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MALIBU LTZ – four cylinders, six speeds, 32mpg

Five years ago, the introduction of a more fuel efficient and very well-equipped Chevrolet Malibu would not have garnered a mention. Anywhere.

Now, the Malibu is a North American Car of the Year and multiple award-winning product of the General Motors conglomerate. Now, average fuel prices in the United States is way over $3.00/gallon and the gas station down my street is posting $1.26/litre. Now, the Malibu 2.4L LTZ
Thus, pairing the smallest engine available in the Malibu with the best transmission has become obvious. Of course, this is the Chevrolet Malibu LTZ; the most upmarket trim. We still want to be coddled.
This Malibu will start at $26,545 USD once the destination charge is applied. That equals a $1,200 savings over the Malibu LTZ V6, which, with 252 horsepower, generates an extra 83 ponies. Interestingly, the projected EPA rating of 32mpg on the highway is equal to that of the Malibu Hybrid. 22mpg in city driving for the 4-cylinder LTZ is only 2 fewer than the gas-electric combo. 
One of the Malibu’s prime competitors, the Honda Accord (a Good 12 member), is priced almost identically when fashioned as an EX-L with a four-cylinder and automatic. The EPA’s estimates put its fuel economy 1mpg below the Malibu in both city and highway driving.