2017 CHEVROLET MALIBU 2.0T PREMIER FIRST TEST: WIN-WIN
Quicker with a slight increase in highway mileage
Although the midsize Chevrolet Malibu was completely reinvented for the 2016 model year, the automaker didn’t rest on its laurels, instead adding a significant update for the second year of the model’s ninth generation. The new GM/Ford jointly developed 9T50E nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the previous year’s Aisin Warner F8F35 eight-speed automatic behind the available 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4. (Other 2017 changes are limited to exterior color choices, a new Sport package, and revised trim features.)
We tested a top-spec 2017 Chevrolet Malibu Premier with the 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 and new nine-speed auto to see how it compared to its 2016 counterpart with the eight-speed auto. Horsepower remains at 250, but torque increases by 2 to 260 lb-ft. Not only does the 2017 Malibu feels much quicker than the 2016 model on the street, but our track testing also proves that the new transmission makes a significant difference.