2012 Chevrolet Malibu

As the short-lived career of many celebrities who call Malibu (place) at home, the history of the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu (the car) is a lesson in how quickly things can change. It was four years ago when the new seventh-generation midsize sedan won the prestigious North American Car of the Year. And while the Malibu is still a good car, the landscape in the category of midsize sedans have changed dramatically in recent years, once the darling of the media are not very competitive.

With honors, in Malibu is still the strengths, like the attractive design, well-balanced ride and handling characteristics and rapid acceleration, the V6 engine. But these merits are overshadowed by the tight back seat, use the paragraph on the quality of interior materials and the lack of well-known features of comfort and safety of the competitors.

Above all, however, the Malibu has been improved by an avalanche of competing models. The sleek Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima related engines offer an excellent style, attractive and a lot of value for money. The Volkswagen Passat is now cheaper and bigger than before, while the popular Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima sport are two very strong candidates. Complicating matters further is the fact that a new eighth-generation Malibu will debut as 2013 model in early 2012, and is very impressive. Put it all together and we have difficulty recommending the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu.

Body styles, trim levels and options

2012 Chevrolet Malibu comes in three basic trim levels - LS, LT and LTZ - which is then divided into several sub-models.

Standard on entry-level Malibu LS includes 17-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, cloth upholstery, power driver's seat, in part, the 60/40 split folding rear seats, keyless entry, cruise control, air conditioning, full power, tilt and telescopic steering, OnStar and six speaker CD/MP3 stereo with satellite radio and an additional audio.

The next step is to LT, which is divided into 1LT, 2LT and 3LT models. The highlights here include alloy wheels 17 inches, body-color outside mirrors and side moldings, steering wheel mounted audio controls and a USB audio input. The 2LT and 3LT comes with everything, plus upgraded upholstery, remote ignition, power seat adjustment additional driver, heated front seats, Bluetooth and a rear 110-volt household-style outlet.

Spring Area-topping LTZ and get 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, heated exterior mirrors, sunroof, rear LED lights, automatic climate control, leather interior, updated tools, auto-dimming rearview mirror and eight speaker system Bose audio. Many of these functions are grouped into packages of options that can be added to trim the lower levels. In addition, sunroof is available on all models except the LS.

Engines and performance

The standard engine for 2012 Malibu is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that puts out 169 horsepower and 160 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission with Driver Shift Control manual. Estimated fuel economy for this powertrain is 22 mpg highway mpg and 26 mpg city/33 combined. In performance testing Edmunds, reached a four-cylinder Malibu 60 mph in 9.1 seconds, which is about average for the four-cylinder powered sedans in this class.

A 3.6-liter V6 good for 252 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque is available on LT and LTZ. The six-speed automatic transmission is standard here. Fuel economy is estimated at 17/26/20 mpg. Our test of a Malibu V6 resulted in a 00 to 60 km / h in just 6.7 seconds, making it one of the fastest V6 sedans in its class.


2012 Chevy Malibu comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side airbags, semi-curtain airbags and OnStar telematics system.

Down government testing the Malibu deserves an overall rating of four stars out of a possible five, with four stars for protection against frontal impacts and five stars for overall protection against side impacts in general. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety received the highest rating of Malibu "good" in frontal offset and side impact tests. In the brake test Edmunds, a V6 Malibu has impressed us by the decision of 60 km / h on a short 122 feet with no fade.

Interior Design and Special Features

While inside the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu looks great, the overall effect somewhat impaired by the use of low-grade material in some places. The design of the gauges and controls are refreshingly simple, however, and the use of sound insulation give the room a comfortable silence.

In front, the seats are comfortable and supported, but people can find a large mattress pronounced side make it difficult to get resolved. The rear seat is passable for a few adults, but it is a skin-tight for three people, or even a couple of people larger than some other mid-size sedan.

At the rear, the trunk offers a healthy 15.1 cubic feet of cargo space that has been made more flexible by 60/40-split-folding file back. However, the space here is shallow, and the opening is on the small side, making loading and unloading of large objects a little difficult.

Driving Impressions

Behind the wheel 2012 Chevrolet Malibu impresses with its smooth, quiet ride and confident handling. Steering feel is generally good for a sedan general public, but several of our editors still prefer the power-assisted steering is used to help increase energy efficiency four-cylinder models of the more conventional hydraulic servo that comes with the V6 engine.

What powertrain is good for you depends on your driving style and expectations, but most buyers should be satisfied through a combination of four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. Not surprisingly, the V6 is a better choice for those looking for greater acceleration, provided they can live with the fuel economy significantly lower that comes with it.


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