There are two important updates for 2008 Chevy cars. The first is the redesign of the mid-size Malibu sedan. The new Malibu is a bit bigger on the outside than the outgoing model, and substantially larger on the inside as well – thanks to a stretched wheelbase. It seems GM is really trying to bring their “A-game” on this one, as the new car is actually a pretty nice looking sedan. The Malibu will offer both four-cylinder and V-6 engines, each with six-speed automatic transmissions later in the year (the four-cylinder gets a five-speed for now). The interior is also a great improvement over the last generation.
The second news-worthy item concerns the iconic Corvette. It wasn’t lacking for power in 2007, but it has even more for 2008 thanks to a brand new V-8 engine. This new engine (called LS3) makes 430 horsepower and sends the standard Corvette to an astounding 190 mph.
Unfortunately, the Cobalt SS and SS Supercharged are gone for now while GM figures out what they’re going to do next. In the meantime, you can order a “Performance Appearance Package” Cobalt – which sadly, is all show and no go. XM Satellite radio is standard on all Cobalt models, along with a tire pressure monitoring system.
Updates for the rest of the Chevy car lineup are decidedly less interesting. The ankle-biter Aveo gets spiffed up with some small appearance changes, and the five-door hatchback returns after a 2007 model year vacation. The Impala makes do with minor equipment and trim changes.
The Chevrolet truck line enjoyed mammoth changes for the 2007 model year, with the Tahoe, Suburban, Silverado, Avalanche, HHR, and Colorado all receiving significant updates. Understandably, 2008 models will see just minor improvements throughout the line.
One of the bigger updates is the availability of a hybrid powertrain on the Tahoe. The two-mode system is said to increase overall fuel economy by about 25 percent. Two electric motors are coupled to the 6.0-liter V-8, which also features cylinder deactivation to aid fuel economy.
The faithful old Equinox gets a sportier sibling this year, a twin to the Pontiac Torrent GXP. This version uses a larger V-6 than the standard Equinox and also features a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting capabilities.
Other models gain new exterior colors, and XM satellite radio as standard equipment. Safety advancements are also being made by the addition of head curtain airbags as standard equipment on some models.