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2017 Chevrolet Malibu Premier quick take: A flawless transmission helps this family car stand out



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HIGHLIGHTS: The 2017 Malibu Premier uses GM’s nine-speed automatic transmission and a powerful turbocharged four to move up to five passengers in comfort. And there is plenty of space in this thing. Both the steering and suspension are tuned on the softer side of things — there isn’t much feel from the road, so there will be no clipping apexes on a racetrack, but you won’t feel all of the road imperfections on your daily commute either, and that’s what Malibus are designed for.

The new body style still looks great; it was revamped in 2016 and remains fresh and contemporary.

BASE PRICE: $31,850 (Premier trim)

OUR OPINION: The Malibu’s dimensions are about the same as those of the Ford Fusion. You may prefer the styling of one over the other, but the Chevrolet feels more upscale inside. Prices are close all the way up the options ladder between the two, and neither is “thrilling,” but they’ll both do everything you need on a day-to-day basis, and give you little to complain about.

OPTIONS: Driver Confidence Package I including Intellibeam Auto High Beam Control, Following Distance Sensor Indicator, Forward Collision Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, and Front Pedestrian Detection ($1,195); Driver Confidence Package II including Parking Brake, Adaptive Cruise Control, Semi-Automatic Parking Assist, and Front Automatic Braking ($995); and Cajun Red Tintcoat ($395)

On Sale: Now

Base Price: $31,850

As Tested Price: $34,435

Drivetrain: 2.0-liter DOHC turbo I4, FWD, nine-speed automatic

Output: 250 hp @ 5,300 rpm; 260 lb-ft @ 2,000-5,000 rpm

Curb Weight: 3,298 lb

Fuel Economy: 22/33/26 mpg(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)

Pros: Lots of space, cabin looks more expensive than it is

Cons: Numb steering feel




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