2016 Malibu to repent for sins of the past
It’s no question that the current generation Chevrolet Malibu has been something of a failure to launch, posting declining sales figures even as a car-hungry public mobs dealerships in search of new rides.
Even with a name as recognizable as they come, Chevrolet hasn’t seen the same success with the Malibu that almost every other mass-produced midsize on the market has as of late. Sales of the Malibu have dropped since its 2013 model year introduction, despite an emergency styling refresh for 2014.
This is something of a fluke for a model that is normally quite consistent in sales, and it seems to have jarred the folks over at General Motors.
Heading towards the April 1 unveiling of the all-new 2016 Malibu at the New York Auto Show, GM appears ready to try and win back lost ground with their bread-and-butter midsize, even going as far as releasing a teaser video featuring a camouflaged test vehicle undergoing a torture test.
It’s hard to see under all the wrappings, but GM states the new ‘Bu will be based on all-new architecture, feature four extra inches of wheelbase (translating into better rear legroom and interior volume), and tempt buyers with a sleeker roofline and profile.
About 300 pounds lighter than the current model, the slimmed-down 2016 Malibu promises to make mileage gains from its 2.0 and 2.5-litre four-bangers.
All of these changes are in response to criticisms of the 2013-2015 model, which was either too cramped, too heavy, too bland or too thirsty, depending on who wrote the review.
To show prospective customers that the Ninth Generation Malibu will be Like a Rock as well as Tried, Tested and True, Chevy claims that 43 years of data collected from their car’s onboard spy modules went into the development of the new sedan.
This information, sourced from the Nixon era onwards, supposedly helps Chevy determine how to plan for – and prevent – vehicle wear.
Will the new Malibu wear on people’s patience, or return the model name to prominence? We’ll find out once it goes on sale in the fall of this year.