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2023 Chevrolet Malibu Gets Three New Exterior Colors, Not Much Else

The Malibu’s downfall can be traced back to late 1996 when General Motors introduced the fifth generation for the 1997 model year. The switch to front-wheel drive took away something from the storied nameplate, and the increasing popularity of SUVs took sales away from the Malibu as well. Have a guess how many of them were sold last year...
2022 Chevrolet Malibu 20 photos
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39,376 is the grand total for the U.S. market, down from 102,651 in 2020. Given these circumstances, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that General Motors didn’t operate too many changes for the 2023 model year.

The golden bowtie has added three new exterior colors to the palette, namely Riverside Blue Metallic, Radiant Red Tintcoat, and Sterling Gray Metallic. The remainder comprises four exterior finishes: Mosaic Black Metallic, Summit White, Dark Ash Metallic, and Mineral Gray Metallic.

Northsky Blue Metallic, Cherry Red Tintcoat, and Silver Ice Metallic had to be discontinued to make room for the newcomers. Only available with the Midnight Edition, Sport Edition, or Redline Edition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel is listed as new by the order guide under RPO code N5F.

WPN stands for the Driver Confidence and Cruise Package, which includes Automatic Parking Assist, Enhanced Automatic Emergency Braking, plus Adaptive Cruise Control. Last, but certainly not least, General Motors decided to drop the Premier trim level for the 2LT grade.

The 2LT is exclusively offered with a 1.5-liter turbo known under RPO code LFV, mated to a continuously variable transmission instead of a torque-converter automatic. As a result, prospective customers will no longer be offered a 2.0-liter turbo connected to a nine-speed automatic.

On the upside, the LFV is no slouch. Officially rated at 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet (250 Nm), this lump is underwhelming in combination with a mid-size sedan that weighs 3,135 lbs (1,422 kgs). Worse still, the continuously variable transmission used by GM is notoriously bad. Known as VT40 CVT or CVT250, this gearbox often triggers DTCs related to system pressure. Be it the solenoids, the pressure sensors, or actual hydraulic pressure issues, it’s a pretty woeful gearbox by all accounts.

Editor's note: 2022 model shown in the gallery.

 Download attachment: 2023 Chevrolet Malibu order guide (PDF)

 
 
 
 
 

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