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CAR OF THE MONTH April 2006

2006 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan LTZ Review

Value American

By Alain Gayot

In short: A value-packed all-around sedan.

In these days of high gas prices, smart shoppers are looking for value, fuel efficiency and all-around savings. If you want a good, old “Made in America” sedan, we found out that the Malibu contains desirable features, delivers performance and roominess, yet remains fairly fuel efficient. You can expect many miles of trouble free service with this family sedan, which undergoes final assembly in Kansas City. While the entry-level LS model with the 144 horsepower four-cylinder engine starts at $17,000 and the performer SS prices out in the high 20s, we figure that the middle of the road LTZ is a great compromise.

Styling is updated and somewhat sporty for the 2006 lineup with the low form air dam, large fog lamps, and the rear spoiler. Proportions are balanced with a spacious interior. Dash and operation are no-nonsense and intuitive. Remote keyless entry and vehicle starter system, adjustable pedals, 6-way adjustable power front seats with heat, a fold-flat passenger seat, lockout protection, leather wrapped steering wheel, and automatic headlamp control are some of the smart, standard features on this cruiser, along with front, head and side dual air bags for safety. Operation is effortless in full automatic, but more aggressive drivers can take advantage of the Driver Shift Control and the electronic range select mode. As with all General Motors products, you’ll get OnStar service for one year and XM satellite radio. It is home friendly, equipped with the Universal Home Remote Operation, and for added protection comes with a theft deterrent Pass Key III system.

With the LTZ, you’ll save at the bank, at the pump and with your insurance company; what are you waiting for?

Read a review of the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ

Warranty/Service: 3-Year/36,000 Mile Limited Warranty; 6-year/100,000 mile corrosion protection warranty.

QUICK SHEET
Base Price: $16,365 /As tested: $25,880

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

Engine: 3.5-liter V6
Horsepower: 201 bhp @ 5600 rpm
Torque: 221 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm
Transmission: 4-speed automatic

Curb weight: 3,315 lbs
Wheelbase: 106.3 in
Length/Width/Height:
188.3/69.9/57.5 in
Turning circle: 36.0 feet

Brakes: four-wheel disc with ABS
Suspension:
independent front and rear
Traction:
traction control

Safety: front air bags, front side air bags, side curtain air bags, OnStar

0-60 mph: 8 seconds (est.)
Top Speed: 120 mph (governed)

EPA City: 22 mpg
EPA Highway: 32 mpg

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Photography: AlphaMedia

P011306
(Updated: 12/14/11 NW)

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