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2012 Chevrolet Malibu

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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.

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

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2012 Chevrolet Malibu Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 569 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

Chevy is the best.

By on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 126,310

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Love driving it."

Cons: "Not sure if I found any."

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

It's my personal baby.

"This is the first Chevy I have ever own. Never was a GM person until I got this car in 2008. Now I'm sold on it. Don't think I'll go back to Ford, Lincoln, Or Mercury again. When I bought this car it had 35 miles on it. I keep it up with service cleaning in & out. I just love this car don't know what I would do with out it.If I ever have to get another car I'll go get another GM product if not a Malibu."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

It's my personal baby.

Changing the head lamps was unbelievable!

By on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Adjustable gas & brake peddles"

Cons: "Headlight will either cost U $350 or 3 hrs labor"

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

"My 2008 Malibu is one of the few vehicles that has the adjustable gas & brake peddles. I like this feature because I am very petite and this allows me to sit a little further from the steering wheel (air bag phobia!). However, YouTube how to change the headlamp in a 2008 Malibu or Saturn - you will find a process that either takes you 3 hours, or if you take it to a dealership, it will cost you $350. This is a great vehicle other than that. Buyer beware!"

Front end has ended my faith in chevolet

By on Thursday, August 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Looks good"

Cons: "seatbelt buzzer wont shutoff"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"The traction seems to go crazy when it's wet Headlite replacement is a nitemare. Braking slowly too much vibration. I had to reset the computer almost every 6 months. If you don't use synthetic oil then the car runs like shi'ite. The rear seats are for children only. Front end needed to have an alignment every year. Struts wore out at 50K and front bumper to close to the road. You get what you pay for. When it's 3 years old sell it quickly or trade it in. It loses it's value with every mile you put on it"

Best car we have ever owned.

By on Monday, July 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"We have only had recommended upkeep on this car, no major mechanical problems and it has 70,000 miles on it. It runs like a charm and is extremely comfortable...very smooth quiet ride. Looking into updating to a newer model, to complete the safety features and update technology capabilities. The only design feature I would change is the seat manuverability...it does not have a mechanical lift to the back of the front seats, you need to push the lever, and put your hand behind the seat in a backwards motion and pull up. Very cumbersome. I hope this design has changed to help adjust back of driver and passenger seats."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Fair priced reliable, but boring car

By on Friday, July 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Cheap, reliable, safe, easy car to drive"

Cons: "Boring, little extras, low-tech"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"This car is very reasonably priced for what you get. I'm currently a student, and I'm using this car to commute back and forth. Chevys seem like a solid car to put miles on as both the car itself and repairs are fairly cheap.cheap. I've put on close to 15,000 with nothing but an oil change, and no problems at all. Pros: Cheap, reliable, safe, easy car to drive Cons: Boring to drive, as the 4 cylinder just doesn't add any excitement, not many features included, even added features are a little low tech, maybe geared more towards the technologically impaired"

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

I LOVE MY MALIBU

By on Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive, THE WALL CHARGER IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!"

Cons: "non"

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

"I love my malibu. It's a great car.I have had not one problem out of this car. Great on gas and comfort."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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