i was recently invited to the mandarin oriental hotel in washington dc for general motors’ ride & drive event. it was a great opportunity to hear all about chevy’s new vehicle and also to give the new 2008 chevrolet malibu a twirl.
Chevrolet Malibu LS
here are some basics about the 2008 malibu:
- it’s a nice looking midsize vehicle and it represents gm’s answer to the honda accord, toyota camry, and nissan altima.
- the hybrid model starts at $22,790.
- it has a great looking interior with six color combination options.
- comes with onstar with turn-by-turn navigation.
- also has xm satellite radio. need i say more?
- head-curtain side air bags and front-seat thorax air bags.
- equipped with standard theft-deterrent system.
- and for some odd reason, the malibu comes with two handy-dandy 3-prong outlets which could be used to hook up a cell phone, laptop computer or as martin hayes, vehicle performance manager for the malibu, suggested, a blender. well, alrighty then!
okay, i’m not going to lie. i had no idea at all what this vehicle looked like before attending the event, but you know, i really dug the shape of it once i saw it parked in front of the hotel. although i’m not a huge fan of the grille (it seemed a bit too manly for my taste), i definitely thought that in terms of how the vehicle looked, it was something that i would consider.
next it was time to drive! woohoo! i ran into a friend of mine, car guru and publisher/president of automotive rhythms kimatni rawlins, and we decided to hit the rode together in the base model ls (which starts at $19,995) to see what it was all about. i’m a tall girl, so it’s important that i have enough leg room and the malibu had plenty. in the front at least. the back seemed to be lacking a little in leg room, but since my 2-year-old is usually the only one riding in the back and he’s in a car seat, perhaps it’s not such a big deal considering that his feet don’t touch the floor anyway.
speaking of car seats, the malibu has latch (lower anchors and top tethers for children) child safety seat anchors that allow you to secure the child’s seat to the vehicle. naturally, any safety feature for children is a plus. you don’t want your kid rolling around all willy nilly in the backseat.
another important feature to me would be the vehicle’s audio options. i have to have music pumpin’ and the ls comes with an am/fm radio with cd player, mp3 capable playback, auxilliary audio input jack and six speakers. good enough for me.
the interior of the ls we jumped into was gray and it took a little getting used to the big instrumentation panel, but i think that’s just because it’s so different from my own. the panel first seemed like something you would see in a space shuttle. you know, really big and lit up. but then again, i’ve never been in a space shuttle. there was also a storage bin on the dash and even though it seemed out of place at the time, i’m sure i’d find something to stuff it with if i actually owned the car.
Malibu LT Interior
one light touch to the gas pedal and this baby was rolling. i don’t know if that’s a malibu thing or a new car thing. i drive an older model honda and it takes a little more pressure to get it rolling, but the malibu had one smooth take off. our 20 minute ride around the city gave us a great opportunity to see how the vehicle handled rain. windshield wipers that work. check! kimatni also wanted to make a quick stop so i was able to see how easy the malibu was to parallel park and it was a snap.
for my girl shonda, yes, the vehicle had plenty cup holders, dual front and rear. so overall, surprisingly enough (because i’ve only ever owned hondas), i liked the chevy malibu. i thought it looked pretty good, it was spacious enough (you know, until my son’s legs get longer anyway), it was comfy, and the drive was fine. the malibu. who knew?
Chevrolet Malibu LT