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Currently available on three models, GM’s eAssist technology is a product and packaging gamble the automaker has made that does not appear to be paying off. While the first two Buick models to receive the mild-hybrid system received modest praise, the new Chevy Malibu Eco has drawn so much criticism it was recently named “the most disliked vehicle of 2012” according to Fortune magazine.
The impact of that title, not to mention all the bad press that’s led up to it, can’t be understated. The reputation, and sales, of an entire lifecycle of Malibu models (the Malibu being one of GM’s largest volume products) is hanging in the balance.
The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco is the first and only midsize sedan to achieve top rankings in NHTSA safety tests, as well as make it onto the IIHS top safety pick list.
Three new cars have been added to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) top safety pick list, an award which is bestowed on vehicles that receive the top ratings in all crash tests performed.
The Chevy Malibu Eco, Hyundai Azera, and Toyota Prius C are the newest recipients of the top safety pick award. The Malibu Eco is a redesigned model, which only took the honor after the update. The Prius C is an all new model, and now joins the Prius V and regular Prius as a top safety pick. As for the Azera, it had been tested previously, but only the new iteration of the car took home a top safety pick award.
The IIHS tests impact results for crashes from the rear, side, and front, as well as roof rigidity and in car whiplash protection.