Chevy Malibu dates back all the way to 60’s. It was imagined as rear-wheel drive mid-size car, although after fourth-generation it experienced a halt in production all the way to 1997 when it was resurrected as front-wheel drive vehicle. Malibu had different success along all eight generations, and surely we would all like to forget hideous awkwardness of the sixth one as well as remember the impeccable beauty of the second one. Anyway, ninth generation was introduced last year, so we are here to see what 2017 Chevrolet Malibu has to offer.
Compared to previous generation body is much leaner and more dynamic. It looks as hidden sleeper with dull smirk somehow, but under the hood area, it is far from delivering that. The rear end features sloping roof, while angular lines of ancestors are exchanged for sleek ones making it incredibly more refined in appearance. Basically, it looks as smaller Impala, with more elegant rear but less imposing front fascia.
This generation took different design approach, while last three were more oriented on the evolution of same ideas. It has resemblance with bigger Impala, but not as nearly as exterior. The upper part of the dash is emerging from the rest of it, which appears interesting, although it leaves lower part looking incomplete. Its design would not amaze you, same as materials, but it can grow under your skin with that feeling of Chevy friendliness.
One thing has to be pointed out, and that is MyLink infotainment system and touchscreen which looks as stylish tablet gently slotted into the dash adding a touch of purified elegance to the interior. Overall, everything about the cabin is pretty average, design-wise, and also space-wise, which stands for boot too that might be big “per se” with its 15.8-cubic-foot, but definitely not special compared to rivals.
2017 Chevrolet Malibu ENGINE
The base engine is 1.5-liter turbo gasoline unit delivering 160 hp with 184 pound-feet of torque and also offering 30 mpg of combined fuel consumption. There is no manual option with shifters and only 6-speed automatic is available with mentioned unit. If you choose top trim level Premier, you will be awarded with 2.0-liter turbocharged engine rated at 250 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque paired to a much better nine-speed automatic. It runs from 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds and offers still acceptable 26 mpg combined.
There is one more option which enriches offer that was quite bland so far, and that is hybrid powertrain known from Volt. It joins 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor, to pump out the total power of 182 hp followed by 277 lb-ft of torque. It manages to accelerate to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, which makes it sort of sports car in the hybrid world, all while making possible 46 mpg in combined drive cycle, so naturally, this would be most desired choice.
TRIMS AND SAFETY
It is offered in for different trims: L, LS, LT and Premier, while Hybrid is considered trim on its own, though it is actually LT trim with added dual zone climate control and electronic park brake. There are additionally Sport Package, Driver Confidence Package and moon roof offered separately from the trims. For keeping everybody safe, each car comes standard with a bunch of airbags, even for knees and with side curtains, also with anti-lock brakes, OnStar telematics system and stability and traction control.
2017 Chevrolet Malibu is a great step forward from the predecessor, but it has nothing to set it apart from the huge crowd to which it belongs. It is good in everything, yet it doesn’t especially shine anywhere. Maybe that is the key, and this is the car for those who are not willing to sacrifice anything for greatness, just wanting to have a slice of all. If you decide to buy one of these be prepared to give about $21,680 for the base version.