We’ve known that the Malaysian D-segment market would be stirred up a bit by a Chevrolet for some time now. When this generation of Chevrolet Malibu was first unveiled in 2011, GM said that it would be a global car like the C-segment Chevrolet Cruze.

In January this year, we found brochure scans teasing the arrival of the Malibu in Malaysia, and this was followed by the sighting of an ad on car classifieds website listing the Malibu for RM163k.

We sighted the Chevrolet Malibu with our own eyes for the first time yesterday evening when a colleague saw this black unit parked outside the Naza Automall PJ along the Federal Highway. A quick check with a sales advisor revealed an estimated price of RM175k and a RM15k discount for the first 500 early bird buyers. The car is a CBU import from South Korea.

This car isn’t the latest facelift version, which had an early debut in mid 2013, just one and a half years after the original design rolled off the line in October 2011. It could be a US market specific thing, as the latest generation of US market cars seem to be getting early facelifts due to some kind of mass misreading of market tastes or perhaps stiff competition – the US market Honda Civic received a similiar fast track facelift.

The Chevrolet Malibu will take on D-segment in Malaysia, dominated by Japanese competitors like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Teana. It looks pretty handsome, and there’s a hint of muscle in the ‘inspired by Camaro’ rear end.

Underpinned by GM’s Epsilon II platform, the Malibu comes with a range of engines, depending on market. There’s a 2.4 litre Ecotec (165 hp/225 Nm), a 2.5 litre with 197 hp/259 Nm, a 3.0 V6 with 260 hp/290 Nm, or even a 2.0 turbo with 260 hp and 353 Nm. A 160 hp/350 Nm 2.0 VCDI diesel engine is also in the range. The Malaysian car will most likely get the 2.4 litre Ecotec.

We’ll be back with more news, while you can follow Chevrolet Malaysia’s Facebook page for updates.

Chevrolet Malibu at the 2013 Seoul Motor Show