The Chevy Malibu: A Look Back at an American Classic

November 5th, 2015 by

In its 30 plus year career, the Chevy Malibu has been a consistent win for families and critics alike. Constantly enhancing its powerful performance, comfortable ride and advanced safety features, the Malibu is a great choice in any model year.

While visiting used car lots in Lexington, KY, be sure to check out a Chevy Malibu. It’s famed history and continued success stand out as a true American classic.

California Dreaming

1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS

When you think of Malibu in the 1960’s, what comes to mind? Sunshine, surf and rock and roll, right? In 1964, Chevrolet had the right idea by introducing what was to be their critically acclaimed Malibu.

Like its namesake city, it was fun, youthful and happening. Though the Chevy Malibu was a rear wheel drive vehicle, it offered 300 horsepower in a small block V8 and you wouldn’t have expected it, but the Malibu premiered as a small family sedan. For the times and especially for a family vehicle, it was quite audacious but no one could deny that it was certainly fun to drive.

It was also wildly popular. Within its first year, it sold over 200,000 units!

Malibu’s Muscle: Chevelle and SS

1964 black chevelle malibu

With muscle cars everywhere in the mid to late 60’s, Chevy didn’t want to miss out and introduced the Chevelle and Malibu SS. Becoming legendary for their horsepower, the Malibu was also rising to become Chevy’s premium family sedan.

In the Winners Circle

The 1970’s Malibu belonged to Nascar. Offering a host of engine choices, from a big block 396 cubic inch V8 to a small block 350, these Malibu’s ended up in Nascar’s winner circle not once, not twice but 25 times.

Chevy decided to discontinue the Malibu in 1983 but by the late 1990’s brought back this American classic.

Coming In Hot

In 1997, the Malibu returned as a brand new car. While it was gone, the American market for sedans had changed. New focuses on safety and image were emerging. During its absence, other sedans were taking its place but the new Malibu showed up and reclaimed its spot as the favorite.

Malibu Wins Again!

Chevrolet had a lot to be proud of in 1997 as the Malibu was awarded Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. There was no question whether bringing the Malibu back was the right choice. Offering improved technology and efficient performances that improved riding and handling, this new Malibu was up to date and ready for the new millennium.

Receiving critical acclaim once again in 2008, the Malibu won the North American Car of the Year award. The 2008 model used a global platform with updates to its exterior including a brand new grill which would become the new face for Chevrolet, as well as two signature rounded tail lights.

Malibu’s Moves Forward

2010 Malibu Hybrid

In 2009, Chevy introduced the Malibu Hybrid. Featuring advanced technology, it boasts a 2.4L ecotec with a 4 cylinder engine and 4-speed manual transmission. Offering other features like keyless entry, automatic climate control and satellite radio, Chevy was reaching a whole new audience.

In 2010, the Malibu was GM’s top-selling passenger car at nearly 200,000 units sold.

Producing for the global market for the first time in 2013, GM announced the Malibu Eco into the world market. Offering two different engines: a powerful 197 horsepower 2.5L 4-cylinder ecotec engine in a 6-speed automatic transmission and a second even more powerful option at 259 horsepower 2.0L Ecotec turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Both engines produce powerful performances and have excellent fuel economy.

With all the successes that Chevrolet has encountered with the Malibu from 1964 and since its return to the stage in 1997, it is no wonder that it continues to grow, impress and win with car dealers, shows and audiences.


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