The Chevrolet Malibu is failing to sell at the pace General Motors would like, prompting the automaker to make the decision to refresh the midsize sedan just one year after a complete redesign. According to a report from Newsday, the main gripes from consumers center around the car's tepid styling and lack of room in the rear seat.

Naturally, styling is subjective, but the report indicates GM plans to bring the Malibu's styling more inline with its larger Impala sedan, making changes mostly to the front fascia. As far as rear-seat room goes, it's worth noting that the 2013 Malibu actually has less legroom than the old 2012 model; 36.9 inches versus 37.6. Shoulder and hip room, though, increased by two and three inches, respectively, with the redesign.

In any case, without major structural changes, there's no way the Malibu will reach the rear legroom levels set by such large so-called midsize sedans like the Honda Accord (38.5 inches) or Volkswagen Passat (39.1) due to the fact that it's sized to be a global car and not one specifically for the US market. And, considering the impending existence of the 2014 Impala, we don't expect any major structural changes to affect the Malibu's interior offerings.

It's somewhat unusual for an automaker to make such significant changes to a car after only one year of production. But with all of the hype surrounding the emergency refresh of the 2013 Honda Civic, this sort of thing could become more common moving forward.


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  • 104 Comments
      ebn.hahn
      • 1 Year Ago
      Who Cares, it will still look like half chevy camaro (back) and half chevy IMPALA (front). Not a cohiesive design..
      Wm
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hope they do something with the grill. I never liked the current Chevy grills, but I've seen some Chevy concept that move away from the plain and dull to something with a little more class. This one screams bargain basement.
      A3TDI
      • 1 Year Ago
      Impala styling?
      TBN27
      • 1 Year Ago
      If this car were better than it is now, it still not surpass camry and accord in sales. However if this were the new Accord or Camry with all the dislikes, it would stull fly off the lots. Camry isn't anything ti look at let alone drive and it still sells in droves. That said, Chevy should stop bench marjing those two and go for premium feel in driving dynamics, interior styling and textures, and a ore understated cohesive exterior design. At least it would look more upscale than the rest at the same time not seeling as well as the competition.
      Autoblogist
      • 1 Year Ago
      They can redesign that dreadful center stack and dash while they're at it.
      Street King
      • 1 Year Ago
      How many screw-ups is Akerson allowed to make before he gets rightfully canned? There's no excuse for mistakes such as this.
      bluemoonric
      • 1 Year Ago
      Pretty much shows the compentcy of GM management. One of the most important segments in the market place and they green light this? No excuse. They should have been trying to lead the segment instead of fitting in.
        Sir Duke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bluemoonric
        The real issue with this car, was GM's decision to take it GLOBAL. This is a hugely compromised design, the result of trying to everything to all people.
          Healthy Chap
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Sir Duke
          That wasn't a problem with the Ford Fusion. Don't blame the world.
      mary.keana
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm sure all the AVIS customers will appreciate the roomier seats.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mary.keana
        [blocked]
      NightFlight
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great job only benchmarking the old Malibu versus the far superior competition, GM. It really worked out for you. /sarcasm
      alistair.dillingham
      • 1 Year Ago
      The previous Malibu was much, much better. It is amazing that they managed to screw it up royally. That's Government Motors for you! I remember Bob Lutz extolling t he virtues of the previous Malibu. I have also rented it for a 2-day long trip, and found it comfortable and competent, with a good interior and got me 33 MPG or so over 1000 miles going 5-10 miles more than the 70 MPH speed limit. ANd it looked good, formal smooth sloping roofline etc. Then the idiots took it, SHORTENED the wheelbase, so it has two huge, hideous overhangs and there is no leg room in the back. Good job!
        Jerry
        • 1 Year Ago
        @alistair.dillingham
        The Malibu team was handed Opel's turd E1XX architecture was told to make it shine. The weigh and interior inefficiency doomed it from day one.
          S.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jerry
          Somehow this is Bush's fault
      Mason
      • 1 Year Ago
      Who the hell signs off on a car with LESS legroom than the last-gen? No one is like, "Wow I really like this Malibu, but I hope the new one has less space."
        S.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mason
        Have you ever heard anyone use the words "Wow I really like this Malibu..." ? Lol
        montoym
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mason
        Anyone who understands that it's a mid-size car IMO. Why do cars always have to be bigger for each generation?
      Shiftright
      • 1 Year Ago
      Last gen was way better looking. This thing looks frumpy and contrived. I've seen exactly one on the road.
        Joe Ransom
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Shiftright
        Only ones I've seen had barcodes on the windows and poor renters stuck behind the wheel. All this thing needs is some plastic body cladding to put a lock on the awkward design award. I kinda want to get one at the rental lot just to experience the best malibu EVAR...
        Cadillac Corey
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Shiftright
        I don't even think I've seen them at the Chevrolet dealers yet. Or maybe I have and just didn't notice it... *shrug*
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