Chevrolet Malibu facelifted before it’s even sold as the Holden Malibu

Due to a botched launch and less than enthusiastic reception by the press, the Chevrolet Malibu hasn’t really set the market alight in the US. That’s why, just 18 months since its launch in North America Chevrolet has released a facelifted and rejigged Malibu.

To give the car more presence Chevrolet has fitted a bolder grille and a headlight treatment that’s meant to look more like the larger (and critically acclaimed) Chevrolet Impala.

Under the revised schnoz is new base engine in the form of a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine with 145kW (196hp) of power and 253Nm (186lb-ft) of torque. To help save a smidgen of fuel in city traffic this engine features automatic engine stop-start. The upscale 2-litre turbo now turns out more torque — 400Nm (295lb-ft) — to complement its 193kW (259hp) of power.

One of the chief criticisms of the car released 18 months ago was a reduction in rear seat leg room. To help counter this, Chevrolet has scooped out the back of the front seats to give an extra of 31.7mm of leg room for rear seat passengers.

Safety kit on high-spec models now includes blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. GM has also tweaked the American Malibu’s suspension setup, while the centre console now features a longer arm rest.

Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]