Chevrolet redesigned the Malibu sedan for 2004 and moved it to General Motors' Epsilon global platform, which promised a high degree of structural stiffness. Developers sought to give the new sedan a European flair in ride and handling qualities. In addition to the four-door Malibu, an extended-length Malibu Maxx hatchback is offered; that model is listed separately in the Cars.com Research section.
A four-cylinder engine and two V-6s are offered. For 2007, the smaller V-6 gains variable valve timing for an 8 percent power increase. It also nets a 2-mpg gain in city gas mileage. Other changes this year include standard side curtain airbags on all models (they were previously standard only on top-level Malibus), a passenger sensing system for the front airbags and available turn-by-turn directions with GM's OnStar service.
Trim levels include the base LS, as well as the LT and LTZ. A performance-oriented Malibu SS arrived in 2006, offering the group's most powerful engine, a 240-horsepower V-6. The Malibu SS also features unique exterior and interior appointments, a sport-tuned suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels.
All Malibus but the SS have variable-assist electric power steering and a fully independent suspension; the SS features hydraulic power steering for a more direct feel. Chevrolet offers a factory-installed remote starter that allows the driver to start the engine from up to 200 feet away.
This Malibu was the first Chevrolet model to display the company's next-generation family look. The automaker calls this "expressive styling," which blends corporate heritage with European influence. The car features a chrome front bar and a gold bow tie emblem. Other badging was eliminated for a cleaner appearance. Body-colored mirrors, rocker panels and side moldings are mounted on the LT sedan. The LTZ sedan sports a rear spoiler.
Compared with its predecessor, the current version has a slightly wider stance. Mounted on a 106.3-inch wheelbase, the Malibu is 188.3 inches long overall. Those dimensions are comparable to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry's, two of the Malibu's foremost competitors. LS models ride 15-inch tires, the LT gets 16-inchers, and the new LTZ rides on 17-inch rubber. LTZ and SS models feature aluminum wheels.
Five occupants fit inside the Malibu, which has a flat-folding front passenger seat and a 60/40-split, folding rear seat. The trunk holds 15.4 cubic feet of cargo. A four-spoke steering wheel can include radio and cruise controls.
Adjustable brake and accelerator pedals are standard in the LTZ and optional in the LT sedan. UltraLux and leather-appointed seating, heated front seats, a six-way power driver's seat and automatic climate control are installed in the LTZ sedan.
Entertainment options include XM Satellite Radio. A driver information center integrated into the radio display permits the personalization of electrical features and can provide more than 15 warning messages. GM's OnStar communication system is optional; OnStar's Directions and Connections service includes turn-by-turn audio directions from an operator.
Under the Hood
A 144-hp, 2.2-liter four-cylinder goes into LS and LT models. A 3.5-liter V-6 that develops 217 hp and 217 pounds-feet of torque is standard in the LTZ; in the 2006 Malibu, the engine made 201 hp and 221 pounds-feet of torque. Both engines drive a four-speed automatic transmission. A new 3.9-liter V-6 that makes 240 hp and 240 pounds-feet of torque goes into the SS sedan.
Antilock brakes with traction control are standard on V-6-equipped models. Side curtain airbags, which protect front and rear occupants, are standard across all Malibus. Seat-mounted side-impact airbags are standard in the LTZ and SS and available in other models.
People Who Viewed this Car Also Viewed
Select up to three models to compare with the 2007 Chevrolet Malibu.