New Vauxhall Insignia-based saloon revealed at Shanghai show - but it may not be destined for the UK

Chevrolet's new Malibu makes its debut at this week’s New York and Shanghai shows and will reach Europe — but not necessarily the UK — in 2012.

Chevrolet’s owner, General Motors, calls the Malibu its “first global mid-size car”. It’s a 4859mm-long saloon, broadly the same size as the Vauxhall Insignia, with which it shares its platform. Chevrolet claims the car has “European-influenced ride and handling” and plans to offer it across six continents, in left and right-hand drive.

See official pics of the new Chevrolet Malibu - now with Shanghai show pics

The car’s wheelbase is shortened slightly for the latest incarnation, but the track is wider and Chevrolet claims that it has over 110 litres more cabin space. The firm also says it takes styling cues from the Camaro and Corvette.

The Malibu will offer a range of 10 powerplants across all its markets. The biggest seller could well be the combination of the new 2.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol motor, which produces 189bhp and 180lb ft, and a six-speed automatic transmission.

Interior features include a touchscreen display that moves up and down to reveal a storage compartment behind it, soft-touch materials on the dashboard, blue ambient lighting and Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment and internet radio systems. Safety features includes 10 airbags, a lane departure warning system and a rear-view camera.

Read Autocar's first drive of the Chevrolet Volt

A Chevrolet UK spokesman said that the firm plans to “gauge public reaction” to the car’s launch — but admitted that the lack of a diesel engine in the initial line-up would be “a problem” for British dealers.

GM has already confirmed that plans are in place for a diesel model, though. This would probably use the 2.2-litre motor that already features in the Captiva, producing 180bhp.

John McIlroy

See all the latest Chevrolet reviews, news and video

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run