USA Today - Test Drive: Malibu turbo has features done right

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Thread: USA Today - Test Drive: Malibu turbo has features done right

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    USA Today - Test Drive: Malibu turbo has features done right

    Malibu's 2-liter turbo engine is icing on a very tasty cake.

    Overall: Thoughtful, classy; solid contender.

    full article at link
    - http://usat.ly/RXRSzl

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    Re: USA Today - Test Drive: Malibu turbo has features done right

    Quote Originally Posted by jas0707 View Post
    Malibu's 2-liter turbo engine is icing on a very tasty cake.

    Overall: Thoughtful, classy; solid contender.

    full article at link
    - http://usat.ly/RXRSzl
    Typical review of a single car that will get slaughtered in a comparison. "Overall, a solid contender". Read: a little below average with no shot at the title. These single car reviews almost always present any vehicle well.

    Here's a thought however...you can get an A4 for about the same as a loaded 2.0T Malibu and it has essentially the same engine with a better transmission, is slightly faster, gets much better fuel economy, 24/32 vs 21/30.

    As the new Malibu sacrifices family car status with the smaller backseat, a loss of another inch in the Audi isn't a big deal as the Malibu is the wrong choice for anything but occasional backseat use. To me, you'd have to be a fool to spend 33K on a Malibu.

    And that's the issue, $/space the Malibu is the most expensive in the class - getting close to entry level luxury cars in top trims. An Accord V6 does not have that issue against an A4 - it presents a very compelling case - similar mileage, performance, significantly larger, and cheaper.

    I'm at a total loss as to why Chevrolet is moving to the most expensive in the class for the space! How is that value? Quiet? Isn't that Buick's area? What is the point of a Regal?

    I'm guessing 4-5K on the hood of a upper trim Malibu to move them, 2-3K on the lower trims (which I understand some dealers are doing right now) The Accord V6 will sell for near sticker.

    Another example - the difference between an LTZ FWD Equinox and a top tier Malibu - feature for feature as best I could, was just under 2K with a 300hp V6 vs the turbo. (about 32 and change vs 34 and change) What??? The Equinox will have space advantages over the Impala - let alone the Malibu. Maybe that's why Equinoxes fly off the lot.
    Last edited by goblue; 12-30-2012 at 10:02 AM.
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    Re: USA Today - Test Drive: Malibu turbo has features done right

    The 2013 Malibu as now configured would have made a good offering if it had come to market in 2010, yet, it didn't. GM's bankruptcy intervened and pushed it back 2 years.
    In the last 2 year meantime, new strong competitors came out that relegated the Malibu to a mid-pack offering instead of class-leading.
    The Malibu issues have been discussed ad nauseum, yet the fact remains that the Malibu is perceived to be less car than before with its smaller backseat legroom. And it is afflicted by the same GM over-pricing to the tune of $2,000 to $3,000 per vehicle. Adding better engines doesn't correct the flaws and issues with Malibu.

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    Re: USA Today - Test Drive: Malibu turbo has features done right

    I agree goblue.

    Looked at in a vacuum, the Malibu is a nice car. It just doesn't stand up well in comparison, despite how much many of it's staunch defenders on here will protest. It has less interior room, the MPG is middling at best, the performance is nothing special. And it's often more expensive that it's competitors!

    I don't agree with a lot of the criticism of the interior. Overall, I think the Malibu interior is very nice.

    Personally, the looks of the car have grown on me. I didn't like it at first, but now I've come to find the car quite attractive. Being single, the lack of back seat room wouldn't concern me and wouldn't deter me from buying it were I so inclined. But for people who have families, there are simply better choices based on a lot of criteria.
    Drives a 2011 CTS Coupe (crystal red tincoat) and a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk (mango tango pearlcoat).

    Used to drive the 2010 Camaro pictured, until a deer hopped in front of me on I-79. Before that, I had a CTS sedan, two Firebird Formulas, a convertible Trans Am, a Reatta, a couple of Monte Carlos, an Avenger coupe, a couple of Cavalier hatchbacks, and a Saturn coupe.

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    Re: USA Today - Test Drive: Malibu turbo has features done right

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Show-Me View Post
    The 2013 Malibu as now configured would have made a good offering if it had come to market in 2010, yet, it didn't. GM's bankruptcy intervened and pushed it back 2 years.
    In the last 2 year meantime, new strong competitors came out that relegated the Malibu to a mid-pack offering instead of class-leading.
    The Malibu issues have been discussed ad nauseum, yet the fact remains that the Malibu is perceived to be less car than before with its smaller backseat legroom. And it is afflicted by the same GM over-pricing to the tune of $2,000 to $3,000 per vehicle. Adding better engines doesn't correct the flaws and issues with Malibu.
    Did it get pushed back 2 years by the bankruptcy? The prior Malibu debuted in 2008 right? That seems like a normal product lifecycle that wasn't impacted by the bankruptcy.

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    Re: USA Today - Test Drive: Malibu turbo has features done right

    Quote Originally Posted by ksr View Post
    I agree goblue.

    Looked at in a vacuum, the Malibu is a nice car. It just doesn't stand up well in comparison, despite how much many of it's staunch defenders on here will protest. It has less interior room, the MPG is middling at best, the performance is nothing special. And it's often more expensive that it's competitors!

    I don't agree with a lot of the criticism of the interior. Overall, I think the Malibu interior is very nice.

    Personally, the looks of the car have grown on me. I didn't like it at first, but now I've come to find the car quite attractive. Being single, the lack of back seat room wouldn't concern me and wouldn't deter me from buying it were I so inclined. But for people who have families, there are simply better choices based on a lot of criteria.
    Agree. I like the interior - its high styled with nice materials, its best in class in quiet-tuning, has a great ride / handling balance. But aren't those traits that belong with a Buick? Anything in the class will be quieter than the car 5 year old car the purchaser is moving up from. Does a Chevrolet buyer cross-shopping with a Camry really care if its 2 decibels quieter? The Accord is downright loud compared to a Malibu and it will outsell it in droves.

    For Chevrolet, I'd like to see great passenger and trunk space for the money, at least average MPG for the performance, and sacrifice the double laminated glass for a little less money - save that stuff for Buick. In short, I'd like to see value from chevrolet. Not entry level luxury cars for a few thousand less.
    VOLTEC is the future of everything automotive.
    A plug in Prius is not the same as a VOLT.
    No longer do you have to buy the worst in class car for the best MPG.
    The Prius is now irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by John1701a View Post
    VOLT USES LESS GAS

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    Re: USA Today - Test Drive: Malibu turbo has features done right

    Quote Originally Posted by goblue View Post
    Agree. I like the interior - its high styled with nice materials, its best in class in quiet-tuning, has a great ride / handling balance. But aren't those traits that belong with a Buick? Anything in the class will be quieter than the car 5 year old car the purchaser is moving up from. Does a Chevrolet buyer cross-shopping with a Camry really care if its 2 decibels quieter? The Accord is downright loud compared to a Malibu and it will outsell it in droves.

    For Chevrolet, I'd like to see great passenger and trunk space for the money, at least average MPG for the performance, and sacrifice the double laminated glass for a little less money - save that stuff for Buick. In short, I'd like to see value from chevrolet. Not entry level luxury cars for a few thousand less.
    I agree with everything you and ksr have said... On its own, the Malibu is a great car, but from a competitive sales perspective, it's a nightmare. The biggest problem is that Chevrolet is already playing from behind, meaning they really had to "wow" mid-size shoppers to get noticed. The quiet, composed ride of the Malibu is fantastic. It deserves all the compliments it receives for it. Unfortunately, that quiet, composed ride is not something that can be measured via the internet (like fuel economy, pricing), which is the tool more and more shoppers are using.

    The Malibu simply wasn't on the list of many mid-size buyers coming in to this generation. It was going to take a big leap, not a modest step-over, for the Malibu to get noticed. Although a nice car on its own, it's nowhere near the bombshell it needed to be to find its way onto the shopping lists of a majority of mid-size buyers. As stated previously, its fuel economy is mid-pack, it's pricing climbs very rapidly so it's not for the "value" shopper, and it has rather vanilla styling... Not bad, but it certainly isn't going to draw attention like the aforementioned Hyundai/Kia twins... So what does that leave? The GM owners/shoppers who are now used to getting a big discount on their cars. That's the real problem. GM needed to grow in this segment, but in reality they may actually take a step backwards saleswise.

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    Re: USA Today - Test Drive: Malibu turbo has features done right

    GM in in the midst of adjusting its sedan strategy. The Malibu was its best 'family car' and the Impala was its best bang-for-buck family sedan/fleet car. The new Impala appears to compete now on design, features and room -- areas where the old Malibu excelled. Plus, the Cruze is a decent sized compact, giving Chevy buyers the choice of a cheaper car with less room than the Malibu or a more expensive car with more room. This I'm guessing will hurt Malibu volumes, but make Chevy's overall offering a lot more compelling.

    The trick is how to position the Malibu. With the launch of the Eco, Chevy went after the fuel economy angle that had worked reasonably well at Buick when the e-Assist became standard on the LaCrosse. That might have worked if the Malibu fuel economy seemed as impressive in its class as the LaCrosses was. Unfortunately, it wasn't. Chevy still seems to be struggling a bit to adjust the positioning. I suspect the early MCE will be an opportunity to reposition the car properly.

    We are all familiar with the Malibu's weaknesses, but it does have some strengths. The basic platform is competent, if heavy, and capable of a solid ride/handling trade off -- it does appear to need to be retuned a bit in this application. Taste is a personal preference, but to my eyes it is a handsome car that will likely age better than the Fusion if the Focus and Cruze are anything to go by. It may not lead class fuel economy, but GM does have powertrains coming (1.6T, perhaps an improved e-Assist) with the potential to address this weakness.

    The Malibu got off to a weak start and isn't, right now, the most compelling car in its class. I do think with some thougb to its place in the Cruze/Malibu/Impala line up and some careful updates/improvements, a lot of this can be addressed.

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    Re: USA Today - Test Drive: Malibu turbo has features done right

    Quote Originally Posted by Tone View Post
    GM in in the midst of adjusting its sedan strategy. The Malibu was its best 'family car' and the Impala was its best bang-for-buck family sedan/fleet car. The new Impala appears to compete now on design, features and room -- areas where the old Malibu excelled. Plus, the Cruze is a decent sized compact, giving Chevy buyers the choice of a cheaper car with less room than the Malibu or a more expensive car with more room. This I'm guessing will hurt Malibu volumes, but make Chevy's overall offering a lot more compelling.

    The trick is how to position the Malibu. With the launch of the Eco, Chevy went after the fuel economy angle that had worked reasonably well at Buick when the e-Assist became standard on the LaCrosse. That might have worked if the Malibu fuel economy seemed as impressive in its class as the LaCrosses was. Unfortunately, it wasn't. Chevy still seems to be struggling a bit to adjust the positioning. I suspect the early MCE will be an opportunity to reposition the car properly.

    We are all familiar with the Malibu's weaknesses, but it does have some strengths. The basic platform is competent, if heavy, and capable of a solid ride/handling trade off -- it does appear to need to be retuned a bit in this application. Taste is a personal preference, but to my eyes it is a handsome car that will likely age better than the Fusion if the Focus and Cruze are anything to go by. It may not lead class fuel economy, but GM does have powertrains coming (1.6T, perhaps an improved e-Assist) with the potential to address this weakness.

    The Malibu got off to a weak start and isn't, right now, the most compelling car in its class. I do think with some thougb to its place in the Cruze/Malibu/Impala line up and some careful updates/improvements, a lot of this can be addressed.
    Agree completely - you've identified the problem. The issue is that the answer is something few want that is wholly addressed by Buick.

    First, there's not many buyers who want this size. It's got a backseat that's great for occasional use, but not large enough for everyday use (at least in this market where crossovers and large sedans are de rigeur for family duties) A Cruze has a backseat that fits that bill as well. Perfect to toss the bag or pile 4 in for a 10 min drive to lunch. Pick up a child when the other parent is out with the rest in a minivan.

    For a daily driver with little backseat use, it's a great size, but smaller works just as well. Hence why only the Europeans go down this road. In their market, this size is a family car - aka Jetta and they make do. Notice the other American manufacturers and Japanese just have two offerings. You could argue Toyota has 3 - but notice they don't sacrifice the Camry for the Avalon.

    So, what GM is asking is Americans to pay more for less space and pay more for gas to move more weight so they can have a premium experience (which it is). That's an entry level luxury car. That's not how most buyers think - but its exactly what should get someone to a Buick showroom so they can get 80% of that experience for 50% of the price increase. That's what the Malibu represents. It's the perfect Buick.

    Again, the new Malibu is the answer to a question no Chevrolet buyer was asking.
    Last edited by goblue; 12-30-2012 at 11:56 AM.
    VOLTEC is the future of everything automotive.
    A plug in Prius is not the same as a VOLT.
    No longer do you have to buy the worst in class car for the best MPG.
    The Prius is now irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by John1701a View Post
    VOLT USES LESS GAS

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    Re: USA Today - Test Drive: Malibu turbo has features done right

    I think with a little discounting the Malibu will do well; "well" meaning on par with the old Malibu.

    In typical GM fashion, I'm looking to the next generation. Has anyone heard anything about the next generation Epsilon platform? Will it be able to be built wider for the USA vs the narrower to accomodate for the old world? And of course longer for more rear seat room?

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    Re: USA Today - Test Drive: Malibu turbo has features done right

    I think that GM may suffer from what I will call the "Sloan Syndrome." That is, a belief that GM so owns the market, so commands the market, that they set the parameters of each category in which they compete. When GM sold half of the US market, they were able to dictate terms. Along with that, the belief that you can make the buyer move up to a more expensive GM car by leaving things out what the buyer wants and that they might otherwise buy.
    Need more room? By the next-size up car. Need a nicer interior? Move up to an LTZ, or to a Buick or a Cadillac. Want better economy? Pay extra for an Eco model. This stair-step approach assumes that you own the buyer, and that he will move up with your cars.
    Yet the market has changed. There are far more competitors, who offer better fuel economy, better performance, longer better warranties, more advanced engineering, and better value. If a buyer doesn't feel that GM offers what he wants and can afford, he can and does look elsewhere, whether it is Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, BMW, MB or Hyundai/Kia, or others.
    This is where the "Sloan Syndrome" hurts GM: the buyer doesn't move up, he simply moves OUT to a different vehicle from a different company. And if he is satisfied with his new vehicle, he doesn't come back.
    I think the Malibu is squeezed by the Cruze and Impala, just like what is happening with Verano and Regal, in which the smaller car fits kids in back, but not adults very easily. Small kids fit just fine.
    The Impala fits small kids, big kids and adults in the rearseat. But the Malibu? It isn't as roomy as the Impala, and just slightly more roomy than the Cruze. Worse to me, it looks like GM shrunk the Malibu to push people into the Impala as part of their stair-step Sloan thinking. If it doesn't work, the buyer is gone, gone, gone.
    And pricing - GM has to re-establish itself as a premium brand and best choice before it asks for premium prices, and to me, it's not there yet, but the prices ARE.
    So the Malibu is a good choice among many choices out there, but certainly not the value proposition that a Chevrolet should be.

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    Re: USA Today - Test Drive: Malibu turbo has features done right

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Show-Me View Post
    I think that GM may suffer from what I will call the "Sloan Syndrome." That is, a belief that GM so owns the market, so commands the market, that they set the parameters of each category in which they compete. When GM sold half of the US market, they were able to dictate terms. Along with that, the belief that you can make the buyer move up to a more expensive GM car by leaving things out what the buyer wants and that they might otherwise buy.
    Need more room? By the next-size up car. Need a nicer interior? Move up to an LTZ, or to a Buick or a Cadillac. Want better economy? Pay extra for an Eco model. This stair-step approach assumes that you own the buyer, and that he will move up with your cars.
    Yet the market has changed. There are far more competitors, who offer better fuel economy, better performance, longer better warranties, more advanced engineering, and better value. If a buyer doesn't feel that GM offers what he wants and can afford, he can and does look elsewhere, whether it is Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, BMW, MB or Hyundai/Kia, or others.
    This is where the "Sloan Syndrome" hurts GM: the buyer doesn't move up, he simply moves OUT to a different vehicle from a different company. And if he is satisfied with his new vehicle, he doesn't come back.
    I think the Malibu is squeezed by the Cruze and Impala, just like what is happening with Verano and Regal, in which the smaller car fits kids in back, but not adults very easily. Small kids fit just fine.
    The Impala fits small kids, big kids and adults in the rearseat. But the Malibu? It isn't as roomy as the Impala, and just slightly more roomy than the Cruze. Worse to me, it looks like GM shrunk the Malibu to push people into the Impala as part of their stair-step Sloan thinking. If it doesn't work, the buyer is gone, gone, gone.
    And pricing - GM has to re-establish itself as a premium brand and best choice before it asks for premium prices, and to me, it's not there yet, but the prices ARE.
    So the Malibu is a good choice among many choices out there, but certainly not the value proposition that a Chevrolet should be.
    Tone defined the problem. You defined why GM felt what they were doing wasn't a problem at all.
    VOLTEC is the future of everything automotive.
    A plug in Prius is not the same as a VOLT.
    No longer do you have to buy the worst in class car for the best MPG.
    The Prius is now irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by John1701a View Post
    VOLT USES LESS GAS

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    Re: USA Today - Test Drive: Malibu turbo has features done right

    I could really like the Malibu if it weren't for that interior.

    The previous Malibu was extremely good looking on the outside, and was incredible compared to the '04-'07 Malibu on the inside.

    I think the last Malibu was so good that GM somewhat failed on making an improvement. There is no excuse for not having the 3.6 under the hood (of course then we would argue that the Regal should have it). In fact, I bet the 3.0L would do fine in this size car.
    Regal:
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    Re: USA Today - Test Drive: Malibu turbo has features done right

    This car can't catch a break with GMI, lol. Some of you (Goblue) just like to say the same thing over and over and over again in every Malibu thread. We get it.

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    Re: USA Today - Test Drive: Malibu turbo has features done right

    Unlike most I think the Malibu is the perfect midsize car. If you move the Passat (which I drive) and Accord to the full size ranks the Malibu looks way more competent now. GM is behind the curve when it comes to readjusting the 3 Chevy sedans because of the larger midsize sedans.


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