2012 Chevrolet Malibu- Finally, A Car That’s Found Its Place In The World

Manufacturers love to name boring cars after exciting places.  The Dodge Monaco, Mercury Monterey, Kia Rio, Suzuki Verona, and Chevy Corsica come to mind.  They may be fascinating destinations, but all of those cars  have the sex appeal of a rainy Wednesday in Buffalo.  The Corsica’s replacement, the Malibu, faced a similar problem when it debuted in 1997.  The town of Malibu is known for its 27 miles of sandy beaches and being home to many of Hollywood’s movie stars.  That four-door family sedan didn’t quite conjure up mental images of such an upscale area.

Now, don’t think that I have a grudge against the Malibu.  On the contrary, I personally have a soft spot for the car.  My parents had a 1999 Malibu while I was in college and the car proved to be reliable and served its intended purpose as a family hauler well.  I grew to really like the car and it became my vehicle of choice to cruise around in.  However, my folks didn’t quite warm up to it and I ended up driving it more than they did.  Why?  In the generic white color that it was graced in, the only thing missing on our Malibu was a city or public works logo on the side.  It wasn’t exciting to look at, and if my parents were to ever visit Buffalo, they would be reminded of that car.

But this Malibu is different from the dowdy one we had.  It’s the seventh generation that debuted in 2008 under the direction of GM Vice Chairman and car guru, Bob Lutz.  It was to be as good as the Japanese competitors and was awarded the highly revered title of North American Car of the Year.

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