By on July 13, 2012
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“It’s nice to be liked,” my future third wife Liz Phair sings, “but it’s better by far to get paid.” When your humble author began a vigorous program of auto-media meta-criticism under the guidance of the august Robert Farago a few years ago, I expected to be hated by my peers, and I was. I expected to be shunned by the industry PR people, and I was. I even feared I might be the subject of underhanded personal attacks designed to cost me my job, my home, and my ability to feed my son, and I wasn’t disappointed in that, either. The only thing I didn’t expect was to be emulated.

Now we have the nice folks at FORTUNE doing their own meta-critical review-the-reviewers, complete with double helpings of cynicism and supposition. Their target: The new Chevrolet Malibu ECO. They credit TTAC’s own Michael Karesh with being “an early sign that consensus was building” on the car. And the verdict?

The article title res ipsa loquitir and all that jazz: The Most Disliked Car Of The Year (so far). FORTUNE editor Alex Taylor charts the media’s desperate, fawning attempts to like the underwhelming underAchieva even as the evidence for the vehicle’s utter fecklessness stares them in the face. I won’t bother to excerpt the article: you can go read it if you’re interested, and the whole thing is worth reading.

This article is important, because it points out three important facts:

  • The new Malibu sucks. It’s probably worse than the old one, which was only really good when viewed against the two-generations-ago Japanese competition. We all kind of knew that, though. GM’s inherent inability to capitalize on success almost guaranteed that the new ‘Bu would disappoint. The company continues to sabotage itself as if it were 1955 and the government were anxiously considering trust-busting it, rather than anxiously considering when the RenCen Fools will need another billion-busting bailout.
  • The media really didn’t want to let anybody know that the new Malibu sucks. And why should they? The real customers of the auto media outlets are the PR people, not the buyers. Why give a shit about some sad-sack single mom out there trying to buy a decent car when your very good friend from Cadillac is ready to send you some place like this? Everybody who wrote a negative review of the new Malibu had to face the unpleasant fact that, although they’d never meet the families they’d no doubt spared from buying that piece of crap, their friend in Chevrolet PR was going to be sitting next to them at the next Vail/Napa/Jackson Hole/Las Vegas $250-a-plate dinner, and that friend was going to be upset with them.
  • The edifice is collapsing. Thank G-d. The day is coming when it won’t be possible to ride the gravy train by writing fawning garbage any more. There are too many competing sources of information. The arbitrage of information is coming to an end. The good guys are going to win.

I will repeat it, and I believe it. The good guys are going to win. The cream will rise to the top. Bad cars will be shamed. Good cars will be praised. The journosaurs will disappear as the comet of globally instant information strikes their dark little planet and snuffs out their lives. The good guys are going to win. What would Liz say? Hmm… how about “I believe we have things to do. I believe in myself, and I believe in you.”

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69 Comments on “The Malibu Eco’s FORTUNE Has Been Read, And It Looks Like “The Hanged Man”...”


  • avatar
    sudden1

    Bravo. And here’s to hoping that you never, ever have to worry about money again.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    Any time an auto journalist’s employer is dependent on advertising to make payroll, you will get fluff pieces. The classic example was C&D’s review of the Opel Kadett in the 60′s, and the ensuing blowback when GM pulled a bunch of advertising from the magazine. Trash an automobile in print, and you are jeopardizing your own livelihood.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “but it’s better by far to get LAID.” – there Liz, fixed for you. :)

    GM makes me want to cry sometimes, bringing out worse cars than the previous version of the model.

    New Malibu, less rear seat room than the old Malibu and 4cyl only.

    New Impala, narrow, base 4cyl (in a fairly heavy car) and tail lights stollen from a Buick Verano

    New XTS, narrow swollen Epsilon II platform, magazine reviews make the departed DTS sould like a better value

    Are you even trying, residents of the RenCen?

    Even my 28 year old soon to be bride would rather drive one of the V8 powered mosters you used to call a Cadillac than the BMW wana-bes you call Cadillacs now.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      You can buy a gently used loaded Cadillac DTS for a pittance. Is it a great car?

      Nope.

      But for what you get at the heavily depreciated price? It’s a screaming deal.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        @APaGttH

        That’s exactly how to look at things. I remember reading a few accounts either on here or AB a few years back about how a guy’s mom was looking at a $42,000 CTS, but was able to pick up a DTS for something like $28,000 out the door, and it had basically the same stuff. Is the interior going to be as nice/modern? No, but she’s a middle-aged lady and really didn’t care.

        I had been entertaining, briefly, the idea of a used Buick LuCerne – $15,000 loaded for a 3-4 year old car with 50k most likely babied miles was really appealing, until I saw the interior. Hello 2001. I can’t believe this car was sold, relatively UNCHAGED, until just last year looking like THAT.

        Also, I feel the sentence “It’s probably worse than the old one, which was only really good when viewed against the two-generations-ago Japanese competition.” is a bit harsh – when the last-gen Malibu came out in…. 2007? it was actually pretty competitive against the Japanese. It’s just that everybody else upgraded their respective competing vehicles in the 3 years after, making it look pretty bad by comparison.

        To be fair, this often happens, newer cars being released and making their predecessors look bad.

        Except for the 2013 Malibu, apparently…

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      4 cylinder only, in this market, is not a problem. I’m not sure a “performance” option of a turbo-4 is necessary.

      If the engine bay doesn’t have to accomodate a V6, you can optimize for a 4 and get a better 4-cylinder car as a result. I’m surprised the Camry still offers a V6 but I guess Toyota is not a big fan of turbos.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        If I recall correctly, even before the run-up in gas prices, around 75 percent of Camrys and Accords sold were the four-cylinder versions. They are simply a better deal than the V-6 versions (particularly the Accord).

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        “I’m surprised the Camry still offers a V6 but I guess Toyota is not a big fan of turbos.”

        I have to give a nod to Toyota if this is true, as I am no fan of turbos either.

    • 0 avatar
      mjz

      Thank you Dan. The new Malibu just doesn’t look good. It looks too heavy in the front, like it’s sinking, with its a$$ sticking up in the rear. The execution of the Camaro-like tail lights is poorly done. The new Impala should have TRIPLE tail lights on each side, that is an iconic Impala design cue that they are still ignoring, it’s just criminal! Instead, they opted to slap a Korean/Japanese any car look to the rear. The XTS is very wierdly proportioned, the wheelbase is too short and the overhangs (especially the rear) too long. Reminds me of a big Art & Science version of the Ford Fiesta sedan. All of this and they refuse to offer the Cruze hatchback and wagon here. Ugh.

    • 0 avatar
      Zarba

      Congrats, Dan.

      Always remember this secret to a happy marriage:

      We compromise…we do what my wife wants.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      “New Malibu, less rear seat room than the old Malibu and 4cyl only.”

      - So with Ford going to the ‘One Ford’ model, the Fiesta and Focus didn’t have less rear seat room?

      And Hyundai and Kia with the Sonata and Optima didn’t do the 4 cyl only thing?

      How were reviews generally for the those models?

      This whole negative reviews-thing of the Malibu ECO is a bit overblown.

      The real problem is the Malibu’s mild-hybrid system which isn’t that much cheaper than the full hybrid systems offered by Toyota and Ford.

      Not like the new Toyota Camry Hybrid got glowing reviews for its handling, but that didn’t matter b/c it did what a hybrid was supposed to do – get good fuel economy.

      Let’s wait and see what the reviews for the non-ECO Malibu are like before we rashly conclude that the new Malibu is a failure.

      And despite the whole mild-hybrid things, the Malibu Eco was still the THIRD best selling hybrid for June (after the Prius and Camry Hybrid) – outselling the Fusion Hybrid 2002 vs. 797.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        That depends on how you count the Prius. You can either count the three Priuses as 1 (ignoring the PHV), in which case the “Prius” outsells the Eco by 9 to 1 or so or you can count them, more appropriately, as 3, in which case the Eco comes in 5th.

        Either way, you can replace that bowtie on the front of the Eco with a big ‘ol “L”.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      That’s a shame. In my view, Cadillac has been effectively dying for years, Buick’s now dead and was brought back as an Opelified zombie, and it looks like Chevrolet is not far behind.

      This bit of wisdom I picked up years back may explain whatever passes for creative thinking at RenCen. When I was a hs senior in 1999, I read an article in Time about the announced closure of Oldsmobile. They quoted someone from RenCen (whose name I cannot recall) who said something to the effect of “in 1996 we knew the most important goal of General Motors was to keep the corporation going”. If this is true, then it helps to explain the last thirty plus years of GM. Profits, market share, production figures… none of it mattered. What mattered most to them was keeping their salaries, bonuses, and lifestyles intact. Just keep kicking the can boys, and eventually it won’t be your problem. Every so often even a blind squirrel will find a nut. Much as UAW members have been accused of the same inward and selfish thinking, so was the board and upper management afflicted by the poor business acumen.

      Just like JB said:

      “their friend in Chevrolet PR was going to be sitting next to them at the next Vail/Napa/Jackson Hole/Las Vegas $250-a-plate dinner”

      Its all about the Benjamins baby… and playing kick the can. GM as we knew it probably died sometime in the early seventies.

      Also, I just noticed the name change Dan, congrats on what I assume is a well deserved promotion.

  • avatar

    Good thing that the average car shopper DOESN’T READ most of these diatribes because I see no reason for the Malibu to not sell well. Or the Jeep Grand Cherokee for that matter.

    Both are very nice cars.

    My solution: DON’T LET YOURSELF GET HIT BY A TRUCK.

  • avatar

    Congrats, Dan

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    Somewhere, deep inside GM, is a Powerpoint presentation that proves the new Malibu is a hit.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Because of the availability of information, I believe the same fate awaits the UAW/CAW.

    Their attempts to organize labor at the transplants falls on deaf ears because there are no problems that organizing will solve. If there were, we’d all hear about it. The Truth About Unions is that the internet is their worst enemy.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    It may be disliked by the critics, but it seems to be liked well enough by the public. Malibu/Malibu Eco sales rivaled the Camry in June (beaten by less than 1000 units). The Bu even outsold the Golden Boy Cruze. By a LOT.

    Yes, that includes old Bus and yes a lot of those probably had a lot of money on the hood or were sold to fleets. But I imagine once the whole Bu line is replaced with the new model, sales will stay in the mid-20k range.

    Just think of all those potential buyers for whom the Cruze was too small licking their chops over the Malibu – even if it’s not actually that much bigger.

    I agree though: the Eco sucks…in pretty much every way, except for the hidden storage compartment behind the nav screen, and even that’s kind of chintzy.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Wow, Jack.

    I knew that you refused to play the game in order to get the access, but I never imagined it had as direct and adverse an impact on your life.

    It was probably naive of me to unintentionally assume that you may have been able to fight the good fight while carving out a profitable niche doing so, and not being forced to make a choice between calling a spade a spade (or any particular car a pile of shit) or selling your soul.

    I guess the only thing I can say is that what you just acknowledged makes me appreciate anyone, whether a journalist, critic or whomever, who speaks truthfully and takes an absolute stand against being corrupted, resulting in the propagation of lies, distortions and disservices to their audiences.

    Thanks for taking the right and moral stance.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      There are journalists in the real journalism sphere, many in the US, some recently, that have gone to prison for their reporting.

      Missing out on auto company financed all you can eat buffets for being truthful in reviews is not in the same category, but I’m not saying that it’s not nothing.

      What the situation really says something about is not the people that miss out on the buffets for truthful reviews, but the people that don’t forgo the buffets.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    Come on . Let’s give credit where credit is due. Independent automotive journalism has existed for years before TTAC. Consumer Report has been at it for decades already. Too bad the corporate fawns have conditioned people to hate on CR.

    There was another print magazine back in the 70′s which did the same thing, and refused all car ads. The name of it escapes me now.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      You’re correct, but that’s like somebody sitting in a cafe circa 1986 and discussing the front-wheel-drive fad by saying, “Oh yeah? Well, what about the Traction Avant?”

      For years, the CR staff refused to accept the idea that most cars were purchased for emotional reasons. This made it very easy for C/D et al to make fun of them. Those days are over. CR has caught up in that respect… but meanwhile, more and more enthusiast-oriented sources are taking a more reliability-and-quality-oriented look at the cars, as well.

      • 0 avatar
        icemilkcoffee

        That’s a good analogy, but CR did gain considerable traction with the car buying public, unlike the Traction Avant.

      • 0 avatar
        Advance_92

        Considering it was sold for twenty years the Traction Avant was hardly a failure with the public. Maybe Jack should have gone with the Cord since by 1986 front wheel drive was a heck of a lot more than a fad.

      • 0 avatar
        Patrickj

        @Jack
        Having lived in the Bronx through the 70s, within 5 miles of the Consumer Reports headquarters, theft, fender-benders, and vandalism made emotional attachment to cars very difficult.

        It was akin to parents in some poor cultures not naming the baby for a year to avoid attachment to a child likely to die in infancy.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        To be fair CR has awakened to the fact that a pretty good segment of the country views their car with more passion than shopping for a Maytag and their reviews (especially the video) no longer sound like a high school lab report. They still don’t get narrow focus vehicles like a Jeep Wrangler but then again folks who buy narrow focus vehicles like that don’t bother with CR. Now what remains is to improve the data collection for reliability so that it is current and not based on ambiguous terms like “serious repairs”…

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      The magazine was Road Test, and it died in the very early 1980s.

      • 0 avatar
        DweezilSFV

        Yes, it was. Tho they dropped the no ad policy in the early 70s and not long after became whores for the APO Vapor Injector and the house organ for Mazda.They tried. In the late 70s even the late Walt Woron,one of the early “founders” of Motor Trend, came in to try and shake it up.

        Toward the end in the early 80s they were an embarassment, tho a copy I am looking at right now lists Eric Dahlquist as contributing editor. And a “Maxwell Chalmers” as senior editor. I’m thinking “alias” for that one.

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      Consumer Repts lost my respect when they started endorsing political candidates. Talk about selling your soul.

  • avatar
    CanCarnut

    I have been buying and selling cars since 1986, how is it that even without the advent of the web of a million lies did I ever survive? I am all for truthiness but I also love glossy car porn.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Chevy dealers have always been able to sell more cars than the competitive merits of their vehicles would have otherwise justified. Back when the first Saturns came out, they were regularly outsold by the Cavalier, yet the Saturns were better in almost every respect. I was for the bailout, but I think the dealer-culling was partially misplaced. The extensive dealer network was (and is) more of an asset than a liability for Chevrolet.

    As far as the 2013 Malibu is concerned, I think Chevy just guessed wrong. While they were designing the car, they underestimated the engineering advancements that the competitors would make during the same time period. They ended up with a car that had a mileage advantage over the previous generation but not over contemporary cars like the 2012 Camry Hybrid and the 2013 Nissan Altima. They also shrunk the wheelbase because the previous generation Malibu was too close in size to the Impala.

    Assuming that the new 2.5 liter Malibu doesn’t dazzle unexpectedly, what Chevy needs to do is toss it’s previous product schedule in the wastebasket and start an immediate ground-up redesign, similar to what Honda is said to have done with the Civic.

    No mooses were harmed in the making of this comment.

  • avatar

    while the article is very interesting in regards to its honesty and the potentially(and hopefully) changing climate in the automotive “journalism” sector, the REAL story is in the comments section of said article. even with the facts presented to them – the malibu eco gets equivalent gas mileage to non-hybrid competitors, is mediocre in quality, and is more cramped than the previous generation – the “informed” and “intelligent” readers of money.cnn.com are absolutely appalled that anyone would actually call the malibu eco anything but “great”, all but calling the at-large Alex Taylor III a “hack.”
    although there may be a movement amongst some journos to represent facts rather than garbage, could the large majority of consumers and readers actually sabotage this? unfortunately, some people view business in the same way they view sports; they have their “team”, and they’ll be damned if they hear anything negative about said “team” – even if it’s the truth.
    at least there are some of us who will keep this “honest journalism” niche alive, even if we may not be the majority. hopefully i’m wrong(about the second part of that sentence that is)…

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Why is anyone surprised about this? GM has been doing this since the late 70′s with their FWD lunacy and now that Lutz is gone, the penny pinchers are taking over again.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I don’t know about this ECO stuff, but I like the looks of the new Malibu.

    As far as up close and personal goes, I’ll have to check one out at our local Chevy dealer soon, THEN I’ll make up my mind.

    For GM’s sake, I hope the actual buying public loves them…

    • 0 avatar

      call me cynical, but i’d rather GM “die by the sword” than see the public buy their garbage. if a company producing crap products is punished for doing so, others will take notice and deliver better products so as not to receive the same punishment(reduced marketshare, reduced profit, bankruptcy, death, whatever).

  • avatar
    Philosophil

    I like your optimism, Jack. I tend to agree with C.S. Peirce who claimed that one of the central principles of logic is hope. Without that there would be little reason to continue doing whatever it is we are trying to do.

    This is a good lesson for those who nonchalantly tell people that they can always choose not to do whatever it is that they are being pressured to do. Actions that go against the grain often have very strong repercussions for the person making that choice, repercussions that affect not only their well-being, but the well-being of their family, friends, associates, and so on. It takes real guts to put oneself (and one’s family) on the line like that, and I’d be willing to bet that while most of us talk the good talk, it would be a very different matter when we are actually faced with the real choice of matching those words with action.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    I looked at the pictures in the Motor Trend link, and it think it shows a lot of class that GM was willing to send Michael Moore to Dubai to have fun with the CTS-V despite “Roger & Me.”

    I’m not sure what that has to do with GM chopping 4 inches out of the Malibu’s wheelbase to sandbag it against the redundant Impala and embarrassing Cadillac XTS being built on the same platform.

    Jack – You do seem to really hate GM. This new Malibu is an undignified step backward, but the hate seems to be Calvin sticker style. And my current daily driver is a Ford. Did a dog of yours get hit by a Chevy?

  • avatar
    SV

    This is all a bit of an exaggeration.

    The new Malibu is far from crap. In fact, I imagine it’s a pretty nice car. It’s just flawed. Why GM allowed this car to get past the drawing board with compact-class rear-seat room is beyond me. It’s one thing for a Fiesta/Sonic or Focus/Cruze to have a cramped back seat; they’re small cars and that drawback is still expected for the most part. In a midsize car, especially considering how roomy most mid sizers are these days, it’s unacceptable.

    I’m also disappointed that it’s apparently gone quite soft in handling (the old ‘Bu was a pretty good drive, by most accounts), but that’s a more minor consideration for most people.

    It’ll still sell (though some fleet sales will still be necessary I bet), but I wouldn’t expect a big increase over the current model. The new Fusion (and probably the Altima too) on the other hand…

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    I have to ask” Is the new Malibu really that bad? I think the previous one was better than most thought it was, but I’d take my Altima over the previous Malibu for the simple reason is that the Altima is far more rewarding to drive, at least compared to the rental I had. I will say this though: My friend has a new Camry and it is vastly better than the previous generation car. I didn’t drive it (passenger only) but it was pretty damn sweet. Did not care for the touch screen controls, but it looked like there were knobs for redundancy…I really couldn’t see buying the Malibu over the Camry, even though the Camry seems quite a bit more spacious inside.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      No, the Malibu isn’t that bad. The consensus is that it’s disappointing, but not because of the entire car; it’s very plush, quiet and has a nice interior. But the cramped rear seat, soft handling and iffy fuel economy for a hybrid that costs as much as a Camry hybrid are pretty notable flaws.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        The disappointment is primarily about the mild hybrid system.

        As a large-ish FWD sedan, the Cadillac XTS has gotten some pretty good (even raving) reviews.

        Can’t see GM not having made similar improvements to the new Malibu for the non-Eco models.

  • avatar

    Here here!

    I did 25 years as an automotive columnist and dropped it cold turkey.
    New cars each week, trips everywhere, great hotels but only copy the advertisers liked.
    I just couldn’t write about lovely Chevy Sprints, Kia’s and Hyundai for parents to buy their college-age daughters.
    I’d seen the results in the junkyards.

    It was an addiction but I was done-No more bullshit copy about crappy cars EVER again!

    Ciao

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Should we really be surprised by this? GM hasn’t made a decent mainstream chevy sedan since 1972. Hundreds of failures and changed nameplates over the years for one miserable failure after another. GM could have built an H body sedan as a chevy but wanted to protect it’s other brands. Every single chevrolet sedan has been a joke since the B-body impala died. If it weren’t for silverado/suvs/corvette and fond memories of pre 1972 chevrolet, they would have been a dead brand 20 years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “…fond memories of pre 1972 chevrolet…”

      I’m sure you mean fall, 1972 when the 1973 models debuted and the world spun off its axis and began hurtling itself toward the sun.

      The 1972 models were very cool. “Heavy Chevy” Chevelle option, anyone?

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        The last “best in class” vehicle that GM built was the 2nd Generation Cutlass (especially the coupe and with the 350).

        I wasn’t born yet, but don’t argue with me. It’s a damn fact, for f*ck sakes.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Everyone is calling GM out because they want the home team to succeed.

  • avatar
    Nick

    ‘I even feared I might be the subject of underhanded personal attacks designed to cost me my job, my home, and my ability to feed my son, and I wasn’t disappointed in that, either.’

    Seriously? I am genuinely sorry to hear that. Pretty sad state of affairs.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    “GM hasn’t made a decent mainstream chevy sedan since 1972.”

    I disagree – the ’77 Impala was cutting edge; the ’83 Celebrity, while not necessarily cutting edge, provided a sturdy foundation for a decade or two of decent sedans.

    Remember what happened to Dan Neil and Farago when they criticized their respective reviewed cars…

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      I was going to call out the ’77 Caprice/Impala as a darn nice ride from GM and about the only glimmer of hope in a period of pretty dark malaise.

      I think you give the Celebrity too much credit (sorry).

      Fast forward to 2008 and the Pontiac G8 was no piece of crap, and before someone goes, ehem, “mainstream,” I will quickly point out a very well equipped “stripper” V6 model stickered for $27K. The GT model stickered for just under $30K, and that includes delivery.

      I could easily say that from a sedan stand point, GM made nothing worthwhile from about 1983 or 1984 to about 2004 – I could begrudgingly go to 2001 and the say the first gen CTS was “worthy” but that’s giving a fair amount of credit. There were some niche product (GNX comes right to mind) and the very first 3.8L powered W-bodies that had merit, or were steps in the right direction – but were completely hobbled.

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    Sounds like the cracks are appearing for a car that had high hopes, but appears to have been saddles with some very bad flaws on what was to have been a competent enough chassis.

    Sad that GM had to go this route with a mild hybrid. Why not just go full hog on the hybrid and call it a day?

    But that gets me is this insistence on a MIDSIZED car for the ‘bu when it could have sufficed as a large compact instead? Didn’t the ‘Bu start out as an intermediate, the Caprice/Impala a full sized at one time? Then that should have remained even today, just that a midsized Imp would beget a largish compact ‘Bu instead.

    It shows to me how GM still can’t see the present, let alone the future well enough to make even halfway correct decisions at times.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    This is what happens when GM focused most of it’s resources on the Volt. You get garbage like this.

    I think the new Impala is getting a premature bad rap. I also disagree about the last decent Chevy: the venerable 3800 series motors (made in Flint of all places) really made the W platform. The early to mid 2000′s yielded numerous branded, decent sedans.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    Remember also that the Malibu launch was compromised by GM moving its schedule forward but without the planned new 4 cylinder engine ready. Thus, the ECO model was the only powertrain option for the new car and GM once again launched a half baked product that doesn’t measure up against the new competition. By the time GM has the new powertrain ready, Ford, Honda and Nissan will all have new product in the segment and the Malibu will already have it’s poor reputation due to the powertrain and decisions like shrinking the wheelbase 4.5 inches (which made no sense as one of the criticisms of the last car was it’s narrow, small interior).

  • avatar
    Juniper

    Sorry but TTAC has called too many cars failures prematurely (there’s a name for that). Let’s wait and see what really happens.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Actually the hanged man and the death card in the Renaissance tarot are not “bad” cards in most readings.

    The Hanged Man is more about being in suspension, a time of contemplation. When the world looks right and to others looks wrong (or vice versa) and the Hanged Man allows themselves to pause and contemplate.

    The Death Card does not mean death. It means a major change in one’s life, and it can be a change for the good. It could mean a change of career, lifestyle, relationship status, something major.

    The review is more like The Tower. The Tower means disaster. In medieval times the “keep” within a castle, the tower, was the place of last refuge. The town is burned, the outer wall breached, the moat crossed, the inner wall knocked down and the breach can’t be held. The royalty would then evacuate to the keep at the center and the defenders would try to hold off the attack from what has become a weak defensive position (with enemies now on the walls firing into the castle).

    So really, the review is more like The Tower.

  • avatar
    RRocket

    Anyone else notice the link to the original story is dead?

    Conspiracy? Threat of advertising dollars leaving CNN??

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I would much rather look at Liz Phair than listen to her.

    As for the Malibu ECO, I would guess that it’s an exercise in CAFE compliance, more than anything else. The bulk of them will end up in rental and they will be at the front of the marketing effort (“The best highway mileage in its class! (not counting the full hybrids)”), but the average retail Malibu will be the garden variety non-light-hybrid 4-banger.

    The mild hybrid is cheaper to produce than the full hybrid system, which makes the losses more easily absorbed. But those losses should be offset with the sale of other, thirstier vehicles, which could make the whole thing worthwhile.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      “The mild hybrid is cheaper to produce than the full hybrid system,”

      Are you sure? Then why is the car so expensive? I notice Toyota can offer a full hybrid for $19K. Ford will reportedly price the C-Max hybrid somewhere in the $25K’s.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Other than cost, the problem with the Malibu Eco as a rental is trunk space. The hybrid components eat into the trunk space. The Buick Lacrosse with the Eco is worse than the Malibu.

  • avatar
    huh

    Jack, what made you post the link to the Maserati review? Is it something about the car itself that you’ve driven and have had a contrary experience with? Or is it just an extreme example of fawning drivel?

    For the record, I wholly agree with the sentiment in your post.

    • 0 avatar
      huh

      I ask because I own that car and it bugs me that, for example, everything electronic related (nav, bluetooth, stereo, even hvac controls) is complete trash, but never have I read a review that calls these things out.

      It’s looked at as so “aspirational”, something in its own class where these things shouldn’t matter, because it’s supposedly too special. But when you spend any significant amount of time in a car, those things matter a whole hell of a lot.

      It sticks in my craw that yes, the reviews for that car, more than most, are truly fawning garbage.


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