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2009 Chevrolet Malibu

Overview
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2009 Chevrolet Malibu Review

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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.

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

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2009 Chevrolet Malibu Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 555 Ratings for the 2008 - 2012 models.

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

nicest vehicle i ever bought

By on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great everything - I like the 2 tone int"

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

"comfortable ride, great gas mileage, nice Ext and int. I love the on star, I also have remote start which I love. I just love everything about my car."

Not enough space around pedals, backseat & trunk

By on Saturday, May 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,525

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "Fun & easy to drive, nice CD player"

Cons: "No cargo space."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Pros: Very easy to drive, great acceleration, mpg very good in summer. Cons: Not best handling in snow, mpg really drops in winter, floor space cramped around pedals, back doors don't open wide enough, trunk too shallow."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Great car

By on Saturday, March 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 138,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price, gas mileage and reliability"

Cons: "cloth seats stain easy"

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

"Great car! I have had no mechanical problems at all. It is reliable and easy to drive. I get about 33 miles to the gallon and drive both highway and in town."

12 people out of 16 found this review helpful

never again you might get me one time....

By on Monday, February 16, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: junk

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "nice looking car."

Cons: "expensive piece of junk"

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

"nothing but problems. 44,000 timing chain was replaced. problems with the oil filter, transmission, front suspention, power windows won't go up after putting them down out of adjustment cable operated..."

19 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Drives great, good fit and finish

By on Sunday, January 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,450

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "see review"

Cons: "see review"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"A little hard to get into the front seat without adjusting the seat height. Can't get in with my hat on. Drives very well. A little too much cabin noise for me, but not excessive. Trunk opening needs to be a little larger to put things into. Overall a nice car."

16 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Very Good First Owned Car

By on Thursday, January 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"This car was a great deal. Being that I will not buy foreign, I looked and perused the market for the best rated and most street appeal. This car, after many hard months, came up on top. Not only is the inside very attractive, but the outside is as well. Mine is an LS model, and the only issue that I've had with it, is that I've had to replace the hood release cable. Figuring that it is a main component we fixed it shortly after. Wasn't very hard at all, and cheers to GM for building a car that has the look, the quality, and the return customer."

13 people out of 19 found this review helpful

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