Just spotted a set of rear lights ahead of you that consists of two squares per side of LED lights instead of the more usually seen circles? Chances are that you’ve just been behind the newest Holden to hit Australia’s roads: the Holden Malibu.
The Holden Malibu has been designed to be a mid-size vehicle that’s got a bit of everything. It’s got the super-aggressive styling that we’re more used to seeing on Holden’s punchier offshoot, HSV. It’s probably no accident that “Malibu” sounds very much like the well-known HSV model, the Maloo. However, the Holden Malibu gets its name from a motoring icon from the USA, the Chevrolet Malibu. In fact, it is the same as the latest incarnation of the Chevrolet Malibu (the 8th generation).
Style-wise, the Holden Malibu is a combination of wild and mild: the aggression that’s blatantly obvious at the front is toned down a little by the side-on silhouette, which has just a touch of smoothness. The result is a striking-looking sedan that turns heads, all right. The back is also quite fierce-looking, and the inset boot lid is one detail that really sets the Holden Malibu apart.
And the Holden Malibu has what it takes to back up those looks with either of the engines on offer to go under that cleverly styled bonnet. The Holden Malibu will keep petrolheads and diesel fanatics both happy, with one of each available. The petrol engine is a 2.4 litre DOHC 4-cylinder unit capable of putting out 123 kW of power (5800 rpm) and 225 Nm of torque (4600 rpm). The 2.0-litre turbodiesel variant is more than a touch more “torquative” (350 Nm at 1750 rpm) although the power is down a shade (117 kW at 4000 rpm). The higher torque on the diesel variant of the Holden Malibu explains why it has slightly larger brakes: 17-inch ventilated front and rear disk brakes, where the petrol engine comes with 16-inch ventilated front disk brakes and solid rear disk brakes. Fuel efficiency is also better for the diesel, in spite of both engine types being coupled up to the same 6-speed auto transmission (with auto select): 6.4 L per 100 km for the diesel and 8.0 L/100 km for the petrol. Both engine types have the same towing capacity.
The Holden Malibu comes with two styling variants: the CD and the CDX. However, the two have a heck of a lot in common. Both types of Holden Malibu come with all the active safety (a.k.a handling) features, which are the ABS brakes with brake assist and EBD, traction control and electronic stability control. Both have cruise control, a rear view camera, rear park assist and automatic headlights which turn themselves on when the ambient light gets dim. Both also have the full shebang of passive safety features: full-length side curtain airbags, collapsible pedal release system, a steel safety cage cunningly hidden between the style of the exterior and interior, pretensioned and load-limited seatbelts in the front, side impact airbags, front airbags for the driver and front passenger… and the full five stars in the ANCAP rating.
So what’s the difference between the Holden Malibu CD and the CDX? Not a lot, really, apart from a few trim and luxury features. Most of the difference comes from the exterior styling. Both, for example, have a multifunction steering wheel, but the one on the CDX is leather-wrapped. Both types of Holden Malibu have Bluetooth preparation for handsfree mobile use, and both have got the impressive infotainment system (more on that later). What the Holden Malibu CDX does have which the CD doesn’t are dual-zone climate control (the CD has to make do with bog-standard air conditioning), rain-sensing wipers, leather on the gear shift, lights around the vanity mirror on the passenger’s sun visor, front fog lamps, those very distinctive rear LED brake lights, and alloy wheels that are one inch more in diameter than the 17-inchers on the CD (go on, you can do that rather easy bit of maths).
But the infotainment system. This is one of the stand-out features of the Holden Malibu, and it’s certainly one of the first things you’ll notice inside the capacious cabin – the blue light buttons have a bit of a space age touch to them and they really stand out (which means that it won’t take you long to find everything you need). Command Central for this infotainment system is the seven-inch multifunction touch screen, which keeps you updated on the rear-view camera, the air-con settings and (most importantly) what’s playing through the nine-speaker sound system. You can, of course, hook your iPod up to the audio system or pop a memory stick with your favourite tracks into the USB input jack. But you might also like to hear what the Bluetooth audio streaming can provide thanks to the embedded Pandora and Sticher Smartradio apps. Control what’s going on either through the touch screen or the steering-wheel mounted controls. And don’t forget the handsfree calling for your Bluetooth compatible mobile phone: we all know what the law says about using the phone while driving.
Current model series include:
For any more information on the Holden Malibu, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of Holden dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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