2008 Chevrolet Malibu Review

2008 Chevrolet Malibu - Stunning Malibu.


What do you look for in a midsize sedan? Style? Comfort? Performance? Fuel economy? How about a car that has it all? Let me introduce you to the all-new Chevrolet Malibu.

This new Malibu is a crowd pleaser. Let's begin with styling. I like Malibu's strong athletic stance with elegant lines and bold proportions. Up front, you'll find a dual-port grille separated by the familiar Chevy bow-tie emblem. The new Malibu is very attractive. I received many compliments from other motorists during my week-long test.

Malibu shares its platform with the new Saturn Aura, but it features unique styling inside and out. Slip inside the new Malibu and you'll be greeted by a roomy and comfortable cabin.

Malibu easily accommodates five adults with plenty of head and legroom. The interior's attention to detail was a pleasant surprise to me as I was impressed with the overall cabin feel and abundance of premium materials.

The new Malibu has greater storage, too, including a deep center console with a sliding cover that opens to accept larger items.

Also standard is an in-dash storage compartment on the instrument panel for sunglasses, CDs and other items. A household-style 110-volt AC power outlet is available, too.

The new Malibu is offered in three well-equipped trim levels: LS, LT and LTZ - all with standard head-curtain side airbags and front-seat thorax airbags, traction control, OnStar with remote diagnostics and XM Satellite Radio. StabiliTrak electronic stability control is standard on LT and LTZ models.

Both LS and LT models come standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. Optional in LT and standard in LTZ models is a 3.6-liter V-6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The 2.4-liter is rated at 169 horsepower and 160 pound-feet of torque. The V-6 is rated at 252 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. Both engines run on regular unleaded fuel.

The four-cylinder helps the Malibu deliver a respectable 22/30 mpg and provides adequate acceleration. Those wanting more ponies will likely be more than satisfied with the power provided by the V-6.

Those looking for the most fuel efficient Malibu should consider the top-of-the-line LTZ. It can be had with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to the six-speed automatic transmission - for a price reduction of $1,075 and 22/32 mpg.

My 2008 Chevy Malibu LTZ tester featured the fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. I had the pleasure of driving this car to Detroit and back.

Not only was this car comfortable and a joy to drive, but the fuel economy was remarkably impressive. There's obviously a drop-off in acceleration with the four-cylinder, but not to the point where you'll be hugely disappointed.

I found that I had to push the accelerator pedal a bit farther down to get the car to step out and pass other vehicles, but the ponies were there when needed.

With the cruise control set at highway speeds, the Malibu tester delivered a very nice ride. The suspension is tuned a bit on the soft side, but that's OK for those family excursions or long business trips.

Chevy has undoubtedly hit a grand slam with its new Malibu. With a starting price of around $20K, Malibu is an affordably priced sedan with loads of desirable traits.

2008 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 

2.4-liter (169 hp) I-4

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Drive type: FWD

Fuel economy: 22 city/32 highway

Base price: $26,795

As tested: $26,620 (including $650 destination charge)

Web site: www.chevrolet.com