I don’t know why I hadn’t paid much attention to the Chevrolet Malibu before. But it was certainly one of those vehicles that wasn’t on my radar.
Little did I know that my week test driving the 2010 Malibu 2LT would be so enjoyable.
Granted, this car isn’t terribly exciting but in all the areas that really count—performance, comfort and passenger capacity—the Malibu isn’t just adequate, it’s excellent.
Priced at $25,175 and totaling $27,070 with four options (USB port, premium sound system, spare tire and jewel paint), the Malibu has a five-star rating in frontal and side crash government safety ratings and four stars in rollover tests. It compares to the Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord and the Ford Fusion.
What I liked most about this car was that the ride was consistently smooth (thanks to the four-wheel independent suspension) and without any jarring regardless of the terrain. And the steering was exceptionally fluid and responsive.
Space for passengers and cargo are extremely important for me as there are family members to consider and always plenty to transport. The Malibu didn’t disappoint in either area. Passenger space is roomy, and the trunk is surprisingly huge.
While the interior isn’t ultra-luxurious, it is quite comfortable. I particularly like the deep-set tray-like space on the dashboard with the pop-up top perfect for positioning a portable GPS. It even has a rubbery bottom surface that will keep a device from slipping and sliding when the vehicle is moving. It also has a nice deep well between the driver and passenger seats—perfect for an assortment of electronic or other at-the-ready devices or materials that are better kept out of view.
The 2010 Malibu 2LT comes with a 2.4 liter dual overhead cam 4-cyclinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission with a tapshift for manual shift control.
The instrumentation is nicely arranged and works well.
The one negative I have to mention is that the test car had a light gray interior, which caused a bright glare on the windshield on sunny days. In time I got used to it, but it bothersome at first. I don’t think this would have been an issue with a dark interior. I suspect this had something to do with the shape/position of the dashboard or the windshield itself, but maybe not. I’m certainly not a designer or engineer.
The Malibu is no gas hog, with EPA fuel economy estimates of 22 miles per gallon in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.
The Malibu—as with all General Motors vehicles—comes with OnStar (navigation, automatic crash response) service free for one year.
Stats: Anti-lock brakes, stability control, 17-inch wheels, reading lamps, power windows with driver express up and down, Bluetooth for phone, driver information center, remote keyless entry and remote vehicle start.