It's easier (and more concise) for me to single out the bad in the Chevy Malibu than praise the good, since this car is so good overall: Torque steer is bad to very bad, and this hinders the 3.5-liter V-6's strength. Road noise is bit too prevalent. The interior materials are very, very good, but their alignment is pretty poor in places. Speaking of poor alignment, the trunk of this test vehicle was misaligned a bit as well. Finally, the price of this tester was a bit steep...for $30K, I would at least expect dual climate control, navigation, and a sunroof.
Fortunately, this car is otherwise well optioned, with comfortable heated leather front seats, satellite radio, multiadjustable power seats (eight-way driver's), a six-speed automatic, lots of space for both people and luggage, and smooth styling. This current generation of the Malibu was an Automobile Magazine All-Star (twice), and we clearly made a good choice. Hopefully for Chevy, the Malibu can climb back to award-winning status amongst its peers once it's revised in a couple years.