The all-new 2008 Chevrolet Malibu delivers great performance, fuel economy and refinement, wrapped in a clean, tailored design that carries the new face of Chevrolet. The new Malibu will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show. It arrives at Chevrolet dealerships later this year.
“The 2008 Malibu rewrites Chevrolet’s midsize car strategy, offering a stylish, uncompromising package that stacks up against the most popular competitors,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “We know the competition is very good, and this new Malibu has the goods – both tangible and intangible – to assert a leadership position in the segment and re-affirm Chevrolet’s commitment to expressive cars.”
Indeed, the 2008 Malibu brings a fresh perspective and new proportions to the midsize segment. It is more than three inches (76 mm) longer than the current model, with a six-inch-longer (162 mm) wheelbase that delivers a poised, wheels-at-the-corners stance and helps provide a smoother, more direct driving experience. In fact, Malibu’s wheelbase is three inches (76 mm) longer than Toyota Camry.
“ Malibu is the car our customers have been looking for,” said Peper. “There is more style and content on the new Malibu than any other competitor in the segment.”
The new Malibu is offered in three well-equipped trim levels: LS, LT and LTZ – all with standard head-curtain side air bags and front-seat thorax air bags, OnStar Gen 7 with remote diagnostics, and XM Satellite Radio. StabiliTrak electronic stability control is standard on LT and LTZ models.
Highlights of the redesigned 2008 Malibu include:
- All-new refined and contemporary exterior with new dual-port grille design that represents the new face of Chevrolet
- Twin round taillamps
- Upscale interior design with available two-tone trim; gauges with Chevrolet blue backlighting
- Standard head-curtain side air bags and front seat-mounted thorax protection air bags
- Available 110-volt household-type AC power outlet
- Refined and technically advanced family of economic DOHC powertrains, including a 2.4L Ecotec DOHC four-cylinder and a 3.6L DOHC V-6 with variable valve timing
- Fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmission available with both four-cylinder and V-6 engines – a segment exclusive for four-cylinder engines
- Five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty
- Four-wheel independent suspension and longer wheelbase that deliver a more controlled, satisfying and confident driving experience
- Family of large wheels, including 18-inch ultra-bright polished wheels on LTZ
- Available large, panoramic sunroof
- Standard tire pressure monitoring system
With its strong stance and bold proportions, the 2008 Malibu has a profile that reinforces its substantial feel. Clean, pure lines and wheels pushed to the corners, as well as a visually lower yet longer greenhouse and a shorter deck suggest motion, agility and attitude. The body sides are clean and elegant, interrupted only by distinctive, wheel-oriented forms that communicate an aggressive, stable stance and a rear profile that connects to Chevrolet’s rich performance heritage.
The Malibu’s dual-port grille is characteristic of the new face of Chevrolet cars and the twin round taillamps are Chevrolet cues, too, with LTZ models distinguished by front fog lamps and LED-lit taillamps. The design elements are complemented with precise details, including minimized panel gaps, a tight wheel-to-body relationship and select use of chrome trim. V-6 models also receive dual chrome exhaust outlets.
The interior’s attention to detail matches the Malibu’s exterior, with an ergonomic design using premium materials that convey quality and value, including a cast skin material on the instrument panel. The integrated, flowing instrument panel features a Chevrolet-signature dual-cockpit design, with prominent gauges backlit in blue, and metallic or wood grain accents.
The new Malibu has greater storage, too, with thoughtful features that maximize utility, including a deep center console with a sliding cover that opens to accommodate larger items. Also standard is an auxiliary in-dash storage compartment on the instrument panel for sunglasses, CDs and other items. An available rear power center provides a household-style 110-volt AC power outlet.
Safe and secure
The 2008 Malibu has a comprehensive roster of standard and available features that helps protect occupants before, during and after a crash. They include:
- Dual-stage frontal air bags with GM Passenger Sensing System
- Head curtain side-impact air bags (front and rear outboard seats)
- Front seat-mounted thorax protection air bags
- Front safety belt pretensioners
- LATCH child safety seat anchors
- Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS
- Traction control
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with panic brake assistance (LT and LTZ models)
- Tire pressure monitoring system
All 2008 Malibu models come with OnStar Gen 7, which features standard automatic crash notification service and OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation – the first factory-installed, fully integrated GPS navigation system from OnStar.
Malibu’s long, 112.3-inch (2,852 mm) wheelbase and wheels-at-the corner stance enable sharp, responsive ride and handling characteristics that bring a trait that’s rare to the segment: driving satisfaction. The balanced, four-wheel independent suspension system features a MacPherson strut front suspension design and multilink rear suspension. The front suspension uses aluminum control arms, which reduce unsprung mass impacts over bumps for a smoother ride. A direct-acting stabilizer bar provides a more immediate feel to steering inputs.
The rear suspension also features a direct-acting stabilizer bar, as well as monotube or twin-tube shock absorbers, depending on the model. The front and rear suspension systems are tuned for each powertrain combination, delivering tailored driving characteristics for all models. Hydraulic ride bushings and body control damping measures enhance the connected-to-the-road driving feel while supporting a comfortable ride.
GM’s StabiliTrak electronic stability control system is standard on LT and LTZ models. It uses sophisticated vehicle sensors tied to the anti-lock braking system to help the driver maintain control during certain maneuvers. The new panic brake assistance feature provides full braking power when a panic-braking event is detected. This can reduce the braking distance, providing more control in helping to avoid a crash.
Steering response is precise and immediate, thanks to tuned steering systems designed for each model. Malibu models equipped with the 2.4L engine use a variable electric power-assist steering system, while V-6 models employ a hydraulic-assisted steering system.
A family of 16-, 17- and 18-inch wheels is offered with Malibu , all tailored with a tight wheel-to-body relationship. LS models come with 16-inch painted trim wheels; LT models come with 17-inch chrome trim wheels and LTZ models are fitted with 18-inch aluminum ultra-bright-finish wheels.
The suspension systems are mounted to a robust chassis and integrated body structure that features a safety cage design and strategic placement of high-strength steel for outstanding structural integrity. The strong chassis and body structure enable more precise mounting of the suspension systems, a design trait that enabled engineers to focus on finer degrees of suspension tuning. A safety cage construction built into the Malibu’s body structure is complemented with reinforced rocker sections, as well as a reinforced front body hinge pillar and roof pillars that were designed to improve impact protection. A magnesium cross-car beam unites the lower sections of the A-pillars. This not only helps protect passengers in side-impact crashes, but also serves as a solid foundation for the instrument panel. High-strength steel is used in strategic areas to augment overall structural integrity.
The 2.4L Ecotec DOHC four-cylinder engine is rated at 164 horsepower (122 kW)* and delivers an estimated 31 mpg in highway driving, which is projected to be as good as or better than the segment’s current sales leader. It also is good enough to join the exclusive ranks of vehicles rated at 30 mpg or more – a club that will be tougher to join in 2008 because of revised EPA mileage test standards. GM has more “members” in the 30-mpg club than any other manufacturer.
The 2.4L Ecotec DOHC will be offered with all trim levels. LS and LT models are backed by a Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic transmission. Malibu LTZ models with the 2.4L engine are equipped with a new Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic – the only four-cylinder/six-speed automatic combination in the segment.
The available 3.6L V-6 VVT is a sophisticated, all-aluminum DOHC engine that uses variable valve technology to produce 252 horsepower (188 kW)** while delivering an estimated 26 mpg in highway driving. It is mated with a Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic transmission.
The Malibu’s six-speed transmissions enable a strong balance between performance and fuel efficiency, with the six forward gears offering optimized performance at all rpm levels, as well as reduced rpm at highway cruising speeds. Lower rpm can enhance fuel economy and reduce cabin noise. The six-speed transmissions also feature Driver Shift Control (DSC), which enables the driver to shift manually with steering wheel-mounted controls.
All Malibu powertrain combinations are supported with GM’s five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Quiet, thoughtful environment
Malibu’s strong structure serves as the foundation for an exceptionally quiet environment. Along with the robust chassis, which minimizes vibration and noise, the body structure uses noise-reducing materials, such as liquid spray-on sound deadener, laminated steel and composite wheel liners, to deliver one the segment’s quietest, most refined driving experiences. Laminated “quiet glass” also contributes to a quiet environment.
The interior’s attention to detail complements the quieting features, with an ergonomic design using materials that convey quality and value, including a cast skin material on the instrument panel. For the first time, the Malibu is offered with two-tone trim combinations, including Ebony and Brick, Cocoa and Cashmere and Titanium and Cashmere . There is also an all-Ebony combination, accented with a distinctive wood grain element that offers a unique, upscale appearance. LTZ models receive distinctive, black-chrome accents, a specific instrument layout and unique, two-tone leather seating surfaces.
Ambient lighting in areas such as the overhead console and door-pull pockets enhances the Malibu’s inviting feel. The overhead console-mounted LED floodlights provide subdued lighting to the center console area between the front seats. A feeling of openness is enhanced with Malibu’s available, panoramic sunroof, featuring four sliding panels that provide an opening that extends between the front and rear seats. The retractable glass panels tilt upward, so there is no loss of headroom inside the car.