The sign of a car’s reliability might be its ability to go more than, say, 200,000 miles before dying, but the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu has already topped one million test miles, months shy of its 2012 U.S. showroom debut.
We should say off the bat that the figure is spread out over about 170 vehicles, which were tested in eight countries including Germany, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates, so no one car is responsible for all that travel. The fleet has been in operation in one form or another (including everything from development mules to pre-production models) since early 2010.
GM says it’s racking up test miles for the new Malibu fleet at the rate of 45,450 miles every month, which is impressive considering that it’s already made the equivalent of two round-trip voyages to the moon.
Among other things, Malibu engineers worked to tune tire and suspension settings to provide good handling and reduce noise, vibration, and harshness on a myriad of road surfaces including American asphalt and Asian grooved-concrete slabs. Much of the international testing is thanks to the fact that the Malibu is now an international model--it’ll be sold, in various trims and specifications, in an estimated 100 countries next year.
We hope all of this testing is enough for the Malibu, considering that it’s chief American competitor, the Ford Fusion, is due for a redesign very, very soon, the venerable Toyota Camry is all-new, and its sales numbers are beginning to dwindle in comparison to the one-two punch of the Dodge Avenger and Chrysler 200. We’re sure the car buying public will do the deciding on this one, so stay tuned for the results some time next year.