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2002 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

4dr Sdn LS

Starting at | Starting at 20 MPG City - 29 MPG Highway

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  • Average Retail is not available
  • $19,965 original MSRP
Printable Version

2002 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

Printable Version

2002 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan


2002 Chevrolet Malibu

Source: New Car Test Drive


Someone wise once said the best cars impress their owners more than their owners' neighbors. Malibu is like that. It is designed for comfort, quietness, practicality and affordability, yet it also provides a good account of itself on the road, boasting fine power and handling, with a V6 engine standard on all models.

As a mid-size four-door sedan, Malibu competes head-to-head with Ford Taurus, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. But even against the best-selling cars in America, Malibu makes a good showing, with more than 207,000 sold last year.

Malibu received some significant revisions and updates last year. Changes for 2002 are minimal; probably the most significant are new colors and upgrades to the stereo system.

Model Lineup

The Malibu comes in two trim lines, base and LS. Both are powered by a 3.1-liter overhead-valve V6 engine.

The base model, priced at $17,535, offers a respectable list of standard features, including air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, four-speed automatic transmission, power door locks, rear-seat child security locks, battery rundown protection, AM/FM/CD stereo, tilt steering column and tachometer.

The LS, priced at $19,740, comes with a nicer cloth interior and a six-way power driver's seat. It also adds a lot of equipment we take for granted nowadays: power windows with driver's side express-down feature, dual remote electric outside rear view mirrors, cruise control, and remote keyless entry. New for 2002 is a 100-watt, two-channel sub-woofer system.


The Chevrolet Malibu is not a leader in the styling department. Malibu's simple, functional styling may get it lost in a crowd. Its looks share more in common with Japanese sedans than, say, the more individualistic Ford Taurus.

Malibu's front fascia and center grille take their styling cues from big-brother Impala. Handsome aluminum wheels, redesigned for 2002, reinforce Malibu's fresh appearance. (They are standard on LS and a $375 option on the base model.) You can even add a deck-lid spoiler for $175.

At 190.4 inches, Malibu is a couple of inches longer than its primary Japanese competitors, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, but it is more than seven inches shorter than its main domestic rival, Ford Taurus.

Three new colors have been added for 2002: Dark Tropic Teal, Medium Green Pearl and Redfire Metallic.

Interior Features

When it comes to interior amenities, it's the little things that count. Malibu's ignition switch, for example, is located on the instrument panel, where it's plainly visible and reachable, instead of being hidden at the base of the steering wheel as it is in most cars. Also convenient are the rotating air vents at the base of the A-pillars; they can be swiveled outward to defrost the side window, so you can actually see the outside mirrors in damp weather.

Then there's the six-way power driver's seat, as infinitely adjustable as many we've seen in high-priced luxury cars. The optional leather bucket seats ($595) are firm, supportive and comfortable. There's generous front-seat headroom and ample legroom for a six-foot driver. Also worthy of praise is the location of the stereo system. It's higher on the dash than on many cars, making it more easily operable.

Smart car features include a delayed-headlamp function that keeps the lights on a bit longer, giving you more time to sprint from the vehicle to your house.

Handsome cloth trims the inner door panels, and the shift handle looks like ebony. A retained accessory power feature, standard on the LS, allows you to keep listening to the radio for up to ten minutes after the ignition key has been switched off, or until a door is opened. Also standard on the LS are map pockets on the backs of the front seats.

Our LS cabin's decor was done up in three shades of beige-to-sienna, a scheme that will seem bland to some, comforting to others. The fabric covering the headliner and pillars is plush to the touch, and the large double-console is spacious enough to house a half-dozen CDs and another five or six cassette tapes, each in their own notches. The T-shaped gearshift is tall and spindly.

Driving Impressions

Malibu was designed for full-size ride and quiet in a mid-size package, and on that front it delivers. Separate steel subframes for the front and rear ends protect the cabin from engine vibration and harsh bumps. Wind noise at high speeds is controlled well, using recessed door handles, a special windshield seal, and other anti-noise measures.

Malibu's suspension is firmer than that of previous mid-size Chevy sedans. For this reason, the Malibu handles more crisply, and leans less in tuns and during abrupt lane-changing maneuvers. It feels light and agile. Its steering responds quickly when cornering hard. Overall, it rewards the driver with good feedback and sporty, predictable feel. It handles nearly as well as an Accord.

Malibu's independent rear suspension yields a smoother ride, as each rear wheel responds individually to varying road surfaces. That definitely made a difference when we took our Malibu out onto some suburban-Detroit dirt roads, which were freshly rutted after a post-blizzard thaw. Ordinarily, this would be a molar-rattling experience, but the Malibu fended off the bumps like a bigger sedan.

Malibu provides plenty of power for merging briskly onto the freeway. The 3.1-liter V6 boasts 170 horsepower and 190 foot-pounds of torque. The highly efficient automatic transmission monitors temperature, altitude and throttle position to determine optimum shift points. It shifts smoothly, too.

All Malibus come with front disc and rear drum brakes with ABS. In both normal and emergency-stopping situations, the brakes are solid and firm, with no discernable fade or grab. ABS allows the driver to maintain steering control during severe braking situations by reducing wheel lockup.


The Chevrolet Malibu may not stand out in a crowd. But it delivers excellent handling, plenty of power, lots of headroom, and a quiet and comfortable ride.


Model Line Overview

Model lineup: Malibu ($17,650); LS ($19,855)
Engines: 3.1-liter ohv 12-valve V6
Transmissions: 4-speed automatic
Safety equipment (standard): ABS, dual next-generation airbags, rear-seat child locks, LATCH child-seat tethers and anchors
Safety equipment (optional): N/A
Basic warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Lansing, Michigan

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): Malibu LS ($19,740)
Standard equipment: ABS, air conditioning, tilt steering column, tachometer, AM/FM/CD stereo, power locks, rear defroster, floor mats. LS adds 100-watt, 2-channel subwoofer, power windows w/driver's-side express-down, power mirrors, 6-way power driver's seat, dual reading lamps, dual visor vanity mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control
Options as tested (MSRP): Leather bucket seats ($595); power glass sunroof ($695)
Destination charge: N/A
Gas guzzler tax: N/A
Price as tested (MSRP): $21,615
Layout: front-wheel drive
Engine: 3.1-liter ohv 12-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 170 @ 5200
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 190 @ 4000
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 20/29 mpg
Wheelbase: 107.0 in.
Length/width/height: 190.4/69.4/56.2 in.
Track, f/r: 59.0/59.3 in.
Turning circle: 36.3 ft.
Seating capacity: 5
Head/hip/leg room, f: 39.4/52.0/41.9 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m: N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r: 37.6/52.0/38.0 in.
Trunk volume: 17.3 cu. ft.
Payload: N/A
Towing capacity: 1000 Lbs.
Suspension, f: Independent
Suspension, r: Independent
Ground clearance: 5.5 in.
Curb weight: 3080 lbs.
Tires: P215/60R15
Brakes, f/r: disc/drum, with ABS
Fuel capacity: 14.1 gal.


Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of August 31, 2001.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-222-1020 - www.chevrolet.com

Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive, Inc.


Printable Version

2002 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade

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Passenger Crash Grade

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Rollover Resistance

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Side Impact Crash Test - Front

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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear

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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std


Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2002 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Corrosion 6 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Chevrolet Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

2-year/24,000-Mile¹ CPO Scheduled Maintenance Plan.

12-Month/12,000-Mile² Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty.

5-year/100,000-Mile³ Powertrain Limited Warranty for model years up to 2014.

¹Covers only scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations and 27 point inspections, according to your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule for up to 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Maximum of 4 service events. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.

²Whichever comes first from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.

³Whichever comes first from original in-service date. See participating dealers for limited warranty details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2009-2014 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day 150-Mile Satisfaction Guarantee
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2002 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

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