Holden's all-new Malibu midsizer has made its Australian showroom debut this week, kicking off from $28,490 plus on-road costs.
The Malibu made its first appearance in Holden guise around this time last year, when models began testing here as part of a local tuning and compliance program.
The Malibu is sold internationally under the Chevrolet badge, and is based on GM’s Epsilon II architecture shared locally with the Opel Insignia.
The Malibu is offered in the familiar CD and CDX trim levels, with a pair of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines and a six-speed automatic transmission.
In petrol form, the Malibu is available with a Korean-sourced 2.4 litre four-cylinder engine. The petrol engine produces 123kW and 225Nm of torque, with fuel consumption listed at 8.0 l/100km.
Opt for the diesel engine, and power is provided by a German-sourced 2.0 litre four-cylinder that produces 117kW and 350Nm. Fuel consumption with the diesel is listed at 6.4 l/100km (6.5 in CDX form).
Power in both models is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission with Active Select shifting.
The Federal Government's Green Vehicle Guide rates the 2.4 litre models at 4/5 stars, while the diesel scores 3.5/5 stars.
The Australian-delivered Malibu also benefits from a local suspension and damper tune. Front suspension is by McPherson struts, while the rear gets a multi-link arrangement.
The local Malibu is also fitted with tyres specific to a right-hand-drive configuration, and the rubber on CDX models is the same tyre set used with the VF Commodore SV6 and SS sports models.
“What we aimed for with Malibu was to deliver a car with great all-round performance and we’ve been successful in creating a really adept cruiser that is as at home in an urban environment as it is on rolling b-roads or an interstate highway.” Holden dynamics specialist Michael Barber said.
A unique throttle and pedal map has also been configured for Australia, developed together with engineers at GM Korea as part of the Malibu's global localisation program.
Standard features with the entry CD model include 17-inch alloy wheels, climate control, rear view camera, Rear Park Assist, automatic-release electronic park brake, a multi-function display, steering-mounted controls, sensor key and push button start, black interior trim, auto headlights, cruise control and a trip computers.
Holden's MyLink seven-inch colour display system is also featured, offering Pandora and Stitcher SmartRadio apps, USB/Bluetooth/iPod connectivity and nine speakers.
Upgrade to the CDX and there's 18-inch alloys, black leather-appointed trim, leather steering wheel, eight-way power adjustable and heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, fog lights and LED tail-lights.
Standard safety features include Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Traction Control System (TCS) and Brake Assist.
There's also six airbags (driver, front passenger, front side and curtain), a break-away brake pedal, energy absorbing steering column and driver seat position sensor, three-point seatbelts in all five seating positions and ISOFIX connections at rear seating positions.
Rear storage is listed at 545 litres. Towing is rated at 1200kg braked and 750kg unbraked in both petrol and diesel models.
Pricing (excludes on-road costs)
- Malibu CD Petrol - $28,490
- Malibu CD Diesel - $32,490
- Malibu CDX Petrol - $31,990
- Malibu CDX Diesel - $35,990