Used Chevrolet Malibu: 1997
The re-emergence of the Malibu as a serious contender in the mid-size marketplace was met with considerable fervor by the motoring press of the time. Motor Trend magazine named the 1997 Malibu its Car of The Year, and many other publications lavished praise upon the redesigned model. The bulk of the kudos arose from the improved fit, finish and detailing of its interior—as that is where American cars, most notably General Motors cars actually, had come under considerable criticism.
The 1997 Chevrolet Malibu was offered in two states of trim, a Base model and an LS model. The Base model featured a 150-horsepower, 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine, which fed some 155 ft.-lbs. of torque through a four-speed automatic transmission to the front wheels. The LS used a 155-horsepower, 3.1-liter V6, which developed 185 ft.-lbs. of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive completed the LS powertrain as well.
The Base model rolled on fifteen-inch steel wheels and featured anti-lock brakes as standard equipment. An anti-theft alarm system, cloth upholstery and front bucket seats, in addition to a remote trunk release and a tilt steering wheel were all included in the base price. Similarly, air conditioning, automatic headlights, daytime running lights, and intermittent windshield wipers could be found on the standard equipment list. An AM/FM radio with four speakers comprised the standard audio system.
Options included alloy wheels, cruise control, a keyless entry system, a rear-window defroster, and a choice of a cassette player, a CD player, or both to augment the audio setup. The optional power package electrified the driver’s seat, windows, door locks, and exterior mirrors.
Standard kit for the 1997 Malibu LS consisted of all the options from the Base model and fog lights. The only choice an LS buyer needed to make was whether to go with the CD player, or the CD/cassette combo for the audio system.
Safety features included the aforementioned ABS, fog lights (for LS models only), driver and front passenger airbags, child-safe door locks, the alarm system, and daytime running lights.