No new model has General Motors more concerned about the success of its launch than the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu
. The Volt? No, as ground-breaking and politically divisive as that car is, there's little doubt Chevy will be able to sell all of them, from the 10,000 or so expected in the first year to 30,000-40,000 per year as production slowly ramps up.
The Chevy CHEVROLET MALIBU
was GM's best-selling car last year. These days, there's no upside in describing how successful an automaker is in the truck and SUV business. Midsize and compact sedans, market share-wise, are where it's at, baby. GM has moved up the Chevy Malibu's launch twice, first from fall of '12 to mid-year, and the car has since been fast-tracked to a launch early next year, in January or February. It will join the Hyundai Sonata
, Kia Spectra
, and Suzuki Kizashi
in the midsize segment in abandoning V-6 engine options for four-cylinder models only.
The new design has been in the works since before GM's 2009 bankruptcy, raising concerns it would age before its time. The 2008-'12 model was a breakout, a handsome, if conservative take on the midsize sedan segment with semi-formal sheetmetal that makes it look more expensive than it is.Chevy has done a credible job of following up the 2008-2012 Malibu, and that's no small thing. The current Malibu, along with the Cadillac Cts
, was a turnaround car, a sign that GM could get its product act together even as its finances suffered.
Because the new CHEVROLET MALIBU
is on the Epsilon II platform, and because the 2014 CHEVROLET IMPALA
will be built on a larger-wheelbase version of the platform, the CHEVROLET MALIBU
loses 3.5 inches in wheelbase. It's now at 107.8 inches for the '13 model.