Malibu Hits 10M Sales Mark, Plus A Look Back
The Chevrolet Malibu first rolled off the assembly line back in 1964, and despite a brief hiatus – the iconic mid-size car just hit an impressive milestone. Whether brand new, or buying from used car dealers in Lexington, KY – the Chevrolet Malibu is certainly standing up to the test of time.
It has been 51 years since Chevrolet’s very first midsize car was produced, and while it may technically be “over the hill,” the Malibu is holding strong. Just this week, Chevrolet announced that ten million Malibu sedans are currently on the road today. The impressive number doesn’t just mean that Chevy has sold a lot of sedans – it means that the Malibu now exists within a unique context of automotive history.
While it may have been over 50 years since the first Malibu was sold, the sedan took more than a decade off in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The 10 million sales mark came at the perfect time for the automotive giant – who just started production on the all-new 2016 Malibu. In honor of this incredibly impressive milestone, and the ninth-generation of the iconic sedan – let’s take a look back at everything the Malibu has offered over the past 51 years.
First Generation: 1964-1967
Originally created to serve as a sub-series to the Chevrolet Chevelle, the Malibu was top-of the line in every way. Offered in multiple variations including a two door sport coupe, four-door sedan, two seat station wagon, and a convertible – the original Chevy Malibu was capable of fitting into every lifestyle. Upscale amenities were present throughout the lush interior cabin, including a deluxe steering column, vinyl upholstery, and deep twist carpeting.
In 1967, Chevrolet offered the Malibu with a premium stereo system and 8-track tape player. A new wood grain exterior also made an appearance, and the V8 models could go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 6.2 seconds.
Second Generation: 1968-1972
Along with the Chevelle, Chevy completely restyled the Malibu for the 1968 model year. A new instrument panel, and a Concours luxury package gave drivers the option for ultimate luxury. A brand new 5.0 liter V8 engine replaced the 4.6 liter V8 that disappeared with the outgoing model year.
Throughout this generation, the Malibu also received various styling updates such as revised grilles, taillights, and rear decks. In 1972, Chevy offered the Malibu as a hardtop and convertible for the last time.
Third Generation: 1973-1977
An interesting generation for the iconic sedan – the Malibu’s third generation included a complete redesign for 1973. Offered in three different trim levels including the base Chevelle Deluxe, the mid-range Malibu, and the top of the line Laguna. For 1974, the Deluxe model was dropped, making the Malibu the entry level Chevelle model. In 1977, the Malibu Classic became the nameplate’s high-end trim level offering, and featured a four square headlight arrangement that was completely unique and unusual.
Fourth Generation: 1978-1983
Up until the 1978 model year, the Malibu was sold under the Chevelle name. Now the bestselling badge in the lineup, the name “Malibu” completely replaced “Chevelle.” Along with the new badging, came an entirely new Malibu. Over a foot shorter than the outgoing model, the all-new Malibu shed up to 1,000 pounds overall, and offered increased head room, leg room, and trunk space. The Malibu and Malibu Classic were the only two trim levels offered, and Chevrolet introduced a new V6 family of engines for the new sedan.
Available in three body styles, drivers were able to choose from a station wagon, coupe, or sedan. The new Malibu was widely used in NASCAR, and even used as part of Iraqi’s fleet of government vehicles. After the 1983 model year, Chevrolet and General Motors would not produce a new Malibu for over ten years.
Fifth Generation: 1997-2003
The Malibu made a strong comeback in 1997, with an all-new front-wheel drive model introduced to the American public. The Malibu’s comeback was so strong, that Motor Trend magazine named the midsize sedan its Car of the Year for 1997. From 1997-1999, the Malibu featured a 3.1 liter V6 with 155 horsepower. The 2004-2005 Malibu was offered with a more environmentally-friendly 2.2-liter Ecotec I4 engine that still managed to boast 144 horsepower.
Sixth Generation: 2004-2007
This newest generation of Chevrolet’s Malibu was moved to the Epsilon platform based on the 2002 Opel Vectra. Available in only two body styles, drivers could choose from a four-door sedan, or a five-door Malibu Maxx station wagon. The Malibu Maxx was Chevrolet’s first attempt at a hatchback since the 1980s.
Drivers who wanted more power and a sportier drive, could opt for a special SS trim on either Malibu body styles. This high-end option featured 240 horsepower, 18-inch alloy wheels, a three-spoke leather wrapped steering wheel, leather upholstery, chrome instruments, and upscale accents throughout the cabin.
Seventh Generation: 2008-2012
A brand new design team was brought in for the seventh generation Malibu. Offered in five different trim levels, the 2008 Malibu was even available as a hybrid option. OnStar was included on every seventh generation Malibu, as well as six airbags, traction control, anti lock brakes, daytime running lights, and an electronic tire pressure monitoring system. For 2011, the Malibu included Bluetooth technology, USB ports, remote start, and a security alarm – all standard. These advanced technologies were just starting to surface in the automotive industry, and the Chevrolet was using the Malibu to help lead other automotive manufacturers in a new standard for in-vehicle technology.
Eighth Generation: 2013-2015
Debuting in 2012, the all-new Malibu was a global vehicle, and was offered in over 100 markets across the world. The 2012 Malibu was available in various trim levels, and even included an ECO option, for drivers who were environmentally conscious. Nearly all Malibu models came standard with a large touch screen infotainment center with Chevrolet’s MyLink and Pandora. Four cylinder engines were all paired with standard six-speed automatic transmissions, and a 2.0-liter diesel engine was also available. 18 months after the 2013 model debuted, Chevrolet refreshed the Malibu to match that of the redesigned Impala, and Traverse.
Ninth Generation: 2016
Back in April of this year, Chevrolet unveiled the all-new 2016 Malibu at the New York International Auto Show. The brand new Malibu begins production this week, and is slated to hit dealer showrooms late fall. Drivers can expect larger interior room, increased fuel economy, and four trim level options. A Malibu Hybrid will also accompany the release, and will feature a 1.8 liter four cylinder engine, and an 80-cell 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery.
The all-new Ecotec 1.5 liter turbo engine will come standard on the 2016 Malibu, while a 2.0 liter turbo engine will be optional. Advanced safely features, unparalleled in-vehicle technology, and a first-ever teen driver feature, will all be available on the newest Chevy Malibu.
Best Used Midsize Sedan on the Road
Over 51 years, nine generations, countless improvements, and impressive sales numbers – the Chevy Malibu remains one of the most iconic midsize sedans ever produced. With over ten million sold and still on the road today, the Chevy Malibu is one of the best options for drivers who are looking at purchasing a used midsize car. The Malibu has proved itself time and again, in over 100 countries around the world, and is waiting for you to come test drive at Dan Cummins Used Chevrolet in Paris, Kentucky. Stop searching for used car dealers in Lexington, KY – when the perfect inventory of used Chevrolet Malibu sedans are waiting for you, right here at home.