Sure About That?

Kaus says that there are only four GM cars that he would consider buying, and one of them is a Chevy Malibu. Well, I rented one from National at LAX on Wednesday night. The thing has the turning radius of a supertanker (which is particularly problematic given the postage-stamp-sized parking spaces in LA). It also scrapes the undercarriage (or at least the bottom of the front license plate) coming in and out of the driveway, a problem that I didn’t have with the Versa I was renting last week.

I wonder if he’s test driven one?

11 thoughts on “Sure About That?”

  1. I actually liked the Pontiac F6 when I drove one. It got great gas mileage (34 on the highway between Alabama and Washington DC) and was very comfortable.

    I am a truck person though and there are none out there besides my Toyota Tacoma that I like right now (Made in California).

  2. Clearly it’s a matter of Kaus’ taste. I also second G6, it’s a very decent car, but Kaus missed it.

    BTW, what kind of Malibu did you get? When the previos generaton moved in, they produced both and sold the old old one to rental companies, in order not to tarnish the image of the new (now old) one. I’m talking about the one which looked like a hatchback. Kaus obviously means the 2009 model, which I’ve not seen on the street even ONCE yet. Although, I would not be surprised if its nose were too low and long. Things they do for aerodynamics these days…

  3. It seems that GM’s propensity for sticking their small cars with turn radii approximating that of the Queen Mary continues. I still drive a 96 Saturn and that thing maneuvers like an aircraft carrier despite its dinky dimensions. One more reason I intend never to buy Big Three again.

  4. BTW, what kind of Malibu did you get?

    I have no idea. It was a white Malibu. I didn’t look at the miles, and I’m not sure how I would have known the model year. I only know that I turned it in for a G6 today…

  5. Sounds like an old Malibu, agree, horrible car.

    I have an ’07 Chevy Tahoe & it’s a great car, the best American car I’ve ever had.

  6. Yea I’ve been seeing the newer Malibu’s popping up on the road here lately around Dallas. The front of the grill is trying to be like Acura with the lines that look like a Smiley Face.

  7. I think Pete is referring to the Malibu Maxx. I drove one a few times and it was good for long distance work but hell to park with the long wheel base. I rented a G6 last week and it was okay, again nice enough for long-distance work, but the ergonomics really aren’t up to par.
    Personally I am big fan of hatchbacks for city living and can’t understand why there is apparently such a small market for them in the US and yet enough demand to justify the continued production of awful coupe models of cars like the G6 or Ford Focus.
    Oh. Best thing to happen to the rental market, age-out of the Pontiac Sunfire coupe.

  8. I’ve driven a Malibu a few times, and find I must echo Rand’s negative observations. If this is the best thing that Detroit can come up with, then speed their demise…

    Of course, my ‘real’ car is a MINI, so I am horrifically spoiled…

  9. Last summer, I was doing extended consulting in Richmond (VA), typically two weeks at a stretch and then a weekend home in Colorado. On one of my trips, Hertz “upgraded” me to a GM four-door of some kind — supposedly a mid- or full-sized car. It had appalling poor (and cheap) interior design and drove like a car half again its size, swaying every time I’d change lanes on the freeway. It was late on a Sunday night, or I would have turned around and returned it right away. As it was, I brought it back the next day and swapped it (gratefully) for a Ford Focus. I also gained a visceral understanding as to why GM was going down the tubes. ..bruce..

  10. You gus are going to laugh, but I liked Fusion rental that I got when I visited ABQ. Quite decent for an American car. One drawback is, my giant, earth-pounding, Japanese SUV gets 24 to 28 mpg in daily driving and Fusion gots less.

    I started paying attention after reading Rand’s report and noticed that fresh Mote Carlos and Impalas around here have ridiculously long snouts ahead of front wheels. If new Malibu (which I cannot find, as I mentioned) shares platform with them, it’s no wonder it scrapes the pavement.

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