Long-term update: 2010 Chevrolet Malibu interior
Our long-term 2010 Chevrolet Malibu had been taken away for more than a week for an agency photo shoot, during which time we cruised around in a courtesy Cruze. Our Malibu is back now, with about 500 additional kilos on the clock. As interesting as the Cruze is, upgrading to a Malibu again is like getting bumped up to first-class. In fact, on the day we got it back, we took it along when we returned the Accord Crosstour to the Honda Middle East HQ. We gave a tour of the Malibu to a person from Honda, and he uttered the words “wow nice” multiple times when he checked out the Chevy’s interior. That is high praise indeed, especially when coming from someone who works for the competition.
Admittedly, the Malibu’s interior build quality is not 100% perfect. There are some minor imperfections in assembly and colour-matching of different panels that could be improved upon. However, these are only noticeable to critics like us, so it will probably not bother regular consumers as long as the cabin stays in one piece, looks good and works right.
We absolutely love the two-tone orange-black colours, but we’ve met a few people who didn’t. They actually wanted grey or white instead of orange, which Chevrolet actually offers too, so that’s not an issue.
The soft-touch areas extend to the upper dash and most of the door areas. The inner door handles are solid metal. The shifter knob is leather-covered, as is the steering wheel. There is tasteful use of chrome around the gauges, the shifter and elsewhere. And the driver’s seat is fully power-adjustable, although the front passenger seat is manual.
The central cup-holders are covered up front, and can even hide a Pepsi can if needed. The rear has flip-down cup-holders near the floor. The central cubby under the armrest is sizeable, while the dash-top compartment can store sunglasses. All doors get pockets. The rear seat 60:40 split-folds. The long luggage boot has non-intrusive struts instead of cheap hinges to hold it up. And it also has nets to hold smaller items back there.
So a practical cabin and use of premium materials are both generous. We figured a tour is in order for what has to be the Malibu’s biggest selling point.
Original Mileage When Borrowed: 12,131 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 13,010 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 13.1 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 0
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 0
Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Borrowed: Dhs 0