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Launch: Chevrolet Malibu

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Chevrolet Malibu (1)

Chevy mean business with this one. Asian carmakers beware!

Kuala Lumpur, 2nd September, 2014 – NAZA Quest, the official distributor of Chevrolet in Malaysia has officially launched the Chevrolet Malibu LTZ today.

Chevrolet Malibu (4)

Rather familiar, this design language.

The older Chevrolet fans may be able to remember and understand the significance of a Chevy Malibu, with the American manufacturer first utilising the Malibu name fifty years ago for the range-topping Chevelle, a car that sold more than 200,000 units in its first year.

Chevrolet Malibu (5)

The design provides the illusion of size. Smart work.

Today, the Malibu comes to Malaysian shores with much hope of displacing some of its more illustrious rivals – Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Teana, Mazda 6, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima K5, Volkswagen Passat and Peugeot 508.

Chevrolet Malibu (13)

Are we the only ones to see a Camaro in this somewhere?

Rather ambitious, it would appear, until one takes a look at the whole package. Aesthetically, the Malibu looks more than adequate, with a rather showy, Camaro-inspired rear. Other than that, it features the distinct design language attributed to the Chevy brand.

Chevrolet Malibu (12)

A pretty long car with a rather short wheelbase. Hmm…

Sitting at 4,865mm long, the Malibu’s length compares to that of an Accord (4,870mm) but features a rather short wheelbase at 2,737mm. The Chevy’s boot holds 462 litres, while the rear seats fold 60:40 for the more ambitious traveler.

Chevrolet Malibu (11)

Not as punchy as you’d expect a 2.4-litre to be, but it isn’t exactly a slouch.

Sitting under the hood is a 2.4 litre Ecotec engine with 165hp and 225 Nm of torque, available at 4,600 rpm. The DOHC four-cylinder unit with Intake Valve Lift Control is paired to a six-speed conventional torque converter automatic gearbox with manual mode. The century sprint is accomplished in 9.6 seconds before climbing on to a top speed of 206 km/h. Underpinned by the same platform as the Vauxhall Insignia, the Malibu sits on MacPherson struts at the front, with multi-links at the rear.

Chevrolet Malibu (8)

A relatively pleasant place to be, bar the sheer number of buttons in and around the centre console.

Step inside and one will notice a tidy yet efficient cockpit, with Chevrolet’s MyLink entertainment system particularly catching the eye. If there is one particular field the Malibu isn’t short of, it is the list of features. Expect Remote Engine Start with PEPS (Passive Entry Push Start button), Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), High-pressure headlight washers, as well as self-levelling auto headlamps, welcome lights, tunnel detection and follow-me-homes.

Chevrolet Malibu (7)

All things considered, we like the interior finish.

The MyLink unit comes fit with a seven-inch touchscreen (flips up to reveal a storage area), while the car receives a six-speaker sound system, AUX-in, USB, Bluetooth, reverse camera and steering controls. Remote engine start means you can warm up the engine and cool down the cabin via the key fob.

Chevrolet Malibu (9)

A little dull, perhaps. Not liking the light and signal indicator in the middle either.

Safety-wise, the Malibu comes with dual front and side airbags, ABS, EBD, ESC, and a five-star NCAP safety ratings. Are you sold yet? No? Well it comes with a 5 year or 200,000km warranty package. The Malibu is available from as low as RM153,888(OTR excluding insurance and road tax), with only the 2.4 LTZ variant on offer in Malaysia, fresh from the Chevy plant in South Korea.

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Perhaps not as premium as Chevy would like to think. But the Malibu certainly does pose a threat to some of its Asian D-segment competitors.

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About Kiron Subhash

The most recent member of the collective, Kiron now follows the team to cover local and international automotive events. He is now training in multimedia journalism, acquiring experience in onsite reporting, feature writing, photography, videography, and social media engagement. Conspicuously influenced by Andrew and Jack in the rewarding life of a biker, Kiron now harbours a deep-seated love for motorcycle riding (and fuel-saving).

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