By on May 31, 2013

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

The wraps have finally been taken off from the refreshed 2014 Chevrolet Malibu, and it…looks pretty much the same as the last one, though GM assures us that there have been real changes made.

Rear seat passengers get an extra 1.25 inches of knee room thanks to shorter bolsters, redesigned front seat backs and new cushioning for that places your backside deeper in the seat.

On the powertrain front, the base 2.5L engine has been revised, with a stop-start system adding 1 mpg all-around, or 23/35 mpg city/highway. Output is 196 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque, while the 2.0T gets a 14 percent bump in torque to 295 lb-ft (horsepower is unchanged at 259). Blind spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert are also part of the package.

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145 Comments on “Meet The New ‘Bu, Same As The Old ‘Bu...”


  • avatar
    optixtruf

    Ah, I love the smell of a new rental fleet car.

    • 0 avatar

      The Malibu and Impala have interiors nice enough to place them ABOVE “rental grade”. Thing is, they’ll rent ANYTHING nowadays: CTS, C-class, E-class, etc depending where you are.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I rented a 2013 Chevy Malibu 2-LT and thought it was quite nice. My only issue was that because it isn’t a gated gear-selector, I ended up putting the car in manual mode more than once by accident.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          I had a rental 2-LT Malibu this month also. I didn’t want it based on my 2011 experience with a 1-LT but only other choice was a Dodge Avenger. Yikes – NO!!! It is much nicer than the previous generation and I generally liked it. I found the interior a bit cramped for my tastes, which is one of the biggest complaints. It got outstanding MPG, and I found the power adequate for what it was.

        • 0 avatar

          My 300SRT8supercharged has a manumatic and for the life of me I have no idea what the point it. If I wanted to drive a stick, I’d stick to the Mustang my uncle gave me years ago.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Why does this look like a Daewoo Epica? Engine choices are very similar.
          http://images.drive.com.au/drive_images/Editorial/2007/01/31/31ToscaM_m.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Because this is the global successor to the Epica, and Daewoo did most of the design work on it.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @bumpy ii I suspected that maybe the case.The Epica went nowhere in Australia(that was several years ago now). As a “global” vehicle this will have the same trajectory.

    • 0 avatar

      “Ah, I love the smell of a new rental fleet car.”

      Such an original and clever comment! Lets ignore the fact that the Altima leads the Malibu in fleet sales. The rental fleet car smell of a Malibu beats the curry/spice/soy smell of a typical Toyota or Honda interior or its driver.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        Love ya Alluster!

        “…The rental fleet car smell of a Malibu beats the curry/spice/soy smell of a typical Toyota or Honda interior or its driver.”

      • 0 avatar
        Jean-Pierre Sarti

        hmmm interesting comment coming from a guy to seems to let his dog’s bare naked ass sit in the car. I am sure you vehicle is so fresh and so clean…

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        “curry/spice/soy smell of a typical Toyota or Honda interior or its driver”

        Insulting, with hint of racism and lacking any unsavory flavor of truth. I thought you people all believed that middle aged or geriatric white folks beaten down by the homogeneity of suburbia were the core Toyota/Honda constituency.

        • 0 avatar
          Compaq Deskpro

          In my experience, everyone smells bad.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I gave it a chuckle, but personally I would demand statistics or facts to back up such comments before I go off and start throwing political terms such as racism. In the case of facts, I found this Toyota sales diversity document on the internets from 10-12 years ago and gleened some tidbits:

          15% of all new car buyers were considered minorities according to NAMAD in the period.

          Toyota planned to add 4-6 minority owned dealerships for ten years around 2001.

          Toyota planned to spend $150 million in three years to develop relationships with Black and Hispanic buyers.

          Toyota planned to spend $700 million with minority owned businesses.

          None of this proves or disproves what may be a comment made in the bad taste, but I found it interesting, especially the NAMAD statistic.

          http://www.toyota DOT com/about/diversity/21stCenturyDivStrategy.pdf

        • 0 avatar
          VA Terrapin

          Around where I live (Washington DC area), the Camry and Accord seem to be popular with every demographic group. All races, ages and income groups, males and females, American born and immigrants. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is true in major metropolitan areas across the country.

          I wonder how many sales American auto companies lose due to the likes of racist or xenophobic “fans” like alluster and NormSV650. Guys like them make it seem like you practically have to burn a cross before you can buy an American car.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Not to be funny but between the commercials and the autoshow represetitives from Toyota they are womwn and other ethnic races. It really stands out like a sore thumb. Alluster’s comments just backs that up.

        • 0 avatar
          jimbob457

          Just a hint of racism?? Nice talk coming from a big-nosed, pea-brained, foul-smelling, lazy, round-eye.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Has the 2.4L eAssist (or Eco) been replaced by a 2.5L eAssist (or Eco)?

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      That new engine should be good for 40+ mpg real world highway and might even top the Camry hybrid at free cruise.

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        Well, let it not be said that you don’t have a vivid imagination.

        • 0 avatar
          KixStart

          wmba,

          “Hallucination” seems more appropriate than “imagination.”

          NormSV650,

          Toyota’s engines are underappreciated by the Detroit faithful. They’re brick reliable and very willing to get up and go and they’re usually pretty economical.

          The Malibu is not likely to beat the Camry on fuel economy. The Camry has about a 200 lb advantage over the Malibu. That’s going to cost the Malibu extra gas every time it moves. Then the Camry has a CD of .28 with a WxH of 4151. The Malibu CD is .29 and its WxH is 4205 sq in, so it likely has significantly more aerodynamic drag (WxH is not actual frontal area – but it serves for an approximation).

          The Chevy engine would have to be a real hum-dinger to push the Malibu past those disadvantages. I doubt it’s that good.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            The old 2.4 eAssist could push 40 mpg…in the bigger LaCrosse.

            Toyota’s fuel economy is so good…it beats the 2013 Malibu by one combined for similar engines/output:

            http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/bymodel/2013_Chevrolet_Malibu.shtml

            http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/bymodel/2013_Toyota_Camry.shtml

            Well within the margin of error on fuel economy.

            The Malibu has a much better warranty than the Camry:

            http://www.autoguide.com/new-cars/2013/chevrolet/malibu/ltz/4dr-sdn/warranty.html

            http://www.autoguide.com/new-cars/2013/toyota/camry/l/4dr-sdn-i4-auto-natl-/warranty.html

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            Of course the Malibu has a better warranty… it needs it to give people enough confidence to buy one. Even so, you must go to a Chevrolet dealer for warranty service. I’d consider a Chevy, in part, if they’d let me get my warranty service elsewhere.

            One mpg? A win’s stil a win. And the “hybrid” Malibu remains a bad joke:

            http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=32970&id=32208&id=33374&id=31765

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            The ooks like the real world Camry can barely meet government EPA numbers with some fail miserably and never exceeding. As I mentioned before the mileage can vary beyond the driver’s control, especially in the city, but put it on the highway and the variables are less.

            The “Big Bu” LaCrosse with eAssist can see 40 mpg on the highway and it’s 200+ lbs heavier than Malibu. Which basically beats every large car fuel economy on the highway. Toyota’s Synergy Drive is not surpassing ICE motors on the highway where there is no regeneration from braking. GM’s BAS is battery assist to the ICE with no complex gears or planetary gear sets.

            http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f0cab14/965

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            It still does better than the Malibu. As for the Lacrosse making 40mpg… I don’t doubt it. The legions of senior citizens driving them to the Early Bird Special at Perkins at 40 mph ensures that.

            Edmunds reports that… when conditions change, mileage changes. I’m shocked! Shocked, I tell you.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            The Hybrid Toyota has 105Kw electric motor similar sized engine as the Malibu. But only has a 15Kw electric motor and only gets 2 mpg better EPA highway?

            The Malibu is much less expensive to purchase so much so you could drive the Bu through bumper-tobumper warranty on savings. Along with the better warranty it only takes time for Toyota lovers to see through their rose colored glasses that it’s not the best choice.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Norm, keep in mind that Toyota likes to quote the power of their electric motors but leaves out the fact that the battery pack can not supply enough amps to make that happen. They also add the power of the traction and range motors to confuse things even more. From a rest with the engine off power to the traction motor is only a portion of what the battery can supply so there is enough to run the range motor when they need to start the engine. W/o doing that there would have to be a drop in the power to the traction motor to start the engine and thus a big “hiccup” in power delivery. The range motor also does not contribute directly to powering the vehicle since it only acts as something for the engine to work against to provide the CVT action.

            Ford is more honest rating their traction motor at the max power that is supplied to it. That is why Ford’s literature says X torque at 2000 rpm instead of X torque at 0 rpm like the Toyota. With the singular motor of the GM system they can put all the power to the motor that the battery can supply.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            And then there was much yammering about relative motor power…

            So, who cares? The Camry hybrid moves along well enough. Nobody’s buying these things for performance, so it really doesn’t matter.

            As for the ‘Bu being less expensive… yes, it is. By a whopping $1155 (MSRP). For that, you get a car that does not get the fuel economy of a hybrid. You’re lucky if you can detect the difference between the regular Malibu and the “Eco.” The only person I’ve ever met who owned one summed it up as “very disappointing… I should have bought a Toyota.”

            Highway fuel economy is mostly about drag and then drivetrain efficiency. A hybrid that doesn’t do much better on the highway is not a susprise, unless it’s purpose build to minimize drag and offer optimum packaging, like a Prius. Still, the Camry has an Atkinson cycle motor, which is more efficient than the 2.4 in the Malibu. In fact, GM does not yet offer an Atkinson cycle engine, even in their “green” flagship, the Volt (and not in the upcoming ELR, either).

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Then add $3,000 cash on the hood and you are lpooki
            At over $4,000 in savings with the Malibu. That’s almost 1,200 gallons at $3.50 a gallon. That 3 years free driving based on the higher priced TCH. Figure your depreciation from the actual sale price and the Malibu has an edge of 12% in appreciation.

            GM doesn’t need Atkinson engine as bad as Toyota and Honda need a mainstream turbo-4.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            Ah, well, that’s true enough. The “M” in “GM” does seem to stand for “Massive Discounting.”

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            The weekend full-page ad for a low-to-moderate volume Chevy dealer lists the Malibu as a shade under $18K, with an additional $500 discount for AARP members.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    Coming to an airport rental lot near you!

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      Now that the Avenger is coming to an end, something has to take its place.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        At National, the (old) Impala and Nissan Altima/Maxima are becoming dominant these days.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Wonder why Maxima since it essentially is the Altima for more money. Perhaps we have another budding “rental special” deal in the aftermarket.

          I had to check… ’12 Maximas are doing 20s to 25, 3K-25K. ’12 Altima V6s do high teens to low 20s.

          • 0 avatar
            th009

            I have no explanation. National has a fair bit of variety, but recently Altima/Maxima seem to have taken over from the Camry. My preferred options currently are the Fusion and the Malibu, or maybe a Passat if one happens to be there.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Maybe it’s just me, but the Maxima seems kind of irrelevant these days..

  • avatar
    AFX

    The start/stop system is nothing new for GM, they had that years ago on a 92 Achieva I owned. The old version not only worked in the city, but also sometimes on the highway too. Once they redesigned the coil packs though that feature went way. Another gas saving feature they had was to start the car out in high gear on the 3-speed automatic, and it was especially fun to use during city driving. You couldn’t override it until you replaced the torque converter solenoid in the transmission. Couple that with the leaking head gasket on the Quad-4 and you had yourself one fine quality piece of automobile.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      You’ve just brought back haunting memories of working on those stupid Quad 4s with their stupid bath tub coil packs.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        We released the Quad4 ignition expecting 10X the reliability of old style ignitions systems, by design. This was demonstrated through long term dependability testing. Then we went into mass production.

        Unfortunately, after we built several hundred thousand of them, a couple of manufacturing errors bit us. Firstly we had coil manufacturing problems, for which we conducted a recall, replacing all suspect coils at no charge to customers.

        Secondly, the coil housing also had manufacturing problems crop up. Because the system was unique, they were difficult for technicians to diagnose, at least initially. We released a new color for the housing to easily identify the “good ones”.

        I had Engine Control Service Manual responsibility and advanced service input for the Q4 for a couple of years and moved From Oldsmobile Service to BOC-Lansing Powertrain Product Engineering in 1988, as the Q4 was ramping up.

        That let me understand how the 1984 GM re-org sliced and diced the organization, and broke the linkages between field awareness and engineering that had served Olds so well. It took us decades to recover and develop new systems to identify and resolve product issues. Those systems are very good today, and GM quality improvement is the proof of the pudding.

        Sadly for us, the Q4 head gasket problem was obscure to product engineering for too long, in the main because of the broken field problem linkage. When we understood it and developed a fix, we had 500,000 in the field. We did release a Special Warranty extension for them. My proposal was to cover them forever, but recognizing that was impractical, we got approval for 100,000 mile coverage through the BOC Engine Division Group Executive. I still chuckle when remembering his voice message saying he “had to “review it with his supervisor”, GM President Lloyd Reuss, who reduced the coverage to 60,000 miles because of the financial implications. Oldsmobile was very aggressive, taking care of customers until at least 100,000 miles.

        When folks write of GM as a never changing monolith, I have to shake my head, as I saw continuous change from ’84 on and understand the immensity and scope of the enterprise, the challenges of the business!

        • 0 avatar
          Summicron

          Pure TTAC gold. Thanks.

        • 0 avatar
          Loser

          Thanks for sharing this doctor olds, very interesting. I remember when the Quad 4 first came out, it had so much potential.

        • 0 avatar
          AFX

          My 92 Achieva was actually the cheaper SOHC version, not the DOHC Quad-4. The coil pack started crapping out and the garage I took it to said they needed replaced, and that the new ones were a different color. Not only did the coil pack go out, but also the plastic tube connector that connected the coil pack to the top of the spark plug went bad too. I found a burnt mark on the outside of that spark plug connector tube, where it must’ve been arcing between the tube and the inside of the sparkplug well in the top of the cylinder head. I had bought the car used, and what I didn’t realise until after I bought it was that the cylinder head that was on it had a “96″ date stamp code on it, meaning the head had already been replaced once before. The head eventually went bad on me and started leaking antifreeze into the coolant. By that point the rear end of the car was rusted out so I just sold it for parts.

          I think I worked on that car more than any other one I owned over the years. I replaced the coil packs, the spark plug tubes, the radiator, the alternator twice, and a switch or solenoid in the transmission went out leaving the car stuck in high gear after driving on the highway which would cause the engine to stall out multiple times.

          The best part was the time the ignition switch broke. I turned the key, heard a *SNAP* inside the steering column, and the key would just rotate back and forth without doing anything. Years later I was looking at car review websites and looked at the trouble spots on a 2002 Cavalier. One of the know issues was for a broken ignition switch. That means that GM was producing cars for 10 years between 1992-2002 with the same ignition switch issues.

        • 0 avatar
          AFX

          “When folks write of GM as a never changing monolith, I have to shake my head, as I saw continuous change from ’84 on”

          From this website on the Quad-4:
          http://www.enginebuildermag.com/Article/2485/rebuilding_the_gm_quad_4.aspx

          “Over the past 12 years, Olds has had to deal with leaking head gaskets and cracked heads, along with a variety of oiling problems and several other glitches ranging from timing chain noise to stripped splines on the water pump drive. There have been a number of changes that were meant to improve performance and durability, too, including the addition of balance shafts to reduce NVH.

          Our extensive research shows there are actually a total of six different blocks, three cranks, three rods, seven heads, four cam housings, four front covers and three oil pumps used on these engines from 1987 through 1995, and that doesn’t include the changes that were made for the 2.4L engine! It’s no wonder that everyone seems confused about what goes where, when and why.”

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            There are a lot of different parts due to design changes through the years, including the addition of a balancer. Don’t assume they were all ongoin changes to address problem issues. The twin cam was a substantial redesign, and was a good engine though still too noisy. It led to the Ecotec, which we see today in cars like the Regal GS. We had a Q4 car with more power in 1989. A Cutlass Supreme. It was almost un-driveable in first gear with wheel spin!

            Ecotec was the solution, the product of a global development team, Control System, Intake system, flow/power development led by Q4 folks from Lansing, which was the Line Engine global lead engineering center. The Chief was HQ’d there with people in other . Base engine came from GME with initial development conducted at Lotus Engineering in England. The engine is the responsibility of GMNA today.
            Monolithic, unchanging?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            It is true that there have been a lot of changes made at GM, all of them resulting in some small changes in their products. It is up to the buyers’ interpretation of those changes if they are refinements or genuine improvements.

            The biggest change of course is that all GM products today are much better than GM products of just a few years ago, and phenomenally better than products of decades ago. That should not surprise anyone — GM was nationalized and fell under the purview of the government and administration who demanded improvements.

            But, all in all, I don’t see GM as keeping up with the improvements made by Ford, Chrysler, and not even close to the innovations of the foreign brands.

            I personally liked the Northstar V8. I would like to have seen it in line production models like the Impala, Buick and smaller Cadillac. Sure, it needed some tweaking — everything does.

            I also like the Pentastar V6 from Chrysler and had hope that GM would adapt a similar philosophy for its midsizers and Light Duty trucks, like RAM has done.

            I am a fan of the Corvette motor and would like to have seen it in the larger Cadillac and HD gas-ICE trucks, and maybe even as a high-end option in Impala and Buick, like the SRT8 Chrysler 300 or the 5.7 Tundra.

            As far as the Boo-Boo is concerned, buyers of this class overwhelmingly buy Camry, Altima and Accord even though all of those are only marginally better than the Boo-Boo is today, but those have a stellar reputation for innovation, durability, reliability and value retention.

            No matter how good or how bad this new iteration of the Boo-Boo is, it will always be a hit with the rental companies and fleet managers, and drive down the value of the Boo-Boo on the used car market.

            So the question then becomes, will the buyers of Camry, Altima and Accord buy into this “new” refreshed Boo-Boo? My guess is that they will not and that sales of the Boo-Boo will pretty much remain the same as before in relation to its competitors.

            Time will tell, as it has done before, up to this point, necessitating the tweaks.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @HDC- “I don’t see GM keeping up with Ford.” Just your bias and resistance to absorb data as you sit still while the world changes around you. GM is doing much better than Ford, at least with the most objective measures available.
            “GM was nationalized and fell under the purview of the government and administration who demanded improvements”

            Wow, you really don’t have any understanding of the business! The government did no such thing, the only input, besides telling them to kill Pontiac, was to demand GM employees use the Government time reporting system, a real value add there!

            They had no involvement in running the company otherwise. GM’s quality awards began and continue for products which a knowledgeable person would realize had to have been engineered before the collapse of ’08.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @HDC

            “As far as the Boo-Boo is concerned, buyers of this class overwhelmingly buy Camry, Altima and Accord even though all of those are only marginally better than the Boo-Boo is today, but those have a stellar reputation for innovation, durability, reliability and value retention.

            No matter how good or how bad this new iteration of the Boo-Boo is, it will always be a hit with the rental companies and fleet managers, and drive down the value of the Boo-Boo on the used car market.”

            This is excellent analysis. I’m not fan of this Malibu as I see it as backwards, however the previous one earned my praise and in its time it was the better buy at the price point than Camcords or Sonotas it competed against. The problem isn’t product, its perception.

            Microsoft for a time *was* the IT industry despite more established players as UNIX (BSD, Solaris, System V) or Novell and better up-and- coming players such as Linux or the Mac OS 7/8. They had a great reputation for DOS and with IBM they helped define the 80s boom with PCs and PC software. But come Windows 95 the company lost its stride, Windows 95 was the software equivalent to the Cadillac 4-6-8, primitive technology with obvious rushed development and simply wasn’t ready for prime time. Much like Cadillac their slide continued with two “fixed” versions of Windows 95 (ver B and C for business only), two versions of Windows 98, a 98 refresh called Me, and around the same time something called Windows NT4 for business. You could compare these to the HT4100 with frequent crashes and overall failure, essentially another series of botch jobs. But the funny thing is, Microsoft became one of the most powerful companies in the world during the same period, and why? Marketing. Change people’s perception and you can sell ice cubes to Eskimos. You want to move this POS? Attack its competitors weaknesses while lauding its strengths (if any). The only marketing I saw for the ’13 Malibu was Tim Allen going over its ugly lines and telling me it was the best Malibu ever, WTF kind of campaign is that? I can’t even flip channels or go to a baseball game without seeing the words CAMRY in all caps and that Toyota font in my face (hell they flew a Camry shaped balloon at every commercial break last year when I went to the Penguins games). There are plenty of rubes who trade future wealth for debt and then lose 40% to buy these boring things, get inside their heads RenCen the avg American IQ is 98 for fracks’s sake!

            http://www.statisticbrain DOT com/countries-with-the-highest-lowest-average-iq/

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            doctor olds, I came away with a completely different take after reading Steve Rattner’s book, than your interpretation of the overhaul of GM.

            Although I was against the bailout and nationalization I realize that it is part of automotive history now, yet the sales stats tell all of us that the Camry is still the best-selling mid-size sedan, barely affected by the presence of GM’s midsizer. Sure there are fans, just not enough of them.

            So it would appear, at least to me, that this current refresh is brought on more by desperation than it is by the need to change the perception of the potential buyers of this class.

            Time and sales will tell whether or not the buyers of all other midsize brands will come running over to buy this GM entry, in similar fashion to the way potential buyers of SUVs/CUVs have flocked over to the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee which still looks pretty much the same as the 2013, 2012 and 2011 models, but has some stealthy updates and upgrades.

            28-Cars-Later, although I’m not in the market to buy any midsizer, I can see the merit in putting all this effort behind the bread&butter mobile of the auto industry.

            With so many excellent choices available to potential buyers, I don’t see where this GM product distinguishes itself over and above any of its competition.

            There’s a reason why the foreigners did so well in the US market, and that same reason still applies today even after Ford and GM have made stellar improvement in their products.

            The future of both Ford and GM, as with all other auto manufacturers, lies in the buying-interest of the kids who are currently 18 years old and younger.

            Most of them do not have the negative experiences and impressions that former owners of Ford and GM products suffered and they are free to buy whatever they choose. Overwhelmingly, they seem to choose a foreign brand as they progress in life after HS and College.

            So the way I see it is that all these “real changes made” are not going to alter the perception of potential buyers if they can’t see them.

            Many of the older folks who owned GM, like myself, clearly still remember the slogan of “NEW!, IMPROVED!!, BETTER THAN EVER!!!” that accompanied the drumroll of each new model year, year after year after year.

            Had GM been given to a foreign automaker like Chrysler was, maybe, just maybe, GM would enjoy a completely revamped perception today, like Chrysler.

            But we’ll never convince the GM fanclub of that. And that’s OK with me. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs since the only thing that really matters is sales.

            Some people think GM is doing great today. Others are not so generous. Much of the same dialogue was on the discussion boards in 2008, prior to the collapse and Bush bailout.

            From my vantage point I cannot see how this new ‘Bu will alter any of the sales numbers.

            The best value for the money in this class is clearly the Camry and the sharpest looking is the Sonata, while the CVT wave of the future is pioneered by the Altima, and improved upon by Honda.

            With that formidable competition, pray tell, how is this new ‘Bu that looks like the old ‘Bu going to attract more buyers?

            But I think it will do as well, if not better than before, as a fleet queen, although most rental-car companies now have a smattering of all brands in their inventories to try and please all of the people all of the time.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            @HDC

            As you ramble on repeating the same stories over and over and over again–I recall a conversation as you went on and on and on about your love for your Tundra and how great it was.

            When the market failures of the Tundra were pointed out–you fell back to the idea that any sale of a Tundra was one less sale for Ford/GM/Ram…no matter how small Toyota’s market share was/is in full size trucks.

            How are efforts of Chevy in the mid-size segment any different?

            I’m sure you’ll come back with your usual hypocritical statement of ‘past experiences shape future buying’…then bore us again with the 100th telling of the story of how happy you were with your ‘Jap’ Toyota SUV and then how your family bought a Jeep just cuz you liked it…totally destroying your theory about ‘past experiences’ shaping future purchases.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          @Doctor Olds:

          Do you think the Quad4 was just too ambitious a project for Oldsmobile at the time?

          It seems like after 1979 that Buick really whipped on Pontiac and the Rocket division.

          I know that after all the problems I had with my Quad4, I went right into the warm embrace of the Buick V6s.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @ajla- No, I don’t think it was too ambitious, but the free-for-all that followed the massive restructuring of 1984 impeded problem identification and resolution, big time.

            Lots of us worked for years to redevelop processes with the new, continuously evolving org structure.

            I recall a visit to Lansing by Bob Stemple, former Olds engineer, then BOC Group Exec around 1984 before being elevated to CEO. With regard to the BOC / CPC restructuring, he gave us this analogy, “We are going to tear the old house down and build a new one while trying to live in it.” Little did we understand how profound, difficult and lengthy would be the transition from Car Divisions to Car Groups, ultimately to a globally integrated system that is in place today.
            The biggest product problem GM had at the time was shortage of capital for both product development and production implementation. I recall we got less than 1/3 the money necessary just to go to the Twin Cam when we were ready and had to make do with the improvements we could afford.
            The “Buick” V6s were very robust, though Q4′s actually had very much lower warranty rates. I used to tease the Flint guys about the superior quality levels of even their V6′s built at BOC-Powertrain, Lansing! The spread on the V6 quality numbers was actually very tight, in truth.
            Q4′s complexity and lack of technician product knowledge really exacerbated the reputation. For example, the comment about a burned coil housing may well have been due to a tech losing one of the little springs that form the connection between the coil housing terminals and the spark plug. We tried hard to train the dealer techs, though you can lead a horse to water, you can’t make him drink. I was always concerned about how outside technicians would be able to deal with Q4 training.

          • 0 avatar
            AFX

            “Do you think the Quad4 was just too ambitious a project for Oldsmobile at the time?”

            Not compared to the other suff they tried years earlier, like the first U.S. production car with a turbo, that also included water/methyl alcohol injection.

            The 1962 Olds Jettfire:

            http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1962-1963-oldsmobile-f85-jetfire.htm

            Or how about an aluminum twin turbo 455 powered Can Am car with AWD:

            http://wildaboutcarsonline.com/cgi-bin/pub9990262549620.cgi?categoryid=9910401234143&action=viewad&itemid=9990338923850

            A lot of the problems with new technology is that they don’t test it enough under real world conditions before putting it on cars for the general public. By “real world conditions” I mean making it both idiot proof, and also able to handle the neglected maintenance of the average American car buyer. If you can design something that can be beat to hell like on a rental car, without changing the oil, antifreeze, or other fluids, then it “might” have a chance of holding up to the abuse heaped upon it, or earning a reputation of being reliable.

            That’s the problem with the engineering, they put too much faith in new technologies like plastic intake manifolds and Dexcool, don’t give it enough long-term testing under severe conditions, and underestimate the stupidity and laziness of the general public.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Doc Olds

            The real world aspect regarding customer usage, dealer training etc is always the litmus test.

            Oldsmobile traditionally was always ahead of the curve technologically speaking, but looking back Doc Olds would it have worked out better to build a less complex engine instead of Quad 4 (especially given the recent reorganization)?

            @AFX

            “That’s the problem with the engineering, they put too much faith in new technologies like plastic intake manifolds and Dexcool, don’t give it enough long-term testing under severe conditions, and underestimate the stupidity and laziness of the general public.”

            I face the same issues with software, in the bits of code I fix or projects I get I tend to over engineer and have it overtested to cover as many scenarios as I can envision. This mentality has saved my butt more than a few times when stuff comes up we just didn’t think of…

          • 0 avatar
            AFX

            “As far as the Boo-Boo is concerned, buyers of this class overwhelmingly buy Camry, Altima and Accord even though all of those are only marginally better than the Boo-Boo is today, but those have a stellar reputation for innovation, durability, reliability and value retention.”

            You mean like the oil sludging issues with the 4 and 6 cylinder Camrys ?.

            Or how about the excessive oil consumption and engine failures on the 3rd generation Altimas with 2.5 4-cylinder ?.

            Or how about the Hondas with V-6′s that blow their transmissions ?.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @AFX

            I would argue the plebs have forgotten about the issues you named, heck I wasn’t even aware of the Nissan Altima issue.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @HDC- Rattner is a political appointee promoting himself and his “wonderful” deeds! Likewise, Whitacre is all about boosting himself.
            What would you expect them to write?

            Check with Lutz, at least a real car man, though still very much a self promoter.

            I have kept in touch with folks still inside GM, which is what informs my comments.

            “If the press gets it right, it is purely by accident!”

            You may recall, you could never imagine Cruze being so successful and have said repeatedly that GM is going down. The opposite has actually happened and they are just starting to get back on their feet after the product development lull caused by the bankruptcy.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @28-cars-later- Honda had head gasket problems with their new technology engine at one time. Every manufacturer has encountered some problems over time.

            “The only way to avoid making a mistake is to never do anything.”

            We needed DOHC engines, as much or more for the image as the practical advantages of higher output. I think some of the old time Olds guys were remembering the glory days when the Rocket V8 was first released and expected to duplicate that with Q4, but that is just an opinion.

            Q4 had very high build quality, by far the best in GM at the time. We matched the old iron duke the first year out of the shoot and drove the warranty rates down 90% from 1988 to 1994, before backsliding a bit with the new balancer for the 1995 model.

            There is no doubt that the original engine had design shortcomings, in the head gasket context, they one that bit us was relatively short head bolts. If we had not been strapped for cash, we would have fixed that (Twin Cam did) years sooner.

            Engineering staff reviewed quality progress weekly and I participated in many of them. I recall the thermostat release engineer once talking about the “bells and whistles” Toyota could afford to add to their stats compared to our cost targets. We could not afford to over engineer anything with the extreme cost pressures.

            Our main customer was the Small Car Group. At the time, the SCG Manufacturing VP was a German, and when I arranged a plant tour for our German exchange students, he wanted to meet them. He explained that the 1.6 million cars the group was producing at the time suffered an average loss of $1,600! (That is $2.56Billion a year!)We used to talk about fuel economy in terms of fines offset because of CAFE! We would have liked to import small cars, the same as every non-domestic competitor did then and does today, but UAW influence on CAFE law forced us to build here despite the losses.

            I am not making excuses, but describing the realities in the business at the time.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            ajla: “Do you think the Quad4 was just too ambitious a project for Oldsmobile at the time?”

            History says, “yes, it was more than Oldsmobile could handle.”

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          @DocOlds: Thanks for the inside info. You’ve really got to write a book… It would be fascinating. (at least to the Olds fans out here!)

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @geozinger…Agreed. DocOlds and I both spent our lifetimes at GM. The Doc was part of the top management. I was a lowly hourly rated worker.

            The Doc blamed the UAW/CAW for the mess GM got in. Me? I blame the management

            No suprise there eh?

            That all being said, I respect DocOlds opinion,and relize that his knowledge of the inside workings of GM is far superior to mine.
            When the Doc first started to comment at TTAC, I said “Dude get a thick skin”
            The Doc has sure proven himself to be tough,and a great asset here at TTAC.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Seldom does an outsider get both sides of the story from insiders like you Mikey and Doc Olds. Such an opportunity enriches everyone.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @Mikey- Thank you for the kind words. I want to remind you that I was NOT part of the top management,just a mid level Engineer who had an amazingly diverse job history and an often excellent memory, except for what my wife wants me to remember!
            I sure don’t blame “willing workers doing our best”, at any level, as Doc Deming would say. On the other hand, the system created unsustainable costs, especially bad when management made mistakes and since those growing costs were completely uncontrollable by management without UAW cooperation, is the reason for their financial failure.

            The Big Three’s 90% market share couldn’t last with our open market, and the development, or redevelopment of the rest of the world. Something had to give.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    You know what else is available for rental from Hertz? I took a look:

    - Kia Rio
    - Ford Focus
    - Toyota Corolla
    - Toyota Camry
    - Nissan Altima Sedan & Coupe
    - Nissan Maxima
    - Chrysler 300
    - Dodge Grand Caravan
    - Toyota RAV4
    - Nissan Leaf
    - Prius
    - Jetta TDI
    - Honda Civic GX
    - Infiniti QX56
    - Volvo C70 Convertible
    - Mercedes GLK350
    - Cadillac ATS
    - Mercedes E-Class sedan
    - Mercedes E350 Convertible
    - Mercedes C-Class
    - Infiniti FX
    - Infiniti JX
    - Mercedes GL
    - Mercedes SLK250
    - Dodge Challenger R/T
    - Chevy Camaro SS
    - Ford Mustang GT
    - Chevy Corvette

    My point is…A LOT OF CARS ARE AVAILABLE FOR RENTAL.

    This means every time one of these models gets a redesign, logic DEMANDS that at least half of the comments below any article announcing said redesign gleefully refer to its status as a rental car!

    • 0 avatar
      cammark

      Point well made, however I don’t think the reason for the comments is the availability of a certain model as a rental car. The high proportion of rental fleet sales to regular dealer/buying public sales is what has earned cars like the Malibu this perception.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      A handful of each of those cars was purchased and dispersed throughout the Hertz system. The overall success of none of them is dependent upon massive fleet sales.

    • 0 avatar
      SomeGuy

      You better stop with the well-informed posts!

      Geez. I want to go back to ignorantly bashing cars due to badge.

      BTW, you should include exotics as well, because there are places where you can rent those kind of cars.

    • 0 avatar

      You forgot the Mazda MX-5 as well…

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      If your local Hertz airport counter doesn’t offer all of the cars on this list, check the selection at Los Angeles (LAX). If you book far enough ahead, maybe ninety percent of the rides on this list are available, although not always inexpensive. In the past 10 years, I’ve gotten a new Outback, two Volvo(S60 and 90), a Shelby GT-H twice, several Escapes, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        As one who rents nearly every week, and sometimes more than once a week, I would say that list is less than HALF of what Hertz has. I currently have my second e-assist Buick Regal in a row. This one is awaiting a flatbed, as it has suffered a serious transmission failure. Too bad, it’s a nice car. I will say that Buick has to be commended on the NVH of this powertrain, as even with it stuck in 3rd gear and 5500rpm+ on the highway, it is smooth and quiet. The fact that a car with 914 miles on it was stuck in 3rd gear on the highway, after shifting itself into neutral several times on the highway was a bit less praiseworthy though.

        Other than the fact that they do have a metric butt-load of Altimas, Hertz really doesn’t seem all that heavy on the traditional fleet-queen vehicles at the moment.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Pretty much every model can be had a rental these days; it just depends on the nos. for said model (a lot more, say Impalas, in rental lots than BMW 5 Series).

      Now having said that, it is perfectly NORMAL for domestics to have a greater share of the fleet market (govt., corporate and rental) in their home market.

      Which automakers do you think dominates the fleet market in Japan and Germany?

      While GM, Ford and Chrysler have their share of the rental fleet market, another large player is Toyota.

      While Toyota’s overall rental fleet percentage is only in the low-teens, that’s b/c Toyota sells so many models with many not being big fleet sellers.

      Otoh, the Yaris, Corolla and Camry are all big rental fleet sellers (Yaris by % – over 50% in 2011) and the Corolla and Camry in absolute nos.

  • avatar
    Jean-Pierre Sarti

    speaking of start-stop tech: how long do we have to wait to see if there is no significant long-term maintenance cost added on to the total cost of operation for the vehicle? I guess i am just being an old fuddy duddy when i think 1 mpg is not worth the added complexity and perhaps the added maintenance cost of these systems. I guess time will tell…

    • 0 avatar

      Start/Stop systems crank the engine 10x harder than normal starter systems, and benefits of the start/stop system disappear after 2 weeks. TTAC covered this a couple years ago but I’ve heard NO reference to the new advanced battery chemistry models finally being on the market now.

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/the-shocking-truth-about-start-stop-systems/

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    So the 295 ft-lbs just eclipse the current Toyota/Lexus V6 engine segment since they don’t offer turbo-4. Honda who?

    Basically has just matched or beat many small v8′s too!

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Shift boots on automatic shift levers.. hate that look.. prefer a louvered look if they go that route. “Look! It’s a stick! No it’s not”
    Fooled me again.. :/

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Eh, doesn’t bug me. In fact I think I like it. For a real travesty, look to those accordian-style shift boots on manuals. Remember those? I think Toyota was using those well into the 90s and it looked horrible.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I’m fine with the shift-boot on an automatic transmission as long as the gear-selector isn’t gated. A friend of mine has a 2004 Lexus GX and it’s always very difficult to tell what gear you’re shifting into.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          I’ve found the gated shifters easier to use than the old inline style. Half a lifetime of driving stick may have trained me to be at ease with the combined lateral and longitudinal motions.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    Enough rental comments? Jeez, last time I pulled into a Rental car lot there were a ton of options. I know my dad recently rented a Corolla, as he complained to me later how awful of a car it was.

    Looks alright. Amazing how quick the manufactures are caving to criticism with these quick re-designs. The 2012 Civic, now this. This car would be a great used-deal, but I like the new Impala better. Actually I’d really like it with a proper drivetrain layout and a V8.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    I will say, I had a 2013 Malibu as a rental car (of course), and the _only_ complaints I had were the indecipherable infotainment system and the rear legroom – fortunately, the friends I was traveling with were short and I was driving. Other than that, I actually thought it was a heck of a people hauler: quiet, good on the highway, decent mileage, and a very nice interior for the price.

    You could do an awful lot worse as a rental car (starting with the one-class-up Impala), and as a used car or a 200-day-inventory clearance deal in a year or two as well.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      The infotainment is still better than Ford’s MyTouch. At least as a daily rental, I have no long-term experience with either one.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        The infotainment system is actually getting very positive reviews. I haven’t seen any other one that’s been more praised, with the possible exception of Chrysler’s uConnect.

        • 0 avatar
          Astigmatism

          To be fair, I can’t compare it to any other system, as I’ve never tried to use MyTouch, iDrive, MMI, uConnect or anything else. My car still has buttons (and a tape deck), bless its heart.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Soon, you will have the same experience I had when I bought a car with a tape deck. My neighbor advised me to install quick release connectors and take it out if I was going to park it in the street. I told him, “It’s an 8-track! Nobody will touch it.”

            Then one night I forgot to lock the front passenger door. The next morning I found someone got in – and left me some tapes. Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas album, Pat Boone’s Greatest Hits, and an organ recital by E. Power Biggs. I learned to keep my doors locked after that.

          • 0 avatar
            th009

            I’ll take a (current generation!) iDrive or MMI over most of the touch-screen systems out there. Once you get used to the controller, you can operate it without taking your eyes off the road.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I had some issues with the Pandora connectivity, but it was still nice. I wonder if GM paid not to have ads on Pandora, because I didn’t get a single one across my lengthy interstate drive.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    I like it. No plastic triangles, the grill is a definite improvement over the ’13, although I can’t see why they didn’t just follow the Impala and ditch the split grill altogether. Not crazy about the gauges, separate “pods” for the tach and speedo bug me.

    So when does Baruth get to track one?

  • avatar
    Zackman

    The new Malibu is a very nice-looking car, far better IMHO than the previous generation.

    Last summer I considered a Malibu, but when the redesigned version came out, it was just the Eco-version, which I understand was a worthless system, hence my 2012 Impala.

    Oh, if only I would have waited a few months last year before buying a new ride, imagine the possibilities!

    Oh, well…

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Honestly, I thought the last-gen Maiibu was a beautiful sedan. The best-looking car in its class, and right up there with the 2003-07 Acura TL and the VW CC as the best-looking attainable sedans out there.

      It’s just the preponderance of stripper trims that hit the street the last few years that made us all forget how striking the high-zoot version was when it was introduced, before GM’s disgusting bean counters began picking off the features one by one.

    • 0 avatar
      Type57SC

      I think the new Impala is much better looking on the exterior. the rear of teh impala is a little plain, but the front is many times better than this. With attractive cars from Mazda and Ford, and less ugly cars from Toyota and Honda in the D-segment, this doesn’t look good for Chevy’s chances.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        The previous Malibu had the much better greenhouse and C-pillar design but the front and rear looked unfinished.

        The current Malibu has an underwhelming greenhouse/C-pillar but the front end (esp. the revised one) is much, much better, but the rear is still a bit awkward.

  • avatar
    BrianL

    I think most people knew that there weren’t going to be huge changes, but this addresses the biggest problem that people had with the car, the rear seat leg room.

    I think the new turbo numbers look great, makes me question what will happen with the Regal and Regal GS.

    I think that the help on MPG will also help. The question really now comes down to styling. I like the update on the front, but the back still isn’t for me. I think it is going to have problems competing with the more attractive Ford Fusion.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    The exterior looks like a noticeable improvement to me. I wonder if it’s enough to climb out from media whipping-boy status. Judging from the comments, it doesn’t matter.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      I’m not seeing a huge change with the exterior styling, but I never thought that this was a major problem with the current Malibu, as long as it was an uplevel version with the upgraded tires/wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      “Judging from the comments, it doesn’t matter”

      Tell me about it. The lower than average rear legroom and odd decision to launch it with only the eAssist only gave certain people a target and a reason to not consider the rest of the car.

      I think this car is sharp and distinctive, and the powertrains look more than competitive. I see nothing that would prevent me from walking into a Chevy dealership and giving one a thorough test drive, were I in the market.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      These changes (including changes to the engine and suspension) may be just enough to move the Malibu past the Camry (which, granted, isn’t exactly a high barrier).

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    I think it’s a sharp looking car, I may have to reexamine my boycott of GM products.

    I prefer large sedans to SUVs, my current ride is an Lexus LS430. It seems I’m in an extreme minority, every parent that has kids automatically get a big SUV or minivan.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “every parent that has kids automatically get a big SUV or minivan.”

      I’m with you as a big sedan driver with kids, and I’ve noticed this too. It’s like sedans don’t even exist to those people. My Charger has a good amount of space for the 4 of us, plus a stroller and gear. A mid-size CUV/SUV might only have marginally more space, if any at all.

      Minivans, it’s no contest with their utility, but I’ve noticed parents of other young families are shunning those too because they aren’t trendy enough.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Charger is actually pretty spacious, the first time I rode in a Gen 1 at lunch we comfortably fit three large adults in the rear seats. My buddys Grand Prix was much tighter, even with two passengers it wasn’t as spacious. Trouble is with sedan choices now its LX size cars (along with LS, S-class etc) and it comes down from there.

        • 0 avatar
          th009

          Charger is spacious but has visibility on par with the Camaro and the interior quality of a Tonka Toy.

          • 0 avatar
            gearhead77

            The current car has a Tonka toy interior? The first gen did for certain, but I find the new Chrysler interiors(2011+) to be pretty good. You’re not going think you’re in an Audi/VW product, but it’s not the Rubbermaid box the first cars were.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Yes it would seem both GM and Chrysler contracted with Fisher Price to build their interiors in that period. I’ve never driven a LX so I can’t comment on the visibility but it seems visibility in general is being phased out across the industry.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        Minivans get my nod over SUV because they have better use of their space, better efficiency( though that is changing with more CUV than SUV being available) and are more versatile in their use. If you don’t buy the top of the line, they are usually cheaper.

        With twin boys in diapers, I’m glad we have our Mazda 5 for two reasons: the sliding doors. My herniated disc is happy to not have to stoop to sedan height to deal with putting them in car seats. I love the Chrysler 300, my Altima has been good. And if i had to buy a car for me tomorrow, it would be a jetta wagon tdi.But our next vehicle will be an Odyssey, Sienna or T&C. I’m liking the S model of the Town and Country that’s coming out. Stigma of my generation be damned, a minivan is probably the best vehicle purchase for families who need an all around capable vehicle. The giant CUV like the Acadia, Traverse and even the Explorer or Pathfinder don’t impress me as much for capability as a minivan. And no sliding doors on the Flex

        • 0 avatar
          jacob_coulter

          I like the Mazda5, it’s a great concept. It’s a shame they don’t sell well. I looked at buying one.

          My wife refuses to drive a minivan, even though they’re so practical. Instead she drives a gas guzzling Lexus GX470.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            The GX is nice, but it is extremely compromised for most people because of its body-on-frame construction. I think they should turn it into a rugged crossover, like the Audi Q7 or Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Sliding doors on the Flex would be awesome. I want sliding doors and a Country Squire package with the ecoboost V6.

          I am interested in how the Ford Transit Connect wagon will fare. It’s Mazda5 sized with a better dealer network. I would have ordered one, but I wouldn’t have taken delivery until almost 2015.

          • 0 avatar
            gearhead77

            I would probably consider the Flex if Ford had put sliding doors on it.

            I too, like the new Transit Connect too, as it’s a vast improvement over the current offering. Saw it in person at the Cleveland auto show. If the diesel version actually makes it in passenger form, may have to consider it.

        • 0 avatar
          gearhead77

          As for the topic, I think the redo of the Malibu here is pretty good looking. A much more blended version of the current design, which isn’t bad looking, just kind of incomplete to my eyes.

          The current car seems like they couldn’t decided how to give the car its own identity without incorporating “Chevy style”. This means “How much can we steal from the Camaro for our sedan?”

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        If you’re a normally-sized family and you’re not carrying all sorts of sporting equipment all the time, even a compact car with above-average room—Chevy Cruze, Hyundai Elantra, Volkswagen Jetta—will do. I think that with sedans a lot of people overestimate the size that they need, and some of the larger sedans—like the Ford Taurus and Nissan Maxima—don’t even offer appreciably-more space than their smaller counterparts.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Minivans are not exactly mini anymore, either…

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      I still won’t buy GM, but Chrysler since Fiat has me looking. I drove a 300 with the Pentastar and enjoyed it. And I wasn’t a fan of the first gen car (except the SRT). The minivan with the Pentastar and the new interior is pretty good too, though I still feel the Odyssey or Sienna are better, but only marginally so.

      On the shopping list, which is words I would have never said before.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Chrysler since Fiat actually got me to commit to putting my money on a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit 4X4 V6, and it has been a surprising good vehicle on par with our 2008 Japan-built Toyota Highlander Limited 4X4.

        But with competition like the Camry, Altima, Accord, and most of all the Sonata, this Boo-Boo has its work cut out for itself.

        Minivan-wise, members of my family have both the Odyssey (daughter) and the AWD Sienna (daughter-in-law), and both minivans have been trouble-free since the day they were bought.

        It remains to be seen if the minivans from Chrysler are any better today than they were in the past but for people who need to depend on their rides as daily drivers, they will choose the long-established reliability track records of the front runners Odyssey and Sienna.

  • avatar

    Mazda6 was first.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    The Malibu is heavier than the competition, and it has a worse rear seat than the competition, but it is quieter than most of the competition, and it has a nice environment for the driver. If I were Chevy’s marketing people, I would focus my advertising on the quietness and comfort/convenience features that make the Malibu a nice commuter car. It is sufficently powerful, gets good mpg, is quiet and comfortable. They can probably find some whore publication to rate it the #1 pick for commuters.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “I would focus my advertising on the quietness and comfort/convenience features that make the Malibu a nice commuter car.”

      This is the spiel I got almost to a “T” when I test drove a Verano, so evidently the Buick dealers were given/developed such a strategy.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      It’s quieter and has a nice ride (nicer than the Camry in Toyota’s failed attempt to make the Camry more “sporty” but just ended up ruining what the Camry was known for).

      Kind of the “grown up” midsize sedan.

  • avatar
    Prado

    Along the changes announced, Chevy really needs to change the feature content of the different trim levels. Even with 2.5k incentives I do not find them very competitive value-wise to the class leaders when it comes to popular/common features in this class. Examples…no rear vents on any trim when almost all the competition have them, smart key tech only available as part of an option package and only on the top level trim (Altima has this standard on all trims), Rear camera only available in option packages, even on the LZ (Accord has this standard on all trims). No power passenger seat except again on the top level LZ. Memory seats… only on top trim and you need to also get the NAV.

  • avatar
    wmba

    “The rental fleet car smell of a Malibu beats the curry/spice/soy smell of a typical Toyota or Honda interior or its driver.”

    Ah yes, the exotic smells of Ohio and Kentucky are so much worse than the all American smell of Kansas.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I see they’ve eliminated the electronic parking-brake; that was definitely a step backward…

  • avatar
    JSF22

    Pretty clearly I’m in the minority but I don’t see why this car shouldn’t be pretty competitive in the segment if the Chevy dealers can get it in gear. None of the competitors are exciting — even the vaunted Fusion isn’t that special after you’ve seen ten a day, though obviously sales are good — and none, including the Fusion, are more than just competent to drive. I like the looks of the new Malibu, as well as the Impala, and I wish them well. I’d certainly consider them both if I were looking for a practical sedan.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    Looks more like a mash up of the Malibu and SS than the Malibu/Impala…

  • avatar
    kjb911

    the interior does not do it for me…hideous!

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I was going to mention that I recently had an LTZ as a rental and how over-all I was fairly impressed by it’s speed, comfort and road manners, but I kinda hate to bring it up, being that it was a rental and all, so I won’t even suggest that the new style-tweek is a nice improvement over what I thought was a decent looking sedan to begin with… but, seeing that the word “rental” seems to stir-up so much emotion, I’ve decided not to say anything at all, except maybe that it really didn’t smell like anything in particular

  • avatar
    haenschen

    Bring back the V6. The previous two generations so equipped were vastly underrated automobiles.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    I have to admit that I’m not a Chevy guy at all, but the Malibu is very good car. I have only two complaints, the first is why oh why must Chevrolet insist on putting those Silverado sized bowties on the front of their passenger cars? They’re just plain ugly. The second is the way the Malibu is priced, it’s been so close to the Impala that it almost seems as if GM is telling you they don’t want you to buy the Malibu. It’s been that way for years with the rest of their range of vehicles, for instance, why buy a Cobalt SS when for a few grand more you can get a low end Camaro? Why buy a Colorado when you can get a full sized pickup for about the same money? And for that matter, why by a Malibu when GM is also offering the Cruze? Is the Epsilon II platform that much better than the delta II? Even though the Epsilon is 10 inches longer, the wheelbase is nearly the same, but the price differential is significant. So why is there a Malibu if for the price of a well equipped Malibu you could get an Impala, why is there a Malibu if you can get nearly the same size and economy in a lower priced Cruze?

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      You seem to be living a bit in the past. The Colorado has been out of production for 9 months. Cobalt SS? Long gone.

      Old Impala and 2013 Malibu did cross…but now they don’t very much. The bankruptcy fairy didn’t grant GM new product…they had to develop them.

      I doubt Chevy is disappointed if someone shows up to buy a Malibu and steps down to a Cruze or up to an Impala. I’m sure some people show up to buy an Accord and end up in a Civic. Chevy is closer to Honda when it comes to compact/mid size cars than they were 5 years ago…but having someone switch up or down from a Malibu isn’t their problem.

      Most 2014 Impalas will transact on a retail basis into the 30k range. They do have better separation now than in the past. It took awhile and its not the perfect lineup…but its better than before in many ways.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        People’s past experiences shape their future buying choices.

        In this segment the most popular and biggest sellers turn out to be the brands with the better reputation for reliability, durability and value retention.

        It’s up to the real-world buyers to decide if this GM product will displace the foreign brands, and that hasn’t happened so far.

        I have better hopes for the new Impala than this refreshed version of their midsizer.

      • 0 avatar
        panzerfaust

        Notice I said ‘its been that way for years.’ Yes I know that the Cobalt is long gone, as I regularly have to explain to my 90 year old Cobalt owning mother. My point is that however good the Malibu is that its relatively meaningless given the lineup of cars Chevy offers and their prices.

        • 0 avatar
          sunridge place

          @panzerfaust

          The 2014 Impala does not cross the Malibu any more than the Avalon crosses the Camry at the retail level.

          Nor does the Cruze cross the Malibu anymore than the Civic crosses the Accord.

          You made this statement:

          ‘The second is the way the Malibu is priced, it’s been so close to the Impala that it almost seems as if GM is telling you they don’t want you to buy the Malibu’

          My point was that it was a true statement on the 2013 Malibu vs 2013 Impala. Product cadence doesn’t happen all at once.

          Look at 14 Impala vs 13 Malibu pricing then let me know if you think your statement is true.

          My point about living in the past wasn’t about ‘years’ it was about understanding what Chevy is doing to their car lineup.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      I am not a Chevy guy. In fact, I am not a Detroit guy. I am a Honda and Toyota guy. Ford Motor company products turned me into a loyal Toyota and Honda buyer. That said, the Malibu would be the only Detroit offering I will look at. I currently own a 12 Camry Hybrid, and I think it is the top mid sized sedan. I will be replacing it shortly, and I have narrowed my choices to:

      1) 14 Camry Hybrid
      2) 14 Honda Accord Sport
      3) 14 Malibu Base

      And, as you noted, I absolutely hate the oversized golden bowtie … so much so, it almost turns me away from the vehicle. It is like a Chevy ad being run on your car.

  • avatar
    oldowl

    Can you order the bow tie in body color or easily remove it?

  • avatar
    shaker

    I just traded my 2008 Elantra on a ’13 Malibu 2LT – Crystal Red Tintcoat, Cocoa Brown interior with the Electronics Package. On top of the $2500, the dealer gave me additional Internet savings, and there was little pressure on extended warranty stuff, and no silly “add-ons” (VIN number etching, Super Clearcoat, Fabric Protection, yada yada.)

    I chose the color combo/trim level to distinguish it from the “average” rental – I think it looks sophisticated.

    The 8-way power seat allows me (6’4″) to sit and tilt back far enough so that my leg isn’t resting on the console.

    I’m really liking my Malibu, though as a family car, it would be a bit snug. I’m just hoping for some reliability, so that I can be proud that I made a good choice.

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    No V6 = no thanks, keep it.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The Japanese can’t 300 ft-lbs of torque because they don’t have it with transversely mounted tranmission. Their V6′s can’t make the torque of a turbo-4 everyone has so they don’t sell them. Besides with extra torque the transmission and electronic programming have to be retuned, thus loosing the, “most efficient, full line manufacturer” status.

      Funny how no one has mention Fusion or EcoBoost yet?

  • avatar
    Wodehouse

    The cut of 5+ inches of wheelbase compared to the previous (and still great looking) generation Malibu is what really spoiled this new Malibu’s looks. I know it was done to not overlap the new Impala/XTS. Those two would actually look better with 4 or 5 more inches of wheelbase. The new face fixes the sad sack look of the 2013 model, though.

  • avatar
    dhathewa

    GM just ran its montly Sales and Production conference call. They declined, twice, to discuss the price of the 2014 Malibu.

    If eAssist becomes standard, as seems the case, one would expect a significant bump in the base Malibu price. eAssist has traditionally been priced up towards Camry hybrid territory, without the corresponding benefit.


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