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2012 Chevrolet Malibu

Overview
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2012 Chevrolet Malibu Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.3

Many critics believed GM could never build a mid-size sedan to compete with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. But, the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu sedan has made believers out of the most strident GM-bashers and given the entire mid-size segment a loud wakeup call. Chevy's Malibu is a stylish sedan with a handsome, intelligently laid-out interior, a choice of fuel-efficient 4- or 6-cylinder engines, and a penchant for driving. Unfortunately, Chevrolet does not offer a hybrid Malibu, leaving green-friendly drivers to shop the Fusion, Sonata, Optima or Camry hybrids. If the 2012 Malibu mid-size sedan falls short in one area, it's the car's entertainment and communications offerings. Unlike the Ford Fusion, the Malibu doesn't offer a SYNC-like system and there is no factory navigation option, although turn-by-turn directions are available through the OnStar system. If these things are an important part of your car-buying decision, you may want to hold off a bit longer when the all-new 2013 Malibu sedan arrives. Already unveiled, the 2013 Malibu offers an even bigger dose of expressive styling, a very cool interior and GM's MyLink voice-activated communications system.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you've been wanting to come back to a domestic sedan, but felt the quality, styling and features just weren't there, the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu is your ticket back to the good old days. Long-legged occupants will appreciate the Malibu's generous legroom both front and rear.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're all about cutting-edge electronics, the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu sedan falls a bit short of the mark. Those who prefer the fun of driving a manual-transmission car will be better served by a Honda Accord, Kia Optima or Ford Fusion.

What's Significant About This Car?

For 2012, the Malibu LS sedan receives a new Uplevel Package option, while the 1LT offers a Sunroof and Convenience Package.

Driving the Malibu

Driving Impressions The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu sedan's impressively smooth and controlled ride is a direct result of its European-inspired suspension, stiff body, long wheelbase and wide stance. On uneven or rough pavement,...

the 2012 Chevy Malibu is able to absorb all but the harshest road imperfections while maintaining its composure, never giving in to wheel hop or chatter. We tend to like the driving dynamics of the V6 models more than the 4-cylinder cars due to the conventional hydraulic power steering setup. The 4-cylinder Malibu uses a fuel-save electric-assist power steering setup that feels a bit detached and lacks good on-center feel. GM's fuel-efficient 6-speed automatic is a welcome addition to the Malibu lineup and offers paddle shifters for more spirited driving.
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.

2012 Chevrolet Malibu Details
Interior

Although in its final year in this form, the 2012 Chevy Malibu sedan's interior doesn't look old or dated. The smart "dual-cockpit" instrument panel is made of quality plastics that fit together well. Upper-trim models feature two available 2-tone trim combinations-Ebony and Brick, and Cocoa and Cashmere-with metallic-look or wood-grain accents. Cool blue backlighting illuminates the Malibu's gauge cluster, while warmer ambient lighting resides in the foot wells and in the LED overhead pin lighting that projects onto the center console. Abundant storage space is provided throughout the 2012 Chevy Malibu's interior, most notably in the deep center console bin and in the covered storage bin atop the dash. Helpful for laptop or video-game use is the available 110-volt AC power outlet. As for interior space, the Malibu provides excellent legroom for tall passengers, although the headroom for such folk is far better up front than in the rear seat.

Exterior

The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu sedan displays taut proportions, finely tailored sheet metal and definitive style that is pure Chevrolet. With its wheels pushed to the furthest corners, the Chevy Malibu presents an image of stability and strength; the design also stretches the car's wheelbase to its maximum limit creating a larger and roomy interior. The Malibu's short deck lid opens to reveal a larger and deep trunk, with a low lift-over height for easy loading. In LTZ form, the Malibu sedan is even more distinctive with front foglights and clear-lens LED taillights. V6 models are easily distinguished by their twin chrome exhaust outlets.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu sedan's comprehensive list of standard safety features includes 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS and traction control, StabiliTrak stability control, front seatbelt pretensioners, OnStar 9.0 and six air bags: dual-stage front, front seat-mounted thorax (side) and 2-row head-curtain bags. Also standard are a 6-speed TAPshift automatic transmission, 17-inch painted steel wheels, XM Satellite Radio and (surprisingly) a choice of interiors that includes 2-tone trim combinations. The range-topping LTZ offers front foglights, 18-inch aluminum wheels, dual chrome exhausts and clear-lens LED taillights.

Optional Equipment

2012 Chevrolet Malibu sedan option and equipment packages include such features as power-adjustable pedals, up-level interiors, leather seats, power sunroof, Bose audio, Bluetooth, power equipment groups and a premium audio system. A touch-screen GPS navigation system is not 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 2012 Chevrolet Malibu sedan offers a choice of a standard 169-horsepower 2.4-liter Ecotec four, or a 252-horsepower 3.6-liter V6; both engines feature dual-overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and variable valve timing. Chevrolet's fuel-efficient 6-speed automatic is standard across the line, and features a manual shift mode to aid when passing or merging. The 2012 Malibu does not offer a manual transmission option.



2.4-liter 4-cylinder
169 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
160 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/33 , 15/23 (E85)

3.6-liter V6
252 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
251 lb-ft of torque @ 3,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26

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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2012 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."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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

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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?