The Total Car Score earned by the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu is about average in the midsize sedan segment.
When it was introduced just four years ago it earned the prestigious North American Car of the Year award, and it still offers all the traits that were popular then -- a comfortable interior, spacious trunk, smooth ride, capable handling and a powerful V6 option.
But the Malibu hasn’t changed much over the years, while the rest of the family sedan segment has. Now it competes with cars that have crisper styling, larger interiors, more power and better fuel economy. By comparison, the Malibu just hasn’t kept up.
So instead of recommending the current Malibu, most critics suggested that buyers wait a few months to check out the all-new 2013 Malibu, which will go on sale later in the year.
Because the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu is being phased out, its only changes involve option packages: two new sunroof packages for LT models and an Uplevel Package for LS versions that includes Bluetooth connectivity.
The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu is a four-door, five-passenger sedan available in LS, LT and LTZ trim levels.
The standard powertrain mates a 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine, producing 169 horsepower and 160 pound-feet of torque, to a six-speed automatic transmission. An optional 3.6-liter V6 sends 252 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque to a beefier six-speed automatic. The EPA rates the four-cylinder Malibu as achieving 22 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined, while the V6’s fuel economy drops a bit to 17/26/20.
Standard equipment aboard the Malibu LS includes cloth upholstery, a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio capability, and remote keyless entry. 1LT models have steering wheel-mounted audio controls and the option of a sunroof, remote start, and Bluetooth; 2LT and 3LT trim levels include Bluetooth, heated and powered front seats and remote vehicle start.
Top-line 2012 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ models are equipped with leather-trimmed front seats, a premium sound system, automatic climate controls and a sunroof.
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