Chevrolet recently launched a four cylinder version of their mid-sized Malibu sedan which is combined with a six speed automatic transmission. The six speed unit is only offered in the top LTZ model for now and replaces the four speed that's offered in the LT and LS versions. GM is still ramping up production of the six speed and will expand availability as volumes go up. In the meantime, Jim McCraw had a chance to take a road trip in the new 6 speed LTZ model which performed quite well.

McCraw went 500 miles from Detroit to Gary Indiana and back along US 12 which is a mix of cruising and stop and go and managed nearly 30mpg. The LTZ comes equipped with a wide array of standard equipment like heated leather seats, steering wheel mounted audio controls, and pretty much everything else available. It's not a bad deal at $26,545. The four banger's 169hp isn't going to excite enthusiasts but it's enough to haul a mid-size car around without straining. Interestingly that 30mpg on the road is better than the 26.5mpg I managed with the Saturn Aura Hybrid last year which is built on the same platform.

[Source: Popular Mechanics]

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