Chevrolet Malibu Launch- 35

Chevrolet Malaysia has finally launched the Chevrolet Malibu in our market. It’s been a long time coming, the Malibu, GM’s D-segment sedan that will join a competitive class with the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Teana, Mazda 6, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima K5, Volkswagen Passat and Peugeot 508 in attendance.

To confront the talent above, the Malibu carries a hint of American muscle in the design that looks handsome in the metal. The sedan’s rear-end, with “Camaro-inspired” quad tail lamps, is particularly distinctive.

At 4,865 mm long, the Malibu is about the length of an Accord (4,870 mm) but its wheelbase of 2,737 mm is pretty short in the class. But as the Mazda 6 (2,830 mm) shows, outright WB length doesn’t always translate to great legroom – packaging counts. The Chevy’s boot holds 462 litres, and the rear seat folds 60:40 for bigger items.

Chevrolet Malibu Launch- 13

The Malibu is powered by a 2.4 litre Ecotec engine with 165 hp and 225 Nm of torque, available at 4,600 rpm. The DOHC four-cylinder unit with Intake Valve Lift Control is paired to a six-speed conventional torque converter automatic gearbox with manual mode (+/- buttons on top surface of gear knob). 0-100 km/h is done in 9.6 seconds before a top speed of 206 km/h is reached.

Sitting on GM’s Epsilon II platform that also underpins the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia and Buick Regal, the big Chevy is suspended by MacPherson struts in front and a multi-link unit at the back. The electric power steering an adaptive “variable effort” system. The wheels are 18-inchers wrapped with Bridgestone Potenza RE050A 245/45 tyres.

The single, high LTZ trim available here includes things like HID headlamps with washers, heated wing mirrors with turn signals, a tyre pressure monitoring system, single-zone auto air-con, cruise control, auto dimming rear-view mirror, keyless entry with push start and eight-way power adjustable seats (with lumbar) for both driver and passenger.

Chevrolet Malibu Launch- 4

Also in the mix is a “MyLink” six-speaker sound system with seven-inch touchscreen (flips up to reveal a storage area), AUX-in, USB, Bluetooth, reverse camera and steering controls. Remote engine start means you can warm up the engine and cool down the cabin via the key fob.

The instrument panel, with Camaro-style square-hooded dials, is lighted up in “ice-blue”. The same hue is used for ambient lighting that glows out from the dashboard and doors. Four airbags (dual-front and side), ABS, Brake Assist and “StabiliTrak” electronic stability control (ESC) make up the safety kit.

The Chevrolet Malibu 2.4 LTZ is a CBU import from South Korea, priced at RM155,444 on-the-road excluding insurance. It is covered by a factory five-year/200,000 km warranty. Full specs at CarBase.my.