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2008 Chevrolet Malibu LTZWhen I first tested the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, Chevy was still working on what was to be its fourth powertrain -- the 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine mated to a 6-speed automatic (instead of a 4-speed automatic). The four-cylinder/six-speed cars are now rolling off the production line, and Chevy plans to increase this powertrain's availability -- it's currently only offered in the top-of-the-line Malibu LTZ, and for 2009 it will trickle down to the mid-line Malibu LT. I spent a week with this new powertrain to find out if it was any good. Read the results in my 2008 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ follow-up test. -- Aaron Gold

September 29, 2008 at 9:08 am
(1) Brian says:

Just a little speculation about why you might want to have a “manual” position on the shifter even though you have shift paddles… In case you want to let the revs climb past where the automatic would normally shift for you. I used to do this with my manual transmission and have found it useful with the steptronic in my current car in heavy traffic on he highway. It lets me use engine braking rather than be on and off the brakes and constantly shifting gears (in the case of a manual).

September 29, 2008 at 9:11 am
(2) Allen says:

Aaron, your wife is very intuitive.
I have pondered the belief for many years that GMs interior design studio was just a front for a division of Rubbermaid testing labs…
Two-tone plastic what a novel concept, now if only Dodge would embrace such a radical idea as well…

September 29, 2008 at 9:29 am
(3) LWATCDR says:

I used to be a hard core Chevy fan. But to be honest GM’s cars have been dull and they just feel cheap. Even Ford has done better with their cars the Fusion is a very nice car.
To me this car is ugly but that is just a matter of taste. The real issue for me is one of how does it feel. Will it still feel solid four years from now? Do the switches and knobs feel like they are off a kids play kitchen or do they feel solid?
I hope the Malibu does well for GM I really do but it really does come down to quality.

September 30, 2008 at 9:56 am
(4) AndyS says:

OK, I’ll admit that it is an improvement over the previous design. (Have you seen the commercial where nobody notices the bank robbers because they are in a Malibu? At least they admit it was practically invisible.) I think they did a good job with the interior’s design, and I like the colors they chose, but I think I would need to sit in one to get a good feel of the actual quality, fit and finish of the materials they used. (I dont like cars with the Fisher-Price feel) As for the exterior, I am sure they could take some inspiration from the competitors… just look at the sleek edginess of the Acura lineup, or the handsome shape of a BMW, or the muscular look of the Pontiac G8… So why is Chevy so bland? Is that one of their design/build-requirements? “Let’s build dull, boring-looking cars for the public”

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