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2001 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

4dr Sdn

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

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  • $17,150 original MSRP
Printable Version

2001 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

Printable Version

2001 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

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2001 Chevrolet Malibu

Source: New Car Test Drive

Comfortable, practical, and affordable

by Kevin Ransom

Base Price (MSRP) $17,020
As Tested (MSRP) $21,120

Once upon a time, the Chevy Malibu was known as a sporty car for true fun seekers. But that was a long time ago. These days, the revived Malibu nameplate is known for its combination of comfort, quietness, practicality and affordability.

A five-passenger mid-size family sedan, it competes head-to-head with the Ford Taurus, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry--the best-selling cars in America. But even with that kind of competition, the Malibu makes a good showing, with more than 215,000 sold annually.

Out on the road, Malibu also provides a good account of itself, boasting fine power and handling, with a V6 engine that comes standard on all models.

For 2001, Chevrolet has revised the exterior styling, updated the interior, and added some convenience features.

Model Lineup

The Malibu comes in two trim lines, base and LS. Both come standard with a 3.1-liter V6 engine.

The base model, priced at $17,020 (plus a $585 destination charge), offers a respectable line of standard equipment features: air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, 4-speed automatic transmission, rear-seat child security locks, battery rundown protection, AM/FM stereo, tilt steering column and tachometer. Power door locks and electric rear defogger now come standard on the base model.

The LS, priced at $19,300 (again, plus a $585 destination charge), comes with a nicer cloth interior. It also comes standard with 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, 6-way power driver's seat, remote keyless entry, and custom cloth bucket seats.

Walkaround

Giving the Malibu's exterior a snappy new look for 2001 are the added black molded outside mirrors, black rocker moldings and optional black mudguards.

Three new colors have also been added for 2001-Monterrey maroon metallic, galaxy silver metallic and light driftwood metallic.

When the Malibu nameplate was revived in 1997, its styling was labeled plain-vanilla by the motoring press. But, while its styling means it may get lost in a crowd, it also means its lines will hold up better over time than some of the trendier designs. Though Chevrolet bills itself as being as American as baseball and apple pie, the Malibu's styling shares more in common with the (Japanese) Toyota Camry than it shares with the Ford Taurus. Indeed, the last-generation Taurus is a good example of the problem with a trendy design (plus it was just plain ugly).

Malibu's front fascia features a center grille and emblem that takes a styling cue from the Chevy Impala. Aluminum wheels or wheel covers and the new mudguards reinforce the fresh appearance. An optional spoiler ($175) is also available.

At 190.4 inches, the Malibu is a couple of inches longer than its primary Japanese competitor, the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, but it is more than 7 inches shorter than its main domestic rival, the Ford Taurus.

Interior Features

When it comes to interior amenities, often the little things count. The Malibu's ignition switch, for example, is located on the instrument panel; it's plainly visible and reachable, instead of being hidden at the base of the steering wheel as it is on most cars. Another nice touch is the rotating air vents at the base of the A-pillars that can be swiveled outward to defrost the side window, allowing maximum visibility of the outside mirrors.

Then there are the six-way power seats, which offer up as many seating positions as we've seen in some high-priced luxury cars. Optional leather bucket seats ($595) are firm, supportive and comfortable. There's commodious front-seat headroom and ample legroom for a six-foot driver. Also earning our praise is the location of the stereo system. It's higher on the dash than on many cars, making it more easily operable.

For 2001, cloth has been added to seats and door panels and the shift handle now comes in ebony. A new retained accessory power feature, standard in the top-line LS model, allows you to keep listening to the radio for up to 10 minutes after the ignition key has been switched off or until a door is opened. Also standard on the LS are new cloth treatments and new map pockets on the backs of the front seats.

A few smart car features have been added for 2001 as well, including a delayed-headlamp feature that keeps the lights on a bit longer to give you time to make it from the vehicle to your house.

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 double-console configuration is spacious enough to house a half-dozen CDs and another five or six cassette tapes, each with their own notches. The T-shaped gearshift is a point of debate; some say it's homely.

Driving Impressions

Chevrolet's goal with the revived Malibu was to provide full-size ride quality and quietness in a mid-size car. On that front, Chevrolet succeeded. Separate steel subframes for the front and rear ends protect the cabin and its inhabitants from engine vibration and from harsh bumps. We were impressed with how well Chevrolet has reduced wind noise at high speeds with recessed door handles, a special windshield seal, and other anti-noise measures.

Chevrolet engineers also gave the Malibu a suspension that's significantly firmer than that of previous mid-size Chevy sedans. That means the Malibu handles more crisply-and minimizes body roll-in corners and during abrupt lane-changing maneuvers. The Malibu feels light and agile. Its steering responds quickly in hard-cornering situations. Overall, the Malibu rewards the driver with good feedback and sporty, predictable handling response. It handles as well as a Toyota Camry and nearly as well as an Accord. It handles much better than the previous-generation Taurus, which felt ponderous by comparison, but we haven't driven a Malibu back-to-back with the new Taurus.

Malibu's independent rear suspension is attached to a rear subframe, which yields a smoother ride as each rear wheel responds individually to varying road surfaces. That definitely made a difference when we took the 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.

The 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 automatic transmission that comes on both Malibu models shifts smoothly. This highly efficient transmission monitors temperature, altitude and throttle position to determine optimum shift points.

Both models come standard 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.

Final Word

Sure, 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.

© New Car Test Drive, Inc.

Printable Version

2001 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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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
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Security

Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2001 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.

Miles

Months

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

2001 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

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