CC Outtake: 40 Years of Chevy Sedans and the 5%

I don’t know if its the CC Effect or whatever you want to call it, but after Jason’s article on his company car last week, where I admit I beat up on it a little bit for being a modern FWD blob, I found this modern Chevy sedan parked next to my ancient Chevy sedan after coming out of the gym yesterday.

I have to admit, I wasn’t exactly sure what it was at first and had to verify with the lettering on the trunk.  

I made a couple of quick observations and I’ll let you all do the rest.  The door openings are much larger in the new car, which is a consideration for my 6’2″/270-lb self, but the windows, especially the rear window, are much smaller.   Modern sedans are notorious for terrible blind spots and this one is no different, although it doesn’t look as bad as the modern Charger I drive at work.  The interior in the Impala is cavernous compared the G-Body Malibu.  I realize the Impala is the next car up the rung in size from a modern Malibu so naturally its bigger but I imagine even the current Malibu interior is larger by a considerable margin.  I’m sure the Impala has heated and air conditioned seats, an internet hotspot, a remote start, zoned climate control, and power everything (and if it doesn’t, its available)

My car has a vinyl bench seat and rear windows that don’t open.

There are visible sensors (though not in the pictures) on the Impala’s bumpers and sides, as well as its back-up camera, and just the sheer bulk of its rear end and drooped front end tell the tale of its safety mission.  All of that is absent on the Malibu, a design that goes back to the Carter administration where safety design considerations were still in their infancy in Detroit.

I know the V6s in the new Impalas are quite impressive.  Im sure someone here knows the power and economy numbers for them and Im too lazy to look them up, so feel free to post them.  Back in the day, the Malibu would have had an underpowered, emissions choked V6 or small block V8 that might have pulled a high 17 second quarter mile on a good day.  (Luckily, I remedied that with a 383 small block and a TH700 OD transmission-once you desmog these cars, they are quite fun)

So the Impala is indeed the much better car.   For the 95% of the population that doesn’t care about cars, it is indeed the better choice of appliance.  Safety, reliability, features and overall driving capabilities; the old world Malibu couldn’t compare, even when it was new.

But I’m in the 5% and it was nice to hear the carbureted small block roar to life when I turned the key.  Oh, and the Malibu has been immortalized in a Monogram scale model, so there’s that.

Happy Monday!