Monday, January 03, 2005

Chevy Malibu Classic: Worst car ever??

I got stuck driving one of these things during my recent trip to Chicago. I was supposed to get a Ford Focus (which I myself happily own) but was instead "upgraded" to the Chevy Malibu. I begged the rental car guy not to upgrade me, but the Malibu was the only car he had left on the lot.

Worst car ever?

Generally speaking, the car goes in the direction you steer it. Generally speaking. The steering is so indistinct and mushy that it's impossible to discern meaningless minor wheel movement from actual steering input. The line is crossed so easily that it's actually quite difficult to drive this car in a straight line.

The brakes are soft and not terribly reassuring, which is exacerbated by the car's apparent heft (certainly heftier than the Focus). The door mechanisms are mushy, making it a little difficult to realize you haven't actually closed the door all the way.

And there are a handful of foolish finishing touches: the radio doesn't turn off until the driver's door is opened; the windshield wiper fluid is channelled up through the wipers rather than shot from the hood; the radio tunes incredibly fast - so fast that it's oddly difficult for your ears to process the new song since the swap between channels is instantaneous.

They should have shelved these "features" and instead improved the many other crappy areas of the car (starting with the ridiculously cheap-feeling buttons and terrible plastic interior design).

Okay, it's not really the worst car ever. But it sure ain't the best.


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