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June 07, 2010

2010 Chevy Malibu: When "4" Isn't a Drag Anymore

 by Martha Hindes

Chevy malibu Few domestic vehicles ignited imagination as much as the redesigned front-drive Chevy Malibu sedan when it rolled into the spotlight a couple of years ago. Roomy, refined, with supple lines and prize-winning attitude, it belied the earlier so-so version it replaced. How to make more waves for current 2010 editions? Try General Motors' new, super-efficient and powerful four banger that thinks it's a six.

"It's only a four," said RTM editors on receipt of the test Malibu. That did a quick 180 on the road. Punching the gas pedal for the first time confirmed this was no wimp, but a solid performer for five in handsome, comfortable mid level (out of four) trim, at a respectable $22.7K start.

Chevrolet, GM's populist division, was soundly criticized for initially offering a long-in-tooth four. Change was worth the wait. The new 2.4-liter, 169-HP Ecotec with six-speed transmission ekes out an impressive 22 city and 33 highway miles. "Tapshift" manual mode allows gutsier play, complemented by top-rated safety features and well-equipped, luxury grade hush-hush interior. 

Add some techy options and who's to know it's a budget pleaser. We won't tell.

For more new car reviews from Road & Travel Magazine, click here.


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