The 2011 Chevrolet Malibu is a mid-size sedan that has helped to put the Chevrolet brand back on the shopping list of new car buyers interested in either a family car or a roomy, affordable commuter. Completely redesigned for the 2008 model year, the Chevrolet Malibu has seen its platform and features incrementally upgraded since that time. 2011 has brought several changes to the standard features of the sedan that have helped make it more competitive in its class. Let's take a look at 10 things you should know about the 2011 Chevrolet Malibu.
10 Things You Should Know About the 2011 Chevrolet Malibu
#1. The Chevrolet Malibu is Affordable.
The base 2011 Chevrolet Malibu LS starts with an MSRP of $21,975. In fact, the spread between the entry-level Malibu and the top of the line Chevrolet Malibu LTZ (MSRP $27,015) is just a tick over $5,000. This compares well against the pricing structure of the class leading Toyota Camry, and is almost $2,500 cheaper than the highest Honda Accord trim level. Adding to the affordability of the Chevrolet Malibu are the incentives and rebates that are frequently available from General Motors on this vehicle, which can add up to thousands saved on interest payments or factory cash back.
#2. The Malibu Offers the Choice of Four and Six-Cylinder Engines
The 2011 Chevrolet Malibu starts out with a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that generates 169 horsepower and 160 lb-ft of torque. This engine is standard equipment across all trim levels. Higher spec editions of the sedan can be outfitted with an optional V-6 engine that displaces 3.6-liters and which makes use of Chevrolet's Variable Valve Timing (VVT) system as well as dual overhead camshafts. Capable of producing 252 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque, this particular unit enables the Chevrolet Malibu to make the spring to 60 miles per hour from a standing start in 6.7 seconds.
#3. The Chevrolet Malibu Provides Solid Fuel Economy
Despite its large interior dimensions and mid-size classification, the 2011 Chevrolet Malibu still reaches north of 30-mpg in terms of its EPA highway rating. The Malibu comes in with fuel mileage of 22-mpg in city driving and 33-mpg during highway cruising when equipped with the base four-cylinder engine. These numbers help to position the Chevrolet Malibu near the top of the family sedan pack. The sedan's V-6 edition also offers competitive fuel economy of 17-mpg in stop-and-go driving and 26-mpg on the highway.
#4. 2011 Brings a Standard Six-Speed Transmission
Although previous editions of the Chevrolet Malibu had an available six-speed automatic, there was still a four-speed auto hanging around on the base LS model: that all changes for 2011, with the entire Malibu lineup receiving the six-speed automatic treatment. This drivetrain decision has helped to improve the fuel mileage of the least expensive Malibu trim level by three miles per gallon on the highway, and it has also given the Chevrolet Malibu a technology advantage over rivals such as the Honda Accord, which only offers a five-speed automatic transmission option regardless of which engine is found under the hood.
#5. The Chevrolet Malibu Now Comes with the myChevrolet App
Chevrolet has released the myChevrolet app available for the Apple iPhone that allows for Chevrolet Malibu owners to interact with their vehicles remotely. By using myChevrolet, it is possible to use Google Maps to locate a parked Malibu, as well as monitor the amount of time left in a parking meter, schedule a service appointment, find a nearby dealership or even get in touch with roadside assistance services. When combined with an OnStar subscription, myChevrolet works with the OnStar MyLink app to provide remote locking and unlocking, remote engine starting and access to information like fuel mileage statistics - all through a smart phone.
#6. The 2011 Chevrolet Malibu is Available in Four Trim Levels
The base Chevrolet Malibu LS offers equipment such as keyless entry, air conditioning, power windows and door locks, cruise control and a CD player with XM satellite radio. Moving up to the 1LT model replaces the 17-inch steel wheels found on the least expensive Malibu with 17-inch alloy rims, and also provides upgraded interior and exterior trim that includes both chrome accents and color-keyed panels. The Malibu 2LT offers Bluetooth integration, heated seats for the front two occupants (with power adjustments for the drive), a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a remote start feature.
The Chevrolet Malibu LTZ serves as the most upscale edition of the sedan, and it features heated leather seats, automatic climate control, power seating adjustments for both driver and passenger and a high-end Bose stereo system with MP3 capability. LED taillights and 18-inch wheels help to identify the Malibu LTZ from the outside.
#7. The Malibu Can Be Personalized Through Several Options Packages
Starting with the 1LT trim, Chevrolet makes several options packages available for the Malibu. The Red Jewel and White Diamond Premium packages provide a special exterior color along with a chrome exhaust tip, a power driver's seat, remote start capability and Bluetooth integration. Additional chrome trim can be installed through the selection of the Exterior Bright Appearance Package.
A number of standalone options can also be added to the Chevrolet Malibu, including a power sunroof, a rear spoiler, a cargo management system for the trunk and a window shade.
#8. The Chevrolet Malibu Offers a Full Range of Safety Gear
The 2011 Chevrolet Malibu is equipped with a liberal dose of both active and passive safety systems designed to protect vehicle occupants from the dangers of the road. Designed to intervene and prevent an accident from ever occurring in the first place, StabiliTrak electronic stability control is included as standard equipment with all editions of the Malibu. Should the unthinkable occur, the sedan can deploy as many as six airbags: two dual-stage front-mounted units, two side airbags for forward occupants, and two head-curtain side-impact airbags that run the length of the Malibu's passenger compartment.
The Chevrolet Malibu's OnStar system also features automatic crash response, which can contact emergency personnel in the event that an accident is detected.
#9. A Six-Month OnStar Subscription is Included
Every Chevrolet Malibu is equipped with the OnStar system and a free six-month initial subscription to the service. OnStar offers a number of different features, which can be split into two categories: safety and convenience. In terms of safety, OnStar provides the ability to remotely lock and unlock doors should you leave your keys inside the automobile, as well as provide remote diagnostics of check engine lights and other vehicle issues. The system can even help nab thieves by killing engine power to a stolen Malibu, as well as provide the previously mentioned accident-related services.
On the convenience side, OnStar provides a 24 hour, seven day a week connection to the service's team of operators / concierges who can offer information about local points of interest as well as provide turn-by-turn directions in real-time. The system also comes with a hands-free calling feature.
#10. The Malibu's Interior is Surprisingly Roomy
Modern sedan platforms are able to take advantage of decades of engineering know-how, helping to create interiors like the one found in the 2011 Chevrolet Malibu where space is well managed to provide comfort for all seating positions. Those riding in the rear enjoy shoulder room of 53.9 inches, which is just two inches less than that offered for front passengers. Rear legroom is also better than average, coming in at 37.6 inches. The Malibu's longer wheelbase plays a big role in helping to create a sense of spaciousness inside its cabin, and the passenger compartment is complemented by a 15.1 cubic foot trunk.