Like all other Chevrolet models, the Malibu is entering the 2011 model year with a few changes. The biggest change made the transmission. The four-speed automatic has been dropped and exchanged for a six-speed automatic which is now standard on all models. All models will be offered with TAPshift manual shift control while the 1LT will get 17-inch bright finish aluminum wheels as standard and the 2LT models will receive 18-inch Chrome Tech aluminum wheels.
For 2011, Malibu will be offered in three well-equipped trim levels: LS, LT and LTZ – all with a standard, fuel-efficient, four-cylinder 2.4L Ecotec engine and six-speed transmission that delivers 33 mpg highway. A 252-HP 3.6L V-6 is available on 2LT and LTZ models.
All Malibu models will be offered with four-wheel anti-lock brakes, StabiliTrak electronic stability control, AM/FM stereo with CD player and MP3 playback, XM Satellite Radio, OnStar 9.0 with six months of Directions and Connections service and Turn-by-Turn Navigation, power height driver seat adjuster with power lumbar, Remote Keyless Entry, and cruise control.
Press release after the jump.
Since its introduction as an all-new model for the 2008 model year, the Chevrolet Malibu has continued to earn praise from consumers, automotive critics and industry experts. Malibu was recently named a Best Buy by Consumers Digest for the second year in a row, and a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for 2010. That’s on top of 2008 North American Car of the Year honors by automotive journalists, and more than 40 other awards since the car’s introduction.
More importantly, the proof of Malibu’s success is on the road, because consumer demand for Malibu has been steadily increasing. Since its launch, Malibu has doubled Chevrolet’s share of the fiercely competitive midsize car market, and average transaction prices have climbed almost $3,000. Sales were up 39 percent in the first quarter of 2010.
“The Malibu continues to be a very powerful challenger in the midsize segment by providing customers with a gorgeous, fuel-efficient sedan packed with value-added amenities,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet marketing. “Word is out that Malibu delivers a lot of car for the money, and the result is that we are bringing new customers to Chevrolet every day, as well as those who may not have driven a Chevrolet in a while.”
New for 2011
Malibu’s 2011 model year changes include:
The fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmission is now standard on all models; previously it was only available on the LT and LTZ models. Malibu no longer offers a four-speed automatic
TAPshift manual shift control now standard on all models
17-inch bright finish aluminum wheels are standard on Malibu 1LT
18-inch Chrome Tech aluminum wheels are included in Malibu 2LT V-6 package
OnStar 9.0 hardware, which offers improved voice recognition and six months of uplevel Directions and Connections service including Turn-by-Turn navigation, making Malibu the only midsize car that offers standard navigation service.
The 2011 Malibu is offered in three well-equipped trim levels: LS, LT and LTZ – all with a standard, fuel-efficient, four-cylinder 2.4L Ecotec engine and six-speed transmission that deliver 33 mpg highway. A 252-horsepower 3.6L V-6 is available on 2LT and LTZ models. Chevrolet expects that about 60 percent of customers will choose either the 1LT or 2LT model.
Also standard on all Malibu models are four-wheel anti-lock brakes; StabiliTrak electronic stability control; AM/FM stereo with CD player and MP3 playback; XM Satellite Radio; OnStar 9.0 with six months of Directions and Connections service and Turn-by-Turn Navigation; power height driver seat adjuster with power lumbar; Remote Keyless Entry and cruise control. A compact spare tire and jack assembly are available on all models.
On LS models, custom cloth front bucket seats are standard, along with 17-inch fascia spoke wheels with painted sterling silver trim. Bluetooth connectivity and carpeted front and rear floor mats are available.
Malibu 1LT adds steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls; power body-color outside mirrors; 17-inch bright finish aluminum wheels, bright exterior accents and carpeted front and rear floor mats. Six-way power driver seat adjuster; remote vehicle start; Bluetooth connectivity; and an interface package including uplevel AM/FM stereo with USB port and CD player and 110V AC rear power center are available.
Malibu 2LT models add 17-inch Chrome Tech aluminum wheels, UltraLux trim seats with heated six-way power driver and front passenger seat; remote vehicle starter system; leather-wrapped steering wheel. Bluetooth connectivity for phone; and chrome exhaust tip. A premium floor and trunk mat package; interface package; premium eight-speaker Bose audio system and power sunroof are available. When the V-6 package is selected on the 2LT model, 18-inch Chrome Tech aluminum wheels are included.
The premium Malibu LTZ model adds front heated leather-appointed seats with eight-way power driver seat and six-way power passenger seat; AM/FM stereo with USB port and MP3 playback; eight-speaker Bose premium audio system; automatic climate control; premium carpeted front and rear floor mats; power, heated body-color outside mirrors; fog lamps, 18-inch, 10-spoke bright aluminum wheels. A power sunroof and V-6 package are both optional.
Fuel-saving six-speed transmissions standard on all models for 2011
Malibu’s 169-horsepower (126 kW) four-cylinder 2.4L Ecotec engine is partnered with a 6T40 six-speed transmission to deliver a great balance of performance and fuel efficiency. Malibu was the first midsize sedan to offer a standard four-cylinder/six-speed automatic transmission combination. EPA-estimated fuel economy for this DOHC powertrain with variable valve timing is 22 mpg in the city and an impressive 33 on the highway.
If more power is desired, Malibu 2LT and LTZ are available with the 3.6L V-6 VVT – a sophisticated, all-aluminum DOHC engine that uses variable valve technology to produce 252 horsepower (188 kW)* while delivering EPA-estimated fuel economy of 17 mpg city and 26 mpg in highway driving. It, too, is mated with a Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic transmission.
The Malibu 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 TAPshift, which enables the driver to shift manually through the gears.
All Malibu powertrains are backed by GM’s five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, the best and most comprehensive in the industry.
With its strong stance and bold proportions, the 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 with Corvette cues that connects to Chevrolet’s rich performance heritage. .
The interior’s attention to detail matches the Malibu’s exterior, with an ergonomic design using premium materials that convey quality and value. The integrated, flowing instrument panel features a Chevrolet-signature dual-cockpit design, with prominent gauges backlit in blue, and metallic or wood grain accents.
Engineering out the noise
Malibu’s strong structure provides an exceptionally quiet environment. Along with the robust chassis, which minimizes vibration and noise, the body construction 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.
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.
Malibu also comes with a standard AM/FM stereo system CD player with MP3 playback capability and XM Satellite Radio. Available upgrades on certain models include a premium eight-speaker, Bose sound system that is standard on LTZ and available on 2LT.
Malibu challenges any notion that a midsize sedan can’t deliver driving satisfaction. Malibu’s long, 112.3-inch (2,852 mm) wheelbase and wheels-at-the corner stance enable precise, responsive ride and handling characteristics. The balanced, four-wheel independent suspension system features a MacPherson strut front suspension design and multi-link rear suspension.
GM’s standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control system uses sophisticated vehicle sensors tied to the anti-lock braking system to help the driver maintain control during certain maneuvers, especially ones of an emergency nature. The 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 17- and 18-inch wheels is offered with Malibu, all tailored with a tight wheel-to-body relationship. LS models come with 17-inch fascia spoke wheels and for 2011, 1LT models feature 17-inch bright aluminum wheels. The 2LT V-6 package includes new 18-inch Chrome Tech aluminum wheels.
Safe and secure
The Malibu enhances its popularity as a family sedan with a comprehensive roster of standard and available features that helps protect occupants before, during and after a crash. They include:
Dual-stage driver and front passenger frontal air bags with GM Passenger Sensing System
Standard four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, traction control and panic braking assist
Head curtain side-impact air bags (front and rear outboard seats)
Front seat-mounted thorax protection side air bags
Front safety belt pretensioners
LATCH child safety seat anchors
Safety cage construction with strategic use of high-strength steel for structural integrity helps protect occupants; magnesium cross-car beams help improve protection in side-impact crashes
Tire pressure monitoring system
OnStar Automatic Crash Response.
For 2011, Malibu includes OnStar 9.0, which, in addition to ACR, features improved voice recognition technology, remote diagnostics, remote door unlock, Stolen Vehicle Slowdown and six months of uplevel Directions and Connections service that includes Turn-By-Turn Navigation. It is the first factory-installed, fully integrated GPS navigation system from OnStar.
Malibu is the only midsize car that offers standard navigation. Turn-by-Turn allows consumers to talk to a live adviser, who in turn sends complete step-by-step directions to customers’ vehicles through their OnStar system. These audio directions automatically play through the vehicle’s stereo as needed, triggered by the OnStar system’s GPS capabilities. The directions also are displayed on the radio screen. This enables drivers to be guided to their destination while keeping their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.
Malibu also offers OnStar eNav, which lets subscribers plan their trips on MapQuest.com and later and call them up from within the vehicle. The driver pushes the OnStar button and follows voice commands to retrieve the directions using OnStar’s Turn-by-Turn voice navigation.