Let's be honest, the Malibu has been an "also ran" for a while. The 2008 was a huge leap in terms of build quality and overall design, however, the 2013 was a genuine punt at best. With such cars like the 2014 Impala and the Cruze, it makes me rather perplexed why the Malibu has been neglected for so long. It's like GM can only focus on one model per division at a time. Well, the time has come for a new, exciting, world beating Malibu. I hope. I'm excited, and here's why.
The "Teaser" Image
This process of revealing pieces, grainy images and other nondescript details bits at a time has to go. It's frustrating. Not only as a potential consumer, but also as a dealership employee. It doesn't build excitement for me, only frustration that I can't see the rest. However, this time, I am genuinely intrigued by the above teaser. The profile of the new Malibu looks to be very promising. There is a lot of potential Impala influence in that profile and the Impala is a vehicle I would buy, hands down, right now. But the mileage is not great.
It has been reported that the Malibu could crack 45 MPG combined with a full hybrid setup with bits taken from the Volt. The Volt has a proven and excellent power train and implementing elements from it on other vehicles is smart. Both from a cost point and obviously potentially beneficial to the customer for mileage. I will be watching this and the base, gas only model very carefully. I have been looking for something in the Chevrolet lineup (I work at a Chevrolet dealer GM's are my thing) that I can replace my Cruze (that I love) with. The Cruze is a great car, however, it's small. And the next generation pics that I have seen thus far do not impress me.
Sorry man, I'm just not that into you. (I know it's the Chinese version but it will be pretty close to this.)
Overall, I am desperately hoping that Chevrolet can build me a downsized Impala that drives just as solid, yet handles a good bit better. One can dream. The current Malibu has nice enough interior materials (though design could use a little less upright) but it's just a let down in a lot of ways. For example, the Cruze has contrasting colors/textures that continue to the back seats. The Malibu carves corners (and not in a fun way) and ditches the contrasting colors in the back seat above the elbow height. How much could that have possibly saved?
Pictured is a Cruze LS. Base model and the interior looks better than the Malibu.
The bottom line here is that where the Impala knocked the ball out of the park and the Cruze is still a competent, high quality ride, I'm expecting (maybe foolishly) big things from the Malibu. I'm excited. I want to be excited. Don't disappoint me, Chevy.