Continuing to ride the wave of its success as the 2008 North American Car of the Year, the midsize Chevrolet Malibu sedan offers minimal changes for 2009. Powered by a 169-hp four-cylinder engine delivering 160 lb-ft of torque paired to a four-speed automatic transmission, the front-wheel-drive Malibu also offers a 3.6L V6 engine with 252 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic with manual shift control. Inside, the five-passenger interior combines a quiet ride along with numerous comfort items and conveniences, including a premium audio system with standard XM satellite radio. EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy for the four-cylinder, while the V6 earns a 17/26 mpg rating. Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid specifications, however, list 26 mpg city/34 mpg hwy, thanks to a gas-electric configuration featuring a small electric motor that starts the 2.4L four-cylinder gasoline engine and adds a small boost of power under high-load conditions; the gas engine generates 164 hp, rising to 169 hp when assisted by the electric motor. Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes, traction control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags.Read more Read less
Following a complete redesign last year, the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu carries over with few major changes. Many exterior colors have been replaced, and side marker lamps and optional power-adjustable pedals have been deleted. The Power Convenience Package has added some features, including Bluetooth, 17-inch wheels replace 16-inch on the base LS, and StabiliTrak with brake assist and traction control is now standard across the model range. The 2.4L 4-cylinder is standard across the range, including the top-line LTZ, while the 6-speed automatic is now available on LT models and standard on the LTZ.
Stylish design; comfortable ride; affordable hybrid model; good power from V6; fuel efficiency in the 4-cylinder and hybrid.
Chevrolet's 2009 Malibu has established itself as stylish, comfortable, safe, and reliable transportation for a family that's concerned about low initial cost and low running costs. With plenty of standard convenience and safety features, crisp handling, and an array of powertrain options from fuel-sipping to pedal-mashing, the Malibu puts plenty of excitement into the Chevrolet lineup.