By on June 14, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT

We were in our Honda Odyssey last Saturday, transporting our dog to a special canine event 20 miles from our home, when the gorgeous 2016 Mazda6 was taken from our house and a Chevrolet Malibu was backed into the driveway.

Not the ninth-generation Malibu, a car which drew my ire in a TTAC review last spring. This is the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, a follow-up to the abbreviated ninth-gen car that chronically underperformed despite GM’s swift (and insufficient) response to early critiques.

Surely I’m no different from many of you. I’m predisposed to disliking Malibus, not because of inexplicable inner bias or a distaste for the Bowtie or a fondness for Honda Accords, but because the Malibu has spent much of the last two decades sucking. The eighth-generation car, which GM sold from 2008 to 2012, was an exception, but its two immediate predecessors were sad examples of the midsize breed. The 2013-2015 Malibu was a step backwards. As a result, the Malibu name conjures up memories of wooden dynamics, harsh interiors, strange noises, and pitiful styling.

Yet with each passing day of its stay at GCBC Towers, I’m steadily finding more and more things to like about the new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu.

What’s happening to me?

Perhaps the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu is less likely to reveal additional faults as the week progresses simply because so many of its blunders are abundantly evident from the moment you open the driver’s door, quickly examine the cabin that awaits, and settle your hind end into the decidedly unbolstered seat.

2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT

This is not a class-leading interior. This isn’t nice. In fact, I don’t get the impression that General Motors attempted to make the cabin nice. GM appears to have invested few resources into following the welcome trend of making mainstream interiors appear premium.

Say what you will about auto writers’ emphasis on squishy dashtop surfaces — personally, I’m not terribly concerned — but a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT’s driver’s door should be touchable without inflicting pain. It isn’t. Do not rest your left arm on this door. Do not wear shorts and allow your left knee to make contact with this door.

Not classy!

GM’s longing to bring rubbery surfaces to a steering wheel near you is evident here, too, only in this example, it gets worse. This isn’t the typical top-trim press car tester, but a heavily optioned LT. As a result, there are a couple of rubbery switch blanks resting near your left thumb for the duration of your Malibu ownership experience.

Sad!2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT interior detail

The shifter’s manual mode is engaged via the +/- switch atop the shifter itself, a GM afterthought that’s managed to prevail for too long. In an attempt to give weight to some controls, the volume knob seemingly does not want you to find its detents. A hilarious amount of finger torque is required.

Bad decision!

The new Malibu’s A-pillars are thick, very thick at the bottom, and raked in such a way as to further limit visibility.

We need to see what’s going on!

All of these missteps are front and centre; so obvious you can’t miss ’em. Acknowledging these facts, I began my first drive in the new Malibu with a measure of disappointment, struggling to understand how GM could recognize that the ninth-gen Malibu was a flop and a new Malibu was urgently needed, make the successor look rather good, but not put in a full effort.

And yet it’s in driving the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu 1.5T that you’ll gain a real appreciation for the car.

Sure, there are other things GM got right. Straightforward climate controls are a pleasant touch when some rivals demand that you crawl through an infotainment unit’s sub-menus in order to change fan speed. The touchscreen, CarPlay compatible, is high-mounted and swift to respond to inputs. The seats have a huge range of motion, though much too flat for my lanky frame and enthusiastic driving manners, and the steering wheel is willing to reach way out to meet me. Rear seat space is now class-competitive.

But who’d have thunk that, despite interior letdowns and all that the Malibu nameplate represented to a generation that never thought of this when they heard the model mentioned, the 2016 Malibu would be redeemed by on-road appeal?

2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT front

The 163-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is no powerhouse, but it’s only tasked with motivating a 3,100-pound midsize sedan, a relative featherweight. Off the line, the 1.5T is unimpressive and slightly buzzy, but the mid-range punch — 184 lbs-ft of torque plateaus at 2,500 rpm — is entirely sufficient. More importantly, the 2016 Malibu sends power through a six-speed automatic — not a CVT, not the Chrysler 200’s anti-shift nine-speed automatic. The Malibu’s transmission is forgettable like a midsize sedan’s automatic transmission ought to be.

The lightweight structure pays greater dividends when twisty roads appear before your eyes. GM’s chassis gurus managed to create a 16-foot-long sedan that feels light on its toes and nimble when appropriate, but planted and composed when you need the Malibu to be mature and stable. This isn’t the highly communicative and always-athletic Mazda6, but the 2016 Malibu handles very nearly that well and provides far superior ride quality and far less road, wind, and tire noise. Brake feel is spot on. The steering is quick to respond to inputs with no recalcitrant spirit and none of that artificial heft too many modern cars possess in lieu of feel.

My desire to drive the Malibu feels strange in the same way my desire to eat McNuggets or fascination with watching Brexit debates is strange. I like healthy food, watching hockey, and CAD $31,980 midsize sedans (around $28,000 in the U.S. market) with wannabe-premium interiors.

Nevertheless, I like the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu more today than yesterday, and I’m rather certain I’ll like it more tomorrow than I did today. Also, more nuggets and more BBC.

Apologize?

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

135 Comments on “I’m Driving a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu 1.5T and Feel Guilty for Liking It This Much...”


  • avatar
    RedRocket

    Those wheels are really ugly.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      I agree. Sadly Toyota and Honda have very similar styled wheels with black chunks of what looks like missing wheel. it seems to be a new fad that alloy wheels need to either be all black or have chunks of inner black mixed in to be cool now. These wheels would be the last ones I would want on any of these 3 cars.

      • 0 avatar
        chiefmonkey

        NOTHING compared to the wheels on the current Accord.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        I’m not a fan of the semi-blacked out wheels in this car.

        Kids were putting blacked out wheels on their customized cars when I was a teenager in the 1990s.

        I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like looking like those people now. I’d rather put interesting stuff under the hood than turn my car into a cop-magnet.

        I’m more of a “keep the factory paint looking nice” kind of guy.

        P.S. Even Tesla has optional black wheels on their car. Also, Subaru puts some of the worst-looking wheels on the XV Crosstrek. It’s fine if other people want to drive cars with ugly wheels, but you won’t see them in my driveway.

    • 0 avatar
      dougjp

      Only attractive to a certain subset of a certain generation who buy Subaru Crosstreks. Not buyers of this kind of car. I wonder how many sales of Accords and Camrys are lost because of these wheel designs,l and now add this car to the list. It would certainly affect my decision.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Not classy!

    Sad!

    Bad decision!

    We need to see what’s going on!

    Apologize?

    Make GM Great Again!

  • avatar
    threeer

    I still think I’d take a 2008-2012 variant over this one. For some reason, they just got that one “right.” In higher trims, it was/is actually a really nice ride. I’m not really loving the design language for the new ‘Bu (or new Cruze, for that matter. I prefer the styling of our 2013 Cruze over the 2016), but style is very subjective, so what do I know and my all-time favorite car is a BMW 2002 (box on wheels, anyone?)!

    • 0 avatar
      redliner

      The 2008 generation is spot-on in exterior styling. Every line is logical and handsome, but never pretentious. The inset cutline for the hood, and the simple detailing on the boxy, functional rear end have to be one of the best affordable GM designs of the last 30 years.

      I think it could eventually become a classic, like a 64′ Impala. I

      • 0 avatar
        NN

        I agree. I had a 2010 LTZ until last year. I always loved the looks of the car, Bob Lutz knew good looking design. I also enjoyed how it drove, the comfortable seats, ride quality and quiet, and the great stereo. It was an all around great car, save for the 6 speed auto transmission needing to be rebuilt twice (both times under warranty by GM). I would not consider this modern Malibu–too busy looking.

      • 0 avatar
        kjb911

        During my time at Chevrolet, as you know, I rather liked my 14 2LTZ with the 2.0 Turbo. When the ninth generation came out earlier this year, my instant reaction was distaste with the interior since all my soft touch that I loved in my ‘bu was gone. First thing we did was load it up with sales associates and I headed out to RT 37 where on ramps are more akin to Russian Roulette rather than safe entry onto the highway.

        Our impression was holy crap this is impressive. Our second: We will sell a ton. I even debated getting out of my lease just to end the constant defense I faced on a daily basis from friends and co-workers.

        Five months later I sit here working for Cadillac looking to get into an ATS Performance Six Speed while cruising around in my ’16 GLI SEL six speed.

        Moral of the story: Never listen to my opinion on cars. Especially if you want to retain any trace of residual value.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    It is better to drive good than look good

    Signed,
    Fernando

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    A lot of people say that they like the styling of this car.

    I’ve seen quite a few of them on the road and each time it makes me think they took the previous generation and put it in the oven to see what would happen when it started to melt.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    The last Malibu I liked went out of production after 1981.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    The Malibu was borderline-redeemed for 2008-2012, but never likable until now.

    And yet…I don’t. Like you, I don’t think GM put in a full effort. The things that make it good, like the engine and interfaces, are corporate GM stuff. It does not feel like a cohesive product and the areas that are unique to it are where it struggles. One thing I noticed that really irritates me is that the lower spec versions still look especially cheap (complete with black plastic mirror skullcaps). Given that GM will offload a whole bunch of those to rental agencies—in refrigerator white, of course—and that those agencies will in turn dump them on the used market, it would behoove the automaker to start putting a little more oomph into its lower trims.

    The overall vibe I get from the Malibu is that it’s competitive *now*, but that several of its competitors (Altima, Camry, Accord, Fusion) went through mid-cycle facelifts and that the Malibu doesn’t at all address what the next generations of those cars will bring to the market.

    It In my mind, GM did a lot better with the 2016 Cruze—although not quite enough to unseat the new Civic.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I haven’t driven the new Cruze or Civic, but my first impression is that the Cruze is far superior (and near class-leading) in terms of perceived quality. It feels like very high quality goods. I’m just not impressed with the make on the Civic – large body panel gaps, unimpressive interior materials, so-so door fits and cheap-sounding door closes, etc. Personally, I thought the previous-gen Civic was better in this regard.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I’ve sampled both. I’m not a fan of the Civic’s design, and that alone would send me toward the Cruze.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I’d pick a Cruze over this Malibu any day, even though it’s smaller!

          • 0 avatar
            cblais19

            Both suffer from a back end that seems to be missing something, but I think the new front end style looks a little bit better on the Cruze.

            I considered the Malibu for my purchase, but the cheap feeling/look of the interior materials under the Premium/2LT trim levels, uncomfortable seats for my body type and inability to get AdaptiveCC on anything but the very top trim were deal breakers. I was really impressed with its road/wind noise isolation and the handling feel on the short test drive I did, but the engine did sound strained when revved. I do have to give props to GM for their lovely and unique interior color options for the segment.

            Apparently the new small turbo in the Cruze is a very refined engine.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      In all fairness this is an issue with most base trim level mid size sedans. The Camry LE with it’s cheap plastic hub caps, the Sonata with it’s hard plastic door panels, lack of a power seat and color choices, the Fusion with it’s smallish looking base wheels and black only interior color choice and rather low rent plastics etc. The current Accord isn’t bad. Neither is the base trim Optima. The Passat in base trim also looks low rent with those el-cheapo plastic wheels and plain exterior. The one step up Malibu LS does have alloys and a touch screen so the L trim spec is really just a fleet special when the Limited dies off.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Oh, I feel you. The guy I’m dating drives a white 2013 Camry LE with beige cloth. I’ll wait until we’ve known each other a little longer before I start complaining about his car.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Lol Kyree, probably a good idea.

          John and I agree on some cars, but not others. He dislikes the Altima and Camry, so we agree there. He likes his brother’s ’14 Malibu, I do not.

          He was soured on Tauruses because he bought one (a 94) which took a $#¡Г three days later, but he has grown quite attached to mine (well, its “ours” now). He has said a few times that we will always keep that car no matter what, not that we won’t get something new or newer eventually, but like me, he feels its worth keeping regardless.

          He doesn’t care for hatchback cars, but I do. He really liked the 2001 Suzuki Esteem 1.8L/5-speed sedan I found last week, but it sold before he had a day off so we could make a move on it. I’ve always liked the Esteem as an honest economy car with no pretensions towards being a sports car or luxury car, etc. It seems humble to me, exactly why I like certain Toyota Tercels (which are also on my list of candidates).

          I was going to hold out for a van, utility or truck of some kind, but I found a job opportunity and so paying cash for a car with good MPG is optimal for our situation now. Plus, I really miss having a manual trans at my disposal, and I want to teach him to drive one. He drives the Taurus an hour each way to work, its getting approx. 28-32 mpg, which I think is great for a V-6/automatic midsize. However, its rapidly approaching 220k and eventually, I would prefer him to drive something with lower miles (and 35-40 mpg to boot) since my work is significantly closer.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Aww. I like the Esteem, as well.

            And I’m jealous. My guy says a car is literally to get from point A to point B, so a future with him would involve being doomed to ex-rental Camrys (I don’t actually mind the Camry, but at least get a nicer trim level…and maybe the V6).

            Then again, he did mention a HEMI Challenger or a Wrangler as a want, so he’s somewhat redeemed.

          • 0 avatar
            Jagboi

            Cars can be contagious. My guy didn’t care about them when we met, and now his summer car is a 1994 Jaguar XJS V12 convertible that he loves. I infected him with a love of Jaguars :)

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            I still haven’t forgiven my boyfriend for going from a Mazdaspeed 3 to a Nissan Altima (4 cylinder) and I never hesitate to remind him of that fact. He now says he wants a Fusion Hybrid as his next car, so I’ll consider that some progress. Maybe I can win him back yet.

            And to all the posters standing up to bikephil, thanks from this LGBT Orlandoan. the outpouring support we’ve seen means a lot to me and the community.

            #orlandostrong
            #orlandounited

        • 0 avatar
          bikephil

          You’re a queer??

          • 0 avatar
            formula m

            Bikephil do you think with your mouth open?

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N is gay, and has said so in numerous past posts. It’s up to him to determine if he identifies as “queer” or not. But I can identify him as one thing: one of this site’s more interesting and original (if Ford-addicted) posters, and a highly valued member of the community. You, by contrast, are a moron. Please take your mouth-breathing drivel back to the 4chan fever swamp from which it came.

          • 0 avatar
            70Cougar

            What dal20402 and formula m said.

          • 0 avatar
            ponchoman49

            Wow how open minded you are and such a nice thing to say about someone. Why in 2016 does it matter if a poster is gay or straight? Did we just crawl out from under a rock from the year 1960?

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            What 70Cougar said.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Particularly considering what’s happened recently in Orlando.

    • 0 avatar
      vovencius

      Kyree’s comments are one of the reasons I peruse the comment section of the TTAC.

  • avatar
    RHD

    If that windshield rake goes any farther, it’ll be a piece of perfectly flat glass. Does anyone else get claustrophobia from a rear-view mirror so close to your face?
    The trend toward narrower windows and oversized C pillars has reached another extreme. Not good.
    Kudos for the good brakes and road handling. But you’d think that after so many car companies have designed so many 4-door sedans over so many decades, GM could take the best qualities and omit the worst, instead of continuing their tradition of cheap interiors and reasons to go look at something else.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Two reasons pop into my mind for the cheaped-out interior:

      1) GM is still playing the game of “leaving room above it” for Impala, Regal, etc.

      2) GM’s “One World” supplier arm-twisting program, aka “Make it as cheap as our Chinese supplier or we’ll go to our Chinese supplier.”

      The latter of which is why I’d never trust GM iron long-term. More than the Japanese transplants, it’s built to a price. And if it’s built that way where you can see, you know it’s built that way where it’s not. They never learn.

      • 0 avatar
        redliner

        More so than its Japanese competitors, the Malibu is a car that really benefits from leveling up. The top trims feel semi-premium while the low trims feel like a Chrysler rental product.

        Note: I have not driven this new generation, but that was my opinion of the last generation.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        I used to blame internal stupidity and the “GM cheesy plastic dash division” for causing GM cars to make a bad first impression. Now I blame the cost of benefits for employees and former employees. GM has to cut cost somewhere to stay in business and they choose to cut cost in car interiors. Tree trunk A pillars come from a lack of budget for the high strength steel to make them thinner. Hard plastic door panels and rubbery steering wheels come from a budget that doesn’t allow suppliers to use additional materials and process steps. I wonder what GM could do if they could spend more on parts.

        • 0 avatar
          formula m

          When I worked for GM around 07-08, rumour was $1100 Cdn of each vehicle sold went to pay for former employee pensions. Makes it hard to be ultra competitive in markets that don’t offer enough profit like small/mid size cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Mr. K

        The old saw that a GM will drive badly long after others die holds true, but with modern engine controls the GM runs pretty well too.

      • 0 avatar
        burnbomber

        On the contrary, I DO trust old GM long term. They have 2 BIG advantages–they’re incredibly cheap and they’re pretty sturdy. My old GM A body Celebrity RIP) had easier maintenance and less problems than my Camry (of similar vintage). And, my current beater (a 5th generation Malibu clone–a Cutlass, actually) is lasting longer than the Celebrity with fewer problems.

        And, parts are incredibly cheap and available in pull-a-parts.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          And my friend with the old Century is enjoying the low cost of those replacement parts by the bushel.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Those first-gen “smaller” ‘Bus were not bad (except for a seat-belt chime that could wake the dead, like the 1st-Gen Focus’ turn signal noises). (The Maxx was especially ahead of its time.) The ones until 2008 were crap, as was the last generation.

          I see the membrane switches from the Canyorado are proliferating. I don’t foresee a good end to that. The guts of those things will break through the covering on day 2 after the warranty expires, I would wager.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    This looks like a winner (inasmuch as an fwd gm sedan ‘wins’).

    It looks like a slightly shrunk Impala (which is a good thing) and it weighs less than a Cruze (!!!) and yet seems to be larger all round.

    The 2.0 turbo four with 250hp looks like its like the Camaro motor.

    The interior is a bit unpleasant looking but this is GM we are talking about.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    So you liked the way the car drove. What’s to apologize for?

  • avatar
    FOG

    Apologize? Yes, please. The Headline made me think you were going to write a positive review. “I like Tim Cain’s articles, because I feel better that there is someone out there dumber than me when I finish reading them.” “It is good to see that Tim has matured out of his Honda Accord phase into liking real cars.”

    Okay, just messing with you, but I would have preferred a more positive tone in the article based on the headline.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      Some of the key phrases you may have missed:
      • redeemed by on-road appeal
      • there are other things GM got right.
      • The lightweight structure pays greater dividends when twisty roads appear before your eyes.
      • I like the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu more today than yesterday, and I’m rather certain I’ll like it more tomorrow than I did today.

      • 0 avatar
        FOG

        I didn’t miss them. It took too long to get to them. Too many negative remarks at the beginning of the article.

        • 0 avatar
          Timothy Cain

          Sad!

          • 0 avatar
            Blackcloud_9

            Keep talking like that Tim, and Donald Trump will build TWO walls. One South and one North!

        • 0 avatar
          tjh8402

          To a degree, I get what you’re saying. It feels like he spent more time criticizing a car he claims to like than praising it. At the same time, I do understand how that could happen. I’ve developed an odd affection for two cars I’ve had as rentals, the Camry and Sonata, and I can’t completely explain why. They do little to genuinely impress and stand themselves above the rest, and in both cases, I found initial indifference and disapproval gave way to affection the more I drove them. And the thing is, I can’t really explain why. There’s an enjoyable user friendly relaxing ease about how they get you down the road that I can’t put my finger or explain, but that ultimately makes them far more appealing than their more explicit faults.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            I found the Jeep Grand Cherokee that way as a rental, too.

            I was not predisposed to liking it. But it grew in me during the 5+ hours of driving it during the 36 hours I had it.

            It’s not the vehicle for me by any stretch of the imagination, but I understand its charms better.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          Golly, FOG, but we’re a discriminating reader. We not only need to see our words of praise, we need to see them up front.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Sounds to me like it’s trying to come up to the sprightliness and ‘feel’ of the 2700 pound Fiat 500 with the 1.6 multi-air and 6-speed automatic at a full four feet shorter than the Malibu. That could be a good thing… depending on the economy.

    Me, I think the Fiat 500 is the better choice in so many ways, but then, the only family I haul around is the wife and one dog, so I don’t even have to set up the rear seats all that often. Who needs four doors, hmmm?

  • avatar
    jkross22

    How is this car any better than a Honda Accord or a Fusion?

    It sounds like Tim is simply surprised he doesn’t dislike the Malibu and therefore the ‘bu gets a surprising reaction when it doesn’t suck as much as he thought it would.

    Is that enough to sway Fusion and Accord buyers? Doubt it.

    • 0 avatar
      360joules

      So this car sucks less than 3 out of 4 predecessors? Sounds like Mr. Cain wants that transporter truck to keep dropping off review cars – can’t blame him.

      • 0 avatar
        Timothy Cain

        That’s exactly what I was thinking when I torched the Malibu GM Canada delivered 15 months ago. More like this, please! https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/capsule-review-2015-chevrolet-malibu-ltz/

    • 0 avatar
      RedRocket

      This is from the same auto journalist handbook as the chapters about Buick or Cadillac that requires any review of said vehicles to reference their image in the 1980s as cars for senior citizens, a title now held by Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      That was my impression, too. It’s good because it isn’t terrible.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      It will be interesting to see where sales go. I know they are up quite a bit from the 2015 model but don’t have the exact figure to date. Judging by how many I see driving around the area and on the thruways I would call it an Upstate, NY hit so far.

  • avatar
    nguyenvuminh

    jkross22 – you said what I was thinking. I think the model name (Malibu, Impala, etc) resonate so much in one’s mind that we tend to compare the current model with the same model from the past, and those weren’t good at all; hence, a very favorable initial impression of the current car. Over a 2 year period and countless comparison with Accord, Camry and Sonata afterwards, the GM sedans revert back to their 5th and 6th place. Seems like the only true big leap is the Fusion.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      No doubt, for the Malibu to make serious in-roads in the midsize category, GM would need to follow this Malibu up with at least two more generations of great-driving Malibus… with better interiors.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        “No doubt, for the Malibu to make serious in-roads in the midsize category, GM would need to follow this Malibu up with at least two more generations of great-driving Malibus… with better interiors.”

        Did you monitor the fuel efficiency during your test?

        I hope you get a chance to review the new Malibu Hybrid – it might address some of the interior shortcomings you mentioned, and people might be interested in how it drives.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        From what I have observed, read and heard from customers the new Malibu would benefit from 2 easy to fix changes. A switch to the padded vinyl trim that is used on leather seat cars on the lower dash and a switch to real paddle shifters instead of the toggle switch on the top of the shift lever. Still most people don’t even seem to notice these things out in the wild.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    What will be interesting is to see if this model succeeds and then compare it to why the Chrysler 200 failed. Sans a V6, I’m seeing much of the same 200 element in the Malibu.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    This car sounds like a distillation of all of GM’s current strengths and weaknesses.

    Strengths: Powertrain, ride/handling balance, quiet, newfound religion about low weight.

    Weaknesses: Interiors that look decent in top trim but don’t scale down well at all and don’t always stand up to close scrutiny, cheap-ish styling details, assembly quality, questionable long-term durability.

    It will be a value player, not a class leader. Expect discounts, but once discounted it won’t be a bad buy.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      So, basically it’s every GM car from 1985 – 2005?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        GM didn’t figure out the ride/handling balance thing until sometime in the last 10-15 years. And the low weight is even more recent than that. But they’ve always been good about powertrain and bad about assembly quality and details.

        • 0 avatar
          SP

          I think GM has always had people that CAN tune ride and handling. The problem in my eyes is that they rarely let them do it, or gave them enough cost leeway to make it work and last.

          I am thinking of the 97+ W-body cars. The Pontiac Grand Prix, Buick Century, Buick Regal, and Oldsmobile Intrigue (and later the Chevrolet Impala) were all basically the same car underneath. But they did have differences in ride and handling.

          The Buick Regal (at least in GS form) was supposed to be sporty, but the springs and shocks were rather soft – too soft for good handling, in my eyes. The seats didn’t hold you in place at all. And the steering effort was rather light and feel was just okay. All in all, it wasn’t great for handling.

          Step into the Intrigue, and the ride/handling was much improved. The steering effort was heavier, but seemed to give a better feeling of control. The ride was much firmer, but usually not harsh. Some bad sections of road did feel harsh, especially washboard wheel ruts before stoplights. I think the firm anti-roll bars were to blame for that. The seats were far more supportive as well (and had way better leather than the other W-bodies). All in all, it was a rather decent handler.

          Now, whichever one of these you chose, you had to deal with failing window regulators, transmission wear, bad wheel bearings, CV joints, and things like that. That’s just typical GM bean-counting stuff.

          Just some of my recollections from the GM cars of the past.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Aside from powertrain, that sounds like a list of strengths and weaknesses for the 1977 B-bodies.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    If the domestic manufacturers can build a vehicle that gets within shouting distance of the best Asian cars (and the ’16 Malibu would certainly seem to fall into that category), there are two words that will cure nearly every area where they fall short:

    Rebates and incentives.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    This Malibu nearly matches Motor Trend’s figure times in handling compared to the Mazda6 GT. The Malibu 2.0T beats them both by almost a second in the same test.

  • avatar
    MWolf

    I have a feeling my sentiment isn’t shared at all, but I had a 2000 Malibu. At first, I thought I wouldn’t like it (it was purchased because I found myself suddenly needing a cheap car, and there it was, no time to waste), but after a while, it surprised me. It was reliable, it was somewhat comfy for a car like itself on road trips. and while not inspiring, it wasn’t as bad looking as some other sedans at the time. And it wasn’t a chore to drive, either. All of this was based off of NO good expectations for the car, not a comparison.

    It had some bugs, like the popular blower motor resistor issue and HVAC buttons that had a mind of their own (it was a Malibu), and a few weird design choices for the interior. But the Malibu has always been one of those cars where you try to overlook some of the things they do to the interior and just accept it as it is, a cheap GM offering. They (aside from 2008 to 2012) had some godawful wheel/wheel covers. But it was a good little car, it did what I needed it to.

  • avatar
    06V66speed

    I hated GM’s plastics until I got to know my mother’s ’13 Cruze.

    But seems this Malibu is awash in a sea of “meh”. Dial it back a notch, General. Dam. It’s starting to look rather chintzy in there again…

  • avatar
    daviel

    Reviewer is too prissy about interiors. After driving for a few weeks, one is not going to mind all the perceived faults. You just get used to the layout. I like the car’s looks. Seems to drive OK. Low weight? Cars today are made out of plastic. What’s not to like? …and I’m not really a big GM fan.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      “After driving for a few weeks, one is not going to mind all the perceived faults.”

      On the contrary, by far the worst thing about the G8 GXP I used to own was the cheap and poorly built interior, and it bothered me more every month I owned the car. Now I have a LS460, which (whatever else you think about it) has impeccable interior material and build quality, and I enjoy that every time I drive the car.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        Amen, brother. The car mags raved about my Mazda’s interior (I believe Car & Driver wrote “Toyota wishes it could make such a nice interior at this price. Cadillac wishes it could make such a nice interior at any price.”) Yet for all the nice fabric and ambient lighting, Mazda neglected to pad the driver’s door armrest. Such a small annoyance…but one that had the opportunity to annoy the driver every single day. It’s one of the things that eventually drove me back to VW–a brand then famous for luxurious soft-touch interiors at all price points.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Generally, I don’t care about the “soft touch” crap…except for the things I actually touch, like the arm rest on the drivers door. Having logged a lot of miles in 2 cars with hard plastic arm rests, trust me, they are an annoyance for eternity, not a couple weeks. How much could it possibly cost to upgrade them to something that doesn’t suck? Aside from that, the rubber buttons on the steering wheel are the only annoyance I couldn’t live with. Again, spend a couple bucks more to upgrade something we’re going to touch every damn day.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    As an Uglibu driver:

    The car is redeemed by driving it. This is what the Malibu reaches for as its target. Some number more than 200 horses, a primitive and compliant 4-speed, and an interior that had no pretense just tons of shoulder room – it’s still a lot of fun to drive as the second car. It still beats lots of things off the line, especially every Malibu put out since except for the unicorn 2008-2012 V6 models that exist nowhere used.

    I think the 2008-2012 model year was simply the wrong direction. That was a very nice Pontiac G6. They took the hard points of the G6, and they took its faults – especially the lack of shoulder room, and the pretense that it was something more than a basic midsize value proposition – and then they strangled it with the 6-speed GM never got right.

    This is why I sing the praise of the old GM 4-speed: It didn’t have to think, as it had no options. GM is no longer the transmission king. Ford tuned the exact same transmission to be so much smarter. GM cannot escape hunt-and-hesitate perdition.

    I looked at these in person. The styling tries too hard. The Malibu buyer was a value buyer. The car can be pedestrian – it’s a Chevy, after all – but it should be reliable and cheap to operate. The pricing is all wrong. Chevrolet used to mean cheap and cheerful. The big engine costs too much. You should be able to get your hands on the big engine for below $28k MSRP. When you’ve reached that number, the car is outclassed – might as well get an Accord V6 or that new Fusion Sport.

    I think the tale of where Mr. General is taking his Malibu was told before, and the name is Icarus. They should not try so hard, let the Malibu be the Malibu, and, if they must doll up a Chevrolet, that’s why the Impala exists.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I’ll join you in singing the old 4-speed’s praises, mated to a V6 it was smooth and solid.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      I had a 2007 Malibu with the 4T45/3500 217 HP V6 and it was an excellent combo with plenty of power and well above 30 highway MPG all day long. It always shifted perfect too which is something that many modern transmissions are not noted for. That was a very solid nice driving car and in the pleasant optional red actually drew some admiring comments.

      The only issue I ever had with that car was the EPS which turned out to have a faulty ground to alternator cable that was fixed under warranty. Nothing else went wrong with it for the 80k I owned it.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Timothy this demonstrates why stereotyping and prejudging leads to mistakes.

    The 5th generation Malibu has proven to be a remarkably reliable and durable vehicle. Built from 97 to 03 there seem to be as mahy of them on the streets than Camrys and Accords from that era. Yes, there were some problem with gaskets and Dexcool in earlier models but if maintained properly it seems the only problem is the endemic rusting just under the gas cap. The drivetrain once sorted seems to be able to run for ever. Too bad that it was never available with a standard. And the styling that was once derided now is more than acceptable.

    The 6th generation was certainly an ugly duckling. But if equipped with the 4 cylinder it too has proven to be reliable.

    The later generations were lacklustre. GM’s inability to build a midsized without a ‘transmission’ hump eating legroom in the back seat and therefore without a proper middle passenger headrest turned off a lot of potential purchasers including at least 2 members of my immediate family.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    So GM nailed all the challenging parts of car design and ignored the easy bits that would have made a big difference?

    I find it hard to believe specifying better interior materials would unacceptably raise the cost to build the car, and any cost increase would presumably be mitigated by increased sales.

    Similarly crappy interiors in competing products is not an excuse either. You need to be more aggressive when playing from behind like GM is. It sounds like they had a chance to deliver a complete product and didn’t bother. Very frustrating.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      C&D at least does not share Tim’s criticism of interior quality, but did note the thick A-pillars and weird +/- gear toggle:

      “Materials-wise, the cabin fares well—it’s at least as good as most other automobiles in the segment, and it’s only clearly outdone by the Mazda 6 and the Volkswagen Passat…fit and finish are very good, and the upholstery’s stitching is a cut above that in the Accord and the Camry”

      I’ve found that interior quality is best judged in person rather than trusting reviews, regardless of their author. There is a lot of personal preference there, and what seems cheap or expensive to one person may not to another.

      • 0 avatar
        cblais19

        They were also testing the Premier trim with all the fixings IIRC. In the lower trim levels with the cloth swatches it looks a lot cheaper.

        I’d hope the interior of a fully redesigned car is improved compared to two of the oldest designs in the mid sized market (both the Accord and the Camry are from 2013/2012 respectively, and their mid cycles didn’t do a whole lot with the interior).

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          The article I quoted was the test of the mid-level 1.5T, not the top shelf Premier.

          Interior quality, unlike onboard tech, has little to do with how long ago the vehicle was introduced. It’s not like the car industry suddenly discovered in the last 5 years how to craft a comfortable armrest or make the dash panels line up.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Well C&D ranked the new Malibu ahead of both the Camry and revamped Accord and stated that the interior was very competitive and fit/finish are very good. And this was a mid trim level LT.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    I hate my future-brother-inlaw’s 2014 Malibu. It just gets so much wrong and so little right, I don’t see why anyone bought it to begin with.

    Aside from all the usual complaints, it has mechanical issues that simply shouldn’t be on a car as new as it is. A couple of examples: The passenger side front brake wore itself down to nothing, while the driver’s side has 60%+ remaining. Huh? How does that happen on a new car (purchased new)? The problem on the driver’s side is the unmistakable roar of a wheel bearing going bad. At this age?

    I realize my parents 2012 Taurus is a class above the Malibu, being a full-size pseudo luxury car. But why is it that its older and with more miles, yet has yet to have a single mechanical issue?

    Almost 100k on it, the only things that have been replaced are the oil/filter, tires (once) and wipers (once). That’s it. Its as tight and as quiet as the day they brought it home in 2012. Other than the bulb check, the MIL has never come on, but its constantly on in the Malibu. One thing gets fixed, it goes out, a week later its on for something else. I would expect that on a 1994 car or even a 2004, but this new? Pathetic.

    When it was to be that I was going to return home after taking John to Florida, I was offered the Malibu to drive him in. I politely refused. Pretty sad that I can trust a 20+ year old car over a 2014. Of course, John ended up telling his mom about us, and so I stayed since we could be together without hiding it when visiting her, which worked out perfectly with my having my own car here with me. But, I still wouldn’t regret driving my old Taurus over the Malibu if I had returned as initially planned.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      “I hate my future-brother-inlaw’s 2014 Malibu. It just gets so much wrong and so little right, I don’t see why anyone bought it to begin with.”

      Get that man into a Ford Taurus/Fusion/Focus/Fiesta/Escape/Edge/Explorer/F Series/Expedition/Pinto/Gran Torino/Mustang/MustangII/Capri/LTD/Crown Victoria/LincolnWahtever STAT!

      He’ll be so estatic, he’ll dump his Malibu, dump your sister and propose to you!

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      My long time friend from high school bought a 2014 Taurus AWD Limited in black with all black leather interior a few years ago. I never cared for this car from the moment he got it due to it’s bunker like front seat, noisy and thumpy ride, poor visibility and it has sadly proven to be far from trouble free during the 80K miles he has owned it.

      Both front wheels bearings were howling by 60K miles. The 19″ tires that came from the factory were utter garbage and he was forced to spend over 1500 bucks to downsize to a 17″ wheel and tire just to make the car drive-able during 5 months of the Winter. The 19″ crash, bang and clump over every road imperfection. The 17’s were a god send not only improving mileage, road noise, ride comfort etc but they made the car far less treacherous in the bad months which often saw him driving white knuckled in fear of wiping out.

      The check engine light has come on various times, one for defective intake plumbing which was causing a leak and throwing a rich code. He had that swapped out and a month later had the light come back on again. This time it was a bad oxygen sensor. Soon after replacing that the steering suddenly got really stiff and difficult to steer with the message “service advance track” appeared. We shut the car on and off several times but the message kept coming back. it was towed to the dealer who found a faulty ground cable and replaced it. Fingers crossed on that one.

      The car was recalled for the half shaft issue and a new linkshaft was installed along with a new retention circlip according the the paperwork. It was then recalled a second time to replace the license plate bulb assembly that can corrode in salt used areas.

      The factory brakes were warped with less than 20K miles and needed replacing all the way around soon after. My 2013 Impala by comparison still has the original pads and rotors all around with 49K miles!

      Next was a harsh 2-3 transmission upshift. This got worse as time went on. The cause for this was a dirty mass airflow sensor and out of spec spark plugs at 78K miles. So much for 100K for those factory plugs. That seemed to smooth the transmission out and he serviced it to the tune of 195 bucks to be on the safe side even though it was listed as being a 100K interval.

      The car now has a little over 100K and now the passenger rear has what sounds like a bunch of rocks being thrown around in a tin car that so far the dealer has not been able to fully diagnose but it looks like there is a problem with the AWD system. Yip he’s looking to dump the Taurus before winter and I don’t blame him.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        Wow, poncho, that’s a pretty horrible list of problems for a car that’s been around, what, nearly 10 years? On a platform that’s been around for about 20?

        I may need to start Liking DW at this rate.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    This makes me think, gee, maybe the Camry and Accord aren’t so bad after all.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Wow. Those steering wheel controls are utter garbage. I cant believe gm would put that out on a 2016 model. Gm, junk then, junk now. So tired of fixing my hunk of crap gm product tahoe, which is falling apart at 115k. I will never own another gm product, ever.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      Those steering wheel buttons looks putrid. One would assume they do long term testing but I have doubts whether membrane type buttons will last any kind of reasonable hard use.

      Does GM not know that companies like Hyundai Kia exist and they already do pretty impressive tactical steering wheel controls and yet they dont ask $22,500 base for their cars…

      Those steering wheel buttons reminds me of an Indian made Nokia basic non smartphone.

      Problem for me is that GM tends to have interiors and driver interfaces that arent even Korean standard.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        “Problem for me is that GM tends to have interiors and driver interfaces that arent even Korean standard.”

        Funny because my dads Kia has absolutely one of the worst interiors I’ve ever seen in a newer vehicle. Playschool/Fisher Price all the way. It’s really a miserable thing to sit in as well as drive.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        A base 2016 Malibu L starts at $22,500
        A base 2016 Optima LX starts at 22,990
        A base 2016 Sonata SE starts at 22,585

        The Malibu comes with Onstar but has 16″ plastic fascia wheels. The Optima has std alloy wheels and dual chrome exhausts instead. The Sonata has a single exhaust but does have alloys wheels. All are very close in price save for these differences and each is often discounted by at least a grand or so. I would place both cars interiors pretty close with the Kia getting the nod as best overall but at the highest base price.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I rented a 2016 Malibu recently, and I came away with an over-all favorable opinion. The one that I rented had an all-black interior decor that was too dark for me, but it was comfortable. It rode smoothly. There was good room in front, back and trunk. There was just enough power from the 1.5 liter turbo engine. The fuel economy was good. It would be possible to average 30 MPG overall in my driving, and that’s about 5 MPG better than the previous generation of midsize sedans. My previous midsize rental before this one was a 2014 Hyundai Sonata GTS 2.4 liter that was not as nice inside but was otherwise comparable.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “The new Malibu’s A-pillars are thick, very thick at the bottom, and raked in such a way as to further limit visibility.”

    Hah! – I’ll bet they’re not nearly as bad as the ones in my 2013 Volt. Reminds me of trying to look around a 100 year old oak tree.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I actually kind of liked the ’04-’07 Malibu – it wasn’t a spectacular car, but it sort of previewed the next generation, given they both shared the Epsilon platform. So, it was reasonably solid, decent sized, and a generally unassuming car (except for the SS Maxx, with its bright blue paint and houndstooth seats and big wheels). There are worse things than to take that kind of formula and constantly refine it. Then again, I even found the last generation tolerable (and all the way up to pretty nice in Turbo spec), although I can’t dispute a lot of the complaints.

    As for the new Malibu, I’ve only had a few minutes of poking around, but I don’t find the interior exceptionally terrible – in that class, what really stands out as fantastic? The Fusion is mostly just a swath of just above keyboard-grade dark grey plastic with no physical buttons, Toyota probably hasn’t put an attractive interior in anything since the 2000GT (although their materials are bouncing back from the sad pits of despair they were putting out around 2010), Toyota/Kia are perpetually putting out stuff that’s clearly a 95% effort, and the Accord is good, but not absolutely leaps and bounds better.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I think this is faint praise defined.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      This review has come under a bit of fire for this, so out of curiosity I did a word count of the negative & positive sides of the review. He did indeed devote nearly as much space criticizing the car as praising it.

      Despite this, I am not at all turned off from this car. He may have taken his sweet time getting there, but he describes a quiet, lightweight sedan with a good ride/handling balance, a largely faultless powertrain, a roomy driving position, and logical climate controls not nested into the touchscreen. I like the styling inside and out, and it has an available 2.0T that actually seems to perform.

      Those traits far outweigh the listed faults, which center on interior quality. I’m never convinced of such assessments until I see one in person. I think some interiors are highly overrated (Accord), underrated (Passat), and some that illicit widely diverging opinions (Fusion and previous Malibu).

      • 0 avatar
        RedRocket

        Sit in a 1LT with the black cloth interior. Just awful. They even put the awful cheap, rough fabric on the dashboard. Dismal and hideous at the same time.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          As I mentioned in a comment above, Car and Driver gave a positive review of the interior materials and fit/finish. Their car had the interior you are describing. This is why I reserve judgment until I see it in person, I dunno who to believe.

          The Cruze received mixed reviews for putting fabric on the dash as well. I thought it was an interesting touch.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I’ve driven on of these and I like the Malibu very much. Quit complaining, it’s a good car.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      I concur, Zackman. I found it a surprisingly good car. I’d even say it might even be a great car, considering it’s price point. I found it any enjoyable driver.

  • avatar
    shaker

    GM addressed two of the biggest gripes about the previous gen: weight and rear seat legroom – “Two out of three ain’t bad…” Meatloaf.

  • avatar
    PlaysInTraffic

    Has anyone else noticed that the new ‘Bu looks like a catfish when its DRLs are on?

    I have, and I can’t unsee it.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      I does. It’s unfortunate, because it really detracts from a solid exterior design. Nothing’s worse than the current Sonata’s I-got-it-aftermarket-at-Pepboys from LED running lights.

  • avatar
    FalcoDog

    Sorry but this car looks like another melted butter sculpture.

  • avatar
    Paragon

    Folks, have been visiting this site and reading the articles and comments for close to 10 years. For those of you who haven’t yet driven the new ‘Bu, you’ve got to listen to Tim Cain. While I didn’t have use of this latest Malibu for any kind of extended Road Test, like Tim, I was impressed from the start about this car. Seriously! I’m a confessed Mopar man, but I tell you this is a game changer for GM. What I’m saying is if you are predisposed to dislike GM products – perhaps for good reason, based on past experiences – you have got to check this car out. Now, admittedly I had a very brief drive in this Malibu. But, I tell you I was greatly impressed with it. I kid you not, I have not stopped thinking about it. I want to visit a Chevy store to better check it out. It is a new car I DEFINITELY would consider purchasing, based on my initial first impressions. What it was was somebody else’s rental car that I got to briefly drive. I can’t remember the last time a car impressed me this much. As Tim says, the car feels light and nimble. While I have no experience with any Mazdas, my impression was that this Malibu felt closer to a Mazda than about any other sedan. Tim seems to say something in that regard. This isn’t a car for people who merely mash the gas pedal and go until they mash on the brakes at the last second. It feels more athletic. Like I say, my initial impression is that I would like driving this car on a daily basis. I didn’t perceive any huge negatives that preclude me from considering this as a daily driver. I can’t entirely say WHY I like it so much. And, I’m almost embarrassed to admit how much I like it. For those that have been talking about it’s looks, please hold off any real judgement about this Malibu until such time as you drive one. There’s just something so very right about this car, yet I can’t exactly put my finger on it.

    I’ve followed the reviews of the Chevy Cruze since it first came out. There have been a lot of them on the road for some time now. I have a co-worker with one (which he bought new) which he let me drive not long after he got it. I’d say there has been fairly general agreement that the Cruze has been the first compact that Chevy (or GM) has gotten right. I’d apply the same “best ever” label for a GM mid-size to this new Malibu. I’m here to tell you that it is that good. It feels solid and well-made, and like an overall quality vehicle that some might think you need to buy a foreign brand (read as Japanese) to get a car this good. This is not like any Chevy you have driven in the past. For those who frequently get rentals, be sure and drive one when you get the chance.

  • avatar
    Paragon

    Truth is, as I said above, I haven’t stopped thinking about the newest Malibu. One thing I failed to mention is that I do like the looks of it. I do find it fairly attractive. Based on the new style, it at first appears as a slightly smaller Impala, which also looks fairly attractive. I have in fact visited my nearest Chevy dealer to see some more Malibus up close. Of course, I did it after the dealer was closed but when there was still daylight. Have also gone online to read other reviews and road tests.

    Now even though I am a very visual person and looks do matter to me, looks are not the most important thing as my main requirement is a competent, versatile, dependable, easy-to-live-with vehicle. Have had plenty of high-horsepower vehicles in years past; now, merely a reasonable amount of power in a car that feels balanced, handles and stops well in most all circumstances, has adequate interior and trunk space, as much all-round visibility as is possible these days, and returns decent fuel economy. Has a decent turning radius. And, the seat has to be comfortable; that is a top priority. Without a full adequate road test, my first impression was that it could meet all of my requirements, though not yet 100% sure of that. The fact that I liked it far more than I would have expected as a first impression was surprising to me. Then there was the fact I found out Tim Cain also likes it, someone who frequently has access to lots of vehicles told me that I am not alone; that I did seem to pick up on something about this latest iteration of Chevy’s generally lackluster mid-size sedan.

    Having had time to give it more thought, I’ll explain it like this. In the past 30 or so years, Honda and Toyota have made steady and gradual improvements and in the process have attracted many customers disenchanted with products from the old “Big 3.” GM, the biggest of the 3, and their best-selling division Chevy, have seemingly been very slow to fully adapt to compete nose-to-nose with their Japanese branded rivals. Despite losing market share every year to these rivals, the changes and improvements they made have seemingly failed to keep up with these aggressive competitors. There have been 3 or 4 generations of Malibu that were supposed to be improved enough to go head-to-head with these rivals, but they always fell short. Something between the design and the finished product continually fell more than a little short of their competitors. It’s like they didn’t really care enough to give it their best effort. I’m tempted to say they operated from something like the expression: close enough for government work. The last 2 generations of Malibu were finally showing some solid improvement that was finally pretty close but not quite there to best their great-selling rivals. Have had the chance to drive a 2014 Accord a bit in the past 20 months so I think I’m in a position to say I think this latest Malibu can truly go head-to-head with any comparably priced domestic or foreign brand mid-size sedan. Because like I say, while I like the looks of it, what really impressed me was my experience of a brief drive in a rental car with not many miles on it. While it’s quite different from my daily driver, it was easy to adapt to and I really like how it felt and handled. And, note that there were no perceived negatives about this all-new Malibu. As Tim says, I almost feel guilty for liking it this much. And, I can admit I’ve been driving over 40 years now. So, I’ve owned and driven a lot of cars. The revelation that EVERYTHING seems to be just right on this car (for me) is both a bit shocking and gratifying. And, since I can’t stop thinking about it, I will visit my Chevy dealer for a real test drive when time allows. Sadly, though, I’m not quite yet (financially) in the market for a new car. But, I assure you it will be one of the cars I consider when it’s time for a new one. I’ve gone one to say so much because I was genuinely impressed. I don’t know what others demand, expect or are looking for in a car. But this does seem like a very good one to me so I’m motivated to talk about it and to encourage others to check it out.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • cimarron typeR: We did a fly and drive to Chi., worked out well but we didn’t bring the kids obviously so we...
  • Secret Hi5: TTAC should reimburse the travel expenses. If not, then claim as a business-related expenses on Schedule...
  • Liam Gray: I’ve got the 1.6L in a 1st Gen Soul with the 6spd manual. It’s not winning any races, but its...
  • PrincipalDan: Shudda lubed the muffler bearings…
  • Fordson: Definitely a south Texas color combo…and yes, lots of pearl. Pretty, but does not come through in most...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States