and the negative stigma surrounding domestic cars. I think their commercials where they essentially mock the old Cutlass/Malibu is a good effort, they just need more like it.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    “For those who own Camry/Accords, how many of you folks actually use that rear center armrest?”

    We use the center rear armrest in our sedans all the time. None of the midsized sedans is a real five passenger vehicle for any length of time.

    My standard for a four door sedan is that four adults should be able to spend 10 hours in there and be comfortable doing so. Our Acura TSX is a bit small in the back to meet that requirement while our Accord does so easily. The Volvo 850 we used to have also met the requirement, while the newer Volvo S60 is a bit too snug in back for long distance four adult uses.

    I’ve put some rear seat time in my friends 2004 Impala and I find it is plenty wide, but unsupportive and too close to the floor.

    I second the comment that if a person wants a bargain priced very comfortable four door sedan then the Taurus/Five-Hundred is worth a close look. Some time ago we rented one and did a couple of 10 hour days in it. A surprising competent long distance vehicle.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    “Big advertising budget and positive reviews could drive potential conquest buyers to Chevy dealers for the first time in awhile. If there is low supply or minimal selection…it could reinforce Camcord owners negative perception of GM (re: a company that does not have its act together).”

    Yep, that is a huge operational botch job. You shouldn’t launch a major marketing campaign if the product isn’t there to support it. People get interested, try to find a new Malibu, then end up at the Honda dealer with 50-60 all new 2008 Accords to choose from.

    This is a consequence, perhaps, of GM’s too many brands problem. All of the resources which have been split between the Saturn Aura and Chevy Malibu should have been lined up behind one product. They are competing for the exact same customer.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    “…( Would all of those people watch ~Citizen Kane`? I guess not. )…”

    Can’t blame them. Terrible film. Absolutely terrible.

  • avatar
    ra_pro

    Jurisb,

    We all get your point, since you are like a broken gramophone; American cars are not very good. But you’re preaching to the converted (mostly) since one of the major messages of this website has been that cars produced by US-based manufacturers are not up to the market standard. I don’t think there is any need to repeat it ad nauseam.

    However on your larger point which seems to be that Americans are not capable of producing technologically advanced products at all you are wrong as has been pointed out several times by others. This is either your ignorance or your prejudice speaking or the combination of the two.

    I admit that there has been some relative decline in the US technological abilities compared to Europe and Asia, but blank statement that US is just no good at anything technologically advanced is nonsense.

    It’s not disputed by anyone with 5th grade education that America doesn’t have meaningful mass-market consumer electronics business. The Japanese are indeed the leaders with Koreans on their heels. Europeans have exactly 1 world company – Phillips but which is second-tier, and a few smaller local companies like Grundig, Thompson, Siemens (consumer electronics). While Americans are not good in mass market electronics they excel in the premium electronics business, top of the line cd players, amplifiers, speakers which cost thousands of dollars as opposed to the Japanese and Korean stuff which goes for a few hundred dollars (other than televisions). The top premium electronic companies are US, British, Canadian and a few other European ones. I am not aware of one premium Asian company.

    But where Americans really do well and control the market is the hi tech, computer business. Top hardware and software companies are all US (except for SAP which is German). Sure, the hardware is increasingly produced in Asia but for US companies and based on US designs and patents.

    I am not even an American but I felt I needed to bring some perspective to your anti-American tirades.

  • avatar
    willbodine

    My point in raising the rear center armrest issue was to underscore how short-sighted GM’s marketing efforts have become. The armrest was omitted from the Malibu (and Aura) for cost reasons, pure and simple. I am guessing that it saves about $15. My question for GM is, if you are trying to recapture market share, why would you leave out something that the market leaders already offer. I could see dropping it from the base models, but surely not off the upper trim series. It’s one of those things that I doubt GM ever tested in a clinic. And if the cars fail (I believe the Aura is already underperforming, sales-wise) it could all come down to a lousy $15 in cost “savings.”

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    The Malibu sounds like very pleasant car. Certainly not worse than a Sonata. I am glad that GM is able to produce a car that is as good as a Hyundai or Kia.

    But what is the Malibu’s Unique Selling Proposition?

    I ask this question because at least over here in Germany, they are selling Sonatas at a 30% discount, only two years since the latest model was introduced. That’s what happens to cars that have no strong U.S.P.: after the initial (marketing induced) buzz, they only sell by price.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    Thanks “Poltergeist” for letting me know why so many 1966 through ’69 Chevelles I regularly see (and write about) at auctions have both names – Chevelle and Malibu – on the side (or the back).

    A friend’s mom, when I was in high school, had a 1964 Chevrolet Malibu, was I know it was its own model then; and as I recall – and see again, from time to time – it was its own model. It was that through the next year, as I recall (have a book on Chevrolets, setting behind me, but believe my memory is correct). And it really wasn’t so big that, even today, the first couple of years of Malibu couldn’t be called “compact” enough to park in spaces reserved for such cars at parking lots whose owners allow such.

    I was living in Los Angeles and still attending the Art Center College of Design (pre-move to Pasadena), when the 1970 Chevrolet Malibu debuted. It was once again its own model; it survived only a few years, however, before the entire market changed, not only due to insurance companies raising rates on “muscle cars,” but also the victim of a bad downturn in the American economy.

    Those of us alive then were stunned when Republican President Nixon institured wage and price controls in 1971. That’s what happens when you try to have “guns and butter.” A similar dynamic seems at work today; but that’s an entirely different topic. Let’s just hope the latest Malibu doesn’t die abirthing, due to the recession that seems looking on the horizon. Probably some people who might have bought a new car are going to load up on gold and silver bullion.

  • avatar
    poltergeist

    Terry,

    Not to beat a dead horse (esp. because it really doesn’t pertain to the “new” Malibu). But in ’64 all the Chevy “A-Body” cars were Chevelles. The 300 was the base, Malibu was the mid, and Malibu SS was top of the line. Good pics here… http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=6164&viewitem=&item=120182081880&_trksid=p3907.m29

    300 Deluxe was added in ’65 between the 300 and Malibu.

    Pretty much stayed the same through the end of the 60′s.

    Kevin

  • avatar
    Jacob

    The 4-cylinder version still comes with a 4-speed automatic..

  • avatar
    Paul Milenkovic

    But can you use it to rob a bank?

    In the Malibu commercial, you can use the old Malibu as a getaway car because when the cops get called to the scene, the Malibu is so bland that they won’t even notice that there is a car full of men in ski masks with 100 dollar bills caught in the door slams, and the bank robbers can even use the Malibu with the EcoTech motor because the cops are all inside the bank and the wheel man can just slowly angle out between all the cop cars and drive away.

  • avatar
    KnightRT

    I’m hesitantly optimistic about this 2008 Malibu. It’s a handsome, distinctive car that appears to be properly screwed together. I hope that’s actually the case.

    I have a 2002 Malibu, the model two generations prior to this one. It has 50,000 miles. So far:

    - The engine thermostat broke at 10K miles, causing white smoke and requiring a tow
    - The right front window control mount broke, such that the clicker is held in only by the door wires
    - The left rear window regulator broke and required me to tear apart the door to fix it
    - The catalytic converter gave out at 35K miles, ultimately requiring towing
    - The front end creaks when the wheel is turned hard over in either direction
    - The A/C shuts off at random on hot days and refuses to turn back on

    More generally, the wear on the interior plastics befit a car with three times the mileage. The car gets 21 MPG, or about 250 miles per tank.

    Comparatively speaking, my family also has a 2004 base model Camry with a four cylinder. It rides and handles like a Buick. The steering is numb and the engine is buzzy, with lots of torque. Both the throttle tip-in and torque curve remind me of my old Suburban. Handling is more sluggish than the Malibu, and the car has a general feel of dampened luxury. Wind noise is minimal. The steering circle is extremely tight. It cruises at 80 MPH and above without effort. So far as I can tell, it doesn’t run on gasoline. It’s filled up every 550 or 600 miles, which is ridiculous.

    Recently, one of the window regulators broke around 40K miles. Otherwise, nothing is amiss.

    In short, to the person who declared GM quality equivalent since 1997, I’d have to say: Not on your life.

    But, because I like where they’re going and I think the styling of most Japanese cars is either effeminate or ugly, I’d probably give them another chance. I’d just make it a point not to buy the base model of an American car.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    In response toquasimondo:

    I just checked on carpoint.com and compared the Malibu against the Accord and Camry. Interior space between the three vehicles is within 3 inches of each other, and the only thing the Malbu gives up to either vehicle is shoulder room, which Mr. Karesh already explained was due to the vehicle’s global platform being intended to underpin European cars.

    Check the specs again on the manufacturer’s websites. As I stated before, the only thing the Malibu beats the Camry in is front legroom and front headroom. In all other key (legroom, headroom, shoulder room, hip room) interior measures the Camry beats the Malibu. The only thing the Malibu beats the Accord in is rear legroom. In every other interior measure the Accord beats the Malibu.

    The difference in power between all three four cylinder engines is 19 horsepower. The difference in power between all three V6 engines is 16 horsepower. When the Camry and Accord has a combined fuel economy that beats the Malibu by 2 mpg, I have to wonder what trumping you’re talking about.

    The Camry’s 4 cyl is nothing special, and the Malibu 4 cyl is roughly equal, I’ll give you that. The Accord though has 2 4 cylinders offered with equal fuel economy. The top 4 cyl is 190HP, which is 21HP more than the Malibu 4 cyl. The Malibu 4 cyl is competitive with the Camry’s 4 cyl, but not with the Accord 4 cyl versions.

    With the V6 Camry and V6 Accord, they offer more power *and* better fuel economy.

    Personally, I can’t see why this would be such a point of contention. In a family sedan where it’s likely that the rear seat would be fully occupied three across, I don’t think a rear armrest would be that important. For those who own Camry/Accords, how many of you folks actually use that rear center armrest?

    You somewhat contradicted yourself. We already know the Malibu suffers in shoulder room and how wide it is. 3 adults in the rear seat of the Malibu simply would not be comfortable, so having a rear centre armrest for 2 people in the rear seat is even more important than compared to the wider competition.

    Point is, it’s a detail. A detail here, a detail there and it all adds up. All these little things added up equals a competitive, but ultimately insignificant offering from GM.

    Reliability is really the only legitimate thing you have against the Malibu, and if you search around on places like carpoint or edmunds, you’ll get an idea about reliability trends for the previous generation Malibus.

    If build quality for this Malibu is that far ahead of previous generations like it appears to be, then I doubt reliability is going to be the mountainous issue you’re making it out to be.

    Yes, and the ‘idea’ is that the Malibu has had noticeably worse reliability than the competition over the years.

    You’re making a mighty tall assumption with the new Malibu having a huge improvement in reliability over the previous gen.

  • avatar
    windswords

    Jurisb,
    “You can`t compare hi-tech engineering with subjective movie making.”

    Yes you can. First of all cars are not THAT hi-tech. Hi-tech is a stealth fighter, or a super computer (something Americans excel at by the way). Now, as for movies they can be very technical and exacting, there is nothing subjective about the technical work of creating a movie or TV show. Camera angles, lighting, sound, special effects, and music all work together, whether it’s high drama or an action film. American movies routinely push the boundaries of special effects – they don’t rest on their laurels. Hell, even the children’s movies and TV shows have pioneered new techniques in computer animation.
    As for your assertion that ‘stuff you can touch’ is more important or some how superior to ‘stuff you can’t touch’ you are wrong. Ideas, concepts, art, and even entertainment have more value over time than physical things. And many have said that as an economy advances those things become more prevalent than manufactured “widgets” (I don’t totally agree with this but this is the consensus of many in the economic biz). Twenty years from now someone will still be getting enjoyment or inspiration from a book or a movie but they won’t be getting joy out of a 20 year old car, stereo, phone, or whatever.
    Now as to this diatribe about all your foreign engineered gear – you could have typed your response on a Dell computer (maybe not made in the US but we are talking about engineering, right?), you could have phoned me on a Motorola (and if you were using my American carrier Verizon the call would have been free), your music could have been playing out of any number of American engineered high end audio equipment (too many to list – Michael Jackson? Are you serious?) and you could have sent me pics from your Kodak digital, or if you needed instant development, a Polaroid Land camera.

    I was going to write a second installment about fast food chains (how come the French or Germans can’t make a good cheeseburger? Why can’t the Italians make a pizza better than the US, they invented the damn thing! Where is the French equivalent to McDonalds, a multinational company? The Dutch equivalent of Wendy’s? Why is Taco Bell building stores in Mexico? (Because no one in Mexico created their own chain of quick serve Mexican food!)) But you place a premium on hardware – so – let’s talk aviation. How come the only company that can give Boeing any competition in passenger jets is government subsidized? Aren’t their engineers good enough to make it on their own? How come European or Japanese can’t make general aviation (private) aircraft to compete with American aircraft? Where is the French equivalent of Cessna? Where is the Swedish equivalent of Beech? How come Americans can start their own companies selling kits where you can build your own aircraft in your garage and get it approved by the US aviation authorities? And they use some pretty advanced composite materials in these kits. How come no one in Japan till Honda tried to compete with Lear Jet in the business aviation market?
    Next week: will talk software Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, IBM websphere etc.

  • avatar
    skaro

    I havent read all 800,000 or so comments, so sorry if this has been overdone, but..

    Yeah, this seems like a decent package. But the front and rear end styling suck. And having that bowtie slapped on just makes it look cheap. It’s like a sign of cheap, not quality. They should fix that subtlety.

    What the hell were they doing with the front end? GM should just higher Japanese designers. All the American designs are such fuddy, fugly things. They never make anthing look right.

  • avatar
    mikey

    The Japanese don’t design ugly?So what would you call the front end of the Camry.I guess its kinda of subjective eh?
    All in all it sounds like the G.M might just have another winner.The big question,hows it gonna sell?
    The Malibu is gonna have an impact in the mid size segment.Its beats a Camry hands down.The Accord is a tougher opponent.
    T.T.A.C isn’t known to pull punches,so let face it folks it was a pretty positive review.

  • avatar
    p00ch

    Being designed in Europe, it’s no surprise that this Bu handles well and looks decent. However, as others have pointed out, where’s the MT? Even worse, why do we only get a choice of the coarse Ecotech, or the giant V6? Why can’t we get a lightly turbo’d 4-cyl (VW/Audi does wonders with 2.0 litres), or a small but efficient 3.0 litre as a mid-level option? No point in even mentioning the diesels that are available in Europe…

  • avatar
    jp3209

    jurisb-

    I’m pretty sure that BMW uses GM Hydra-matics in their sedans. Also – ALL auto companies outsource a tremendous amount of components to their tier 1 & 2 suppliers. I think Ferrari uses Delphi MR shocks. Oh, and isn’t the BMW X6 going to use the GM hybrid tranny that was developed in a joint venture?

  • avatar

    Mikey I think the Malibu will be a mild hit for GM. I think it is a good car in a hyper competitive segment. However, it is my opinion that it will slow and perhaps stop the market erosion of GM but it will fail to capture much if any market share back from the Camry or the Accord.

    Too many people refuse to recognize that Toyota and Honda now have tremendous brand loyalty with many of their customers. The same type of brand loyalty that GM and Ford use to have with their cars and which they still have with their trucks.

    In my opinion it doesn’t matter that the Malibu is good car . The Malibu doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The Accord and Camry still exist and they are also good cars and their owners will still buy them just like Silverado and F150 owners will continue to buy Silverados and F150s instead of Tundras.

    To expect Accord and Camry owners to switch to the Malibu in large numbers is as realistic as to expect the Tundra to cause massive conquest sales of former Silverado and F150 owners. it doesn’t matter that the Tundra is a very good truck. The GM and Ford trucks still exist and they are also still good trucks.

    I think the Malibu will have good sales (150k) but I just don’t think it will come close to accord or camry sales figures

  • avatar
    f8

    skaro:

    “All the American designs are such fuddy, fugly things. They never make anthing look right.”

    Corvette
    Ford GT
    Viper
    GT500 (no, not the new one)
    Saleen S7

  • avatar
    jurisb

    to ra-pro; You said you are unaware of any japanese hi-end electronics companies. how about marantz, denon, onkyo, even sony has offerings in hi-end. how about yamaha, technics. how about TEAC? japanese xcel there too. And what american hi-end electronic companies could you mention? Frankly speaking I am not interested in speakers manufacturers, because they are no hi- tech products. Can a product consisting of 20 parts be considered hi-tech? and don`t mention the poor Bose that has 3 loudspeakers and one pre-cembrian led screen up their sleeve. name those hi-end companies that make decks with digi -screens !
    You also mentioned that most of the best computer companies are american. hello? wake up! Have you checked sony vaio screens and then any american one( whatever that means)?
    Do you believe that IBM still makes computers? IBM today is a software company! And they quit manufacturing for the same reasons detroit is having problems now.
    I admit that MAlibu is a great car, but being great matters comparatively to compettition, not to your own previous gen cars.If malibu was really a dteroit iron, i would by one in a second! But I don`t want german engineering with american interpreted outfit! so goodbye!

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    @jp3209 :
    I’m pretty sure that BMW uses GM Hydra-matics in their sedans.
    They did for some time in the 90s. The autboxes in their current lineup are all made by ZF though.
    My father used to have a E39 BMW 530 diesel. He drove it for 330,000 km, with NO mechanical problems. Then the transmission broke.

    The top premium electronic companies are US, British, Canadian and a few other European ones. I am not aware of one premium Asian company.

    @ra_pro
    The top premium electronic companies are US, British, Canadian and a few other European ones. I am not aware of one premium Asian company.

    Isn’t Accuphase Japanese? And I’m sure there is more. I can only think of one premium US company there – McIntosh – but I’m sure there’s more over there too.
    While there seem a lot of Germans and Brits in the market (from an European perspective): Burmester, AVM, mbl, Rega, Isophon, Transrotor, camtech, arcam, Thorens, T+A, Linn, NAD, Cyrus), with the odd French (Cabasse) or Swiss (Revox) throws in the mix.

    My guitar is from a small, quirky American manufacturer (Parker) though, and I don’t want anything else.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    @windswords

    but they won’t be getting joy out of a 20 year old car, stereo, phone, or whatever

    You can’t get joy out of a 20 year old car?
    Of a vintage stereo?
    You don’t like old phones? (My main phone is a bright orange 1975 FeTap 611 dialer)
    What used to be great engineering remains being a piece of art, 20 or more years later.

    how come the French or Germans can’t make a good cheeseburger?

    Jim Block is a german fast food chain. I have never had a cheeseburger as good as theirs in the US. Ironically, they are based in Hamburg.

    Why can’t the Italians make a pizza better than the US, they invented the damn thing!
    As long as “better” doesn’t mean “more cheese”, I’d disagree with you.

    Where is the French equivalent to McDonalds, a multinational company?

    Do they need a direct equivalent, and will you only accept something larger as “better”?

  • avatar
    windswords

    Mirko,

    Your points are taken (I chuckled at your Hamburg remark). Remember, it’s sarcasm. I like many products foreign as well as domestic, even movies (one of my favorite films is Das Boot).

  • avatar

    Maybe I’m missing it, but is there anyplace in the review or TrueDelta section that gives projected mpg? Also, TrueDelta notes that the Malibu offers a 4 cylinder hybrid model, but according to wiki, it is just a mild hybrid – oversize starter-type.

  • avatar
    windswords

    jurisb:

    Yes, IBM still makes computers. I have made my living on them for 20 years (yes I am a software ENGINEER). IBM mainframes, midrange, and servers are the leaders or among the top tier in their respective segments. Your focus is too narrow. You keep thinking about consumer only products. These often become a commodity and with a commodity the lowest price often wins.

    And yes IBM is a software company too. But that’s OK, they’ve been in the software business for longer than you have been alive. Some of their products like CICS and IMS have been out since 1968 and are still going strong.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Jurisb’s argument is just ignorant. The US is still number one in high tech. Where we are lacking is commodity tech.

    Anyone who thinks the trash we all use for PC’s is high tech is out of touch. Same with Cars. Even most airplanes made today are ancient technology. Only the military stuff is even close to leading edge.

    There is something strange at work that keeps us from being able to stay number one in industries that we essentially create. If jurisb wants to solve that problem I will give him props. Until then, I suggest everyone not get bent out of shape on his silliness.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    We should create an American pervertive engineering like the Germans.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Malibu: If they were to offer it in two-door with a manual tranny, I’d go look at it.
    Then again, maybe not — I’ve seen the Accord Coupe.

    Jurisb: I can only assume that you are actually mourning (as am I) the demise of American manufacturing; but anyone who reads one of your later comments may (incorrectly?) feel that you’re “down” on America.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Interesting thing…there are more than 15 pages of comments regarding the new Malibu (well, some of them spin off on a tangent that has little to do with the car, but so be it). That should say something. At least the car is generating some interest. I actually find myself rooting for the "home team" with this one. Maybe as I'm getting older I find myself wanting America to be so much more than it has been. Would I buy the new Malibu right now? Maybe not. But if the data proves me wrong, then perhaps GM will make it back to the shopping list in three to five years. Perhaps I'm not the only one slowly tiring of Accord and Camry's dominance of the market (this coming from a long line of Toyota owners…several Corollas, a Camry, a Highlander and a 1997 Tercel that I just can't seem to kill!).

  • avatar
    geeber

    Steven Lang: In the remarketing business, GM models are generally considered to have above average reliability and very good durability. They are easily seen as the best of the big three, and considered better overall than most of the second-tier Japaneses manufacturers as well (Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, etc.)

    This sounds like an interesting TTAC article (but not just focusing on GM…the article should rate all of the major manufacturers, most preferably by vehicle class).

    Not saying that I would necessarily agree – my experiences with GM vehicles have been mixed. But it would be interesting to read about your experiences.

  • avatar
    Jan Andersson

    I’ve never understood why the meters should be in the bottom of small buckets or flower pots. Flush mounted in a flat walnut board is nicer, right?

  • avatar
    jurisb

    Shaker, You are right, I want to restore once mighty America, with her muscles of techlogical advance. A country that could be proud of her hardware achievements, not of her military presence in other countries, of her obtrusive low tech advertising , shaky culture and bulging bellies of service driven national debt burden!
    Do I have a plan? yes.

  • avatar
    brettc

    This actually isn’t a bad looking car. If GM would throw an efficient turbodiesel in it, I’d take a serious look at it.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    I saw the Dodge Charger and Avenger. They are pretty good looking cars and one of them looks like a 4 door Mustang with more muscles.

    Time to ressurrect the American Muscle Cars. I have no doubt next year will be a testosterone egocentric year for the American Cars.

    “More than meets the eye”

    If you guys only know Japanese and Europeans love Our Muscle cars. There is place in Japan all they do is Drift American cars in a remote mountains of Osaka. Can’t name it but it exist.

    By the way Ford GT was Chosen by TOP GEAR for one of the fastest cars in the World. Remember Top Gear always Do with Less Say.

    I love the Ford GT.

  • avatar
    panayoti

    If you are taller than 6 feet and don't wear a skirt, the Malibu will be a pain to enter and to drive long distances because of its low seating and cockpit environment. Younger buyers should have no trouble with this, but those of us older than 55 may have some difficulty with entry. The vehicle sits low and getting in may be challenging for older, less limber adults. Once in the vehicle the cockpit arrangement forces your knees to the inside and driving longer distances may be uncomfortable for many. Another pet peeve is the tall door sill which rises 4-5 inches off the floor which makes exiting difficult and scuffs the inside sill with your shoes. I had my heart set on buying this or the new Rogue, but alas, both have broken my heart because of the center console and cockpit arrangement which prevents me from driving in my accustomed position. Other than these pet peeves, the vehicle appears to be everything its cracked up to be. Potential buyers might what to wait until June to opt for the 6 speed transmission for the 4 cylinder, which is projected to be 75% of sales.

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    Food for thought;

    I just finished reading Car and Driver’s long term review of the VW GTI. One of teh highlights of teh review was the fact that while VW does use excellent feeling materials in the interior of their cars, the materials are assembled in a less than satisfactory manner. When nice feeling trim pieces fall off, break, and loose their luster in a short period of time you are left with less desirable car.

    The problem(s) facing GM and the new Malibu is that GM is known for making interiors out of cheap materials that were ALSO poorly put together. So GM actually has two hurdles to get over; material quality and build quality.

    The question is whether GM has managed overcome both hurdles at the same time. From GM past track record I am lead to believe the answer is NO. While the materials might be better I am skeptical about the build qulaity, did GM cut the corners on the assembly of the interior pieces.

    While I want GM to succeed I cant consider a GM purchase without thinking about the fact that GM is not making any profit on the sale of its cars. With that in mind I “KNOW” that GM MUST cut-corners and cost at every oportunity available to them.

    Only time will tell. I will need to see these new Malibus on the road 5 to 10 years from now to see how well they hold up and how much the owners like their cars. Hondas adn Toyota owners like their cars that is why thare are so many 10 year old accords and Camrys on the roads in my area. Domestic cars seem to get treated like old sneakers by the first owner and it is only down hill from there.

  • avatar
    ash78

    I’m so torn, just like with the Saturn Aura.

    I’m a born-and-raised American, and I appreciate it whenever our nation can excel in consumer products (I grew up in a household full of German cars and Japanese electronics, with the foregone conclusion that these were the best in their respective fields).

    So I can’t decide whether to be thrilled that Chevy finally offers a product like this, or if I should be resigned/disappointed that they are just cherry picking their “world cars” (starting in 2004 with the GTO). From a sales point of view, I’m glad to see competitive products, but I guess I feel that the failure to market it based on the car’s heritage is a little disingenuous. 95% of the buying public will think that GM (USA) just came up with this car out of the blue. I guess that’s just good marketing…

  • avatar
    1169hp

    As for interior durability on new GM’s, specifically Chevy’s:

    I’m am assigned a 2007 Impala for work. The 07′ Impala’s interior is way better than the Fisher Price inspired last generation (2004) I had. Furthermore, the 07′ is holding up fine under less ideal conditions.

    I know, I know, it’s new. Just sayin’, nothing seems as if it’s on the verge of giving up, falling off, or becoming inoperable.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Why did Chevy develop a new 3.5L and 3.9L OHV V6s just prior to bring this new 3.6L DOHC V6 to market? Now they have these three V6s and a straight 6. (I wished they could squeeze the inline-6 Atlas into the Canyon/Colorado duo.)

  • avatar
    davey49

    NickR- The 3.6L DOHC V6 came first in the Cadillac CTS (2004) The current OHV V6s came out in 2005
    The OHV V6s cost less money to build and will fit in more engine compartments. The OHV V6s are a good way to go because 99.9% of car buyers don’t care.

  • avatar
    sardini

    OOoooooohhhhhhh a new old GM!!!. The masters of rip off have been selling overpriced inferior quality vehicles for decades and all of a sudden they got a conscience and they’re gonna deliver quality!!

    GM epitomizes EVERYTHING wrong with America these days. GM=Big blue chip Harvard Fortune Forbes 500 Yale profit profit outsource profit we know what’s best. That GM could be knocked out of #1 in its own backyard is proof that it’s out of touch.

    I’d rather walk home than drive a GM.

    Buy a Ford, they’re improving to quality levels on par with Toyota and Honda.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    GM epitomizes EVERYTHING wrong with America these days.

    I’m going to have to add this to my collection of ‘six degree’ theories. Everything that is wrong with America can be tied back to GM in less than six steps.

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    “The masters of rip off have been selling overpriced inferior quality vehicles for decades and all of a sudden they got a conscience and they’re gonna deliver quality!! ”

    Uh, no. It has to do with the fact that GM now has people in place who are interested and excited about building good cars. GM has finally realized that people aren’t going to continue buying poorly designed, excessively rebadged vehicles. They’ve also realized that their products not only have to be well made, they have to be attractive and perceived as well made through good design. They decided that they want to sell cars, not by clever finaincing and rebates, but by building great products.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    “Why did Chevy develop a new 3.5L and 3.9L OHV V6s just prior to bring this new 3.6L DOHC V6 to market? Now they have these three V6s and a straight 6.”

    GM has two V-6 engine families, one “high-value” and the other “high-content”. Which means cam-in-block and overhead-cam respectively. Cam-in-block designs are less costly and apples-to-apples might have a slight fuel economy advantage for a given engine size. Overhead cam engines can generally produce higher power outputs for a given displacement thanks mostly to improved high RPM performance. GM has a huge global product line competing across the board. It isn’t unreasonable for them to have two mainstream engine families for the 6 cylinder segment. The truck only straight-6 is an anomaly which is likely to be killed sometime soon.

    GM seems to be about the only company which has continued to invest in cam-in-block V-6 engine development.

  • avatar
    davey49

    Sardini- you could be right on Ford having better quality but I think their cars are uninteresting. I think GM has better cars on the surface so I guess it depends on what you’re aiming for. I like Chrysler’s products the best now but their quality is mediocre at best.
    We’ll see in a few years whether or not Ford’s back to basics make a boring car well philosophy works out.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Thanks for the explanations about the V6s.

    ‘The truck only straight-6 is an anomaly which is likely to be killed sometime soon.‘

    Pity, I was always partial to straight sixes. I would have thought they could find a home for it; from what I’ve read it was pretty good. *Shrugs*

  • avatar
    davey49

    OHV V6s have an advantage when it comes to engine size (not displacement). A DOHC V6 is as large (or larger) as an OHV V8 and really doesn’t produce any better performance. An OHV V6 can actually be made much smaller and lighter than a DOHC one.
    I wouldn’t kill pushrods just yet.
    I would be sorry to see the L6 go by the wayside. I wonder if the straight 8 garnered the same response way back when.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    Well Kevin, checking Chevrolet Chronicle, “The complete and colorful story of Chevrolet from 1904 by the auto editors of Consumer GuideI see, under the section on the model year of 1964, that “Chevelle’s top of the line Malibu series arrived with a jazzy SS option.” So you’re correct. But all I know is I never noticed a Chevelle badge on the side of my buddy’s mom’s car and the auctioneers these days never call the early cars anything but Malibus (at least at the auctions I go to).

    In fact, my guess is that’s why I have never had the editor at Collector Car Market Review, or any of the three different editors I have worked with since 1987, at Old Cars Weekly, ever add the word “Chevelle” in between the word “Chevrolet” and “Malibu” on the reports I’ve done for them. Go figure.

    Maybe you should, as the saying goes, bust a move to write for a vintage car publication; since it sounds as if you know more than a little about vintage Chevrolets. Old Cars could use some help on Chevrolet-themed issues. You won’t get rich; but you will make a few bucks and help out the enthusiast community. Thanks for increasing my knowledge base.

  • avatar
    Phil Ressler

    But all I know is I never noticed a Chevelle badge on the side of my buddy’s mom’s car and the auctioneers these days never call the early cars anything but Malibus

    Chevelles were plentiful when I was a kid. As I recall, “Chevelle” appeared as the Chevrolet model designation on the right rear, on the turndown of the trunklid, and the “Malibu” model designation within the Chevelle line appeared on the front fender flanks, just forward of the doors. The engine displacement in cubic inches was noted further forward on the front fenders, just behind the headlamps. It wasn’t until the ’68 models that street parlance for these cars began to drop the Chevelle reference in favor of Malibu alone. People referred to owning or wishing for “Chevelle 396″ instead of a “Malibu 396″ or a “Chevelle SS” at least where I lived. In Chevy’s advertising, Chevelle was clearly the delineated brand until the 1973 models dropped the Chevelle brand.

    Reviving the Chevelle brand for the new Malibu would have been a good fit.

    Phil

  • avatar
    Mud

    Amazing on the number of responses to GM simply making a vehicle that is finally generally only on-par with what it’s competitors have been making for years.

    I will let somebody else make the GM leap of faith, I have been burned once too many times by that bunch. Never again.

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    “Amazing on the number of responses to GM simply making a vehicle that is finally generally only on-par with what it’s competitors have been making for years.”

    Most reviews put it above par. I think a lot of the enthusiasm has to do with the reality that a lot of people want an option besides an Accord or Camry. At least with the Camry, it’s horribly staid. And not a lot of people have been in love with the look of the past two Accords. The Malibu is a surprising and compelling option for those who want something else. And it really does look good and appear very well made.

    It would be nice to have another decent entry. It’s a tough segment. Personally, I like the Mazda 6, but it doesn’t compare to the sales numbers of the Camcord. Hopefully the Malibu will prove to be competitive like everyone is saying.

  • avatar
    poltergeist

    Terry,

    Thanks for the thought, but I’m afraid old Chevy’s are sort of a past hobby for me. The reason I know anything about them is my first car was a ’67 Chevelle Malibu that I restored through high school. Ended up being pretty nice after starting with a $400 basket case. Grandparents had a ’65 Chevelle and parents had a ’64, so I’ve always been partial to them. I work on Honda’s for a living now so I’ve sorta gravitated that way. My Dad still has a ’57 210 Sport Coupe and brother has a ’67 Camaro RS, so the old car bug is still in the family tree, just not my branch.

    Back to the new Malibu, I remember when the domestics were the car’s that you could get in virtually any engine/trans/color/interior/ configuration….you could even special order individual options from the factory. The Asian cars were the one’s where you took what you were given, like it or not. Seems the Malibu is as much (or more) of a “take it as it comes” car than the “imports” these days.

    Kevin

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    I finally got some seat time in one of these new Malibu’s. It only took driving 100 miles away while servicing my Subaru to find a dealer who had one, 2 actually. An LTZ in the showroom and a white stripper out front blasting the UF game.

    I have to give GM props on the interior of the LTZ, very very nice, especially compared to past attempts. And I didn’t think the more recent interiors were horrible just boring and fall apart fast. It had tasteful colors and nice plastics with real feel to them. The base 4 cylinder interior was well put together, not retarded like in the 90′s but the plastics were super cheap looking and very rental fleet feeling. But the car was white with a gray interior EVERYWHERE and bits of chrome, if it was a different color with some more accents it probably wouldn’t be that bad, I hate the elephant gray look that reminds me of that horrid VW Jetta we were stuck with for a week.

    My short drive in the base 4 was pleasant, not ‘toaster on wheels’ like the Camry feels to me, but still not as good as the last gen Accord I drove. It rode very nice and had decent driving dynamics for the fat block test drive I did. The 4 speed auto has been greatly improved I guess since I barely noticed it was there. Except that Ecotech, yuck, but the Camry’s is not that great to me either, these both fall in the same boat. It was noisy and sluggish but got the job done, just not my taste.

    The car was nicely put together and not a bad price for what you get. Comparable to the competition, maybe better in some features. That hasn’t been my problem with GM of the past few years(well some products), it’s after 3-4 years they just fall apart like they planned it from the factory. Will the car hold up over time, only time will tell, but I don’t have high hopes. And I have no desire to take a risk on GM unless they make up for past sins, especially since I am paying for them right this second. As in this car would have to be a steel to make up for the thousands GM has cost me, plus I hate FWD and my wife’s not giving up the Subaru for that.

    It’s not going to grab loyalists of other brands in my opinion. Not different enough, maybe too Camry-like. I’m sure this will grab people without loyalties to a brand but not a whole lot since I don’t think it stands out enough in the field of many. Worse this is definitely going to cannibalize the other brands and Impala sales. The Saturn Aura I looked at(didn’t drive) just an hour earlier was more expensive but had a crappier interior and “no-back bone pricing”. That car is going to be killed by the Malibu and I guess the numbers show it.

    I don’t see this saving the company though, especially when the G8 comes out and they forget the Malibu even existed. Then the fleet sales will start the whole process over again. The white color is UGLY too, they should have never offered it in that color. And of coarse my eyes will be breeding when they send the fleets millions of white ones to muck up the roads.

  • avatar

    I have heard that the 4 cly is made in China? What will be the long range outlook for the Malibu, that is the question of the day, most of the previous 6 cyl engines that have been in GM cars at least here in Canada have been not so good ie Gaskets etc.
    Also hear there will be a Hybird some time in the future, not a true hybird but the one GM has at the moment!

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    There is a growing belief in the remarketing industry that GM should really be organized in three divisions.

    Chevrolet : Cars, ‘mainstream SUV’s’ and pickup’s
    Cadillac : Luxury vehicles
    Hummer/GMC : High dollar SUV’s and heavy duty trucks

    Everything else in GM’s brand-o-sphere no longer has a meritable reason for their existence. Pontiac and Buick are rapidly going the way of Oldsmobile, Saturn and Saab have been unqualified failures as import fighters. You also have to take into account that 3 out of the 4 divisions have ver heavy sales to rental fleets. I wouldn’t be surprised if all these brands had less than 7% of the retail sales market, and they’re simply an unhealthy drain of financial and human resources.

    I can see a day where GM splits up into two completely different organizations and in fact, it may be the only real way they could avoid a future Chapter 11 filing.

  • avatar

    Domestic makers have never made a good 4 cyl engine that are on par with Honda or Toyota ones. I do know that the Chev. Equinox that is made here in Ontario has a 6 cyl made in China engine and it has a poor rating from Consumer Reports because of the Engine along with some subpar interior parts.

  • avatar
    gmbuoy

    You are throwing specious comments at the Ecotec with vague and unrelated points about other GM products or engines. FYI The gasket issue was related to 3.4 L V6 engines that where predominantly put in the 2001 and prior Venture and Montana vans (how prior I believe 1998). The 3800 V6 distributed at the same period of time has been called argueably the best V6 ever made by Wards Auto World. Alas ever stricter CAFE requirements ended its lifecycle. And V6 in the Malibu ? Well that is only the VVT 3.6L that is in the 2008 CTS and the 2008 Enclave not bad company for a Chevy. No credible source beats on the ecotec except for its engine noise. Which the Malibu has dampened the hell out of to the point it is referred to as Lexus Like. Is its’ powerband very average, yes, which is what a 4 Dr 4 Cyl family sedan MSRP 23K Cdn is supposed to have.

  • avatar

    With regard to V6 engines in GM vehicles at least here in Canada there is a large Class Action legal action(wwwgmclassaction.ca)in progress across all of Canada relating to defective intake manifold gaskets in the 3.1, 3.4 and 3.8 engines. And the period covered is from 1995-2003 in Cars as well as Vans.
    Ford of Canada had a similar problem but at least they accepted the problems and repaired the vehicles in question whereas GM Canada has not.

  • avatar
    Prado

    Saw the Malibu for the first time in person today. It was a silver LT1 parked on display in front of a Costco entrance. I actually walked right by it at first without realizing what it was. This car has no presence in person. Ironically it was invisible just like the commerical that was poking fun at the old version. I looked inside and the black cloth interior looked good.. nicer than a base model Camry or Accord. Costco discount on this car was 2K.

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    No credible source beats on the ecotec except for its engine noise. Which the Malibu has dampened the hell out of to the point it is referred to as
    Lexus Like.

    The 4 in the new Malibu is not quiet and far from Lexus-like, actually I would say that’s a bold faced lie, it didn’t sound like it had much of any dampening. It sounded noisy as hell when I drove it, like the VW 5. It was powerful enough for it’s purpose but to make it out that that engine is a good refined power plant is a far stretch.

  • avatar
    tuckntow

    I have a chevrolet malibu-2003 with the 3.1L engine and I have to tell you that this car has given me nothing but TROUBLE. It started at 23k miles with 3 major oil leaks. Then some minor things like seals and things that malibu’s are notorious for. Not only every recall put out on this model mine has had to have it replaced. Then the Big TROUBLE started at 49k miles the Rocker arms started coming loose 4 of them to be exact and one of them was all the way thru the head. 1year later at 60k miles it happened again. I have been on the phone with my dealership and the big guys at chevy. well needless to say chevy says we’ll give you $500.00 for your trouble towards a new chevy. But since you didn’t have to pay for anything we don’t feel we owe you anything. but you see I had to wait in the cold for a tow truck not once but twice and had to pay for that tow truck $110.00 each trip. and this is all chevy wants to do for me. Needless to say this chevy girl isn’t buying anymore chevy’s ever. and I would beware and warned before you buy another chevy yourself

  • avatar
    Billy215

    Spotted one in a Norristown, PA office parking lot. Still haven’t seen one in New York City.

  • avatar
    kenlight1

    As a GM credit card holder I’ll have $3,000 off a GM product (not including Saturn) after making my best deal. I would like a very quiet car so I can enjoy my MP3s. Although I can afford gas, I will get a 4 cylinder so at least I can feel I’m doing something to help the planet. I want an automatic transmission, stabletrack, traction control, full air bags and anti-lock brakes. Since I am 6’3” a sun roof is probably out. There are other amenities I would like but GM just doesn’t build a really fully loaded fuel efficient car. Looking at the choices I’ll take a serious look at the Malibu LT/2LT as I see no other choices in the GM line that come close outside of the highly criticized Cobalt SS sedan.

  • avatar
    DebsBu

    I just purchased a 2008 Malibu LT1 (Silver) and got a fantastic price on it 200 miles before deciding on the Malibu.

  • avatar
    John_K

    Nice car…. It’s finally competitive with my 14 year old Altima!

  • avatar
    toxicroach

    I just test drove a top end Bu.

    They are kidding themselves if they think 28k is a sane number.

    Maybe its the one I drove, but the ride was NOT smooth; you felt every little bump while street driving, and the thing shuddered @ highway speeds. Maybe the tires were off because it had been sitting too long or something, but the ride was not up to the Accord by a long shot.

    The interior was coated in that faux-leather plastic that I hate. When idling at a light, the engine would send shudders through the car every few seconds.

    That trim level @ 20k would be killer. That trim level @ 25k would be the value leader for the class (for On-star). At 28k, its a car that you entertain the idea of buying, but never come close.

  • avatar
    Janelle

    I bought a 2004 Malibu LS fresh off the lot. within 3 months i had to replace the steering sensor. ( the steering wheel would all of a sudden jerk either towards on coming traffic or a ditch for)2 months after that i replaced the stero about 3 months after that i also replaced the stereo AGAIN.now comes the popping noise in the front end ( 4 years later they find out its the steering extension) the past 3 years i have replaced the front brakes and rotars 3 times and the rack and pinion twice. ( take note when i bought the car i was specific when i said i want the extended FACTORY warranty that will be good overseas due to being moved there with the military) after we get to germany we are told that our warranty is NO GOOD!! that they have NO warranty what so ever for overseas so the past 3 years of repairs have been out of pocket. if you read up on the malibu you will find that it has ALOT of front end problems that chevy is refusing to believe is a problem. i have owned a gm product all my life NEVER will i buy another gm product after what they have put us through with it!!!!

  • avatar
    cmt001

    I bought the 2008 LTZ 6cyl back in May, and it’s been bullet proof thusfar. I’ve not owned a Chevy before, and had recently owned 2 Mazda6′s. While the Mazda’s were very nice, this Malibu is superior in just about every way (except for handling).
    GM got this one right, and the price, at 28K fully loaded is reasonable. Lastly, I’ve got 9700 miles on it, and am averaging 26.5 MPG in mixed driving in the Washington D.C. area.

  • avatar
    kong572003

    Would I be too rude (or flaming the site) to mention that it truly must be so long ago that GM made a respectable automobile that the majority of the written comments above are almost painful to read, gushing about an “OK” car.

    I drove the 2008 Malibu LTZ 6 cyl the other day and I was pleased for GM finally hitting the dart board after all these years. But lets not go overboard. The sticker price on the Malibu I drove was 28k. Funny, before I could ask “Would the dealer work with me?” the salesman offered me three thousand dollars off the 28k sticker… Real confidence.

    You can rave all you want about the Malibu but until it proves its reliability it means nothing…GM talk to the folks about the Malibu in 5 years if you still can and add an apology for the junk you dumped on all of us “Long time past buyers”.

    And please folks, for those of you who haven’t test driven a Malibu, Accord, Altima, Camry, Mazda 6. Know that the Malibu is “OK” not an Accord, Altima, Camry, or Mazda 6…Not even!

  • avatar
    cmt001

    Kong572003:
    Your comments aren’t inflaming – just misguided.
    You mention the Dealer offered 3K off sticker. Try finding a dealership offering any brand of car that is not offering discounts; in case you haven’t noticed, there’s a fairly significant financial crisis occurring at the moment.
    You also state it’s not on par with Altima, Mazda 6, etc. Did you arrive at this conclusion by way of 10 minute test drives, or did you simply read about them? I test drove the Altima and didn’t like it as much as the Malibu. More importantly, I OWNED 2 6′s, so experienced 130K miles in them collectively, which I suspect, puts me in far better positon than you to objectively compare the vehicles. (albeit it is opinion either way).
    I agree with your point that only time will tell whether it holds up or not – GM’s track record for sedans has obviously not been good. I gambled that they’ve turned the corner, and after 10,000 miles and zero defects, I’m feeling quite good about my choice.

  • avatar
    kong572003

    cmt001:

    I’m not trying to knock your new Malibu and I truly think it is a car you can be proud of. I wish you the best and hope you never have it in the shop, less normal service. It is a beautiful car as well.

    As far as the economy goes, you are correct, it is tough out there. Can you imagine what deals the dealers are giving on big trucks at this time. But even so, you will not see the dealers selling Accord’s, Altima’s, or Camry’s walking around with their pants down the way the Malibu or Fusion dealers are. On the back side the Malibu and Fusion buyers will have to do the same when they sell. I’m not sure what the Mazda dealers are doing.

    I will admit that I took the Malibu on a test drive for only 30 minutes. But I’ve driven the new Accord 5 times (30 min ea) and a friend of mine has the new Mazda 6 (Grand Touring V6) of which I’ve driven numerous times. I too have taken the Camry SE and the V6 Altima on test drives. Having driven the 2 Mazda 6′s you drove 130k, does not hold water that it puts you in a better position to make comment on the 2009 Mazda 6…The new 6 is a totally different car than what you were driving.

    Let me end by saying, for the money I think you have a very nice car and there is no doubt that I would be spending several thousand more for say, the top of the line EX-L V-6 Honda Accord, but it is my personal opinion and only my opinion that there is a undeniable quality feel to the top end Accord that the top end Malibu just doesn’t have and I’m willing to pay the money to drive away a proven reliable car that has great resale. That said, I could be driving the biggest lemon off the lot… It is a bit of luck when you buy any car :o)

    Best of luck!

    P.S. “Poltergeist” quote on why the new Accord is not fast off the line “This is to slow down the rash of transmission problems that Honda has been having for the past six years.” The rash of transmission problems?… You truly must be from another world. Honda has not had transmission problems with any Accord since 2003. There transmissions have been rated much better than average in every consumer report and auto magazine for the past five years. Prove me wrong and name one consumer report or one car magazine article in the past five years that supports your accusation and of course make sure you have the link to the article… No GM fan boy blogs accepted.

  • avatar
    modemjunki

    This review made me put the 08 Malibu on my list of cars to shop early this year.

    I really liked the interior when I shopped the car, and my wife and daughter both preferred it to the Accord. The base Camry was rather lacking.

    So, I’ve had a base model (Malibu LS) for about 6 months now. My needs are basic: a family sedan with which I can commute 50 miles daily, in reasonable comfort, with reasonable gas mileage.

    I’m seeing 25MPG average (or 24, if you use the car’s built-in mileage computer). I drive like a more or less average adult, mellow mixed-mode commuting is my daily drive.

    The car is as smooth, quiet, and solid feeling as the day I bought it. For certain the electric power steering gives zero feel. It took a while to adapt to driving the car with this “feature”. Braking performance is very good, no fade even after three 55 to 0 panic stops within a few moments of each other (behind an old Dodge van with no taillights.. not fun).

    The only issue I have is the dome light makes a chittering noise on occasion (when the car is cold), which I assume is going to be resolved when I take it in this week for an oil change and tire rotation. Or maybe I’ll just tighten the screw myself.

    While I see the car as a basic appliance, my kids and their friends always comment on how “nice” the car is when they get inside. It’s all about the visual style, I suppose.

  • avatar
    bdab4

    I think GM did a nice job on this one took one out for a test drive and liked it.I’ve always driven a truck but this time I’m going to try this car.It’s good on gas also.

  • avatar
    robert_h

    I’m late to the party. I just spent a week driving a rental Malibu and was very impressed, which is saying something because I’ve always been a Japanese-cars-only guy (barring a soft spot for jeeps). The Malibu was a calm freeway cruiser with a comfortable ride that was neither too stiff nor too floaty. The inline four had plenty of torque off the line, and was quiet and smooth. I loved the interior- supportive seats with excellent range of adjustment, and all the controls were intuitively placed and operated nicely. I really enjoyed driving the car. Two complaints- the parking brake pedal seemed to be placed a little too high, and the A pillars obstructed visibility a bit. The Malibu felt quieter on the highway than an Accord and just seems nicer overall than a Camry. Despite my general disdain for GM, I’d seriously consider one if I were in the market for a sedan.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States