- Fuel economy
- low price
- smooth, quiet ride
- unique, spacious Maxx model.
Chevrolet's compact sedan for 2007, the Malibu, comes in several four-cylinder and V6 variants, ranging from a budget-priced four-cylinder LS model with especially high fuel economy to a well-appointed, V6-powered LTZ models, up to the sporty, more powerful Malibu SS.
A 145-horsepower, 2.2L Ecotec four-cylinder engine is standard on the Malibu LS and LT, while LTZ models get a 217-horsepower, 3.5L V6. The V6 is also offered as part of an option package on the LT. A pushrod design, the engine has been newly revised, with variable valve timing for improved efficiency. At the top of the powertrain range is the 240-horsepower, 3.9L V6 offered only on the sporty SS. All engines are paired with a four-speed automatic transmission.
Besides the larger engine, the SS also includes a sport-tuned suspension, manual shift mode for the transmission, 18-inch flangeless wheels, sport seats, fog lamps, chrome-tipped exhaust, and special trim throughout.
And there's another body style, too: the Malibu Maxx. Part station wagon and part hatchback, the Maxx has a very distinctive silhouette. From the back of the front door forward, the Malibu sedan and Malibu Maxx are identical, but the Maxx has a wheelbase that's six inches longer, while the entire vehicle is actually slightly shorter, bringing a different sense of proportions and making the interior much more spacious. Both the sedan and Maxx have 60/40-split folding rear seats for loading large cargo items, but in the Maxx the back seat slides almost seven inches fore and aft, and the seatbacks also recline, which brings the legroom of a much larger car, or an especially long cargo area. In back, there's an extra power outlet, and an interchangeable panel that allows two-tier loading for groceries or can function as a picnic table. The Maxx also comes with a unique, fixed-glass skylight.
The Malibu is equipped well for young families. Even base Malibu models have heating and air conditioning vents to route airflow to back-seat passengers, and top options on the Maxx include both a rear-seat audio system and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones.
All models now come with full-length side-curtain air bags. Side-impact thorax air bags are standard on the top LTZ and SS models.
The top-of-the-line LTZ model is well-equipped, including automatic climate control, heated mirrors and front seats, a power driver's seat, leather-trimmed upholstery, OnStar, and a universal garage door opener. Sound systems range up to a system with in-dash, six-disc changer and XM satellite radio compatibility.
Whether with the four-cylinder or the V6, the Malibu returns better-than-average fuel economy. The four-cylinder model is EPA-rated at 24 city, 34 highway, while the V6 Malibu returns 32 highway for the sedan and 30 with the Maxx.