Chevrolet is already redesigning its award-winning midsize car for what looks like a tough decade ahead. A Fresh styling, more room and new fuel-efficient powertrains could mean more accolades and more sales.
Chevrolet’s midsize Malibu sedan won the 2008 North American Car of the year award title, and it out polled out a key rival. That’s an impressive turn around from the dishwater dull Malibu’s of recent years, considering that the NA COTY is chosen by the selecting group of hard headed automotive journalists.
The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu will also have an arched roofline and a boxy tail which is good for truck space and higher rise bodysides with more sheetmetal creases for a leaner, less puffy look. The New version of the New Chevy Malibu’s face is with a thick horizontal bar bearing the bow-tie logo laid atop a large trapezoidal grille.
The awards and buzz quickly fade from memory, and there’s no time to rest in today’s fast paced automotive world. That’s why
Chevrolet is already working on the next generation Malibu , which is expected for model year 2010, possibly 2011. Chevrolet still takes four to five years for most vehicle makers to take a new model from first thoughts to final assembly, about three years once the basic design is locked-in.
The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu will share GM’s new “Epilon2” midsize-car platform with the 2010 Buick Lacrosse, slated to bow in early 2009, and a redesigned 2010 Saturn Aura expected later that same calendar year. Exterior sheetmetal will again disguise the common “bones” but with a key difference. The flexible manufacturing allows GM to more quickly alter the production mix to suit changes in sales demand, which not only saves money but also boosts potential profits.
The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu will be somewhat larger than today’s car. That implies an extra inch or two in wheelbase and overall height, but maybe not overall length which should mean more passenger and cargo space. E2 engineers at GM’s German Opel branch, which have global responsibility for GM midsize cars, will be watching weight with an eye towards boosting fuel economy and reducing emissions. We thus expect the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu and other E2 models to make greater use of lightweight materials, including stronger hydroformed steel for major structural members, which should pay off in cars that are tighter, quieter, and more durable.
The 2010 Chevrolet Malibu ranks 5 out of 21 affordable midsize cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of the 71 published reviews and test drives of the chevrolet Malibu , and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
The Chevrolet Malibu has enjoyed a ranking near the top of the midsize car class since a 2008 redesign. With a distinctive, two tone cabin more stylish than the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry, a balanced ride and excellent fuel economy, the Chevy Malibu is one of the best family cars available.
When the Chevy Malibu was redesigned for 2008, the automotive press heaped awards on the car. It was one of the car and Driver’s 10Best, North American Car of the year at 2008 North American International Auto Show, and one of the Automobile Magazine’s 2008 Automobile All-Stars.
The 2010 Chevrolet Malibu model has changed little from that wildly successful car. The 2.4L four cylinder engine offered on base models can now use E85 as well as regular gasoline. A hybrid edition has been discontinued. With its crisp, tailored lines, the Chevrolet Malibu looks more like a luxury sedan than a fleet car. And along with the upscale styling is a similarly handsome cabin in terms of materials and build quality. Two-tone interior schemes, even on base models, further the effect.
The 2010 Chevy Malibu is available in four trims: base LS, midlevel 1LT and 2LT and luxury LTZ. Even the LS comes with full power features, air-conditioning, satellite radio, side curtain airbags, traction control and OnStar. The LT versions upgrade with stability control, alloy wheels and (on the 2LT) heated seats and more power features. Highlights of the LTZ include foglamps, 18-inch alloys, leather seating and an upgraded audio system.
Once an afterthought for import shoppers, the Malibu should now be a consideration for Accord and Camry shoppers. It’s not the only domestic midsize car buyers should consider, either an improved Ford Fusion is now competition for the top of the class as well.