It sounds like a quiet ride is an important part of the new Malibu. That's great, because one of the things I had to grudgingly admit I was impressed about with the Accord is the way the whole body seems to glide across the asphalt (or concrete 'round here) and absorb the bumps silently without creaks and groans (in a friend's car even after 5 years), the dash like a single solid unit connected to the body of the car, not something hastily bolted on. I'm glad that GM chose to focus on things like this - those "intangibles" that can make or break a car. - Ming
Malibu could be answer to Camry
August 17, 2007
BY KATIE MERX
DETROIT FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER
With the newly redesigned Chevrolet Malibu, Vice Chairman Bob Lutz says General Motors Corp. finally has the high-volume midsize sedan that can win buyers away from other models -- even the Toyota Camry.
Lutz characterizes the new Malibu's ride and handling as "silent and silky" and for somewhere in the high-teens to low-$20,000 range, it drives like something that costs $35,000 to $40,000.
The Malibu is the first high-volume Camry competitor designed under Lutz, who was hired in 2001 to rejuvenate the automaker's lineup.
"The Malibu is certainly our latest and most serious effort to do an absolutely no-excuses mid-market American sedan, with prices from high teens to low 20s," Lutz said Thursday before the Woodward Dream Cruise. "Our intention is to create a value-to-quality equation so compelling it will get some people to switch brands. The only way to get people to switch is to build a better car."
The newly redesigned Chevrolet Malibu is arguably General Motors Corp.'s most important new car launch this year, as the automaker defends its title as the world's largest against fast-growing Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp.
GM invited a small group of automotive journalists to see and drive a few early production versions of the Malibu -- and the Toyota Camry -- at the Milford Proving Grounds on Thursday to demonstrate just how confident GM executives are that they have created a car that can win buyers away from other brands, particularly sedan titans Toyota and Honda Motor Co.
GM allowed journalists the early peek at its latest sedan on the condition they not write about their driving impressions until Nov. 2, when the car is expected to hit showrooms.
Engineers and designers at the proving grounds on Thursday said they believe they have topped the Camry and Honda Accord, pointing to tighter fit and finish of the interiors; upscale materials and textures; simple sleek lines; a quiet interior; and fine-tuned stability, braking and handling systems that they believe will be considered best in class.
"I like it; it's a good-looking car," said auto analyst Kevin Tynan of Argus Research. "The biggest hurdle now is image. The Malibu has been off the radar and, if it's going to be a success, you've got to get people to consider it."
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FLASHBACK - Is 2007 (The 3rd Time) The Charm?:
'04 Malibu is a major upgrade
Nov. 8, 2003 12:00 AM
Finally, Chevrolet has a midsize sedan that can compete with the imports.
The new Malibu is a major upgrade for the formerly mundane family car. For 2004, the revamped Chevy has sharper styling and a roomier interior, plus decent driving characteristics that can be compared with Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.
Despite steering vagueness and soft suspension, Malibu drives with responsiveness and corners well. The overall effect is a balance between the desires of traditional Chevrolet buyers and the import crowd that Chevy would like to attract.
GM sets midsize hopes on Malibu
Journal Record, The (Oklahoma City),
Mar 3, 1997
by Brian S. Akre Associated Press
DETROIT -- Chevrolet, the biggest division of the world's No. 1 automaker, has lagged for years in one of the largest segments of the car market: small midsize sedans.
It's a segment long dominated by the Japanese with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Until recently, Chevy's entry against those two well-built kings of the road was the lowbrow, uninspired Corsica.
This past weekend, the General Motors Corp. division launched its television campaign to introduce what many analysts say may be GM's most important new car this decade: the Malibu . Manufactured at the GM assembly plant in Oklahoma City, Chevrolet expects it to become its top-seller. "It's positioned to get Chevrolet back into the biggest segment of the industry,"
The Malibu offers all the standard convenience features, the quiet ride and room for a family of five that midsize-import buyers have come to expect. Its clean, conservative styling with minimal chrome is reminiscent of the previous-generation Camry. Like the Camry, Accord and Nissan Altima, the Malibu doesn't draw attention to itself. Its advertising, however, draws attention to the fact that the Malibu is, above all, an American car. Its nationalistic theme: "The car you knew America could build."
The initial 60-second TV spot features fast-moving, wide-angle scenes of Americans and some of their cultural icons -- Mount Rushmore, the moon landing, Rocky Balboa. The background music is the Staple Singers' 1972 hit, I'll Take You There. The Malibu name itself is a throwback to the mid-1960s, when American cars ruled the road and Japan was a new, minor player.
The Malibu, which began arriving in showrooms earlier this year, has received good reviews from analysts and the automotive press. Analyst Jim Hall of AutoPacific Inc. said the Malibu is a far better car that he expected, given that many of its components came from previous GM car platforms.