The Chevrolet Malibu has remained an enduring classic among its peers since it was introduced more than 50 years ago. Now, the quintessential mid-size sedan boldly steps into the future with an all-new 2017 model that is completely restyled and engineered to offer more efficiency, connectivity and advanced safety features than ever.
With an aggressive front end shaped like a bat, a lighter body, leaner performance, more fuel efficient, and more connected, this all-new, completely restyled and engineered 2017 Malibu model will no doubt impose itself in the already crowded world of family sedans. Remarkably, with the new longer chassis the interior has more rear seat legroom than before and kids will greatly enjoy their new long trips realm!
"Sophisticated, upscale, luxurious, yet practical" is a bold statement that was used to describe the 2017 Malibu during its official launch in Dubai last month. The car is definitely a head turner when it comes to someone looking at this specific segment, and I was excited to get behind the wheel to know what they were talking about.
From a safety and security standpoint, this car is equipped with advanced features that can be considered a breaking point in the decision of a car purchase. These much-needed features can be summed up as follows:
- Front pedestrian alert that uses a forward-looking camera to help avoid or reduce the harm caused by crashes with pedestrians ahead of the vehicle - the system can apply automatic last-second braking
- New Lane Keep Assist with lane departure warning
- Side Blind Zone Alert with lane change alert
- New Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Front and rear park assist
- Intellibeam, which automatically switches the headlamps to high beam for better road illumination and improved visibility
- Adaptive cruise control with Front Automatic Braking
- Automatic parking assist.
This car is also equipped with MyLink infotainment system that gives owners a smart and simple way to access Apple CarPlay. An easy access to the iPhone features while driving through the vehicle's display in a smart and simple manner allowing the driver to make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music right from the touchscreen or by voice via Siri. Many features can also be controlled via voice commands through a button on the steering wheel, helping drivers spend more time with eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
Beneath the all-new Malibu's athletic-looking skin is a stronger, lighter body structure that contributes to its efficiency and driving dynamics. The greater application of high-strength steel enabled the use of thinner components in the body structure. The 186 horsepower 2.5-liter ECOTEC engine with a six-speed automatic transmission offers performance to match the Malibu's stunning good looks. This vehicle was engineered with effective fuel efficiency in mind, with good fuel economy of 7.0 L/ 100 km.
The all-new Malibu features a MacPherson strut front suspension design that delivers a greater measure of control with rebound spring, and a proven four-link suspension design to offer segment-best ride and handling through individually tuned bushings on each link. Four-wheel antilock disc brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and standard disc brakes with Duralife brake rotors along with four-channel ABS offer straighter, more controlled braking in all conditions as well as an improved feeling of firmness and smoothness.
We finally got behind the wheel and went off for our test drive and took the cars for a spin on the much-crowded Dubai streets. Well, I can sum up my experience in one line: "This Chevy is a pleasure to drive!" and I could see what they meant by "Sophisticated, upscale, luxurious, yet practical". The car accelerated beautifully, handled the curbs with a steady grip, and felt as comfortable in traffic as it did in open, scenic routes.
As a family guy, I can easily see myself owning this Malibu. And I am sure, with this aggressive and youngish look; my kids would love to drive around in it. Way to go Chevy!
Rivals: Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Mazda 6, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, Volkswagen Passat, Dodge Charger
Pros: Exterior look, fuel consumption, safety and infotainment features, rear legroom space
Cons: Hard plastics in the interior, pricey when fully equipped
2.5L, inline-4, 186 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 249 Nm @ 4,000 rpm
6-speed auto, FWD
0-100 km/h: 8-8.5 sec, top speed: 220 km/h, fuel consumption: 7.0 L/100 km
Weight: 1,471 kg
One word: desirable