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2013 Chevy Malibu Eco, Most Disliked Car Of The Year?

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On: Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 10:28AM | By: Chris Weiss

2013 Chevy Malibu Eco, Most Disliked Car Of The Year?

It wasn't all that long ago that a bright-eyed GM issued pricing information on the 2013 Chevy Malibu. It was full of hope and excitement, referring to the Malibu Eco as the "most fuel efficient Malibu" ever. Somewhere over the past few weeks, things went awry, and the descriptor now filling headlines is "most disliked car of the year (so far)."

The unofficial award comes courtesy of Alex Taylor III, senior editor-at-large of Fortune magazine. Taylor's premise is tenuous at best and based in part on a phenomenon he defines as "damning with faint praise." He says that while many notable reviews have had good things to say - Motor Trend and Detroit Free Press are quoted specifically - there is an undercurrent of discontent. He implies that journalists and reviewers essentially want so badly to like the Malibu Eco for what it is - an affordable, efficient midsize sedan - that they gloss over inadequacies. After that, he delves into some reviews that don't have any problem taking the Malibu Eco to task.

Fortune does bring up some real concerns. Similar to what Consumer Reports found when it tested several high-mpg models (the Malibu Eco wasn't involved in the test, but the Cruze Eco scored the worst), the magazine concludes that the eAssist system adds weight, price and complexity to the Eco without offering that much advantage. Through the scope of a few negative reviews, it says the car gets similar gas mileage to cheaper conventional sedans and less gas mileage than full hybrids like the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid. The article also takes issue with the Chevy Eco's cramped interior and substandard handling

While the arguments against the Malibu Eco are noteworthy for consumers (what's the point of a hybrid system if it's on par with or inferior to gas powertrains?), calling it the most disliked car of the year reads like a transparent attempt to attract page views. Taylor's piece has the feel of a preconceived conclusion supported by a piecemeal collection of handpicked opinions, and I'd expect more from the editor of a respected magazine. Maybe next time Mr. Taylor III can actually get behind the wheel of the car (and a couple of others) and offer an informed opinion before declaring it the most disliked of the year.

Hit the link for the full article.


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