When Chevy debuted the 2014 Malibu, I pointed out that looked like GM had done nothing to fix the soul-crushing mediocrity of the last version. Now real-world reviews are coming out and it looks like the car is as bad as you'd thought it'd be.
The review in question comes from The Truth About Cars, which didn't get a press car to review. Their editor Jack Baruth tried out a real-world rental car, in Eco trim.
Baruth called it the worst car he'd driven all year.
Problems ranged from the soul-rattling stop/start system
Most of the time, coming to a halt in the 'Bu will cause the engine to fall dead and the tach needle to fall to "auto stop". So far so good and other than a discernible drop in the efficacy of the A/C there's not much about which you could complain. Release the brakes and the engine immediately spins up and delivers power, and off you go.
That's how it works in other cars.
In the Malibu it goes WHIRRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEAAARRRRRRRRGH and the engine reluctantly coughs into life like a freakin' 1982 Citation Iron Duke and the car briefly shudders with the violence of it and THEN the car moves forward. It's easily the least confidence-inspiring powertrain I've experienced in a post-Millennium automobile.
to the interior lighting
Things don't improve once you get inside, particularly at night, where the trademark "GM Aqua LCD" color is extended to some, ahem, mood lighting. The General's managed to do something unprecedented in human history: they've managed to make a
The engine has to wheeze to just meet the fuel economy numbers set by its competition, the seats are bad, the trunk is disappointing, the brakes are touchy.
My coworker Aaron Foley is currently in the middle of a week-long review of a new Malibu, and he'll be able to give an official Jalopnik report when he's done. That should confirm or deny TTAC'sreview.
If you've driven one of these facelifted Malibus, let me know if you think TTAC is off base. If what Baruth says is true, then this midsize Chevy really is the sad, mediocre, knife-to-a-gunfight POS it looked like from the start.
Photo Credit: GM