• Sep 2nd 2007 at 3:28PM
  • 48
When news came back in May that GM would encourage Chevy dealers to have a Camry on hand for customers to compare directly to the forthcoming Malibu, we lauded the company for walking the walk. Similarly confident in the Saturn Aura, the General ran a program earlier this summer in which Aura shoppers were offered comparison drives in both the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. According to GM, the Saturn program was a success, and Aura sales rose during the promotion. Despite that, the Malibu vs. Camry deathmatch is now officially DOA.

No specific reason has been given for the change of heart. A GM spokesperson says only that "it's been off the table for quite some time" and that "it wasn't the best approach" for the Malibu. The (undoubtedly significant) costs associated placing comparison vehicles in the 4,000+ Chevy dealers was said to not be a factor in the decision.

[Source: CNNMoney]

GM still plans to promote the hell out of the Malibu. After all, it's set to begin a $100M ad blitz to launch the sedan, and you can expect the automaker to emphatically make the case that it is a better pick than the two class-leading juggernauts, Accord (also brand-spanking new for '08) and Camry.

We wonder if the Chevy program was shelved because a simple Camry vs. Malibu comparison would have been seen as showing less confidence in the product than the 3-way that Saturn dealers ran. The Saturn program's timing allowed it to pit '07 vs. '07 vs. '07, with the imports both being well-known commodities. The '08 Accord's arrival changes things, because after all, it's also brand new, and is likely to make a vastly different impression than the '07, and GM isn't about to act as a supplemental marketing arm for Honda's latest car. Sure, the General might well go ahead with a showroom throwdown between Malibu, Toyota and Honda at some point, but you can bet that no such thing will happen before GM spends some significant time with the newest Accord. Until then, shoppers will have to compare them the old-fashioned way and head to the cars' respective dealerships.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      The 2008 Honda Accord has 2.56 turns lock-to-lock. It's a huge boat, but it drives like a sports car.
      A customer that drives the Accord and Malibu back to back will be hard pressed to find why he should buy a Malibu today, except that it's cheap.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The current Camry is pretty far from what I'd call "rich" inside. In fact it seems many of Toyota's newer releases are seriously penny-pinched inside.

      If your focus is a cars interior it looks like the new Accord will be the one to beat even though it's littered with buttons everywhere.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The photos at the bottom of the gallery are actual photos from the car's release at the 2007 NAIAS. Only the ones on the top are airbrushed GM pics.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I`d love to see this car put a run on Toyota and Honda. Unfortunently I think Ford`s Fusion will hurt most from this. The Fusion is this car`s size. None of the big 3 buyers are brain washed like the Asian buyers are. Domestic buyers will cross shop having the intelligentce to know all makes today are of equill quality. Style and good dealer service is whats important now. The Malibu may hurt Ford.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ahh, I was just thinking about how these are going to look on the road. I see the new CTS' everywhere on Hall Road but not a Malibu yet. So how does it look?
      • 8 Years Ago
      That is a rather unattractive vehicle, but is downright gorgeous compared to a Camry.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm under the impression it's because the comparo tryout they did with Saturn didn't exactly pay off/work out and it wasn't worth spending the money involved in the purchase of over 4000 Camrys.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "a hit in rural communities"....
      is about correct,since we live in a rural community, here in the Midwest.
      What is "funny", 10 miles away, in "town"( 13,000+ people).. I have seen about 8 2002-2007 Hyundai Sonata's, but 1 Malibu.
      This is "GM" country(or was 5 years ago).
      I see more Fusions and Sonatas than anything in this class(or general idea) around here.
      The Sebring and Malibu are not popular right now, around here. This might become more popular, this newer version.
      As for comparisons... whatever.
      It may hurt them. I don't know.

      To me, it seems most people who go to GM dealerships... well, they don't really shop Honda/Toyota(much).
      They are there for the GM vehicle, and that's it.
      To me, it is almost like Toyota having this out at their dealerships...in hopes of conquest sales.
      It is like this, I only know of maybe 2-3 people who cross shop foreign/domestic vehicles(new).
      What they should do, in 3 years, is get a few of their older cars, and some older Camry's, and hsow how theyhold up long term vs Camry... that would be more impressive to me, than 2 new cars side-by-side, since most cars these days, brand new, are all impressive, to one degree, or another.
      It's not like 1987 anymore.
      • 8 Years Ago
      When do the new Malibu's come out? I followed one down Hall road today.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Regardless of when they come out, the car definitely looked good. I can't speak of the interior, but the exterior looked great. My wife definitely thought it looked nice. Doesn't really look like a sub 20 grand car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I dont think that the camry or the malibu can compete with the new accord. I think honda's got this one in the bag.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ivey League Educated you are soo correct. This car will be a fleet whore.

      Also I like how all the GM fanboys are completely ignoring the article and are talking about its styling instead.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Impala would be a better comparison to the Camry and Accord than the Malibu.
      The dinosaurs are the Camry and Accord. Old bloated and fat.
      The Malibu has a fit and energetic style too it.
      The Camry is the grey hair go to church on Sunday car.
      The Accord isn`t so bad but bland.
      Buick looks more youthful than a Camry. Thats saying a lot.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Comparing an Impala to an Accord. Thanks for the biggest laugh of the week. Whatever you're smokin', pass it around!
        • 8 Years Ago
        Why don`t you add Camry too? Or do you half agree with me?

        Both cars are close to Impala size. Yet I bet the Impala beats both in MPG.

        The Malibu size is what the Camry and Accord use to be.
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