The Malibu is the Chevrolet Impala's little brother. This smaller midsized sedan has become one of the most popular GM models and these are in direct completion with the Ford Taurus which is another hugely popular midsized family sedan. The Malibu takes advantage of the GM Epsilon front-wheel-drive platform to give this vehicle a narrow and lower height than many other cars in its class. This may help when it comes to cornering, but it does very little for those who were planning on fitting in the back seat.
The Malibu keeps getting new updates and tweaks to its overall look, feel and performance. These changes usually bring a stronger package to consumers but the smaller back seats are not a change for the better. The Malibu can be filled to the brim with extra features and options, if you want this car to have more power, extra tech gadgets or even some shiny rims, all of these features can be added to give you the custom car you have dreamed of. The base model starts right under $22,000 but that is just a starting point for most buyers looking at this award winning sedan from Chevrolet.
Engines: 2.4L I-4, 3.6L V-6
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Models: LS, 1LT, 2LT, LTZ
Chevrolet has finally ditched the base four-speed automatic. All Malibus now come with six-speed automatics with TAP shift manual control operated by a rocker switch on the shift knob. The 1LT package adds standard 17-inch ultra bright aluminum wheels, while the 2LT V-6 package gets 18-inch Chrome Tech aluminum wheels. OnStar 9.0 hardware features improved voice recognition technology and includes six months of Directions and Connections service with Turn-by-Turn navigation.
No major visual changes distinguish the 2011 Malibu. Exterior details separate the trim packages, with the LT and LTZ models adding bright exterior accents over the LS model. A sunroof is optional on the LTZ.
The Malibu 1LT adds steering wheel audio and cruise controls, six-way power driver's seat and remote start. 2LT adds UltraLux seats with six-way passenger adjuster. LTZ adds leather, USB, MP3, Bose audio and automatic climate control.
Performance & Handling
Malibu features good steering and refined handling. It's a rare front-drive car that can be coaxed into rotating with gentle StabiliTrak intervention. Conversely, the popular four-cylinder models with 17-inch wheels use thin, fuel-efficient tires that blunt the inherent handling dynamics. The 169-horsepower four is grainy and unrefined, though the 252-horsepower V-6 is a detuned version of the Cadillac CTS's engine
Features include dual-stage driver and front passenger bags, anti-lock brakes, StabiliTrak stability control with traction control and panic braking assist, front seat thorax bags, LATCH child seat anchors, tire pressure monitoring and OnStar crash response.
EPA Fuel Economy
LS, 1LT, 2LT, LTZ (2.4L): 22 mpg city/33 mpg highway
LS, 1LT, 2LT, LTZ (3.6L): 17 mpg city/26 mpg highway
- Exterior Styling
- Interior styling
- Steering response
You Won't Like
- Rear-seat space
- Four-cylinder refinement
- Interior plastics
- Fuel-efficient tires
- No rear center armrest
Handsome sedan needs an update
If You Like This Vehicle
- Toyota Camry
- Ford Fusion
- Hyundai Sonata
- Honda Accord
- Subaru Legacy