The Chevrolet Malibu is the auto industry’s longest-running midsize nameplate, launched in 1964. From hot rod to police cruiser to convertible to America’s main street midsize sedan, few midsize cars have appealed to so many, for so long. The new Malibu is Chevrolet’s first truly global midsize sedan and the first ever edition of the model to be launched in Europe.
“Malibu is Chevrolet’s new flagship for Europe and one of ten new entries launched in just 18 months,” said Susan Docherty, President and Managing Director of Chevrolet Europe. “It is a great-looking car that offers customers unique American style, refinement and five-star safety.”
Typical buyers of a midsize sedan look for quality, reliability and durability in a car. With Malibu, customers are set to get a lot of car for the money. They will appreciate its expressive design, the various comfort features as well as the refined handling characteristics it delivers.
A considerable number of customers in the segment are businesses which equip their fleets with midsized sedans. Due to strong buyer preferences, the majority of Malibus sold in Europe will be equipped with a diesel engine.
Every Malibu in Europe will come with a three-year/100,000 kilometers comprehensive warranty, a six-year anti-corrosion warranty and one-year emergency roadside assistance.
Powerful and fast silhouette
Thanks to a wheelbase of 2,737 mm and an overall width of 1,855 mm, the Chevrolet Malibu has a well-planted, athletic stance. Its front appearance is dominated by the Chevrolet dual-port grille sporting the centrally aligned bowtie, and a hood design featuring a powerdome. The swept back halogen or xenon headlamps add an assertive look to the car’s face.
A distinctive bodyline that runs along the entire length of the vehicle, strong rear shoulders and bold Camaro-inspired tail lamps are further features that define the Malibu’s exterior. Its alloy wheels are 17 or 18 inches in size and fill their housings with a tight wheel-to-body fit.
Malibu’s sleek lines are matched by its aerodynamic efficiency. An integrated decklid spoiler with LED-illuminated Center High Mount Stop Light helps separate the airstream from the rear of the car. The Malibu has also been insulated thoroughly against wind, engine noise and vibration.
Inside, the Malibu exudes an ambiance of comfort and refinement. It features Chevrolet’s signature dual cockpit and an integrated center stack that accommodates a seven-inch full-color touch screen (up-level trims).
The mid-level instrument panel flows naturally into the doors while the casings of the two instrument gauges resemble those in the Camaro. Light pipe technology is used in various locations in the cockpit to produce Chevrolet’s ambient ice-blue backlighting. This includes the black, molded-in-color decorative band with a chrome accent which runs across the entire length of the instrument panel.
Space, seats, entertainment options
Even tall passengers will feel at ease in the Malibu with 991 mm of head room (rear: 952 mm), 1,069 mm of leg room (rear: 946 mm), and 1,461 mm of shoulder room (rear: 1,450 mm). The trunk has a capacity of 545 liters; the cargo area can be expanded by split-folding (60/40) the rear seatbacks.
Among the smart storage highlights, standard on higher level trims, is a cavity that is hidden behind the shiftable seven-inch touch screen. Each of the door pockets can hold one-liter beverage bottles while the large glove box in the mid-instrument panel is ideal for storing a variety of personal items.
Malibu’s seats contribute significantly to the feeling of comfort and have benefited from extensive ride validations around the globe. Finding the ideal seating position is easy thanks to a tilt and telescoping steering wheel featured on upper level trims, and over 266 mm of seat travel and 60 mm of height adjustment.
Depending on the trim level, seat covers are of either jet black and titanium or all jet black in color. Up-level specifications have power assisted heated front seats with memory function and lumbar support and sport leather seating surfaces. Seats on mid-level specifications have ribbon fabric inserts whereas base-level trims are equipped with a full fabric seat with soft fabric inserts.
For the infotainment systems, too, there are three levels of equipment. On up-level trims, the radio with CD player is linked to a seven-inch full-color touch screen and premium nine-speaker system. The display has several uses, including optional navigation and photo viewer, and enables Bluetooth wireless connectivity for hands-free operation of mobile phones, supported by voice recognition. Radios can be operated using controls mounted in the steering wheel.
The center console in up- and midlevel trims houses a USB port as well as an auxiliary input jack for plugging in iPods and other MP3 players.
Two strong and durable engines
In Europe, the Chevrolet Malibu can be ordered with either a gasoline or a diesel engine, both of which are four-cylinder units. The diesel engine is produced in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and features high-pressure common rail fuel injection, a dual overhead camshaft, and an advanced variable geometry turbocharger with intercooler.
It delivers a maximum power output of 160 hp at 4,000 rpm, 350 Nm of torque at 1,750 rpm and takes the Malibu to a top speed of 213 km/h. When coupled with a manual transmission, the diesel unit requires 5.1 liters/100 km on a combined cycle.
The gasoline engine cranks out 167 hp at 5,800 rpm, enabling the car to attain a top speed of 204 km/h and 100 km/h in 9.5 seconds, when coupled to a manual transmission. Maximum torque is 225 Nm at an engine speed of 4,600 rpm. On a combined cycle, this engine consumes 7.8 liters/100 km.
A six-speed manual or automatic transmission can be mated to both the 2.4L gasoline and the 2.0L diesel engine. The six-speed automatic transmission features Driver Shift Control (DSC) which allows the driver to shift gears manually. Adaptive shift controls include automatic grade braking which commands the transmission to remain in a lower gear if the vehicle is decelerating or coasting on a downgrade.
Dynamic ride feel, confident handling
Out on the open road, drivers of the Malibu will appreciate the vehicle’s excellent dynamics. Crucial to the Malibu’s confident road command and its smooth ride are its broad track width (front: 1,583 mm; front/rear: 1,585 mm), a tight unibody design and proven McPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspensions.
The Malibu is equipped with a ZF steering system and displays neutral steering characteristics and excellent road holding, even during very tight turns. All specifications will have rack-mounted Electric Power Steering, Hill-start Assist and will be equipped with an electronic parking brake. A rear parking sensor is standard on up-level trims and available on mid-level specifications. Moreover, mid- and up-level specifications will come with cruise control which is operated via the steering wheel buttons.
The Malibu’s 16-inch vented front discs and solid rear discs are framed by aluminum calipers and offer solid stopping power when required. Its comprehensive range of standard electronic chassis control systems includes: Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, a four-channel Anti-lock Brake System with Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Brake Assist and Brake Fade Assist.
There is a lot more to the Malibu’s outstanding safety performance than its electronic aid systems. Its crash impact structure has been engineered to be highly rigid and incorporates flexible front and rear end crush zones that absorb the energy that is unleashed during a crash.
The fact that Malibu has earned a top five-star rating from the European New Car Assessment Programme (EuroNCAP) proves that is among the safest cars in the segment to drive in.
All specifications in Europe will have six airbags, including dual-stage driver and front passenger air bags, front seat-mounted chest/pelvis air bags, and roof rail air bags. The risk of the driver and occupants suffering whiplash injuries is reduced thanks to active headrests. A releasable pedal assembly is also standard. The front three-point seatbelts are equipped with pre-tensioners and load-limiters.
Child seats can be safely anchored to the two rear outboard positions using the proven Isofix installation system.
From motorin news