The Detroit Free Press raises the interesting question of whether or not the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu can restore Chevrolet’s status in the mid-sized sedan market. While the 2008 Malibu had been a great eye opener that American brands can take it to the long-dominated Japanese brands in the segment, the 2013-15 Malibu has been trumped by competitors, and didn’t grow in capabilities as much as the other makes and models. Phelan hits the nail on the head in saying that the reason for this diminished success is the fact that there wasn’t anything special about the previous Malibu. For instance, this comparison shows that the outgoing Malibu falls short in three out of four categories when compared to the current Nissan Altima.
While the 2016 Malibu won’t launch tomorrow morning, we’re anticipating the car to gain on some lost ground over the the previous model. Most will agree that the looks of this new one stands out more than the outgoing model, with some angles resembling a spaceship instead of an automobile. That alone should help garner attention for some added dealership foot traffic.
Meanwhile the 2016 Malibu should be a much better riding experience than any prior mid-size sedan from Chevrolet thanks to the extended wheelbase, creature comforts and added technologies. But the new ‘Bu isn’t just about handsome looks and next-gen auto tech. Some weight has been cut from the sedan, and the base model, which utilizes a new 1.5L four-cylinder engine, has the second-best fuel rating in its class at 37 miles per gallon. And that’s not even talking about the hybrid model.