September 08, 2014 @ 02:11 PM

The Malibu's time in the sun

Chevrolet has joined the ultra-competitive D-Segment, but they have done so with a very talented machine. Report by Arvinda Kumar


 
Chevrolet has joined the ultra-competitive D-Segment, but they have done so with a very talented machine. Report by Arvind Kumar

Did you know our father of independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman rode in a Chevrolet Bel Air to Stadium Merdeka on the momentous day Malaysia achieved independence? The car bearing license plate BE 52, still remains pristine today and is currently displayed at the Malacca Museum. It was tracked down and restored by Chevrolet’s current distributors Naza Quest.  

So it’s with great pride and passion that they have introduced the latest product in their growing portfolio, the Chevrolet Malibu LTZ. The D-segment contender is priced at a competitive RM153,888 which puts the Malibu firmly in the crosshairs of the stalwarts like the Camry, Accord and Teana. 

Note though, the Malibu is built on the GM’s Epsilon-II platform which also underpins other GM products such as the formidable Vauxhall Insignia, therefore this car is definitely no slouch to begin with.
The Malibu is powered by a 2.4-litre ECOTEC four-cylinder equipped with Dual Continuous Cam Phasing (DCVCP) capable of producing a healthy 165bhp at 5,800rpm and 225Nm of torque at 4,600rpm. Drive is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed conventional automatic gearbox replete with a manual shifting mode.

The front suspension setup features MacPherson struts while a multi-link system manages the rear. Steering input is transmitted to the tyre threads through an electric power steering system that varies its weightage and the amount of assist depending on the vehicle’s speed. 

The safety repertoire of the car includes the company’s Stabilitrak stability control system, brake assist and four-wheel ABS. The Malibu offers four-airbags and the suite of safety features have garnered the Malibu the Top Safety Pick + accolade under the stringent American IIHS safety tests.

On the inside, buyers receive single-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control and keyless entry in addition to a host of creature comforts designed for relaxed motoring. Another nifty feature is the Malibu’s remote engine start, which ignites the engine with a push of a button on the key fob. Chevrolet’s MyLink gives the driver even more control over the car’s connectivity and multimedia features through seven-inch colour touch screen.

Passengers will also be treated to a spacious and supple leather interior amidst the Malibu’s relaxing ice-blue ambient lighting. A leather wrapped gear knob and steering wheel also compliment the premium feel of the cabin space. Driving aids also come in the form of a rear-view camera beaming footage through the seven-inch screen, while a tyre pressure monitoring sensor (TPMS) warns the driver of any abnormalities in pressure.

Design wise, the Malibu does make a bold statement of American style with its sculpted front end and imposing grille. Clean cut edges along the car’s flanks are neatly complimented by relatively high waistline proportions which endow the car with a sense of largeness. 

The sheet metal work is functional too as the handsome rear trunk lid and tail lamps actually cloth a cavernous 462-litre boot space. The Chevrolet comes in four colours options and a worry free five year/200,000km warranty. Order books are now open.

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