Banging on about the Malibu’s brilliant blown four-pot might just become a bit of a recurring theme over the next few weeks but we can’t stress just how impressive this little mill is.
Chevrolet has been turbocharging the model ever since 2013, and the decision to do so has transformed the saloon’s character. We tested one with the naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre four and to its credit it made a decent 186bhp, albeit at a screaming 6,000rpm. On the other hand, our tester’s 2.0-litre turbo has way more power (250bhp) and the motor is able to muster that all up without trying as hard too, revving at a far lower (and more fuel-efficient) 5,300rpm.
The former produces 250Nm of torque at 4,000rpm which is ample to keep up with traffic around town and on the highway — however the difference between the two when you nail the throttle is like night and day. It has to try half as hard to reach its peak torque (350Nm at 2,000rpm) and with a full 100 Newton metres more on tap, it pins you back to the comfortable leather seats. It can do the 0-100kph dash in a breezy 6.1 seconds which is not bad at all considering it tips the scales at 1,568kg (you can add another 90kg with me at wheel, and er, 120kg if it’s Kinan driving...) and has a top speed of 250kph.
Sure, SUVs are all the rage today, but it’s good to see that Chevy hasn’t given up on the saloon segment. This brilliant model is proof of that.