Someone wise once said the best cars impress their owners more than their owners' neighbors. Malibu is like that. It is designed for comfort, quietness, practicality and affordability, yet it also provides a good account of itself on the road, boasting fine power and handling, with a V6 engine standard on all models.
As a mid-size four-door sedan, Malibu competes head-to-head with Ford Taurus, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. But even against the best-selling cars in America, Malibu makes a good showing, with more than 207,000 sold last year.
Malibu received some significant revisions and updates last year. Changes for 2002 are minimal; probably the most significant are new colors and upgrades to the stereo system.
The Malibu comes in two trim lines, base and LS. Both are powered by a 3.1-liter overhead-valve V6 engine.
The base model, priced at $17,535, offers a respectable list of standard features, including air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, four-speed automatic transmission, power door locks, rear-seat child security locks, battery rundown protection, AM/FM/CD stereo, tilt steering column and tachometer.
The LS, priced at $19,740, comes with a nicer cloth interior and a six-way power driver's seat. It also adds a lot of equipment we take for granted nowadays: power windows with driver's side express-down feature, dual remote electric outside rear view mirrors, cruise control, and remote keyless entry. New for 2002 is a 100-watt, two-channel sub-woofer system.