The new 2008 Chevrolet Malibu comes in three different trim levels, LS, LT, and LTZ. Each model is powered by a standard 169-horsepower, 2.4L four-cylinder engine, but a 252-horsepower, 3.6L V6 with variable valve timing is optional on LT and LTZ models. Four-cylinder LS and LT models get a four-speed automatic transmission, while the six-cylinder comes with a new six-speed automatic. With the four-cylinder engine, the Malibu has respectable fuel-efficiency ratings of 22 city, 30 highway.
Inside and out, the Malibu gets an entirely new look, with new attention to detail and increased storage. The flowing instrument panel forms a "dual cockpit" design, while LTZ models get front fog lamps and attention-getting LED rear lamps.
With its significantly longer wheelbase and wheels spaced farther out toward the corners, along with a new four-wheel independent suspension and larger wheels, the new Malibu is said to have a smoother ride and better handling response. All models include a stabilizer bar in back to provide crisp handling and good body control. Four-cylinder models have electric variable-assist steering while V6 models have hydraulic power steering.
The interior is now available in two-tone trim, and gauges now have distinctive blue backlighting. Available ambient lighting now backlights the center console and door pulls, and the overhead console in LTZ models bathes the center console area with LED light.
All Malibu models, including the base LS, come quite well equipped, with cruise control, remote keyless entry, a tilt/telescope steering wheel, and an MP3-compatible CD audio system. Top LTZ models include features such as leather seats (heated in front), steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, and a remote starter system. Major options include a power sunroof and an upgraded audio system with six-disc changer.
Head-curtain side air bags covering front and rear outboard seats are now on the standard-equipment list for all models, along with seat-mounted thorax-protecting air bags. StabiliTrak electronic stability control is standard equipment on LT and LTZ models (not available on LS), and now incorporates a panic-brake assistance feature to give full braking power in quick-response situations.
For the first time, a Hybrid model joins the Malibu lineup. With the 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engine plus an electric motor starter/generator system, the hybrid powertrain is rated at 164 horsepower altogether, and a sophisticated control system automatically shuts off the engine when stopped, restarting it seamlessly when taking off from a stoplight, and recaptures energy lost during coasting and braking. Hybrid models also get a unique gauge cluster that relays information about the system's operation. Hybrid models achieve EPA fuel-efficiency ratings of 24 city, 32 highway.
Glass, acoustic, laminated front-side and windshield
Glass, Solar-Ray light-tinted
Wipers, front intermittent, variable, speed-sensitive
License plate bezel, chrome, rear
Door handles, body-color
Audio system, AM/FM stereo with CD player and MP3 playback seek-and-scan, digital clock, auto-tone control, Radio Data System (RDS), automatic volume, TheftLock and auxiliary input jack
Audio system feature, 6-speaker system
XM Satellite Radio. With a wide variety of programming, XM has something to excite any driver. Whether you want to be entertained or informed, to laugh, think, or sing, XM has the perfect channel for you - coast-to-coast, and in digital-quality sound. 3 trial months - no obligation (Available in the 48 contiguous United States. Required $12.95 monthly subscription sold separately after 3 trial months. All fees and programming subject to change. Subscription subject to customer agreement. For more information, visit gm.xmradio.com.)
Seats, front bucket with Sheer Suede reclining seatbacks and adjustable outboard head restraints
Seat adjuster, driver 6-way power
Pedals, power-adjustable for accelerator and brake
Remote vehicle starter system includes enhanced Remote Keyless Entry
Floor mats, carpeted front and rear
Sheer Suede seat trim
Seats, heated driver and front passenger
Seat, rear 60/40 split-folding seatback
Seat adjuster, driver power vertical height
Seat adjuster, driver manual lumbar control
Console, floor with floor shifter, integral sliding armrest and dual storage compartment
Steering column, tilt and telescopic
Steering wheel, 3-spoke leather-wrapped with mounted audio and cruise controls
Theft-deterrent system, vehicle, PASS-Key III+
Instrumentation, analog with speedometer, engine temperature, fuel, tachometer and PRNDL
Driver Information Center, with driver customization, warning messages and vehicle information including outside temperature display, trip odometer and programmable menu functions
Windows, power with driver Express-Down and Up and rear passenger lockout
Door locks, power programmable with lockout protection and delayed locking
Cruise control, electronic with set and resume speed
Trunk release, power, interior
Theft-deterrent alarm system, content theft alarm
Air conditioning, single-zone manual
Defogger, rear-window electric
Cup holders, dual front and rear
Power outlets, 2 auxiliary
Mirror, inside rearview auto-dimming with 8-point compass display
Universal Home Remote, includes garage door opener, 3-channel programmable
Visors, driver and front passenger illuminated vanity mirrors, covered
Lighting, interior with front reading lights
Lighting, interior rear reading lights
Shift knob, leather-wrapped
Map pockets, driver and front passenger seatbacks
StabiliTrak, stability control system with brake assist includes Traction Control
Brakes, 4-wheel antilock, 4-wheel disc
Daytime Running Lamps
Tire Pressure Monitor
OnStar, 1-year of Directions and Connections plan. Includes the innovative easy to use Turn-by-Turn Navigation services which provide voice-guided directions (where available). Also includes Automatic Notification of Air Bag Deployment, Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, Emergency Services, Roadside Assistance, Remote Door Unlock, OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics, Hands- Free Calling, AccidentAssist, Remote Horn and Lights, Information and Convenience Services, and Driving Directions (OnStar services require vehicle electrical system (including battery), wireless service and GPS satellite signals to be available and operating for features to function properly. OnStar acts as a link to existing emergency service providers. Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance and Remote door Unlock success varies with conditions. OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics available on most 2004 MY and newer GM vehicles. Diagnostic capability varies by model. Turn-by-Turn Navigation requires ABS and is not available in certain areas. Visit onstar.com or call 1-888-466-7827 for system limitations and details.)
Air bags, dual-stage frontal, and thorax side-impact, driver and front passenger, and head curtain side-impact, front and rear outboard seating positions, includes Passenger Sensing System (Head curtain side air bags are designed to help reduce the risk of head and neck injuries to front and rear seat occupants on the near side of certain side-impact collisions. Always use safety belts and the correct child restraints for your child's age and size. Even in vehicles equipped with air bags and the Passenger Sensing System, children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat. Never place a rear-facing infant restraint in the front seat of any vehicle equipped with an active frontal air bag. See the vehicle's Owner's Manual and child safety seat instructions for more safety information.)
Safety belts, 3-point, all seating positions, includes front seat pretensioners
LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Top tethers for CHildren), for child safety seats