Ask Away: We’re Driving The 2019 Chevrolet Malibu RS34
This week, we’re sliding behind the wheel of the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu RS, the sportiest variant of the current-generation sedan. As always, we invite readers to leave any questions, comments, or concerns in the comment section below.
As a refresher, the 2019 Malibu RS is the sedan’s sport-oriented appearance package. Underneath the garb is a 1.5-liter turbocharged LFV four-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable transmission. The exterior dresses things up with 18-inch black-chrome finish aluminum wheels, black color accents and a dual exhaust.
We’ll be surrounded by the right people to answer your questions, but do give us an appropriate amount of time to ensure we seek out the right person for the best answer. It may be 48 hours before we return to a question.
We have to mention that driving impressions for the 2019 Malibu RS are embargoed until Monday, so we’re obligated not to answer any questions on ride and handling, performance, etc. until then.
Without further ado, ask away.
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Tired of the RS appearance trims. Chevy should make RS a real performance trim. I don’t understand Chevy’s refusal to build real Fwd/Awd performance models. Ford does it with pretty much every model of car or crossover they make.
No. The “RS” moniker has always been an aesthetics package for GM. The performance package has always lied with the “SS” badge (except for the forgettable models of the early 2000’s). Malibu Maxx SS, HHR SS, Monte Carlo SS, etc.. Ugh.
I was glad when GM finally woke up and realized that with these early 2000 crap models (with nothing more than fancy wheels and stickers) they were destroying the “SS” legacy.
Those early 2000’s models you refer too were just as much performance cars as the 60’s and 70’s SS models you are trying to compare them to. A HHR SS with the turbo 4 was a rocket. The Monte Carlo SS with either the 3.8 SC or the 5.3 LS were both quicker and faster than any previous Monte Carlo. Heck, even the Malibu SS and Max SS had engines not otherwise optional in lesser versions and were pretty quick for their class also. Don’t forget the first full size and compact “SS” models could be had with 6cyl engines…yes lowly straight 6 powered barges with SS badges.
The HHR was nothing more than a miniature milk truck. Sure, the SS got the turbocharged 260hp engine, but I think GM sold ~17 of them. The only Monte Carlo worth mentioning, was the ’06-’07 SS with the 303hp V8. That’s not too bad, but all of the rest were duds. I won’t comment on the Malibu or Maxx (half sedan/half wagon abomination). The engines were still anemic at best.
The 5.3 LS powered FWD cars had/have major transmission issues. A quick search for this will prove my point. I also know first hand. I own a Buck Allure (Lacrosse) super. I’m currently trying to limp the transmission a few thousand KM’s more until I can buy something else. Very fast car but the transmission is under-rated for the application.
Was it good to put SS on everything for that time? Probably not. The Silverado didn’t need it, the Trailblazer didn’t need it, and certainly the Malibu had no business wearing it. However, don’t knock the effort in regards to the Cobalt and HHR SS’s. They both were great performers with the turbo 2.0’s. If I remember correctly once it had the 260hp/260tq 2.0, the Cobalt held the Nurburgring lap record for FWD sport compacts for quite some time, and the HHR wasn’t far off on performance numbers. I would say with credentials like that they earned the SS moniker.
There aren’t very many original SS cars such as Nova, Chevelle, or even Camaro SS of the 60’s or 70’s that would have performed overall as well as the Cobalt and HHR SS’s did from the factory. Also, the SS option when it first came out didn’t necessarily mean the model that wore the badge had any more performance than a model that didn’t. It was every bit as much of an appearance package as the RS package was when it came out on Camaro.
The Trailblazer SS was a very good effort. Not sure if it was worthy of the SS name, but that was a surprisingly fun vehicle with the 6.0L V8.
It was a good effort to offer the Trailblazer in a sport trim, but I’ve always felt along with the Silverado, there should have been a CST trim for the trucks rather than SS. Would have been better for heritage and would not have been part of watering down SS.
What is a CST trim?
Custom Sport Truck. Was basically an appearance package for the trucks much the same as SS was to the car lineups.
I never mentioned the Cobalt SS in my comment. In fact, it was perhaps the only model to deserve the SS badge at the time. The later turbo model was far superior to the original supercharged version. Many people have been waiting for GM to create a proper Cruze SS (~275hp). If they’d make it, I’d surely snatch one up as a work vehicle.
See my comment above about the HHR.
The Trailblazer SS, packing the 400hp LS2 with AWD was definitely deserving of the SS badge. It was a superb performance SUV. The Silverado, with the 345hp 6.0L…not so much.
Again, GM was willing to slap an SS badge on just about any model at that time and it lessened the prestige and heritage of the moniker.
CVT. How bad does it SUCK?
“SS” should be the rear wheel drive performance brand, and “RS” should be the front wheel drive performance brand.
Agree, or Chevy could bring back the “Z”s, like Z24, Z34,etc.
1.5L turbo RS with a CVT, not sure if I should laugh or cry.
I will NEVER buy a car with a CVT.
1.5 l + cvt = “sportiest”? Sad. I would buy a 2.0 plus 6 speed manual but I guess a used Regal is the only way.
I think Chevrolet/GM has left out an entire segment of people who enjoy driving a sport looking mid sized vehicles. I drove Pontiacs for 20+ years and would buy another one in a heartbeat. I think GM is going to shoot the self in the foot. Not everyone wants SUV’s !
You’ve not heard of the Cadillac CTS-V?
How does the CVT transmission behaves when driving?
Are there any appreciable gains in mpg?
Will there be more interior color choices for the Malibu?
Will the 2.0L turbo be available in a future LT trim Malibu?
– Answering the CVT/MPG questions Monday
Turbo still seems to be locked in with the Premier trim only.
Is the CTV rubbery? Or connected?
Is the 1.5 turbo underpowered?Does the 2.0 turbo have to use premium fuel,if it does that would be very expensive for a person who drives 12,000 miles or more per year.The 3.6 v6 produces 300 hp and can run on regular gas.Why not have a v6 option on the malibu?
I recall reading when the current generation was introduced that it was purposely designed to not accept a V6 as the additional weight and cost of the platform to accommodate that option compromised the most-purchased standard models.
Why won’t GM make a proper competitor for the Fusion Sport? The Malibu would benefit from AWD.
I guess AWD is reserved for higher $$$ buicks?
Is there a defeat switch for the automatic Start/Stop yet. Seems like everyone else but Chevy offers that.
When the car shuts off at intersections, does the A/C stop blowing cold air like the 2018 model does?
When the car pulls into a spot to park, does the engine stop, then restart when the gear lever moves into Park, only to be turned off again by the driver? The current 2018 Malibu does this.
Do the interior materials improve with the refresh? In particular, does the dashboard and door panels feel like cheap hard plastic?
Does the 1.5L engine feel faster than the 2018 model?
Has the MyLink UI been updated?
Will the Malibu Hybrid be offered in the Premier trim?
Be honest. Have they gotten serious about moving these to private buyers?
They should have kept using the superior 2.5 engine from the current Impala and 2013-2016 Malibu and tied it to the new 9 speed on upper trim levels. This engine was quite peppy in the former Malibu and still feels peppy in my 2017 3700 LB Impala and gets decent mileage. If they put this engine in the lighter current Malibu the 2.5 would have made this car one of the quickest base engine cars in it’s class and mileage would have been similar to current or even better. This would have made a perfect mid level RS power train setup.
Seems they are putting it in the upcoming Chevy Blazer CUV. That 2.5L engine would have been a popular choice for the Malibu, GM knows this but they are focusing on fuel economy numbers.
I love the new Malibu i just hope it is not made in USA..
What are the schedules maintenance items for the CVT, and what is the typical cost? (I.e., does it require regular fluid changes with fluid that is a hundred dollars a quart?)
Does GM manufacture the CVT? I have found very little information about a GM-manufactured CVT.
Will it fit a roof rack?
No roof rack, no AWD.
Why did GM choose to go with a CVT in the Malibu and apparently the Cruze now as well when they have a great 9-speed transmission that is purported to be excellent. Who makes the CVT?
I’m in the beginning stages of shopping for a new car to replace my 2004 Malibu and both Malibu and Cruze WERE on my list (keyword being WERE) but I am not a fan of CVT. Especially from a company without much experience with this transmission. While the Malibu Premier with 2.0L engine has the 9-speed transmission it requires premium fuel so that takes that off the list too.