We often comment that the automobile industry, as a whole, does a decent job building cars these days – today's new vehicles are much better than they were even five years ago, and every subsequent generation seems to improve on its predecessor. Yet despite the forward progress as evident by the current crop, an oddity always seems to creep into the mix. Enter the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco.

As Alex Taylor III points out in Fortune, the new Malibu Eco has been taking its fair amount of guff these days over its cramped rear seats, unimpressive fuel economy and lackluster driving dynamics. It has earned, what Taylor calls, the "most disliked car of the year (so far)" title. The unflattering label is admittedly based purely on the author's overview of the vehicle's reception among the media thus far, but there's probably something to his thoughts. The mild-hybrid Chevrolet left us scratching our heads when we compared it to the brand's own Cruze Eco in our review, a car that is actually larger in many dimensions while being far less expensive.

Those on our staff who have driven the Malibu Eco have come away disappointed with the car's handling, fuel economy, tight rear quarters and pricing, but "most disliked" is strong language. We can't help but wonder how the car might have faired if General Motors hadn't rushed to pull production ahead, in the process only making the Eco available instead of a full range of models (we hear there was an engine capacity problem that forced GM's hand).

Is Taylor's label fair? What do you think your "most disliked" new car or truck of 2013 is? Have your say in Comments.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 168 Comments
      ClementZ
      • 2 Years Ago
      wait what...? The Cruze's interior is only a single cubic foot smaller than the Malibu on the inside? What the hell?
      Autoblogist
      • 2 Years Ago
      It damn sure seems like it from all the reviews, including AB's own. First it was the redesign and now it's the dynamics. Withe Altima out and new Fusion and Madza6 on the way, I'd wouldn't even look in the Malibu's direction unless there were some heavy incentives. Damn shame, because I loved the looks of the last gen.
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Autoblogist
        The incentives wouldn't even do anything for me. The new Malibu will inevitably be dumped on fleets and that will kill the resale value. No incentive makes up for that.
          Yeah yeah
          • 2 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          Resale value is no big deal if you are keeping the car a long time. What's the difference in value between a 10 year old Malibu with 150K and a 10 year old, say, Accord with 150k. $1000-$1500 maybe? An incentive could certainly make up for that. (Not that I want a Malibu, but resale value is the least of my concerns)
        QCRamAir
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Autoblogist
        Agreed with your last statement. The previous-gen Malibu was such a turn-around for the model, and was such a good car itself, especially its looks. This new one, even just looking at it, seems completely forgettable. Every time I see a new one, all it does it make me think of how nice the OLD one was. And THAT'S not a good thing.
      FoxJ30
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't get how GM is able to fall down so consistently in the basic midsize category. The first generation modern Malibu was cheap and boring, the second generation just disappeared, and now the fourth generation is getting panned all around. The third generation seemed to be a bit of a fluke - while not class leading, it wasn't necessarily a bad place to be. Side by side at the NYC auto show, the 2012 seemed like a nicer (albeit somewhat dated) car. And it's not just Chevy's Malibu, either. The Pontiac G6, Saturn Aura, Opel Vectra, (old) Chevy Lumina etc never seemed to get any significant love from either the press or people buying cars with their own money. GM will go out and produce well respected halo cars (CTS, Corvette), but when it comes to their bread and butter... well, let's just say Ford/Nissan/Toyota know where to put their R&D. Projects like the LFA and GTR generally happen only when the boring stuff is selling reasonably well... Perhaps the only bright spot in GM's <$30k midsize lineup today is the Insignia/Regal... and that car (like the new bu) is seemingly a bit too tight to fit in the US mainstream midsize market.
      Blake
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not sure if it came out this year or last, but my vote would go to the Smart Electric. Slow, expensive, impractical, and worse range than less expensive or equally priced rivals. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of electric cars and look forward to seeing more of them in the future, just as long as they're not like that.
      BranMM
      • 2 Years Ago
      I really don't give a damn about the opinion of someone who writes for Fortune magazine and has a number at the end of their name.
      Steve S
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have been driving this car for the past weekend (currently drive an 09 Malibu 2LT) and find the drivability to be great. The steering feels great, ride quality is fantastice, acceleration is better than previous gen. Fit and finish is very nice. As far as the competition, I haven't driven any of them and so I cannot comment but feel that the comment that the car is the "most disliked" is unfounded. I feel this is a respectable entrant and sure to please if you actually drive one.
      MyerShift
      • 2 Years Ago
      The problem of not enough effort!
      glitz701
      • 2 Years Ago
      When I drove the 2013 Malibu Eco, I was very impressed with the rear space and I thought the driving was smooth and easy to handle. The car was phenomenal in my opinion, what else do you want? The car to fly?
      Michael Scherping
      • 2 Years Ago
      The wheelbase is too short. This causes cramped interior room. I think the Dodge Dart has similar space inside, but it's supposedly competing with the Cruze, Jetta, Focus, Civic, and Corolla.
        TBN27
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Michael Scherping
        i think it would overlap on the Impala. Also because they are taking the Malibu international, they had to shorten the wheelbase for smaller roads overseas?
      QCRamAir
      • 2 Years Ago
      I can see this car being one of the few that has a "mid-life update/refresh" VERY early in its life cycle. If GM has any brains, that is...
      bluemoonric
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is this the AT&T edition? The first Malibu without car people involved.
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't hate the Malibu Eco, though I don't like it either. I think the audience GM is targeting with this car is people who want (theoretically) better mileage than the standard car, but either don't want to pay for a full-on hybrid or who want to avoid the Prius stigma.
    • Load More Comments