Northwest NEWS

October 2, 2000



The 2001 Chevrolet Malibu LS sedan is a mid-size car. Roomy for its size, the Malibu is comfortable, responsive and easy to maneuver.
   My test drive model was a navy metallic color with neutral leather interior and two option packages. The optional LS preferred equipment group for $1,320 included a decklid spoiler giving the car a more sporty look, and included an electric sliding sunroof and leather bucket seats. It also had the Gold Package option for $125, available only on the LS model, which featured a gold bow tie on the grille, gold Malibu nameplate on the instrument panel, and Gold LS and Chevrolet wave badging on the rear fascia. The result was a classy looking 4-door, respectable family-oriented Malibu.
   The 3.1L V-6 SFI 17OHP engine is standard. It has 170 hp at 5200 rpms and 190 lb-ft of torque @4000 rpms. The engine is a solid cast-iron block design and has Sequential Fuel Injection. The platinum-tip spark plugs have their first scheduled maintenance at 100,000 miles.
   My test drive model came with a 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, 15" aluminum wheels, foglamps, power windows, power locks and power front driver's seat.
   The Malibu is one of the cars that fits normal driving. The drive is relaxing, there is little road noise, the suspension allows for a comfortable smooth ride, the interior is spacious, the seats are comfortable and the sound system is great.
   Stepping in there is plenty of leg and head room, an adjustable leather-wrapped steering wheel, a center console that serves as an armrest and storage area that also moves up and out of the way and an auxiliary power outlet
   Other standard features on the Malibu include driver and front passenger air bags, child security rear door locks, air conditioning, power trunk release, variable intermittent windshield wipers, delayed entry/exit lighting and door open telltale illumination on the dashboard.
   The trunk is spacious and has a front net system that allows you to place smaller items inside to prevent them rolling to back. Releases in the trunk allow the back seats to fold down for more room.