TUT Briefly Tests the 2008 Malibu LTZToday I took one fully loaded LTZ on an extended test drive. About about 15 Miles.. most of it Freeway.
Guys, you cannot begin to appriciate why this car won the motortrend car of they year. Its really far much better than the current Camry which I have also test driven.
The Engine and 6 speed transmission with manual shift mode are a dream.. Rear leg room even with the seat way back is there.
If I was not a Ford Fan, this is one car I would buy. The Fusion needs a serious update to compete. Trust me. The Malibu is a great car.
The interior is quiet, it handles like a dream, and the powertrain is better than anything I have driven from Japan. This thing is good.
It has very good torque, so, in manual mode you can quickly upshift to 5th, at which time it refuses to shift until you get past 45 MPH, where it will allow you to get to 6th, that said, you could actually drive the car below 2,000 rpm for the most part until you need to get out the horses where you just downshift to 4 and off you go.
The Hum of that V6 is like music. I can only compare it to a fully loaded Mazda6 I rented sometime. The Toyota V6 does not compare.
The door panels are the only let down I can think of. GM should have at least put some leather on the door panels, where the arm rests and where you might touch.
If Ford gets a Fusion as good as this car out, and I believe they will. The Begining of the end for Japan's dominance is at hand.
There is lots of clever touches that I cannot even begin to mention. The Gauge Cluster does the Corvertte thing, where the dials go all the way and back when you start.
When in manual shift mode, the Computer interface tells you what gear you are in, and its really very well laid out.
The Music system is of very high quality, clear without being loud, and who can argue with XM?
I was blown away. I will wait until Ford lauches the new Fusion before buying. If for 2009 Chevy offer's blue tooth and navigation, they have me.