2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Review

Wednesday August 10th, 2016 at 11:88 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

By David Colman

Hypes: Spacious, Handsome, Fuel Efficient
Gripes: Small Trunk, Strange Dash Cladding

In 2015, the Malibu placed 6th out of 6 like sized sedans in a Motor Trend magazine comparison test. Clearly, the old Malibu had outlived its useful product life cycle, and Chevy duly replaced it with a whole new car this year. Not a freshening, not a remodel, but a completely new vehicle designed specifically for comfortable long distance travel by plus sized humans. Specifically, the magazine review dinged the previous Malibu for its lackluster engine, cheap interior plastics and cramped rear bench seat. Chevy has admirably addressed all those complaints with the Hybrid we drove. Under the hood lies a very energetic powertrain consisting of a 1.8 liter double overhead cam, inline 4 cylinder gas engine augmented by twin electric motors. Although the combo is only rated at 182hp, the vibrant manner in which the electric propulsion augments the gas motor means you will never be lacking for acceleration. This Hybrid Malibu is really quick in a straight line, with instant spool up quick enough to see you through any passing or merging maneuver.

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Inside the cabin, the 2016 Malibu has lost the former model’s bargain basement array of plastics and fabrics. While it’s not quite up to Ritz standards, the Malibu interior is several cuts above Best Western. Check out the steering wheel, for example. If you opt for the $895 “Technology and Convenience Package,” Chevy gives you a nice fat leather capped rim to grip. Every possible seam and contour has enough thread or hide to eliminate all sharp edges. The same cannot be said for many cars costing twice as much as the Malibu. The only item of questionable taste is the strange quilted fabric covering the lower sections of the dash. This 3D material looks odd, as if Chevy was trying to replicate a carbon fiber look with cloth. It does not promise to wear well.

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Quibbles about the old Malibu’s lack of interior room have been eliminated thanks to a 4.2 inch wheelbase extension, a whopping 11 inch width extension, and just a half inch height rise. Indeed, the new Malibu provides a spacious and airy ride, with limousine like leg room both front and rear. Yet it manages to give you a much bigger cabin while still saving nearly 300 pounds of curb weight over its predecessor. This lightened load partially accounts for the Hybrid’s excellent fuel economy, with a highway figure of 47 MPG augmenting a city rating of 46 MPG. The only real downside to the Hybrid driveline is the storage space sacrifice you will need to make to accommodate the battery pack beneath the trunk. Gas only versions of this sedan provide 15.8 cubic feet while the Hybrid makes do with just 11.6.

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Since self driving cars have yet to arrive, it was a bit off putting to discover that this Malibu has been implanted with self driving notions of its own by Chevrolet. If you pay $1,195 extra for the “Driver Confidence Package” you’ll discover that your Malibu has a mind of its own. This propensity for automated decision making first revealed itself when I sprinted onto an empty stretch of freeway and immediately made for the number 1 (fast) lane. Each time I crossed a lane boundary – and there were 3 of them – the Hybrid resisted my steering direction to the left and instead corrected the front wheels back to the right. As I was later to discover, Chevrolet programmed this obnoxious behavior into the Malibu’s optional package under the rubric of “Lane Keep Assist” ( LKA). Each time you fail to signal a lane change, the steering wheel will jerk itself back in the opposite direction of your intended path of travel. Thankfully, we discovered a delete button for LKA near the hub of the steering wheel’s left spoke, and from then on eliminated the nuisance. But be forewarned, the invasion of the mind snatchers is on the way.

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

All in all, Chevy has done a very workmanlike job in their remake of the aging Malibu. the new sedan looks really good, especially when given the optional $395 Crystal Red Tintcoat of our test sample. Clearly, draftsmen in what used to be called the Art and Color department of GM have refined the exterior surfaces of the Malibu to conduct wind without disturbance. This is a remarkably quiet and aerodynamically clean product that will remind you of its air management efficiency by endearingly infrequent visits to the gas pump.

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

  • Engine: 1.8 liter DOHC inline 4 with twin electric motors
  • Horsepower: 182hp
  • Torque: N/A
  • Fuel Consumption: 46 MPG City/47 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $31,130
  • Star Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Stars

Posted in Chevrolet, Expert Reviews, Feature Articles, hybrid |Tags:, , , , || No Comments »


Review: 2015 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Z71 Crew Long Box

Wednesday April 1st, 2015 at 2:44 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2015 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Z71 Crew Long Box

By David Colman

Hypes: Great Value as All-Rounder
Gripes: Needs Running Boards, Free Wi-Fi as Part of OnStar Subscription

Would you rather be a sea horse or a flounder? If you’re currently navigating traffic in a low profile sedan or sports car, your restricted vision makes you the bottom dweller of the highway system. On the other hand, if your daily mount is our test Chevy Colorado, you’re sitting tall in the saddle of the newest sea horse from General Motors. Just climbing into the Colorado’s cabin is a bit of leap because it lacks running boards. But once ensconced in the cushy driver’s seat, you’ve got a view of the highway that is unparalleled in any compact car. This 360 degree view gives you the opportunity to see and avoid traffic problems before they become your own. There’s also enough sheet metal surrounding you here to provide the ultimate in crash survival. Violent accidents that destroy compact vehicles will have a negligible effect on this massive truck. The Colorado’s full complement of front, rear and side curtain airbags stand ready to further cushion the blow. If you value your safety, this Chevy is a smart defensive choice.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Z71 Crew Long Box

The Colorado’s dynamic features also promote accident avoidance through active safety. The hallmarks of this new mid-size product are good handling on Goodyear G4 Wranglers (255/65R17), excellent braking on 4 wheel Duralife ABS disc brakes, and anti-skid technology courtesy of Stabilitrak stability control. The 305hp 3.6 liter V6 eagerly awaits your call for more power. Floor the throttle and the Colorado leaps ahead decisively. Doling out ample thrust through a 6-speed automatic transmission, the V6 posts a commendable 24MPG on the highway. You can slot the floor mounted gear selector into the “M” manual gate and toggle up and downshifts with the button affixed to the side of the gearshift knob. While this system lacks the ease of use provided by steering wheel paddles, it still gets the job done with accuracy. With a bargain $250 Trailering Equipment Package, the Colorado is rated to tow 7,000 pounds.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Z71 Crew Long Box

Append a full Crew Cab to a Long Box cargo area and you’ve got a lot of truck to maneuver and park in city driving. You’ll find yourself cruising the nether reaches of parking lots looking for just the right spot to nose in so you won’t have to reverse out when leaving. This technique is definitely an acquired art form, but the excellent view from the cab makes parking lot scoping more fun than you might expect. The standard rear view camera helps in all such maneuvers. Inside the fully appointed cabin, you’ll never think you’re in a work truck. Fore and aft seat adjustments are power coordinated for front occupants but back rake angle is manually controlled. Big dashboard knobs insure you will never grope for the kind of minute controls so prevalent in compact cars these days. Want to adjust the temperature? Just grasp the fat dial on the dash and crank it right or left. Same applies for fan control. The radio volume knob is also a whopper. This control panel has been designed for operation while wearing gloves. The multi-function steering wheel also provides controls for phone, entertainment and cruise control. A dash-mounted 8 inch color touch pad helps you fine tune the many parameters of the “My Link” audio system.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Z71 Crew Long Box

Since connectivity has become supremely important these days, Chevy has heeded the call by offering to turn your Colorado into a Wi-Fi Hotspot capable of serving up to 7 tablets, laptops or other devices. The program operates through GM’s central safety net clearing house safety, OnStar. When you buy a Colorado, you automatically get 6 months of OnStar for free, plus 3GB of data through a free 3 Month Wi-Fi plan. Unfortunately, when we tried to access the Hotspot feature we were informed by an actual, live human being at OnStar that our 3GB had expired and we would need to purchase additional airtime. The rate structure went something like this: A further 3GB was available through AT&T for $30/month. $15 buys you 1GB/month, and $50 is good for 5GB/month. A daily fee of $5 is good for 250MB. You can roam up to 50 feet from your vehicle for reception, and the truck must either be running or in the Accessory key position.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Z71 Crew Long Box

The Colorado is remarkably adept at fulfilling a wide range of needs. From the driver’s seat, it provides a comforting sense of invulnerability that is impossible to duplicate in smaller vehicles. But is also conveys you with the dispatch, comfort and grace of a well appointed luxury sedan, while allowing you to tote impossibly large loads in its ample bed. A bed, I might add, which is fitted with convenient steps at each corner to ease entry, and a tailgate that lets itself down with a whisper instead of a thud.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Z71 Crew Long Box

  • Engine: 3.6 Liter DOHC V6 with VVT
  • Horsepower: 302hp
  • Torque: 270lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 17 MPG City/24 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $36,535
  • Star Rating: 9 out of 10 Stars

Posted in Chevrolet, Expert Reviews, Feature Articles |Tags:, , , || No Comments »


2013 Chevrolet Cruze Goes Diesel for North America

Tuesday February 22nd, 2011 at 9:22 AM
Posted by: aquadog

2011 Chevrolet CruzeNews has emerged that the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze will be available as a diesel engine option for the North American market, with sales expected to begin sometime in 2012. GM Inside News sources at the Lordstown, Ohio assembly, where the Chevy Cruze is produced, are said to have confirmed they will start building a diesel model for the 2013 model year. The Chevrolet Cruze is a popular car that is sold in over 60 countries worldwide in gasoline and diesel engine models and was just recently launched in the North America market. With Americans becoming more interested in fuel efficiency and smaller sized cars, the diesel powered Cruze could be a step in the right direction.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chevrolet, Press and News |Tags:, , , || 2 Comments »


Next Generation Corvette to be Internationally Designed

Wednesday March 10th, 2010 at 7:33 AM
Posted by: michael.leroy

corvette-vision-concept-aka-sideswipe-in-transformers-revenge-of-the-fallen_primaryThe C7 will be the first Corvette designed outside the US

General Motors is looking to the future and realizes the current generation Corvette has a problem, its buyers are getting old. The average age of a Corvette buyer is 54 and each year is getting higher. Chevy is hoping to fix this by designing the next generation (C7) Corvette to appeal to a younger audience.

Chevy’s plan is to draw upon its pool of international design studios to come up with something that will interest a younger buyer. GM also hopes the international design will help give it more global appeal. Outside the US the Corvette is a poor seller. GM’s VP of global design, Ed Welburn said the target for the C7 is a design that feels trimmer and overcomes the stigma of being a large car.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chevrolet, GM-news, Press and News |Tags:, , , || 1 Comment »


2008 Chevy Malibu LTZ Review – Could this be a turning point for GM?

Thursday February 14th, 2008 at 8:22 AM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

Overview Chevy Malibu Specs
Consumer Reviews of Malibu LTZ Chevy Malibu Photo Gallery

By Kurt Gensheimer

Blings:

  • More soundproof than Abbey Road Studios
  • Tire-scorching 252 HP V-6
  • Hectares of interior space
  • Attractive interior and exterior

Dings:

  • Steering wheel controls aren’t the most ergonomic
  • Artificially heavy steering feel
  • Thick A-pillars and steep windshield make for poor front visibility

Ruling: If the Malibu a sign of things to come, GM will put the good ol’ US of A back in the auto industry driver’s seat.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chevrolet, Expert Reviews |Tags:, , || 1 Comment »


First Look – Chevy Volt Concept Car

Monday December 24th, 2007 at 2:1212 AM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

By Kurt Gensheimer

Genius in theory. In reality? We might know by 2010.

For decades, American automakers, Washington politicos, oil companies and consumers alike have been caught up in the lure of cheap gasoline. It’s led to fuel inefficient vehicles, lax legislation, and even more lax energy innovation. But in the end, the root of all these behaviors comes back to the American consumer. The American consumer has always wanted and purchased gasoline-powered products, so that’s what the market delivers. But like repeatedly putting one’s hand on a burning stove, at what point do American consumers conclude the financial pain at the pump has gotten too great? And when do their automobile choices start changing the behavior of automakers, politicians and oil companies? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chevrolet, Expert Reviews, Feature Articles |Tags:, , , || 1 Comment »




Latest Reviews



Select a Category