Burlapp driving the all new Malibu!

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Well. Almost.

I am now in Memphis, invited by GM to drive the all new Malibu.
Today I am driving the “competition”, and the new Chevy tomorrow.
I will of course report on all this with pictures and videos.

Don’t by shy and ask any questions you might have about the car.
I’ll be doing the driving for you, and finding answers…

Conversation 24 comments

  1. Hey Vince,

    Just curious about the fuel economy and acceleration of the 4 cylinder with the 6 speed auto. I have a feeling that wont be there yet though. Anyway have fun.

    John M.

  2. I think they will put the 6 speed auto with the 2.4 Liter for early next year.
    I must say the car looks very nice in person. Even though the drive is tomorrow, I have seen a few driving around. And they do look very good in the street.
    They have a more upscale presence than the Camry or Accord.
    I didn’t get to sit in one yet.
    But looking in, it looks better that the pictures I posted of it on the site a few weeks ago.
    Except maybe too much of that plastic chrome trim around the dials and other places.
    But Toyota/Lexus has the same problem…

  3. I have sat in one and I must say, I was impressed, it looks more expensive than the price, and everything fits beautifully, a real quality look.

    I hope to drive one after the weekend if the dealer(a friend) will cooperate. The one I saw was black and I mean the chrome really popped, looked great.

  4. Vince … I’d be interested in knowing more about the details. What are the interior materials like. Are the seats great, average below average. Does it drive like an accord or a camry. Looking forward to hearing about it.

  5. Vince: Thanks a lot for doing this, I (and we) really appreciate the time and effort you put into the site. Also, your report will be coming just a day or two after the “road test embargo” on the new Malibu was lifted. Good timing.

  6. Burlapp, It would be nice to see some new photos of you, especially behind the wheel.
    That would be very cool!

  7. VINCE!!!
    All I want to know are TWO things when you get into the Malibu…

    1- How are the seats?
    2- How is the electric steering compared to the hydralic (base vs v-6 model)

    thanks vince!! 🙂

  8. OK.. So far here is what I’ve got:
    -No Malibu SS is plane
    -No other body type is planed (Like a wagon or coupe)
    -The interior looks great in some color combo. I sat in the tan/brown leather interior that has a bit of wood trim and the darker metal and it looks great. Much better than the plain grey with lighter metalic trim.
    Doors seem very solid when you close them. Much better than the Aura.
    -There is quite a bit of hard plastic in some areas, but there is a lot of hard plastic in the new Accord as well.
    -The car looks very substancial and expensive in real life. Less plain than Accord and Camry.
    I must say, the Accord just looks plain weird from some angles.
    -I had a long talk with the main designer. Report on this later.

    I will report on the actual drive very soon.

  9. I almost forgot,
    the 6 speed auto should be available next sring on the 2.4 Liter base engine.
    But it will be available for a drive tomorrow.
    The Hybrid verion only gets 2mpg more than the regular 2.4 Liter with the 4 speed.
    I guess the 6 speed could make the hybrid almost obsolete.
    The Hybrid is $1800 more than the base engine. But it gets a $1300tax credit. So you actually pay $500 to get a 2mpg advantage…

    Not too sure that’s a good deal

    V6 is rated at 17 city and 26HYW.(new 2008 ratings)
    Not that amazing.

  10. Mr Vince Burlapp(our best friend) said:
    “V6 is rated at 17 city and 26HYW.(new 2008 ratings)
    Not that amazing.

    November 2, 2007 9:35 PM
    I agree.
    The Accord gets what, around 30, so does Sonata, Camry?
    It looks nice. But my experience of 3 years with Chevy dealerships was 5 bad, 2 tolerable.
    Bad outweighed the good= No Sale.
    After sales serivce, etc,was very horrible.
    They told me one time(we had a Spectrum/Isuzu I-Mark….1987 model)… “We can’t scan the code in the computer, you have to go find an Isuzu dealership!” (right! whatever!).
    I told them no, I am dumping this junker, and buying a Sentra(90 model), instead, and that was the last time I went to a Chevy dealership. Never heard such nonsense. Do they tell Aveo customers” we can’t scan the Aveo, you gotta find a Daewoo dealership to scope/scan it properly”? whatever.
    Still, I am looking forward to your test drive, out of curiosity.

  11. Yes, they did pay for the whole trip.
    And I really think most dealers suck no matter what the brand is.
    I know it is a big problem as well for Honda and Toyota.

  12. Vince,
    I’d be more interested in hearing about the convo with Chevy Design. In the past, they’ve had to pick up bits and pieces and try to make them fit into the brand. Will they now try to go the way of Saturn?… a consistent design language and standard across the product range.

  13. Rock on Vince!

    I had a feeling the 4 cylinder with 6 speed auto would have mpg close to the hybrid rendering the CURRENT hybrid obsolete. Now I’m just wondering how it accelerates compared with the V6. I know the 4 cyl will be slower, but if the 4 cyl goes to 60 in the mid sevens and the V6 does it in the mid sixes and the mpg with the 4cyl/6spd auto is about as good as the hybrid, well to me then the 4cyl/6spd auto is the one to get because it will also be about $1500 cheaper than both the V6 and hybrid options, before any tax breaks of course.

    Thanks for the great work Vince.

    John M.

    P.S. Vince…how does the new Malibu compare to the Aura? I said it before…the Malibu is going to be the Aura’s biggest competition.

  14. Eagerly await your test drive–especially if you can compare the 4 and 6 cylinder models with their various automatic transmissions.

    Driving characteristics compared with Accord and Camry important, too.

    My guess is that the new Malibu will be a much better car than the old one, but not quite a match for the Accord or Camry.

  15. Vince Burlapp said…
    Yes, they did pay for the whole trip.
    And I really think most dealers suck no matter what the brand is.
    I know it is a big problem as well for Honda and Toyota.

    November 3, 2007 5:10 AM —————————————same guy who complained about the Spectrum/Chevy treatment….

    Vince, yeah… we have owned, in 20+ years, new…. Chevy, Nissan, Hyundai, and Scion(Toyota) cars.

    Nissan was mixed…but nothing liek chevy.
    Hyundai? One palce had bad mechanics…since I had to go back 2times to fix one thing(they were “nice” about it, on my 99 Sonata, but about as dumb as dirt),
    Toyota…… the 3 I have went to, for tune up, oil change, etc.. were good, in general, but pricey,vs Hyundai, Nissan, for service/parts.
    Also, the sales staff/personel, about as friendly as a tiger with a toothache. They don’t speak to you, nothing, unless they are selling you soemthing(Hyundai, at least, the serivce guys tell you what’s up, talk to you some…and sales staff know you are in for tune up for 2-3 hours, if they have a slwo time, will stop by the lounge and chat 4-5 minutes, for “show”).

    Yeah, most are not very good.
    Most are tolerable.
    To me, chevy was “crooked or stupid, or both” in the way they did things for us.
    Hyundai, 1 out of 4 was , well, the mechanics were dumber than the wrenches they used.

    Nissan? Usually ok, but not very with it sometimes when ordering parts, get wrong parts in, etc.

    So, I dunno…. they are all messed up, as you stated, but Chevy (maybe tied with Honda?) as “Smug”( buy it, or leave, we don’t care, we’ll sell it no matter what)….and Chevy with the service…. not cool.

    I did drive by my local chevy dealership out here in Ohio, and Nothing on the lot yet.
    They were having some kind of 1-2K off of different cars, like 1K off Aveo,2K off Cobalt, and 2-3 K off of the few 07 Malibus.
    Maybe next time.

    I might give them a chance, but mpg is still kinda low, unless it gets better than EPA says.

  16. Vince, I am interested in your opinion as to how it drives compared to the 2008 V6 Accord and the 2007 Camry V6 SE. Driving it and not comparing it to some type of standard will not be very helpful. Thanks.

  17. No crossover Equinox replacement based on this platform? no coupe? Bring back the Beretta!!
    Even Nissan has a coupe out.

  18. Inside Line pretty much raved about the Malibu. But in spite of the Malibu’s “poised and confidence-inspiring” handling, they said that both the electric and hydraulic steering systems aren’t very good. They also commented that it’s odd to not have a nav system available. After having had a navigation system for years, not offering one would be a deal breaker for me. But I have to say that I’m shocked that that is all they found wrong with the new Malibu, and the positive comments seemed like genuine enthusaiasm. I think that Chevy has come out fighting this time. This car looks really good.

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