Chevrolet, through NAZA Quest Sdn Bhd – the official distributor for Malaysia have launched the long awaited D-Segment contender, the Chevrolet Malibu. The mid-sized sedan (originally a North American product, now sold in over 100 countries) is only available in one trim here, is priced at RM153,888 and is fully imported from South Korea.
|Name||Chevrolet Malibu LTZ|
|Engine||2.4-litre, 4-cylinder, naturally aspirated|
|Transmission||6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode|
|Max Power||165hp @ 5,800 rpm|
|Max Torque||225Nm @ 4,600 rpm|
|Price (OTR without insurance)||RM 153,888|
The Malibu carries the brand’s signature dual-port grille design which houses passive blockers that reduce wind resistance. Chevrolet has also used a key element in the design of this Malibu, borrowed from the iconic Camaro coupe, which can be seen from the rear of the Malibu.
“The Malibu LTZ is one of the industry’s most iconic and successful nameplate. Its qualities certainly make it a fitting flagship model for the Chevrolet brand in Malaysia,” said Datuk Wira HJ SM Faisal Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin, the Joint Group Executive Chairman of NAZA Group of Companies.
The Malibu boasts finely sculpted contours around the rear quarter of the car, which improves aerodynamic and reduces drag. Its side view mirrors are also optimally designed to complement the car’s overall aerodynamics.
One of the Malibu’s highlights would be the self-levelling HID headlights with integrated ‘Tunnel Detection’ feature. Despite its subtle appearance, the car sits on 18-inch wheels, wrapped with 245/45 R18 series tyres and features dual exhaust pipes as standard.
A peek inside this mid-sized sedan would have you impressed at its build quality. What’s most striking is the ice-blue ambiance lighting, and the seven-inch full-colour touch screen system, which pops up to reveal an extra compartment to fit smaller items such as your sunglasses or mobile phones. The rear-view camera also comes as standard.
Other features in the cabin include Bluetooth wireless technology via Chevrolet’s MyLink system, single-zone automatic climate control system, cruise control, keyless entry and push-to-start ignition, leather wrapped gear knob and leather wrapped three-spoke steering wheel with audio and cruise control.
The seats are also leather wrapped with vinyl perimeter accents, and the front seats are electrically powered (8-way, including lumbar control). There is one small gripe, however, that is the rear legroom space. Never mind the cavernous 462-litre boot space. It’s huge, but it could have been reduced to accommodate a larger legroom space for the rear passengers.
Again, the Malibu rolls in with one engine and one engine only, that is the 2.4-litre, four-cylinder Ecotec engine. No forced induction here, but it does feature the brand’s famed Dual Continuous Variable Cam Phasing (DCVCP) and direct injection technology. It makes 165 horsepower and 225Nm of torque, whilst returning a claimed fuel efficiency of 7.8 litres per 100km traveled.
The engine gets paired to a conventional 6-speed gearbox (with manual shifting mode, operated via the buttons atop the gear knob), which transfers all the power to the front wheels. Suspension wise, the front gets MacPherson struts whereas the rear gets the multi-link suspension. Handling is further aided by Chevrolet’s intelligent Stabilitrak Electronic Stability Control System.
Chevrolet is undeniably proud of the Malibu’s safety features. For a start, it’s given a 5-star rating by Euro NCAP, and it was named the “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety twice, consecutively. The cabin is fitted with four airbags (two front, two side), and comes with four-wheel ABS system with brake assist integration, four disc brakes, anti-theft system, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and power programmable door locking protection.
Now, the Malibu positions itself as a well-rounded vehicle with many features to boot. Impressive, if I may add, for the price tag it carries. For RM153,888, it does appear to be a steal over the usual suspects, namely the Honda Accord, Suzuki Kizashi, Toyota Camry, Mazda 6 and the slightly costlier Peugeot 508; just a few to boot. It’s also imported (CBU) from South Korea.
All told, the Malibu is quite an interesting proposition if you’re looking to put your money down on a ‘North American’ product. If you’re the kind to favour a generous warranty scheme, then the 5-year or 200,000km (whichever comes first) warranty programme will certainly pull your heartstrings.