2009 Chevrolet Malibu LT 4-cylinder
2009 Chevrolet Malibu LT 4-cylinder. Click image to enlarge

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2009 Chevrolet Malibu

Surrey, British Columbia – A bright light in a gloomy auto market, the critically-acclaimed Chevrolet Malibu has won numerous awards, including North American Car of the Year, since its release as an all-new model last year. Long and lean, the Malibu is a sporty-looking sedan with clean styling lines that emphasize its Chevrolet heritage. Up front, there’s Chevrolet’s signature dual-port grille with a bow-tie badge and at the back round taillights, another Chevrolet signature feature.

The Malibu nameplate has been around for 30 years. Today it fits between the Cobalt and Impala in the Chevrolet sedan line-up and competes against other mid-sized sedans like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, and Ford Fusion. The redesign in ’08 made it a little longer on the outside and bigger on the inside while structural changes were even deeper, as it’s now based on a GM global front-drive platform that’s also shared with Saab and Opel, GM’s German brand.

Not surprisingly, the changes for ’09 are not huge. Chevrolet, however, has expanded the use of its frugal 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission combination, which is the focus of this review.

For 2009, the base 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine is now standard equipment on all four trim levels, LS, 1LT, 2LT and LTZ – 2008 LTZ models were V6-only – and there’s also the Malibu Hybrid with its gas/electric powertrain. 2009 LS and 1LT models come with a standard four-speed automatic transmission while a six-speed auto is optional on the 1LT and standard on the 2LT and LTZ.

2009 Chevrolet Malibu LT 4-cylinder
2009 Chevrolet Malibu LT 4-cylinder. Click image to enlarge

GM’s electronic stability-control system, called StabiliTrak, is now standard on all Malibu models, including the base LS trim. It also comes with brake assist and traction control.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity now comes with the latest OnStar 8.0 system and new exterior colour choices have been added. Bluetooth capability allows hands-free phone calls and other wireless connections via the OnStar system or the audio system.

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