After struggling for decades to maintain its footing in the midsize family sedan segment of the market, the Chevrolet Malibu was completely redesigned for 2008. With a more spacious interior, added power, and better quality design and materials, the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu turned its reputation around.
Body Styles: Sedan
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 3.6-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, six-speed automatic
Models: Malibu LS, Malibu 1LT, Malibu 2LT, Malibu LTZ
The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu undergoes a complete redesign. Based on the same platform as the Saturn Aura, the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu is roomier and more powerful than preceding models.
Part of the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu’s redesign includes exterior upgrades that put it more in line with a premium sedan. With clean lines, tight panel gaps, and a bit of chrome in the right places, the 2008 Chevy Malibu no longer resembles an anonymous rent-a-car. The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu sports a front end that, while slightly unconventional, is distinct looking.
The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu is available in four trim levels: LS, 1LT, 2LT, and LTZ. The base model LS version boasts such features as 16-inch steel wheels and keyless entry. Opting for the 1LT version sees the addition of 17-inch alloy wheels. Stepping up another trim level to 2LT gets you polished wheels. The line-topping LTZ version features silver grille inserts, foglights, LED taillights and 18-inch alloys.
Step inside the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu and you’ll find an interior that’s revitalized. Gone are the cheap materials and haphazard build quality that characterized the Malibu for years. Instead, you’ll find higher quality materials and a redesigned dual-cowl dashboard that’s suggestive of a classic 1960s Corvette. Acoustic window lamination on all trim levels helps ensure a quiet ride, and the front seats are firmly supportive. Audio and climate controls are user-friendly, and the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu’s extended wheelbase means plenty of legroom for passengers riding in the rear.
The base model LS version boasts such features as keyless entry, full power accessories, air-conditioning, and OnStar. The LS also includes a sound system with six speakers, satellite radio, and an auxiliary audio jack. Opting for the 1LT version sees the addition of audio controls mounted on the steering wheel. Stepping up another trim level to 2LT gets you remote engine start, power driver seat, power-adjustable pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob, and front seat heating. The line-topping LTZ version features an improved sound system with eight speakers and a CD changer. Additional interior upgrades for the LTZ version include leather seats and power passenger seats.
There are a number of available packages that make it possible to add features from higher trim levels to lower trim models. A rear power package sees the addition of a 110-volt AC outlet behind the center console as well as a manual rear sunshade.
Performance & Handling
The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu is powered by a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that’s rated at 169 horsepower and produces 160 lb-ft of torque. That engine is paired with a four-speed automatic transmission and comes standard on all trim levels except for the LTZ. The LTZ is equipped with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that’s rated at 252 horsepower and produces 251 lb-ft of torque. The V-6 is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission and is also available as an option for the 2LT.
Acceleration is respectable with even the four-cylinder version being capable of making zero to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds. The V-6, meanwhile, can make it from zero to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds.
Reviews indicate that the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu provides for a very smooth ride with the suspension readily absorbing any standard road irregularities. The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu also offers respectable handling and ensures confidence on corners. Braking distances are also reported to be good.
2008 Chevrolet Malibu standard safety features for all versions include anti-lock disc brakes, traction control, front-seat side airbags, and side curtain airbags. Stability control is included on LT and LTZ versions. The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu earns a top rating of ""good"" for frontal offset crash tests.
EPA Fuel Economy
Malibu four-cylinder: 22/30 mpg city/highway
Malibu V-6: 17/26 mpg city/highway
- Smooth ride and capable handling
- Quiet cabin
- Firm chassis and suspension tuning provide a comfortable smooth ride
You Won't Like
- Missing features like a navigation system and dual-zone climate control
A very capable sedan.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Honda Accord
- Ford Fusion
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