2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco - front three-quarter view, black

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.