Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Hybrid Cars Under $30,000
  • The 40 MPG Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • Class of 2015: New Vehicles Ready to Roll
Go

2009 Chevrolet Malibu

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2009 Chevrolet Malibu Review

By

Chevy's mid-size Malibu, like most GM passenger cars, suffered corporate neglect in the 1990s and early 2000s as customers – and the company's engineering attention and budget – increasingly shifted toward trucks and SUVs. Still, the plain-looking previous Malibu has drawn kudos as a solid, reliable, high-value contender and has sold fairly well. Fresh from last year's complete makeover, Chevrolet's Malibu has bolted from middle-of-the-road contender straight to the top of the mid-size sedan game. The 2009 Malibu looks wonderful, is solidly built and carefully crafted inside and out, offers good fuel economy, drives wonderfully and is priced to sell in serious volumes. There is even an affordable "mild" hybrid version that performs better than the base four-cylinder car and gets four miles-per-gallon better in city driving.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2009 Chevrolet Malibu's bold, attractive sheetmetal and stylish interior touches are backed by confident handling, a quiet ride and an overall level of refinement competitive with the category's best. Unlike some competitors, the fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine is available on all Malibu trims, not just the entry-level model.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2009 Chevrolet Malibu hasn't been around long enough to challenge the impressive resale values of the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. Certain high-end features available on competitors, like DVD navigation and keyless start and entry, are not offered on the Malibu.

What's New for 2009

Minor changes for Chevrolet's major new player include standard StabiliTrak stability control on all trims, improvements to the Hybrid model's fuel efficiency and the addition of Bluetooth capability to the standard OnStar 8.0. A six-speed automatic is now standard on four-cylinder LTZ models.

Driving the Malibu

Driving Impressions The 2009 Chevrolet Malibu's long wheelbase, wide stance and stiff structure combine for a pleasing balance of ride and handling that's not at all common in this class, particularly for...

a domestic brand. The energy-efficient electric power steering on four-cylinder models – though better than earlier GM electric power steering applications – feels a bit artificial on-center; the conventional hydraulic power steering on V6 cars offers more precise feel. The standard four-speed automatic, a perceived disadvantage to competitors with five-speeds, is smooth and pleasant on the road. GM's new fuel-efficient six-speed automatic, standard on the 2LT and LTZ trims, is a welcome addition to the Malibu lineup and offers paddle shifters for more spirited driving. For the more "green" minded, the Malibu hybrid, though not as fuel-efficient around town as the more expensive "full" hybrid Camry, delivers smooth performance and a four miles-per-gallon economy enhancement for about $1,800 more than a conventional 1LT four-cylinder.
Favorite Features

Remote Starting
Available on 1LT models and standard on 2LT and LTZ, this terrific feature lets you start the engine and warm or cool the interior from a distance, with the car still locked, well before departing.

Turn-by-Turn Navigation
A GM OnStar feature, this service provides precise verbal directions through the car's audio system without the need to program in a destination.

2009 Chevrolet Malibu Details
2009 Chevrolet Malibu photo Interior

The 2009 Chevrolet Malibu's beautifully crafted interior uses premium materials throughout. The "dual-cockpit" instrument panel's major gauges are backlit in blue, ambient lighting provides a warm environment and overhead LED floodlights project subdued light on the console area between the front seats. The deep center console's sliding cover opens to accommodate large items, there's a handy storage compartment atop the instrument panel and an available "rear power center" provides a 110-volt AC power outlet. Two available two-tone trim combinations – Ebony and Brick and Cocoa and Cashmere – offer a choice of metallic-look or woodgrain accents, while an all-Ebony combination is accented with tasteful woodgrain.

Exterior

The 2009 Chevrolet Malibu hits a high-water mark for its size and price with taut proportions, elegant lines and a crisp, clean profile. Its split grille represents the new global face of Chevrolet cars, and its twin round taillamps are traditional Chevy cues. LTZ models feature front fog lamps and clear-lens LED taillamps, while V-6-powered Malibus sport twin chrome exhausts. With tight panel gaps and rich-looking details, this new mid-size Chevy looks like $40,000 while starting at half that price.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Malibu's comprehensive list of standard safety features includes four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and traction control, StabiliTrak stability control, front seat-belt pretensioners, OnStar 8.0 and six air bags: Dual-stage front, front seat-mounted thorax (side) and two-row head-curtain bags. Also standard are a four-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch painted steel wheels, XM Satellite radio and (surprisingly) a choice of interiors that includes two-tone trim combinations. The range-topping LTZ offers front fog lamps, 18-inch aluminum wheels, dual chrome exhausts and clear-lens LED taillamps.

Optional Equipment

2009 Chevrolet Malibu option and equipment packages include such features as power-adjustable pedals, uplevel interiors, leather seats, power equipment groups and a premium audio system. A GPS navigation system is not yet available (partially because the center stack design doesn't provide room for a screen), but Turn-by-turn verbal directions can be easier to use (you call in destinations to an OnStar operator rather than program them in) and you may not miss the screen.

Under the Hood

The 2009 Chevrolet Malibu offers a choice of a standard 169-horsepower 2.4-liter ECOTEC four, a 164-horsepower four-cylinder "mild" hybrid system or a 252-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, all with dual overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and variable valve timing. The Hybrid teams a small electric motor with a more fuel-efficient version of the 2.4-liter four-cylinder to deliver two miles-per-gallon better fuel economy. The four-cylinder is teamed with a four-speed automatic, while a fuel-efficient six-speed automatic is standard with the V6 and optional across the rest of the lineup.

2.4-liter 4-cylinder
169 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
160 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 (four-speed automatic),22/33 (six-speed automatic)

3.6-liter V6
252 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
251 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26

2.4-liter 4-cylinder (Hybrid)
164 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
159 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/34

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2009 Chevrolet Malibu Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 502 Ratings for the 2008 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Great car

By on Thursday, April 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun and convenient"

Cons: "Needs a bit more head room"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Good mileage, very dependable, 6 cylinder really moves! Nice sound, handles well. Back seats a little less comfortable."

Most Dependable vehicle i have owned!

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 118,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "smooth ride.. very dependable"

Cons: "cup holder area is a little bit tight to fit2drink"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this vehicle used in 2009 with 26,000 miles.. everything works great still with almost 119,000 miles on it now with hardly a lick of trouble.. just change the oil and rotate the tires and it just keeps on rolling great gas mileage.. usually get around 30-31 under normal highway driving... If you are thinking of buying don't hesitate.. I'm going to drive this till the wheels fall off."

My review

By on Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable,"

Cons: "Mpg, cheap interior"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"In all I love my car, I bought it for a reason. It's comfortable, it rides perfect, I bought the 3.6 engine and the acceleration is perfect and it shifts oh so nicely. It handles very well. The sound system is amazing, the leather seats are high quality so i don't have any wear on them whatsoever. The exterior is very nice although I already have a crack in my grill. The gas mileage is funny because I get horrible mpg in the city and when I'm accelerating, but on the highway I get amazing mpg especially when I set the cruise. I do drive predominately on the highway, and I bought it with 68k miles on it and have put on 8k since November. So I drive a lot. The heating system seems to make a smell over time, and I have read online that's very common for people with this car. The owner before me changed rotors and now I need to change the other ones so those wear easily. And in think in all Chevy did a good job on everything other than the interior. I have the ltz so it has special chrome framing and on the inside wood, but the dashboard is a cheap plastic material. I could break it with my own hands. I just feel like they could have done a little bit better in that area. Otherwise, great car, great investment."

My review

By on Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable,"

Cons: "Mpg, cheap interior"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"In all I love my car, I bought it for a reason. It's comfortable, it rides perfect, I bought the 3.6 engine and the acceleration is perfect and it shifts oh so nicely. It handles very well. The sound system is amazing, the leather seats are high quality so i don't have any wear on them whatsoever. The exterior is very nice although I already have a crack in my grill. The gas mileage is funny because I get horrible mpg in the city and when I'm accelerating, but on the highway I get amazing mpg especially when I set the cruise. I do drive predominately on the highway, and I bought it with 68k miles on it and have put on 8k since November. So I drive a lot. The heating system seems to make a smell over time, and I have read online that's very common for people with this car. The owner before me changed rotors and now I need to change the other ones so those wear easily. And in think in all Chevy did a good job on everything other than the interior. I have the ltz so it has special chrome framing and on the inside wood, but the dashboard is a cheap plastic material. I could break it with my own hands. I just feel like they could have done a little bit better in that area. Otherwise, great car, great investment."

My review

By on Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable,"

Cons: "Mpg, cheap interior"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"In all I love my car, I bought it for a reason. It's comfortable, it rides perfect, I bought the 3.6 engine and the acceleration is perfect and it shifts oh so nicely. It handles very well. The sound system is amazing, the leather seats are high quality so i don't have any wear on them whatsoever. The exterior is very nice although I already have a crack in my grill. The gas mileage is funny because I get horrible mpg in the city and when I'm accelerating, but on the highway I get amazing mpg especially when I set the cruise. I do drive predominately on the highway, and I bought it with 68k miles on it and have put on 8k since November. So I drive a lot. The heating system seems to make a smell over time, and I have read online that's very common for people with this car. The owner before me changed rotors and now I need to change the other ones so those wear easily. And in think in all Chevy did a good job on everything other than the interior. I have the ltz so it has special chrome framing and on the inside wood, but the dashboard is a cheap plastic material. I could break it with my own hands. I just feel like they could have done a little bit better in that area. Otherwise, great car, great investment."

My review

By on Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable,"

Cons: "Mpg, cheap interior"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"In all I love my car, I bought it for a reason. It's comfortable, it rides perfect, I bought the 3.6 engine and the acceleration is perfect and it shifts oh so nicely. It handles very well. The sound system is amazing, the leather seats are high quality so i don't have any wear on them whatsoever. The exterior is very nice although I already have a crack in my grill. The gas mileage is funny because I get horrible mpg in the city and when I'm accelerating, but on the highway I get amazing mpg especially when I set the cruise. I do drive predominately on the highway, and I bought it with 68k miles on it and have put on 8k since November. So I drive a lot. The heating system seems to make a smell over time, and I have read online that's very common for people with this car. The owner before me changed rotors and now I need to change the other ones so those wear easily. And in think in all Chevy did a good job on everything other than the interior. I have the ltz so it has special chrome framing and on the inside wood, but the dashboard is a cheap plastic material. I could break it with my own hands. I just feel like they could have done a little bit better in that area. Otherwise, great car, great investment."

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?