GM Korea, the local unit of US carmaker General Motors, said Friday it is enjoying continued popularity of its mid-size sedan Malibu mainly due to its high performance.
“The Malibu has set a new trend in the Korean mid-size car market with its turbocharged engine, size comparable to an upper midsize sedan, segment-leading performance, and remarkable safety,” GM Korea said.
“As the popularity of gasoline models continue to rise, Malibu’s turbocharged gasoline engines will gain more popularity,” GM said.
According to GM Korea, ever since the All New Malibu was launched in April 2016, it has brought a change to the mid-size sedan market that had previously been led by Hyundai’s top-selling model Sonata.
Marking the first mid-size sedan here to be equipped with a downsized 1.5-liter turbo engine as the standard engine, Malibu garnered attention before its official launch, GM Korea said.
Most of the mid-size cars sold here conventionally had used 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engines, the company noted.
Despite a reduction in engine displacement, the Malibu captured motorists with superior acceleration, a unique feature of turbocharged engines, along with improved fuel efficiency, the company said.
According to GM Korea, turbocharged models offered by rival automakers make up for less than 3 percent of sales, due to high price, which shows that it is difficult to popularize turbocharged engines.
Equipped with a rack-assist electric power steering system, or R-EPS, the All New Malibu delivers superior handling and cornering performance, the company said.
Malibu’s outstanding driving dynamics also stems from the high-rigidity lightweight structure.
Despite longer length and wheel base of 60 millimeters and 93 millimeters, respectively, compared to the previous model, the overall car weight of the All New Malibu has been reduced by 130 kilograms, the company said.
The sleek design of Malibu also contributed to the model’s popularity, the company said.
Malibu’s coupe-like design, often offered in premium brands, is rare among mid-size sedans here, the company highlighted.
The sleek sloping roof line also gives the car a sporty and luxurious look.
Outstanding safety systems of the Chevrolet brand also made customers purchase Malibu, the company said.
In a show of confidence in Malibu’s car safety, a crash test of the vehicle took place in the presence of journalists in November of 2016.
Last December, the model earned the highest score and was named the 2016 Safest Car of the Year by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the company said.