New Malibu powertrain

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Well, not really.
They had already announced it when the car came out last year.
The 2.4 Liter 6 speed auto is now officially available. As of tomorrow.

After driving all versions of the Malibu, this one was my favorite.
Sure the V6 is great. But I got over 22mpg in “spirited” mixed driving with the 2.4 Liter.
It has the usual 4 cylinder buzz when you start cold in the morning. But that goes away fast.
It is then smooth and mostly very quiet. And cruises silently.

I would think this is the perfect combo for 99% of Malibu buyers out there. Especially with expensive gas.
GM was planing on selling 70% of their production with the 2.4 Liter.
Apparently, only 40% of buyers so far have chosen the 4 cylinder engine.
They are hoping to boost that number to 60% with the new 6 speed.

By the way, the “Mild hybrid” version was only getting about 3 or 4 mpg more than the 2.4 Liter with the 4 speed auto when I drove it.
The 6 speed returns 2mpg more. Making the hybrid completely obsolete.

GM needs to put a 2 mode hybrid in the Malibu fast. (The Fusion gets the Escape Hybrid powertrain next year)

But that won’t happen until the next generation comes out in a couple of years…

Conversation 5 comments

  1. I agree that the 4 cylinder with 6 speed A/T makes more sense than the V6 for most drivers.

    Some friends of mine criticized me for buying the top-of-the-line ’04 Honda Accord with the 4 instead of the V6. Most of those friends have never driven a really good 4–their recollection of 4 cylinder cars goes back to the sluggish and horrible Pintos and Vegas of the ’70s.

    My Accord is as fast as most V8s were in the early ’70s and the Accord is nearly as smooth and uses less than half the gas. I’d be interested in knowing how many V6 buyers never even bother to test drive a mid-sized 4 cylinder sedan because they just can’t believe that it’s more than adequate for their needs.

    I’ve never regretted choosing the 4 which exceeds expectations in all respects.

  2. We bought fully decked out ’08 Malibu 2LT with the 2.4L and love it. After nothing but V8’s for years, really were drawn in by this car and knowing the choices, we could have easily gone 3.6L, but I knew otherwise. Sure, more power, the 6-speed, etc., but also a couple grand more in $, almost too much power, and I knew gas mileage wouldn’t be terrible…but still not amazing.

    Stuck to the 2.4L, and even with the old 4-speed, it is just a stunner. Silent, silky, smooth, and really has some grunt. As reviews have said, it really is the quietest/smoothest 4-cyl combo in the class, and not only has “just right” power for this platform (I also really like less weight on the front end and the electric steering), but can get great economy.

    It is a shame so many people are going V6 only when looking at this car, but that isn’t a bad thing, I guess. They’re just still overly power hungry, and for the time being, can’t stop. The first of the late ’08 LTZ 4-cyls with the 6-speed should be rolling in any day now, and I can’t wait to drive one. The 4-speed keeps the 2.4L going very strongly and shifts well as always, but also makes it rev out a little more than it maybe should for economy…so we’ll see what the new change is like. Then maybe, before long, will own two of them, one with each transmission.

    After a long series of V8’s…that’s saying a lot. LOVE it, and I can see why still for so many years, the 4-cyl has actually been the volume seller for the Accord, Camry, and others–when done right, it’s great.

  3. The 4cyl with the 6spd auto is the one to get. At least that woud be the one I’d be looking at. Now if they can only get direct injection into it.

  4. I’m crazy about V6s but I’m slowly starting to come around with 4 cylenders. I always had a distaste for them because of a lack of power and the whiny noise that they make to let you know your missing two cylenders. However that is getting less and less the case nowadays. I’ve riden in an ’08 with the 4spd and it was the smoothest 4 I’ve ever heard! At times it sounded like a V6!

    Originally, I prefered to have the LTZ V6 versus the LTZ 4….but I realized a few things:

    First, my previous vehicle (1988 Mazda 929) had a 3.0L V6 with 158hp and 171 TQ, the Malibu 4cyl has 169 hp and 160 Torque. It may have slightly less Torque, but the power to weight ration is larger! My 929 weighed 3920 Pounds while the Malibu comes to only 3415 Pounds. So no lack of power here!

    Secondly, I’ll save gas $$$ because I’ll have the fuel sipping 4 vs. the thirsty 6

    Third, it’ll save me $2,000 to $3,000 in the price of the car itself!

    GM has finally proven themselves.

  5. Here’s the Problem with this equasion=

    4 cyl car vs. 6 cyl, should equal less money right?

    The only trim level you can get this combo in the is the top of the line LTZ…$27K…for a 4 cyl? way off the mark, I’m not going spend $27K on a Malibu.

    The package code btw is PDZ, pattern ID is 29589, in case you want it…

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