Chevrolet Planning Malibu Midcycle Refresh For Late 2013
December 4th, 2012 12:58 AM Share
Well, that was quick. GM is apparently planning a mid-cycle refresh for the Chevrolet Malibu in 2013, 18 months after the car was released in showrooms.
The Malibu has been panned for poor rear legroom and underwhelming powertrains – our own Michael Karesh was particularly critical of the car. GM’s Dan Akerson told Automotive News that a revised front fascia would be part of the refresh, but declined to give anymore details. The Malibu’s launch was seen as a misstep by GM, as the car was only sold in an eAssist version, without any conventional powertrains like the volume 2.5L four-cylinder, or the upmarket 2.0T motor.
Published December 4th, 2012 9:00 AM
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GM needs to get rid of the BMW trunk that they stole also. Change the front end back to the large bar grille they had before. The current grille looks like an after thought.
Solution: Sell the 2013 as a "Special" like they did in the past. Restyle the 2014 drastically enough to tell them apart and sell it as the Malibu. Even as a car known more for filling up the Hertz and Avis Rental car lots, seemed like relegating the older model to fleet duty helped.
The design is not the problem. It's stately and coordinated. This time it's the hard-points of the car that fail to make it competitive: the drivetrain, the suspension and the rear-seat room. As far as the size goes, I have to think that GM might have done this because the new Malibu is supposed to be a world-class car, sold in all six continents. And were it to be the same size as conventional midsized cars in America, it would be considered quite large and cumbersome in other places. However, it should have optimized the car's size for America, where it had the potential to be a class-leader, because it probably won't be that strong of a seller in other markets anyway...
I've seen one now driving on the road. The area between the double brake lights, a ^ shape of metal coming up between the lenses REALLY bothers me. It just looks like they ran out of plastic to fill the mold all the way. It isn't noticeable on the photo above with it in red, but have a look at a blue or silver one. Bleh.