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FEATURES | 8 out of 10
a navigation system isn't on the options list, leaving you with OnStar and a glovebox of maps as your only recourse
Although the Malibu does have all the necessary features, including Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, and a USB input, it lacks the glossy telematics to tie all these capabilities together.
center stack layout is user-friendly
stereo displays a station name or call letters above each preset key, rather than just a number
The Malibu's features list is respectable, but it's fallen behind the competition as it's aged, and it lacks a few of the high-end options that are now available in some rival mid-size models.
The Malibu lineup consists of three models: the base LS, mid-range LT, and luxury-packed LTZ. Within those trims their are numbered subtrims in somewhat confusing codes such as 2LT and 3LT. The base LS comes with enough goodies to suit most drivers, including power accessories, keyless entry, and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls all fitted as standard. Splurge a little extra for the range-topping LTZ and you get a whole assortment of extra features such as remote start, automatic climate control, and a universal remote, plus a number of appearance extras like LED tail lamps and interior ambient lighting.
Last year some of the Malibu lineup got new wheels—including 17-inch bright-finish alloys in the 1LT and Chrome Tech alloys with the 2LT. Now for 2012, the Malibu gets a few more feature changes, including a new Sunroof and Convenience Package for the 1LT that adds a power sunroof, a power driver's seat, Bluetooth, and a 110-volt power outlet. Bluetooth isn't standard, but it can also be added via the new LS Uplevel Package.Otherwise, the Malibu's sound systems feel somewhat dated, as they lack some of the connectivity features that we've come to expect in this class. You have to move up to the top LTZ to get a USB port. Also, other than the OnStar-based navigation, there remains no screen-based nav option on the Malibu.
The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu is looking most dated with respect to its feature and options lists, which lack connectivity and touch screens, but otherwise it's equipped well.