The Malibu is built on the same platform as the Saturn Aura Green Line, which also has a BAS hybrid option. GM has already announced that the Saturn Vue Green Line will offer both the BAS and two-mode hybrid as well as a plug-in version of the two-mode.
The new Malibu comes with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder or a 3.6-liter V6. GM says the 164-horsepower 2.4-liter will deliver 31 mpg on the highway, even with the tougher EPA mileage estimates. With the LTZ trim the 2.4-liter gets a 6-speed automatic transmission. Lower trim levels get a 4-speed auto. The V6 will be rated at 252 horsepower with estimated highway fuel economy at 26 mpg. All V6s get the 6-speed.
The new Malibu will be a critical factor in GM's move away from the perception that it can only build gas-guzzling trucks.