2007 Detroit Auto Show: 2008 Chevrolet Malibu

Malibu1

There are few cars more important to Chevrolet than its midsize Malibu. The all-new 2008 seen here in full for the first time is a huge leap from the awkward-shaped outgoing model and it should help Chevrolet combat the new Ford Fusion and upcoming Dodge Avenger in the mid-size sedan segment.

The big news here is that, unlike its sister vehicle the Saturn Aura, the new Malibu comes with a more affordable entry point and a 164 hp four-cylinder engine that gets an estimated 31 mpg on the highway. No prices or other fuel economy figures were released but we expect the Malibu to start under $20,000.

The other Malibu engine will be a 252 hp V-6 with six-speed automatic transmission standard that was warmly received in the new Saturn Aura XR. The six-speed will be an option on the four-cylinder Malibu.

There will be three different models: the LS, LT and LTZ. All models come with a bevy of standard safety features including traction and stability control systems, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and front and rear curtain airbags.

Keep reading for more photos, including an array of different interior color combinations.

  • Malibu LT

Malibuprofile

Maliburearquarter

Malibufront

Malibuback

Malibu LTZ

Malibultz

LS Interior

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Malibulsinterior2

LT Interior

Malibultinterior1

Malibultinterior2

Malibultinterior3

LTZ Interior

Malibultzinterior1

Malibultzinterior2


Comments 

OK on the new 'bu, but what about the Maxx??

no plans on the Maxx returning as far as I've heard.

Sj

The Maxx has been cancelled. It's not coming back but rumors state that an Aura wagon is coming in the future. Apparently the maxx didnt sell well enough.

Dan

Well lets hear for GM copying a TL and putting a 4-cyl in it. WOO HOO

M3

Nah, no way Chevy would try to produce a 4-cylinder sport sedan like the TL. They don't have an engine that could compete. They're doing this with an inexpensive motor simply for a low starting price and good fuel economy. Actually most sedans in this class sell mostly 4-bangers anyway (Camry, Accord, Fusion, Sonata, etc.).

No plans yet for an SS model? Probably a couple years down the road when sales slow down.

Too bad about losing the Maxx, it probably would've looked GREAT in this new style and sold better.

M3,
I think what he was saying is its an alternative to a more expensive vehicle with a v6. Of course the 4-cylinder wouldn't compete with the TL and most likely neither would the V6 although the Saturn XR is actually a terrific driving car with the same V6.

segfault

The new interior looks nice. The mimicking of the instrument cluster curve on the passenger's side is an interesting touch, and is more noticeable with the wood trim and with darker colored interiors.

I think that there is a "hole" in the lineup of many midsize sedans when the two engine choices differ by 90 horsepower. This issue isn't limited to the Malibu. I think 164 horsepower may make it underpowered, but 252 would result in monster torque steer.

Ken L.

Pretty descent looking mid-size sedan from GM, and I’m sure it’ll compete nicely with the Fusion and some of its own mid-size sedans (Pontiac G6, Saturn Aura, etc.). The perceived quality looks pretty good (tight gaps and much better interior design), but since the Camry is still the leader and with Honda coming out with a new Accord soon, I see this vehicle being over looked yet again by most shoppers. There’s really nothing special that will distinguish this from the Camry. Both the exterior and interior is better than its predecessor, but that doesn’t speak much; it needs to be better than the Camry to get people’s attention. The Camry offers a hybrid and the SE version which comes with the subtle, yet sleek looking body kit. But I do give credit to GM for trying; someday they’ll be up there with the Camry, Accords, and Altimas/Maximas.

Fred

This is the 'new' Malibu and the best it can do is 252hp? It's already dated. Geez, even my wife's 2002 Maxima puts out that much.

I look forward to seeing the new Malibu on the rental lots.

angry lopez

yes it is an ALL NEW malibu....and the maxima is a larger car, this is a midsized sedan, not a oversized "large" rice burner...think grand prix as its enemy...and the GXP will outdue the bland maxima (and that "next generation maxima" is missing the next generation part)

This is a great contender in the market, hopefully public perception will help it, all malibus are known to be great reliable cars (check the scores, it outdoes camry!) and now the new warranty should place this one pretty high!

Tom

Hey angry lopez stfu!

Don't get me started on the Grand Prix. And bs about stats. The Malibu has been around for how long, and I'm talking aobut this past generation not the old ones dumbass. Less cars, less problems. Camry's been around for ages and the technology and engineering far out-do ANY Chevy. Any GM midsize sedan. And I'm sure that the way people drive these great camry's attribute to their problems. Hell, I love to race my 115 hp corolla. imagine wat i could do with a nice Camry. Malibu's should be taken off the market cause there is no market for a poorly designed, poorly engineered, poorly built pos.

Straight up, Any car can out-do a Malibu. Except Ford.

THE FRONT END HAS A MORE SLEEKER LOOK. THE REAR IS DREADFULLY A KILLER ON THE CAR. DETAILS ON THE INTERIOR IS A PLUS AND THAT ALSO THERE ARE 7 VARIATIONS TO CHOOSE FROM, BUT IM WONDERING IF THE QUALITY IS ALL THAT TOP NOTCH BUT THE LAYOUT IS AWESOME. ITS A BETTER ALTERNATIVE TO THE AURA SEDAN WHICH ONLY HAS A V6 IN ITS LINE OF OFFERINGS. AGAIN, ALONG WITH MANY OTHER AUTOS TRYING TO OUTDUE THE CAMRY OR BEST ACCLAIMED ACCORD CAN KEEP ON TOP WITH THEIR EFFORTS. BUT THIS MALIBU IS EXTENSIVELY MUCH BETTER THAN THE PREVIOUS OUTGOING MODEL. KEEP ON WORKING. I SEE INCREASED SALES WITH THIS MODEL.

Tom

Yea that rear-end is one of the most hideous I've seen since some of those old Buicks and Cadillacs.

Like wtf is up with that chrome ringed license plate spot!?

Keith

This new Malibu is a hell of a lot better looking than the outgoing model. It looks like GM is actually trying to compete with Toyota and Honda. I pray they don't screw it up!

scryer_360

The car actually looks good, although its not actually doing anything new for GM:

Like most of its previous mid-size updates, this new car just catches up with Camry and Accord, and like always it is a good bet to say that Toyota, Honda and the ilk will release a model far above the new malibu sometime soon.

The 2007 Camry has a 268-hp V6, with better torque to boot. Fuel economy is even better, look at the cars.com research page: the 2007 V-6 Camry has as good of highway mileage as this new Malibu's 4cylinder! Both get 31mpg!

That is what kills me, why can't GM make a car with at least comparable stats? Why is Gm's 4 cylinder getting just as good of gas mileage as Toyotas V6?

GM proudly states they have so many models with 30mpg or more, but when you actually do research, you find that Toyota and Honda have cars in the same class with either better gas mileage on the same size engine, or just as good of gas mileage on a more powerful engine! I mean, GM, we buyers are not dumb, we read these websites and Consumer Reports. We have the low-down on these cars.

GM told Time Magazine that there was no longer an emphasis on marketing alone and that it would place engineering and quality on its top rungs. So why is GM still playing catch up? Why not go balls out and release something better, not just barely equivalent, then the competition?

And it gets worse, Im still not seeing American makes beating the Japanese on any level! Look at the 2007 Fusion: it too has an inline 4 with 31 mpg, just matching Toyota's V6 gas mileage. It does have AWD, when you pay extra for it, but the fuel economy rating is from its 2wd model!

Granted, the Fusion and Malibu have now got close to say the 2006 Camry's interior quality, but thats again a place where Toyota has beat them! The 2007 Camry interior is almost Lexus-like in its interior quality (the Lexus now distinguishes itself with high-technology in its interiors).

American makes: to beat the foreign competition means to OUTDO it, not just CATCH UP. I like what I see with the E85 models, but please work faster. I mean, you already need to redesign half your "new" models just to match the stats of Toyota's new models. And the 2007 Camry has been on sale for the better half of 2006, so when your 2008 Malibu hits, GM, you can bet Toyota will already be working on a far improved 2009-10 model.

Looking good! In fact, I think I'd be preferring this one over the Silverado when it comes to looks.

very very weird rear end, but i never cared much for malibu's or most other GM or Ford cars. (except camaros)

jyd

Chevrolet is finally starting to put some interest back in its design. While this Malibu is a logical step from the last it is much better from a design standpoint. Most chevys, and all GM for that matter, have been stunningly boring for the past several years. I don't expect a family sedan to be "cutting edge" but this is a handsome design with character. The lines and proportions are better than the previous version. Thank God the Maxx is no more. This should help Chevy get some looks from buyers who normally trend Japanese. The unfortuately styled new Camry will also help Toyota buyers take a look at Chevy.

tom loy


And this is supposed to save GM? It uses a 4 cylinder engine to get an estimated 31 mpg on the highway? The chevrolet Impala has a V6 that get 31 mpg on the highway and is a larger car! These people couldn't manufacture a good auto if their lives depended on it. I have never owned a foreign made car before, but my next will be a toyota, honda or nissan.

Tom Loy

George_in_VA

Very nice effort by Chevy. Smart move to share the Aura's drivetrain goodness. I'd buy one just to distinguish myself from the sea of Camaccords out there.

Honda & Toyota = Precision crafted blandness.

bowrider

Hey Tom, before you call people stupid, or the word you like to use,dumbass, you should check your grammar. If your intelligence level is reflected in the way you write, I'd say you're a big dumbass.

Also since the Malibu is a 2008 those estimated numbers most likely reflect the new tougher EPA estimates.

Chuck

I congratulate GM on making yet another bland car. First the Impala and now the Malibu. GM should be thankful Ford is still around.

HAHAHAHA and what do you think ford makes that is "exciting" the 500? oh you got GM there...people are getting boring in general, take the sales in toyota lately, so SMART automakers take up the bland like style and infuse it into their new cars, which will make a killer in sales...but the impala isn't bland, the SS has style and power to back it up, and so does this malibu...can't say the same about your taurus...i mean...fusion...hahah!

happy lopez

so the saturn sky and pontiac solstice is bland? how about the new Camaro? Or the Enclave or Acadia? Outlook? Should I keep going??

jyd

The fact is both GM and Ford have been making boring designs for quite a while. It's one of the many factors that have contributed to their lackluster sales. Recently, however, they have been making great strides. Happy points out the Solstice, Camaro and Enclave. I would add the Mustang, Edge, and the new Caddys and Lincolns.

One of the greatest strengths of the new american design is just that, it is more american and less asian. There is no doubting Toyota and Honda sales success but that success has bred complacency in their design, especially from Toyota. The new Camry is rather ugly. The remaining Toyotas are largely boring and Honda's new "face" is awkward and uninspired.

I love the risks Ford and GM are taking with some bold designs that move away from the ToyotaHondaHyundaiNissanMazdaKiaAcuraInfinitiLexus crowd of basically identical looking vehicles. Will it translate into sales? Will it bring them back to their glory days? Certainly not by itself. Quality and innovation are needed as well, but good designs will cause people to take notice and evoke emotion and that is key to rebuilding brand loyalty.

Felix

Will the 2008 Malibu have the same expressway speed spacey electric power steering that is in my 2006 Malibu LT? It is great for training drivers. Just like having your front wheels on ice.

GM-wise, this is a nice design (except the back-end -- did someone drop the scale model?). My family has almost always bought GM and have been very happy with them. I went with a Mazda3 this last time and really enjoy it, but I wouldn't say that it is A LOT better than my past GM vehicles. I looked at Corolla and the previous Civic (current design wasn't out at the time) and found they didn't have what I was looking for (namely, handling and power). Anyway, . . .

But, I must agree with some of the post here--as nice as this car looks, it looks like the previous Camry and a little like the current Accord. The current Camry and 2008 Accord makes this new Malibu look dated.

Of course, I don't think GM has too much to worry. Basically Toyota owners will stick with the Camry, the Honda owners will stick with Accord, and those who want to "buy American" will probably like this new Malibu.

The Washington Post's Warren Brown has said that GM cars have "value" with low cost (up-front, that is), with decent-to-good power, and a bunch of standard features. If GM and Ford suddenly made Camry- and Accord-beaters, they would probably send the prices higher and drive away (no pun intended) those interested buyers.

GM and Ford need to step up the pace in some areas like styling and interior materials, but don't drop any bombs just yet. As most people on this post would probably agree, GM and Ford have a ways to go to work on their reputation. So, even if they made a worthy car, I think people probably would not switch from their Toyotas and Hondas at a drop of a hat.

maxx owner

The reliability and quality and value have been there since 2004. Now there is looks appeal. I would place an order for a 2008 today if it included a 5 spd manual and hydraulic assist steering.

ThinkB4USpeak

Have any of you seen this car in person? This picture doesn't do it justice...

Jon

In 3 years I will be interested to see how this stacks up sales wise. Gm has a winner however reluctant we all are to admit it.

Tom

Ho-hum.....Can you say Saturn Aura??? Its the same car but perhapes a bit better looking. I am sure it also shares the cheap interior materals. Anyway, its based off the Opel Astra of Europe so I am sure it at least drives nice.

whats happen to 2008 impala.also is the suspenion and road and wind noise taken care of?

wnaegele

The Malibu is the mechanical twin of the Aura and G6. Pick your style. Pick your dealer. I'm not complaining because this 3.6 V-6 engine/6-spd auto trans combo is a very good one. Not interested in I-4s: live in Albuquerque, which, at 5,000+ feet, leaves 4-bangers wheezing...

dana m

the new car is really nice!i like the old one too,which i would have bought,if i didn't pick the saturn l300,which ,by the way,has been a superb car for the three years that i have owned it.style is partially subjective ,but i think the malibu is MUCH better looking than the camryaccordaltima,nice cars though they may be!

Dee

I am betting that GM will keep the current Malibu around as a fleet only car & call it the "Classic", like they did with the old 'bu!! But eventually....the current one became a rental darling too!!!

Fred

I just checked the Acura TL website and it says that the standard engine is a 3.2 litre v6. So I do not understand the 4 cylinder comments. And what about Toms "less cars less problems " statement? Really makes sense eh?

tony

To scryer 360:

Go to fueleconomy.gov and find Camry V6 2007. It is 23 mpg. Where did your 31 mpg come from? By the way, I assume you know the new EPA standard, do you?

Darrell

Camry V-6 Six Speed ???
Acceleration (0-60 mph): 6.5 sec 19/28

Honda V-6
Acceleration (0-60 mph): 6.2 sec. 21/31

Malibu V-6 Six Speed
Acceleration (0-60 mph): 6.3 sec. 24/31

Rentabu

Hooray for rentals. Buy an Impala if you like Hertz.

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