Review: Chevrolet Malibu 2LT 2.4

Posted on 19. May, 2010 by in Auto News

Context is everything. As TTAC has never tried to operate as a new entry in the press-car sweepstakes, tends our context for the industry to be more to come on news from the business end of things than on a regular sampling of the newest vehicles on the market. This basic truth about our perspective goes a long way to explain our obsession with the struggle of the domestic auto industry, and the resulting charge that we institutionally biased against Detroit. If we (and our commitment to the truth, we do not claim that true objectivity everywhere) port as distortions to do, it is because we are products of the steady stream of bad news that has been bled out of Detroit in recent decades. But that's no excuse: we owe it to you, our readers, always mindful of their own inadequacies. In this sense, I set on a quiet day in the afternoon looking for more real-world context of the car manufacturers, we are mostly to accommodate bias against.

To be honest, I never really set, drive a Buick LaCrosse to get a little more context for my upcoming test drive of the Buick Regal. After an unsuccessful five minutes at my next Buick dealer, the worst prejudices of my TTAC-bred GM worldview were only confirmed. Mired in dealer arbitration Buick showroom this was a ghost town only by a LaCrosse, a Pontiac Solstice, a friendly reception and a deeply depressed and antagonistic colonized "Seller". Caught between "Old GM" and forget (thanks to ongoing dealer cull arbitration), it was impossible to begrudge the dealer a little depression or self-blame GM for my unsavory experience with him. Nevertheless, as any mother will tell, politeness costs nothing, and you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

After the rudeness and crushing sense of defeat and the uncertainty in the Buick dealer, and did not immediately know, have the position of the next un-culled (or not) Tri-Shield peddler, I trace a central Chevy dealer. Posing. Malibu as potential customers, I was quickly trimmed to a friendly, sympathetic seller, the 2LT introduced me to a waiting heralded 'bu

TTAC because belief in the importance of sampling vehicles as they are on dealer lots, I lied to more car salesman, as I think, in order to take care of time behind the wheel. Suffice it to say that this is the first time that I've ever felt bad about was the subterfuge. This guy was so good. As unscientific as sample size, these two visits was shown dramatically that GM neither "good" nor "bad", but rather a company of contrasts in the Merchant experience anyway exists down the road from the only true excellence of abject misery.

And so it is with GM cars. The beautiful Malibu I drove between these two icons of the "old GM," the Cobalt and Impala was embedded, and the contrast could hardly be more dramatic: The Malibu is clean, graceful lines made it as the single brand intruder on a shelf with Off Brand-filled crap. If, as some suggest industry types want the car business is no different than the fashion industry, the Malibu will be GM's best selling car hands-down. But in reality it is consistently sold out of the Impala, and this styling over-all insiders are shallow fools. So much for the looks.

Located in Malibu, continue the favorable impressions. Having previously made the 'bu inside turned by the bright top spec LTZ trim two-tone interior, the 2LT was a refreshing, if somewhat gloomy reintroduction. Acres of softish black plastic is not everyone's 10W-30, but it hides the sometimes difficult intersections dash / console panels and boring material texture pattern far better than the lighter interior options. As a result, the design comes across as little busy, and the overall impression of the quality improved.

The 2LT power-adjustable, heated driver's seat is a comfortable place to spend time, with only a slight feeling of claustrophobia shoulder-up offered in comparison to the generous real estate of competitors. Ergonomics are similar up-to-snuff, offers much more intuitive control than the button-jammed IPs of other Latter-day Chevy offers. Despite getting a leather-wrapped steering wheel with the 2LT trim level, the steering wheel is the only real disappointment lurking in the front row of the Malibu. Tiller mounted audio and cruise control switches are tightly clustered and take time to learn, and the wheel itself felt small, slightly loose and generally detract from the overall quality impression.

Likewise, the rear seats as compared to the almost incidentally seem well-equipped front row. Low seat rel, a relatively small bank, and to make room for uncooperative a bad combination, and here the contrast with the Impala is unmistakable. Clearly see the suede-alike valve seat inserts and feel beautiful, but the impression of quality does not approach the level of prejudice-ban cockpit. Here's hoping that GM puts the success of the rear-seat-obsessed Chinese market eventually to improvements in the U.S. market Malibu. A D-segment sedan should be designed to satisfy and impress more than just the driver and passenger.

This is doubly true because, as refined the Malibu's ride. The interior is quiet and rattle-free, and well-damped suspension blows with grace, confused rumble only through direct pothole strikes and some tires on poor soils. Although designed for comfort, feels the 'bu's suspension is well positioned and and informs the driver feel in control at all times. Maybe in control: The super light electric power steering feels effortless in the parking lot, but almost silly-overboosted at high speeds. Feedback may be AWOL, but at least there is no attempt by the fact to hide confusing, artificial wheel feedback. This test does not provide the ability to tackle much in the way of curves, but nothing indicates that a perception has been missed experiences changed.

On the other hand, GM 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine has impressed greatly. Thanks to a low first gear, covers the four-pot Malibu a weak-ish tip-in, fast and has a maximum torque. By the time he reached 160 lb-ft at 4500 RPM, the engine offers a surprisingly generous move, accompanied by a muted, grinding growl reminiscent of gas engines with direct injection. Performance would be best to be considered sufficient, but lives up to refinement overall impression of the quality of Malibu.

The six speed autobox make up for a lack of rev-happiness, and promotes fuel-efficient driving by brisk acceleration and easy light-defined trailing throttle. The main disadvantage here is that the drive train tries to be too efficient for its own good: Approaching a yellowing headlights while driving at light throttle, the right foot is not the torque'll easily by power needed until he was on the floor and The transmission got the hint. That would be more disconcerting if the Malibu, the brakes were not strong, consistent and confidence inspiring.

For around $ 27,000, including a performance-enhanced, USB port-equipped stereo, this seems Malibu 2LT as the type of car that should drive the GM sales and the image as a car manufacturer that can build competitive mass-market cars if they mind their brings to it. Strangely, however, the Malibu has not sold convincing his predecessors far less competitive, let alone their double cheeseburger value meal Impala cousin. This is surprising, considering that GM is offering $ 3,000 cash back on the image-busting sedan.

Won context, it is impossible not to be impressed by both the Malibu and my sample of the Chevy dealer experience. Nevertheless, the bad old Buick dealer and Malibu deplorable lot-mates, and a few niggling annoyance with the 'bu itself enough to give thought. GM execs have recently publicly declared the goal of "making each new model, a home run," a line which inevitably brings some eye-rolling taken by longtime GM watchers. But the Malibu and its context really reinforce the apparent truism. It is a really good car, especially by the standards of past GM sedans, but it needs a context that satisfies no fear that this quality could be a mere coincidence. Unfortunately, it seems that the already old-school Impala is still the context of Malibu, even after the planned 2013 'bu the redesign. Even with more sophistication and development of the Malibu will still be judged in its context. Nothing can escape its context.

General Motors and TTAC longstanding hostility if the psycho-drama and digressions for this review.