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Aaron Gold

Chevrolet officially adds 2.4 liter/6-speed powertrain to Malibu lineup

By April 25, 2008

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2008 Chevrolet Malibu LTZWhen I test drove the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, I mentioned that I got a chance to sample the 2.4 liter four cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission that Chevy planned to make the base powertrain in the top-of-the-line LTZ model. (The LTZ was introduced with a 3.6 liter V6; LS and LT models get the four-cylinder engine with a four-speed automatic.) Chevy's PR folks cautioned me that the 6-speed car I drove was a development vehicle and the transmission calibration hadn't been finalized, but I could tell that this was going to be the best powertrain in the Malibu lineup -- the four-cylinder engine is significantly quieter than the V6, and the 6-speed automatic maximizes its flexibility. Chevrolet will start shipping the 2.4 liter/6-speed powertrain this week, so the cars should start showing up in dealerships very soon. The 4-cylinder LTZ will be priced $900 lower than the V6-powered car. -- Aaron Gold

2008 Chevrolet Malibu test drive
2008 Chevrolet Malibu photo gallery

Photo © Aaron Gold

April 25, 2008 at 1:23 am
(1) hawaiian don says:

All the reviews I’ve read seem to hail this car as perhaps the future savior of the big GM turnaround…maybe. To me it’s a bit of a sleeper to pull this off…as in this styling puts me to sleep…zzzzzzzzzzzz

April 25, 2008 at 1:46 am
(2) Andre says:

Well if you want to pull a company around the midsize sedan market is perfect for it. I guess the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord will give you an Ambien drip if the Malibu only puts you to sleep. The engine combo was much needed and I hope they will put the 6 speeds in all there vehicles shortly.

April 25, 2008 at 1:10 pm
(3) MIke in Minn says:

From what I’ve read about this combo, its mileage will be close to the Nissan Altima with CVT. We’ll see what the real world has to say about it in the near future.

April 25, 2008 at 1:14 pm
(4) ethuey says:

what is the MPG difference for the 4 vs. the 6. It is often the case that the 4 doesn’t do much better than a 6 if the 4 is underpowered.

Aaron, it also seems that you have some conflicting info for the transmissions between the 2 engines in this post and your full review.

April 25, 2008 at 3:08 pm
(5) Aaron Gold - Cars Guide says:

EPA fuel economy estimates for the 4-cyl LTZ are 22 MPG city/32 MPG highway, versus 17/26 for the six-cyl and 22/30 for the 4-cyl/4-speed. The news on the 6-speed (versus the 4-speed) isn’t so much that extra 2 MPG but that the mid-range acceleration is much improved, since the transmission has more gear ratios to choose from.

And, as it turns out, the 6-speed automatic will be optional on the mid-level LT (yay, Chevy!) — so the powertrain lineup looks like this:

LS: 4-cyl/4-speed
LT: 4-cyl/4-speed standard, 4-cyl/6-speed optional
LTZ: 4-cyl/6-speed standard, 6-cyl/6-speed optional
Hybrid: 4-cyl/4-speed standard

– Aaron

April 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm
(6) Mike in Minn says:

Have you seen any official or semi-official 0-60 times yet?

April 25, 2008 at 4:23 pm
(7) Mike in Minn says:

I just went to the Chevy Malibu site. The 6 cyl engine /6spd transmission is also an option on the LT trim level.

April 29, 2008 at 12:50 pm
(8) Christ says:

Why in the name of me do they not have the Hybrid in a 6 speed? More gears! a 4 speed? C’mon!

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