You know how I often proclaim my love of Clinton-era American full-size sedans?
So Honda is paying for a long-term rental/loaner for me while my ‘08 CRV awaits its new airbags. Being that I loathe the CRV I was generally enthusiastiac about any car they saw fit to give me.
Well, it’s a 2015 Chevrolet Malibu LT1.
And I don’t hate it.
In fact... I sorta like it. The damn thing is comfortable. The interior is understated but definitely not badly executed. It’s more or less handsome, with classic 3-box sedan lines that aren’t overstyled or that overmatch the demeanor of the car itself (I’m looking at you Ford Fusion). The Chevy infotainment system is easy to use, with real buttons in easy to find locations. It handles well. It has a heft that I like, and without being cumbersome in that traditional American sedan way. It feels substantial. And even the base 2.0 Ecotec is fine, with its near enough to 200bbhp to call it a 200bhp engine. I’m not a huge fan ofthe 6-speed autobox, but it’s far smoother and more nimble than the 5-speed in the CRV. My only gripe is really the back seat, which due to the relatively short wheelbase is somewhat compromised for a pair of kids carseats.
Anyway, it’s not a bad car. At all. On the whole I’d still rather have a Mazda6, but compared to the Accord, Camry, Fusion, and Sonata/Optima I can’t see much to separate them. SOmetimes we enthusiast types get too far up our own asses to recognize that for 90% of our seat time all we want is comfort, ease of use, and reliability, especially if we’re urban commuters. I have no problem saying GM is making a pretty decent family sedan that you as a family oriented consumer who is OK with compromising some sportiness for the above attributes should at least not dismiss out of hand. Give it a drive.
And bear in mind this is the 2015 Malibu and not the totatally new 2016 model. Which I personally think is a damn fine looking car that is reportedly a few notches better than the one I’m driving.
Apologies to those who are offended by this opinion.