The first generation of Malibu made its debut in 1964, and featured a body-on-frame construction. The Malibu was designed to be the premium sedan for families in its market segment. But with the muscle car wars being in full swing, it wasn’t long until Chevy introduced the Malibu SS to compete in that segment. But, wanted to keep the Malibu’s focus on the sedan segment, Chevy soon came out with the Chevrolet SS to take on the muscle car role.
Four years later in 1968, Chevy brought about the second generation of Malibu. Based on the original platform, the new Malibu was similar to the previous model year, but had a shorter wheelbase for the coupes and convertibles, and increased the wheelbase for the sedans and wagons.
The third generation of Malibu was the first time that the car saw a new body frame, which was wider and longer. However, it did keep the wheelbase from the previous generation.
Due to complications and downsizing in 1978, Chevy discontinued the entire Chevrolet lineup, as well as all other midsize cars, except for the Malibu. This generation of Malibu was a foot shorter, 500 pounds lighter, and offered consumers a V6 or V8 engine. This was also the first time that Chevy produced a version of the Malibu specifically designed for police.
Hard times hit in 1983, when Chevy discontinued the Malibu. It wasn’t until 14 years later in 1997 that Chevy produced the fifth generation of Malibu with a totally redesigned body and style. This front wheel drive sedan was available as a four or six cylinder.
Chevy’s sixth generation of Malibu came about in 2004, when the company switched over the GM’s global architecture. This was a big change for new Malibus in Beckley, but it was a good change. The new Malibus offered better technology, increased efficiency and performance, and led the way for the return of the Malibu SS.
In 2008 Chevy introduced the seventh generation of Malibu, which was a larger version of the previous generation, but continued to use GM’s global architecture. This generation featured significant increases in safety, including standard head curtain airbags. This was also the model that was named the North American Car of the Year.
We are now up to the 2015 Chevy Malibu, which is proving to be as popular as ever. Consumers in Beckley can’t help but brag about the long list of standard safety features, as well as the abundant technology and available options.
To really get a feel for why the Malibu is considered to be one of the best in its class, you’ll have to come in to Crossroads Chevrolet, and take one for a test drive today!