We are pleased to welcome our latest long-termer, the turbocharged Malibu, to the wheels garage and it’s a warm one at that because when we test drove this very model in issue 638 we scored it an impressive 8.5/10. It fared ever so well for several reasons but it was mostly because of its blown 2.0-litre four-cylinder’s smooth delivery of power — and now we get to enjoy that potent 250 horsepower mill, mated to a slick six-speed automatic that sends the grunt to the front, all over again for the next few weeks.
The motor — and the nicely composed chassis — really sets the Malibu apart in the mid-size segment which is littered with models that seem content to merely get you from point A to B without even trying to impress along the way. But, with hardly any noticeable lag and its ability to hit 100kph from rest in a snappy 6.1 seconds, this Chevy sure plants a rather large grin on your face.
That it is attractively styled too (check out the bold front end and smooth profile) and has a very comfortable and roomy cabin with supple leather seats and a large 8.0in infotainment touchscreen adds to the overall appeal of this sensible family saloon.
We’ll see if we’re still as enthused about it a few weeks in to our long-term test because, as often is the case, when you spend a little more time with a car a few issues begin to rear their ugly head. I’ve already found one; it’s great that the sun visor slides across to block out the harsh light from the very edge of the driver side window but the hinge it’s affixed to is so loose that when I make a sharp left, the visor swings out and smacks me in the head. Will I get brain damage because of this? I doubt it. It’ll take to me hurt more much than that...