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2001 Chevrolet Malibu Review
On the right side of quality.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2001 Chevrolet Malibu is a midsize car manufactured by General Motors (GM). The car’s history can be traced back to 1964 when it was first introduced as a trim level of the Chevrolet Chevelle. From 1978, the Malibu nameplate was transferred to a new and different model line from the Chevelle. The Malibu was first offered with rear drive, but it changed to a front drive in 1997. In its current form, the Malibu is one of Chevrolet’s main midsize sedan offerings with the Lumina being available only for fleet orders.
Engines: 3.1-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Malibu LS
The 2001 Chevrolet Malibu base models will now get black, molded-in-color rearview mirrors outside, black rocker moldings, and a defogger for the rear window. The LS models get some changes too, like new map pockets for the front seatbacks. Some changes are common to both models, like a new stereo system, automatic on/off headlights, and new cloth upholstery inside.
The 2001 Chevrolet Malibu is available only as a four-door sedan. The car’s design is the result of customer demand for a solid, but roomy, sedan. The car has an unobtrusive exterior that stays conventional, but is attractive nonetheless. The total wheelbase is 107 inches, and the width is 69.4 inches. With a total length of 190 inches, the Malibu is a little longer than its main rivals, the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord.
The 2001 Chevrolet Malibu gets standard bucket seats in the front. The front seats offer generous legroom and headroom, and the bucket seats are nicely contoured as well. The combination of large exterior mirrors and thin pillars offer good visibility, although the high parcel shelf at the rear impedes visibility at the back. The rear seats offer decent legroom and headroom, even for taller occupants. In fact, the Malibu offers more legroom at the rear than most full-size sedans and the Lumina. The trunk offers a good 17 cubic feet of space, which is among the best in its class. Moreover, the seatback for the rear bench can be folded down to expand the trunk space farther.
Performance & Handling
The 2001 Chevrolet Malibu is available with a 3.1-liter, V-6 engine that delivers 170 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. For both models, the engine is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. Other standard features include four-wheel anti-lock brakes, four-wheel independent suspension, a theft deterrent system, battery rundown protection, rear-seat heat ducts, title steering wheel, tachometer, and remote trunk release. Acceleration with the V-6 engine is strong from standstill, especially for city driving, but it is lower than expected at highway speeds. Moreover, the engine in the Malibu is less refined than the engines used in Japanese competitors. The transmission in particular does not offer fast and responsive downshifts for passing quickly.
In terms of ride quality, the independent suspension system used in the Malibu can withstand rides on most rough pavements with ease. However, the tires do get noisy over potholes and ruts. The 2001 Chevrolet Malibu is quite maneuverable and feels secure in normal situations. However, the body lean and tire screeches become evident when the car is cornered aggressively. In these situations, the car steers rather slowly and vaguely.
The 2001 Chevrolet Malibu comes with a number of standard safety features, such as four-wheel anti-lock brakes, dual airbags, and child-safe rear door locks. The side-impact door beams are claimed to exceed federal protection standards. In side-impact crash tests conducted by the NHTSA, the car received four out five stars for passenger safety and two stars for driver safety. In frontal impact crash tests, the car received four out of five stars for passenger and driver safety.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Comfortable and spacious interior
- Quick acceleration
- Contemporary styling
- Very good value for money
You Won't Like
- Lack of traction control
- Soft suspension
- Lack of engine refinement
On the right side of quality.
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