Five Facts About The Chevy Malibu You Probably Didn’t Know
In the car world, few models can compare to the legacy and the legend that is the Chevy Malibu. A top-quality consumer model for over fifty years, the Malibu has contributed to our popular imagination of the luxury sedan, practically inventing the cool, “surf” car look back in the early 1960s and continuing with the sleek, modern models you’ll find at Certified Chevy Car lots around the country today. There’s no doubt that every used Chevy Malibu is a classic model, with models driven by millions and beloved by millions more for decades – not to mention the cult of hardcore Malibu lovers preserving the heritage of this classic model every step of the way.
But with so much recognition and such an important place in the American ideal of what a luxury model should be, there’s a lot about the classic Chevy Malibu that many drivers simply don’t know – and it’s no surprise, given all the barriers this beloved model has broken in its long tenure as one of Chevy’s best-selling and most widely sought-after models. By digging through a little bit of the history of this classic American cruiser, it’s not hard to find amazing stories and little-known facts peppered throughout the Malibu’s history – and some are just too cool to not share with the world.
Whether you’re a longtime Malibu fan or you’ve simply been interested in the car that set the standard for what a consumer model can be, here’s a quick look at five lesser-known facts regarding this amazing heritage model line. Read on, and see just what this incredible vehicle has brought to the table over the years – right up to today’s amazing all-new 2016 model.
Now Entering Its Ninth Generation
Take a look at the sleek new ninth-generation Malibu and you may not believe that this nameplate has survived decades of revisions, improvements, and upgrades – and that’s what makes the Malibu so amazing. The very first generation Malibu came around in 1964, bounding with confidence right into the heat of the muscle car era and coming out the other side an instant icon. Almost immediately associated with the laid-back surf culture of California in the early sixties, this groovy cruiser offered an easily accessible avenue for drivers across the country to get in on the fun and experience the lifestyle for themselves.
Since then, the Malibu has survived improvement after improvement, seeing eight more generations go by with success in almost every one. Along the way, Chevy was never afraid to push the boundary of what a consumer car can be, experimenting with new entertainment features and new underpinnings in many of the generations to arrive at the ultra-convenient, undeniably slick 2016 Malibu we have today. With that kind of history behind it, it’s no wonder the Malibu has had such impressive staying power all these many years.
Originally Rear-Wheel Drive
Although all current Malibu models – including those stretching back as far as the late 90s – feature a capable front-wheel drive system, the original four generations of Malibu relied on a rear-wheel drivetrain for all that classic muscle car power. However, with the new extended wheelbase and new underpinnings found on the fifth-generation Malibu starting in 1997, Chevy made the executive decision to switch the vehicle from a rear-wheel drive intermediate to front-wheel drive – and since then, every Malibu on the road has relied on the same setup to bring a new level of power onto the roads.
It Descends From The Classic Chevy Chevelle
While the Malibu may be a classic model in its own right, it actually descends from one of Chevy’s most beloved and best-selling discontinued nameplates: the Chevy Chevelle. This original-style cruiser dominated the market back in its day with body styles including coupes, sedans, convertibles, and station wagons, and would provide the basic architecture for such storied models as the El Camino, the Monte Carlo, and – of course – the original Chevy Malibu, which started as the premier trim level of the Chevelle nameplate. But while the Chevelle and many of its offspring remained successful and became classic models years later, the original Chevelle was discontinued in the late 70’s and most of its trims were converted into models of their own. But the Malibu never forgot its roots, and the classic nameplate will always owe a debt of gratitude to the classic Chevelle styling.
Hybrid Option Since 2008
Few automakers have pushed ahead with making cleaner, more efficient, and more earth-friendly vehicles with the ferocity that Chevy has shown – and the Chevy Malibu is one of the prime examples of this commitment. Since 2008, the Malibu has offered a reliable hybrid option for those drivers looking to save on gas and reduce emissions on their daily commute, without once ever giving up on all the class and grace that drivers have come to expect from the Malibu nameplate. Today, that’s led to the current Malibu full-hybrid, the first of its kind in the nameplate’s history and one of the most efficient hybrids on the road today, offering an astounding 46 miles per gallon highway thanks to a 1.8L four-cylinder engine mated to a two-motor drive unit. And even when Chevy wasn’t working on a hybrid model, they still had efficiency in mind – just take a look at the 2014 Malibu, which was the first non-hybrid GM vehicle to introduce fuel-saving start/stop engine technology for better efficiency and a cleaner drive in every Malibu, regardless of its engine.
Over 10 Million Malibus Sold
With so much history and so many accolades, it’s no wonder the Malibu has been one of Chevy’s best selling models for over five decades – and that’s reflected in its sales, with the nameplate having just recently hit its 10-millionth sale mark in August of 2015. That means those of us looking for a classic red Chevy Malibu to call our own have plenty of great options out there – and that the Malibu is ready to stand the test of time even with daily use under its belt.
So regardless of whether you’re a Malibu fanatic or just a fan of market-shaping models of years past, few vehicles in the history of modern driving can compare to the class, the legacy, and the integrity of the classic Chevy Malibu. Get in contact with your local Chevy dealer today and see about getting a certified Malibu of your very own, and get ready to be part of a driving culture that’s unlike any other.