The Malibu is a car that really doesn’t appeal to a lot of people. It lacks the pizazz that some competitors bring to the table, and Chevrolet knows it. Even though the midsize sedan was redesigned just three years ago, the automaker is looking at working over the model once again, promising something “dramatic” in about a year.
Even though the Malibu was admittedly improved for the 2013 model year, it has been hemorrhaging sales and losing ground in the highly competitive midsize sedan segment. Just in 2014, sales have dipped 7 percent, while the rest of the models in the top 8 for the segment have reported sales gains. Even the Kia Optima and Chrysler 200 are becoming real threats.
So be prepared for a new generation of the Malibu way ahead of schedule. Not only is GM promising a dramatic design, it also says the new Malibu will bring it when it comes to cutting-edge technology. Likely that doesn’t mean the car will feature the Performance Data Recorder from the Corvette, because that would be a serious waste, unless a V-8 were dropped in the car, and that’s probably not even close to what is in store.
Admittedly, even though the current Malibu is an improvement over the previous generation, there wasn’t really anywhere for the car to go but up. The design is still pretty forgettable, which is a bad position to be in when the Korean brands and even Toyota is turning up the heat in an attempt to offer at least the illusion of excitement. When was the last time you saw a Chevy Malibu commercial where the thing was whipping around on a rollercoaster-like track and customers were talking about it being “grounded to the ground”? Exactly.
In the meantime, everyone can sit and wonder if GM will produce another dud or something that people will actually want to drive, not be forced to use as a rental car.