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Tony O'Kane | Jan, 21 2015 | 10 Comments

The Holden Malibu turns three next year, the halfway point in its life cycle.

With middle-age comes the need for some sprucing up, and General Motors aims to give the Malibu a thorough tweak to keep it competitive.

Revisions to interior packaging will see rear seat legroom and front seat width grow, but it’s the exterior that GM says will see the greatest changes.

Speaking to the media at the Detroit auto show, GM Executive Vice President of product development and former Holden Managing Director Mark Reuss said the updated Malibu will be an eye-catcher.

“You are going to be blown away styling-wise,” he said. “I think it is more true to what Chevrolet should be.”

Reuss's comments were echoed by GM vice president of design, Ed Welburn, who did not shy away from talking up the new Malibu's styling, even referencing the new Corvette performance coupe.

“When you look at the Malibu’s taillamps you can see a hint of Corvette Stingray. You see it in the form vocabulary in the body side. It has flare. It has spirit. It has tension,” he said.

Above: the new Corvette has influenced the coming new Malibu design.
Above: the new Corvette has influenced the coming new Malibu design.

And Holden will no doubt be hoping that buyers in the midsize segment will respond more favourably to the facelifted Malibu’s design, with the current car’s unadventurous visage not doing it any favours in the showroom.

Last year Holden moved 1635 Malibus to new homes, an increase over 2013’s figure, but hardly surprising given the Malibu launched midway through that year.

And with 1326 Malibus sold over the latter half of 2013, that makes 2014’s full-year sales numbers extra disappointing. With 3.3 percent market share last year, the Malibu is ranked tenth in its segment.

For 2015, expect few changes to the Malibu. Its mid-cycle facelift should arrive in Australia sometime next year, following its introduction in the North American market.

MORE: Holden News and Reviews

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