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Well, not "new" new, but still a fresh offering change for the Malibu.

Printed as an update in the ordering guide as of the week of 11/17/2008, regular retail order 1LT's can be had with a no cost option of the Flex Fuel 3.5L/4-speed and hydraulic steering formerly only optional on special fleet LS trims. It requires the Power Convenience Package, but nothing else.

My lemon'd G6 had the 3.5L/4-speed and I really enjoyed it, so if you like the 1LT and/or don't necessarily want or can afford the extra 2LT trimmings or OHC 3.6L/6-speed, and want a V6, it's not a bad deal.

http://eogld.ecomm.gm.com/NASApp/domestic/proddesc.jsp?year=2009&butID=1&regionID=1&divisionID=3&vehicleID=6629&type=0#

I read of the same deal being offered with the revised 2009.5 G6, so it's no surprise to see this as a choice here now, in wider availability.
 

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Kinda makes sense. That engine is a good mid-point between the full blown V6 and I4...Better on gas than 3.6 and more power than I4...That tranny though is too simplistic imo (presuming that's the same that comes with 3.5 for 2005 that I owned).
 

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It most likely is, Yury. But to be fair, the four speed tranny isn't all that bad, simplistic or not. I find that the six speed isn't quite as smooth feeling most of the time as the four that was in our 04 V6 (during shifts, or when freewheeling, as in most downhill stretches around here), despite the fact that my 3.6 is more often in a better gear for quick acceleration. I'm also not so sure that pairing the 6 speed with the 3.5 would necessarily improve fuel economy, though it might improve the overall performance of the car. I agree 100% that the 3.5/4AT is a perfect midpoint choice between the 4 cylinder (with either tranny) and the 3.6 though. Not to mention that the new offering is a well-tested drivetrain now.
 

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It most likely is, Yury. But to be fair, the four speed tranny isn't all that bad, simplistic or not. I find that the six speed isn't quite as smooth feeling most of the time as the four that was in our 04 V6 (during shifts, or when freewheeling, as in most downhill stretches around here), despite the fact that my 3.6 is more often in a better gear for quick acceleration. I'm also not so sure that pairing the 6 speed with the 3.5 would necessarily improve fuel economy, though it might improve the overall performance of the car. I agree 100% that the 3.5/4AT is a perfect midpoint choice between the 4 cylinder (with either tranny) and the 3.6 though. Not to mention that the new offering is a well-tested drivetrain now.
I never said it's bad :) I drove a 3.5/4 combo, it's definitely drivable. But after I gotten used to the 6sp 3.6 speed I think prefer that, there's a finer degree of control once you learn it. But we're talking about relatively fine difference here.
 

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I have a 2008 LS with 3.5 engine and 4 spd trans.
It drives extremely well with good performance.
Chevy made a good decision in offering this engine.
Another reason to buy over Honda or Toyota.

I am getting very annoyed when I hear people say GM makes crap.
This is one fine car.

Save GM and our Industrial base.
 

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still don't know why they couldn't have stuffed a small block V8 in these and offered an SS model line...
 

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still don't know why they couldn't have stuffed a small block V8 in these and offered an SS model line...
probably because that added power would severely challenge this FWD platform. 3.6 already torque steers as is....They got a RWD G8 for that.
 

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yeah the FWD would be an issue... isn't the Impala a FWD platform though...?
it is, but...I dunno, it's probably very hard to use all that engine power in it...I think Bu's 3.6 already pushing the limits of FWD.

In fact the Impala SS is about the only car I can think of that has hp/torque in 300s and still uses FWD. Nothing else in that class of power is FWD.

I think they'd need AWD option before moving up in power. RWD does not make sense because they got a G8 for that, but AWD may be interesting for a lot of people.
Also crossing into G8 territory makes little sense from the marketing perspective.

Btw the new Taurus has an AWD version.
 

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the new Maxima is still using a FWD platform and is nearly 300hp...

i've driven the Impala SS, and the engine doesn't seem to be too much for the car... might be the added size / wieght of the car that keeps the power a little more under control though too...
 

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since when does GM care about marketing perspective...?

they have so many brands and models that can be cross shopped, it's ridiculous...
 

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I'd love to see a Sport/SS line of the Malibu which has much sportier styling than the Impala which isn't even remotely sporty. The Saab 9-3, which offered the Turbo X last year had AWD and an engine that put out 280 hp, is built on the same platform the so it can be done.

Instead of a V8 I'd put in the direct injection version of the 3.6 of the engine that is used by Cadillac that puts 302 hp.
 

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the new Maxima is still using a FWD platform and is nearly 300hp...

i've driven the Impala SS, and the engine doesn't seem to be too much for the car... might be the added size / wieght of the car that keeps the power a little more under control though too...
You're right about Maxima.
I did some reading and they say that torque steer on Maxima is not an issue, so it is not on new Accords either.

But Malibu does have distinct torque steer even with the current V6 so I don't really see a 300 lb/ft on this particular platform unless they revise it.....
Personally I wouldn't want a Malibu SS for that reason. We're talking about a sports car at this point and I'd much rather go with traditional RWD setup in G8. Or even look at base G37 or possibly even Legacy GT. We'd probably be pushing into that price range anyways.
 
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