The reincarnated Chevy Malibu was released to help recapture the spirit that the Malibu once offered. However, the original redesign of the car was somewhat less than what consumers wanted and Chevy revamped it extensively for the 2008 model year. The 2009 model retains that redesign, bringing very few changes to the table, though this is still an excellent option for many different consumers. The 2009 Chevy Malibu is available in several different trim levels, including LS, LT and LTZ trim levels. A hybrid model is also available for those who want the best fuel mileage with the least environmental impact.
The LS and LT trim levels make use of a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces a modest 169 hp. The LT and LTZ trim levels are available with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that ups the power output to 252 hp. The smaller engine is paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission, while the more powerful V6 is teamed with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid Malibu offers only the 4-cylinder engine, paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission. One of the new features available for 2009 is a hands-free cell phone system, though upgraded 17-inch wheels are also available (on the LTZ model).
Drivers who demand power and performance will be disappointed with the lackluster 4-cylinder engine. The smaller engine is slow from a stop, and slow to reach peak performance output. The larger V6 engine is a much better choice for those who demand a modicum of performance. However, all automatic transmissions used offer smooth shifting and excellent performance, with little need for harsh downshifting during passing. The LTZ trim level does offer manual paddle transmission shifting for a bit more sportiness. If fuel economy is your thing, then the hybrid is the best option for your needs, averaging 31 mpg. The 4-cylinder engine comes in with an average of 23 mpg and the V6 gets a lowly 21 mpg.
One of the best features of the 2009 Chevy Malibu is the lack of body lean during moderate and hard turning. However, handling overall is excellent, making this a good choice for those who find themselves negotiating tight parking areas or congested city streets. The LTZ trim level is the best option for those who want a more “performance” feel to their handling, though. Engine noise is not problematic on any trim level, though the 4-cylinder is whineier. The V6 offers a pleasant growl under acceleration, while wind noise is not marked on any model. Road noise is noticeable, though not problematic.
The 2009 Chevy Malibu offers a base price of $21,605, though that can jump to over $26,000 with the addition of options and different trim levels. If you plan to get your hands on this excellent sedan, whether in base, upgraded or even hybrid configuration, make sure that you shop around for the best financing deals. Remember that local lenders provide auto financing, meaning that the dealership is not your only choice.