Review: 2010 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ
I’ve always been a fan of GM’s products. Couldn’t necessarily explain why, although I think I inherited it. So naturally, in my quest to find an eventual replacement for my beloved daily driver, I stopped by a Chevy lot to check out the Malibu and Impala.
My first impression of the Malibu is that it is rather plain. Nothing really groundbreaking, or fancy. That will depend on what you compare it to. The exterior styling is modern but very tasteful. I prefer the looks of the Malibu over similar models from Honda and Toyota. I test drove a 4 cylinder equipped Malibu in LTZ trim.
The overall layout of the interior is comfortable, and the simplicity of the car is an advantage here. The build materials are good, and give the appearance of quality, although the black and (what I will call) orange color combination is an odd choice, IMO. Controls are easy to see and access, and nothing seemed confusing. Technology options like bluetooth, remote start, tire pressure monitors, and onstar keep it competitive with other vehicles in its class. The power leather seat provided me with plenty of leg room, complimented by a comfortable amount of head room. After a few minutes of driving I felt like I could potentially take the car for a long trip quite comfortably. Visibility from the driver’s seat was good, although the rear spoiler can be annoying when backing up.
As for the performance of the 4 cylinder it was disappointing, but not surprising. Going from a V8 or even a good V6 to the 4 cylinder would take some adjustment. Although acceleration from a stop was peppy, it was sluggish approaching highway speeds, and the automatic transmission hesitates to downshift. The LTZ comes with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters which were a little confusing to use in comparison to the ones found in other vehicles. Much to the delight of the salesman, I accidentally shifted into first gear getting onto the highway once. I went ahead and let the transmission decide when to shift from then on.
The ride is smooth and quiet around town and on the highway. Handling and steering felt stable and predictable. As I said, I think it would make a nice comfortable road trip car, and has the room to fit a few passengers and their luggage quite comfortably.
Pros: price, comfort, LTZ available features, styling
Cons: 4 cylinder performance, paddle shifters, rear visibility (due to spoiler)
Overall, nothing about the Malibu blew me away, but I could definitely drive it daily and be quite content. The features you get for the price make it a very good option. I would recommend the Malibu to drivers looking for a car with good styling and comfort, a great list of features and a good value.