New Malibu a game changer

The redesigned 2008 Chevrolet Malibu is an American mid-sized sedan that can compete at the top.

Chevrolet Malibu vs. Toyota Camry
Chevrolet Malibu vs. Toyota Camry
Base prices: $20,000 to $26,000
Fuel mileage: 20 to 27 mpg overall, according to new EPA testing method
Power: 3.6-liter V6 with 6-speed transmission, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with 4-speed transmission or 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with hybrid assist.

In August, 2007, General Motors invited a group of journalists to its proving grounds in Milford, Mich., to test the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu.

GM didn't just provide the Malibus, the test tracks and a lot of orange cones. It also provided a little competition: a group of Toyota Camrys to put through the same tests.

We did have to promise one thing in return: That we wouldn't reveal what we thought of their car before today, just as Malibus start hitting dealerships.

This was a test organized by GM to show off their own car. I kept in mind that no one from Toyota was there to make sure the Camrys were in tip-top shape while I could be sure GM had checked the tire pressure and window seals on all of its cars. Also, given the mid-August date, the competitive 2008 Honda Accord wasn't there to play with.

But the tests were thorough, realistic and very convincing, even if I made allowances for the competition being, perhaps, a bit off its game that day.

Last updated January 25 2008: 12:14 PM ET






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