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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • ts like Pontiac G5 = Chevy Cobalt/ Saturn sky = Pontiac solstice = Vauxhall/Opel something.

    GM has taken a very necessary step back from the badge engineering. The cars look pretty different (G6, Aura, Malibu) and are tuned differently. Some drivetrain elements are similar, but Toyota puts that 2.4l from the Camry in just about everything as well.

    Sharing platforms across continents isn't a bad idea except parts of the American market want more cushy vehicles the the Europeans do. Ford has been working on this, eh, forever. The Ford Cortina was a Euro import, the early 70s Capris, the Meurkurs, the Contiques, and the Focus.

    I think Saturn will do well with the Astra, they didn't even rename it when they brought it over. Global platforms aren't a bad thing, especially as modular as they are now; the same platform can be FWD/RWD/AWD as needed.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    General professional opinion that I've seen is that GM took the lessons learned from the Aura and applied them to the Malibu, so yes, in some ways the Malibu is better than the Aura. Interior design and materials for one, quietness for another. That should be expected from a newer design that is based on the same platform.

    Why do you think the Aura is the "higher end car"? Have you priced the top-end Malibu LTZ?
  • pengwinpengwin Posts: 74
    Yeah, toyota drops the 2.4l into everything but they dont have 8 branches. Heck, every company drops an engine from one line to another, BMW, lexus, merc, GM, ford, everyone. My gripe is that they all look similar (except for the G6). The malibu and aura look similar, look at the front. The back is just ugly on the malibu. What ticks me the most is the inside, every GM car has the same center console, that black rectangle with aircon/climate control at the bottom. Im not saying its a bad unit, very easy to use, but its just boring, ugly and looks cheap.
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    I believe Elroy gets the idea that the Aura is supposed to be the higher end version over the Malibu because originally when the Aura was released, GM admitted that the Aura was to be a "Class above" the Malibu and G6 in terms of refinement, quality, features and materials. Many of us were lead to believe that this would be the case even with the new Malibu (yet the new Malibu is offered in far more trim levels and better equipment standard and optional on trim levels compared to the Aura)

    GM wanted to position Saturn as the V6 almost Acura-TL like Alternative (yea, crazy I know) but Lutz himself talked about this before the release of the Aura. THe Malibu was to offer I4 and V6 choices but wouldnt be as nicely equipped as the Aura was to be. That changed though.

    Overall on the food chain, Saturn is considered to be more of a higher level, import fighting brand..which why some are lead to beleive the Aura is the "upper level" vehicle. This notion is sure to be the case when the new Lambda Chevy Transverse is released at base price some thousands less than the Base Outlook.

    I think in overall refinement, the Malibu is the better car (its interior is NOT as refined in the materials department as the Altima or Accord IMO, especially those cheap, hallow, 2002 Nissan Altima door panels) but its a solid step above the Camry and ahead of the Aura overall.

    As far as styling. I actually PREFER the Aura's more elegant looks over the Malibu. From XE vs LS all the way up to XR vs. LTZ. Aura just has more of a "Euro" look to it. Malibu looks good until the backend.

    Both look better than the new Accord IMO.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Thanks for answering Backy's question for me Max. :D
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Looks like GM is waking up to the fact that ALL of their brands need to be "import fighters", not just Saturn. Maybe that is one reason that the Malibu went beyond the Aura in some ways--to better compete with Camcords et. al. Imagine the market reception the new Malibu would have received if it had been a lesser car than the Aura. Not a good way to grab Honda and Toyota fans.
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    I agree 100 percent. Hopefully the NEXT Aura will be that much better than the Malibu. I'm more of a fan of the Aura than the Malibu.
  • pengwinpengwin Posts: 74
    the aura looks a LOT better than the malibu.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I actually beg to differ here - to me the Aura looks a narrow and tippy. I know they're both narrow, but the Malibu pulls it off better to me.

    To each his own style, right! :)
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668

    To each his own style, right!


    For my money the Ford Fusion is the looks leader among all the mid-size sedans because it is so distinctive, in a very pleasing fashion.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Aura appears "cheap" to me and the Malibu appears sleek and upscale in comparison. Chrome grill and chrome finisher on the trunk are the major items that ruin the Aura IMHO.
    On the Malibu, I like the black grill and do not like the chrome grill Malibu.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Fusion with the sport appearance package is my favorite Fusion.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,952
    I remember the first time I saw a Aura on the road. It was black and I was sitting at a light and it went across in front of me. I stared at it and thought to myself....Man, that is really a good looking car, what is it? At first I thought it was some kind of BMW or something. Anyway, I still really like the outside styling and it was high on my list when I was looking to buy a new car. However, after sitting in one at the Chicago Auto Show I didn't care for the interior from a roominess and quality aspect. I also didn't like the gas mileage on the base six and puny gas tank. That's one thing I do look for is some range to a tank of gas. Filling up in Jan and Feb in Chicago gets old so I like some distance/time between tanks.
  • What ticks me the most is the inside, every GM car has the same center console, that black rectangle with aircon/climate control at the bottom. Im not saying its a bad unit, very easy to use, but its just boring, ugly and looks cheap.

    I actually always thought that was a cool thing, its very consistent across brands so you don't have to figure it out every time.

    Is there something you would do to improve the look or feel? Is it too shiny or not shiny enough? Should it be a flat color? Do you like the knobs that are knurled on the ends or rubber-ized? I think the things people touch every day in their cars (steering wheel, switch-gear, door handles, radio/climate controls) are the most important. I think Honda (great door handles) gets this, Ford is trying to figure it out, GM is outsourcing figuring it out, Toyota is forgetting it, and Chrysler is...well I am sure they will do better in the future.
  • I remember the first time I saw a Aura on the road. It was black and I was sitting at a light and it went across in front of me. I stared at it and thought to myself....Man, that is really a good looking car, what is it? At first I thought it was some kind of BMW or something.

    I mistake it for the previous generation Accord all the time.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I think the use of the same basic A/C and audio units does look cheap (Fusion, Malibu). When a car has an interior that was designed specifically for that car, it looks a lot more up-scale. Why doesn't the Malibu have a padded arm rest on the door? This also adds to the cheap look. Improving in this area might cost a little more, but would probably pay for itself in the long run. If a car looks more expensive, it can be more expensive. If they really want to compete with the best in class, they should spend what it takes to build them that way, IMO.
  • pengwinpengwin Posts: 74
    it looks cheap becausea $40k saab has the same center console as a $15k cobalt. If im paying 40k for a car i want it to be unique. I dont see lexus sharing center consoles or toyota sharing center consoles.
  • image

    vs

    image

    I think you might be exaggerating just a bit.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Funny... I happen to have a magazine (Newsweek) in my hotel room that has a four-page foldout ad for the Malibu inside the front cover, and the photo is of the interior. I see no evidence of the "basic A/C and audio units" or the "black box" mentioned earlier. The center stack is quite tasteful IMO, with the controls enclosed in a steel-gray surround. It looks much better than any control stack I've seen on a Cobalt or Impala, and nicer even than the stacks on cars like the Camry and Accord. The two-tone dash with a hint of wood trim, and the two-tone seats with contrast piping look good also. (This is NOT the orange-tint interior, which I don't like at all, but a tan/brown combo.)
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Ok, I'll show you what I mean. In the picture below you can plainly see where the audio unit begins and ends, and where the A/C unit begins and ends. They are clearly separate units, each with their own separate place (square shape) in the center console.
    image

    In the picture of my Accord's interior below. Where are the square shapes? Where does the audio and the A/C unit begin and end? It is all integrated, with one display, and looks like it was designed for this car only. Buttons and knobs are placed where you would want them, not according to where the unit is placed. It's called attention to detail, and I appreciate it. GM is getting better in this area, but the "cheap freaks" still have some control over the designs.
    image
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