The Chevrolet Malibu has been giving mainstream buyers more than they expect since its introduction in 1964. Completely redesigned in 2008, the Malibu has racked up awards since that debut as well. The shelf is full of prized accolades like North American Car of the Year, Consumer’s Digest Best Buy and a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Strong and sustained customer demand proves that the public also recognizes Malibu value and quality. The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu continues to blaze the trail trend by offering more options and available packages to give buyers what they want.
All Malibu models feature great-looking style and a strong stance. Touches of the Corvette sneak into the rear profile, and the long greenhouse provides lots of headroom for occupants. Crystal Red Tintcoat is a new color available for 2012, and the new LS Uplevel Package adds body-side moldings to the clean, handsome exterior.
The 2012 Malibu is available in LS, 1LT, 2LT, 3LT and LTZ (1LZ and 2LZ) trim levels. The Malibu LS is equipped with front bucket seats upholstered in custom cloth, a 60/40 folding rear seat and an audio system that features CD and MP3 playback capability, as well as an auxiliary input for a surprisingly deep level of equipment. A 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder is the standard engine and features a modern dual overhead camshaft valve train for both efficiency and performance. The engine delivers 169 hp and 160 lb/ft of torque and is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with TAPshift manual controls. This great team returns EPA-estimated fuel economy of 22 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. That equates to more than 500 miles of cruising range on the highway.
Big value is standard in the Malibu. All models feature remote keyless entry, cruise control and the safety and security of OnStar 9.0 with six months of Directions and Connections and Turn-by-Turn Navigation services. An LS Uplevel Package adds Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, audio controls on the steering wheel, floor mats and a compact jack and spare tire. Jumping from the Malibu LS into a Malibu 1LT nets you more standard equipment like the aforementioned wheel-mounted audio controls, a USB port, more ambient lighting and carpeted floor mats. The 1LT can also be equipped with a Sunroof and Convenience Package that adds a power sunroof, six-way power driver’s seat, remote start, Bluetooth and a 110V three-prong outlet for powering devices that require household current.
Going for a Malibu 2LT or 3LT adds UltraLux seating, which means heated, reclining, power-adjusted front seats, plus the remote starting, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shiftknob, standard Bluetooth hands-free phone integration and a rear power center with the 110V outlet. An available Sunroof Package adds the power tilt/sliding sunroof, premium floor and trunk mats, an inside auto-dimming mirror and express up/down power windows.
The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu can also be equipped with a sophisticated 3.6-liter V6 engine with continuously variable valve timing (VVT) for a boost to 252 hp and 251 lb/ft of torque, which is also paired with the six-speed TAPshift automatic. The smooth, strong and refined engine is standard in the new 3LT and 2LZ trim levels. The Malibu tames the blacktop with a 112.3-inch wheelbase, a long stretch that enhances smoothness and puts the wheels at the corners to increase handling precision. An independent suspension features MacPherson struts in front and a multi-link rear design. StabiliTrak® electronic stability control is an ever-present safety net for Malibu drivers.
Driving enthusiasts will find plenty to enjoy behind the wheel of the 2012 Malibu. The steering systems are tuned to deliver precise response with four-cylinder models employing an efficient variable electric power assist system and V6 models offering a hydraulic assist steering system. Seventeen- and 18-inch wheel choices are designed for maximum style and handling performance.
Safe, secure and satisfying describes the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu, and that’s why it keeps collecting praise of the highest order. Industry accolades and journalist superlatives are nice, but it’s the fact that people continue to choose Malibu over its competitors that speaks the loudest. People keep turning to the Malibu for its value and its competence. It’s an American car with a winning American spirit.