It seems that Chevrolet has finally pulled up their sleeves in tackling the vicious but very lucrative market of the mid-sized sedan segment. Their competitors in the region are giants such as the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, VW Passat and the new Renault Talisman. Price and gadgets are the key in this segment and the new Malibu is here and it packs more ammo within it than its looks.
2017 Chevrolet Malibu Review
Connectivity is a key these days, and the new 8 inch infotainment display is easy to use and features connectivity like Bluetooth connectivity and now comes with Android Auto and Apple Car Play. This in our opinion is a deal maker as we could basically mirror our cell phone to the display and use google maps. This feature alone sets the Malibu apart from the rest of the pack in its class.
But as a vehicle, the new Malibu has gone through some extensive boot camp regimes and been under the knife so to speak. Every panel has been contoured to bring a visual elegance which lacked in its previous models. It has also shed 136 kgs while gaining 2 inches in length which helps in increased leg room for the back seat as well as more knee room for the driver. Our LTZ model also came with wooden trim which makes the interior look kinda fancy.
Unfortunately the only engine option we have in this region is the 2.5L which is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and good for 186Hp whereas the 2L turbocharged version found in the States gets a healthy 250Hp. The power figures are in line with those of the Accord, Camry, Altima, Passat and the Talisman. But since the new Malibu has shed 136 kgs, it does feel light on its feet than before. The engine as with all which comes from Chevrolet features a smooth revving power build up. It does not buzz like the 4 bangers of the Talisman, Camry and the Passat. However it does not like to be hurried, the gear shifts are smooth but not fast enough on kick downs. It does well what it was designed to do and that is a smooth and relaxed stress free drive for its occupants.
As a package the new Malibu has a lot going for it and does offer value to the customers. Backed by a comprehensive after sales support with price transparency, which is one of the best in the industry, the Malibu is a serious contender in the mid-sized sedan segment. Prices start at AED 69,900 for the base and reaches AED 95,000 for the LTZ version which we tested. Pricing it less than AED 100k is the key for the segment. You need to understand the buying power these days of the working middle class. With cost rising on every day consumables, manufacturers need to add more value to this segment while keeping the price affordable. Chevrolet does just that with the Malibu, a case in point is the price of a fully trimmed out Accord which retails at AED 117,000
The Malibu is a safe and solid attempt from one of the largest manufacturer of automobiles in the planet. And they have listened to a customers need. A need for reliability, practicality and affordability. The Malibu scores well in all these categories.
2017 Chevrolet Malibu Review : Price and Specs
|2017 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ|
|Gearbox||6 speed Auto, FWD|
|Rated Output||186 hp @ 6,000 rpm|
|Rated Torque||250 Nm @ 4,000 rpm|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||8.1 seconds|
|Price (AED)||95,000 as tested|