There's been a Chevy Malibu in GM's lineup for decades, since the 1960s. It was a rear-wheel-drive sedan throughout the 1980s, but then transformed for 1997 into a smaller front-wheel-drive four-door sedan to replace the Corsica sedan. The last 15 years of Malibus have a reputation for providing good value.
The 1997 Malibu was powered by an 150-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or 155-hp , 3.1-liter V-6. It offered a cushy suspension and four-speed automatic-and its interior had the comfort basics covered. Chevy dropped the four-cylinder engine completely in 2000.
The Malibu received a full redesign for 2004. Built on a new global platform, the 2004-2008 Malibu was a bit more refined, handled better, and had a more refined interior. Its powertrain lineup consisted of a nice, fuel-efficient 144-horsepower Ecotec four-cylinder and a 201-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6.
The Malibu Maxx offered a 3.5-liter pushrod V-6 and four-speed automatic. A later Maxx SS model got a 3.9-liter version, making 240 horsepower.
In 2008, GM completely redesigned the model, making it much longer to match mid-size rivals and giving it an interior and back-seat space that outclassed many sedans its size. Powertrains included a 169-horsepower, 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine and a 252-horsepower, DOHC 3.6-liter V-6.
For a short time, a hybrid version of the 2009 Malibu was offered. For 2010, the Chevrolet Malibu was named a Top Safety Pick under the new tighter requirements from the Insurance Industry for Highway Safety (IIHS), which include new roof-strength tests, and has also been more reliable than past models. The changes in 2011 to crash-test scoring leave the Malibu an IIHS Top Safety Pick and it carried over essentially unchanged through 2012.
The newest, most efficient generation of the Malibu was introduced for the 2013 model year.
A new trio of drivetrains makes the 2013 Malibu a four-cylinder-only car. The first model to launch was the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco which offered a 2.4 liter four cylinder with eAssist technology that uses an electric motor and a small lithium-ion battery pack to provide engine stop/start and electric assist for the gasoline engine. The base engine is a 197-hp, 2.5-liter four, with a turbocharged four with 259 hp at the top of the lineup.
They also improved safety and technology features for 2013. It comes with 8 standard air bags and a variety of options like the rearview camera and a Color-Touch navigation option, to just name a few.