The Chevrolet Malibu is good, really good. In fact, the Malibu finished ahead of such mid-size sedan stalwarts as the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry in a comparison test we conducted earlier this year. And things are only looking better for 2017, as Chevy’s family sedan enters the new model year with a handful of noteworthy changes.
A new Sport package adds some verve to the midline LT model, bringing a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob to the interior, as well as a rear spoiler and a set of 18-inch, 10-spoke wheels to the exterior. Unfortunately, the $875 Sport package is sporty in appearance only; the model is functionally identical to the standard LT. Unlike last year, the LT is no longer split into two sub-trims, the 1LT and the more powerful 2LT. Instead, the 2LT has effectively been killed off, leaving the LT with a single powertrain: a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 160 horsepower (three less than last year) and a six-speed automatic transmission, a combo it shares with the Malibu L and LS.
Let’s cut right to the hyperbole: The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE is a rolling manifestation of Bruce Springsteen’s most celebratory lyrical fairy tale, the “all-American boy with a nose for trouble finds his way by means of a pushrod-V-8–powered muscle car with a weary-but-naturally beautiful girl in the passenger seat.” Born from the same humble two-door-coupe blueprint that launched the Camaro 50 years ago, it’s the everyman’s super-Camaro: a 455-hp, apex-craving monster that rings in with a $44,400 base price ($6500 for the SS 1LE Performance package on top of $37,900 for the 1SS coupe). That’s $16,435 less dear than the expected $62,135 sticker for the 2017 Camaro ZL1, and it will likely undercut the price of the upcoming 2018 Camaro Z/28 by even more. While we’re talking matters of finance, the only other option on our test car was a performance data recorder for $1300, which brought the as-tested price to $45,700. It may not be free, but it’s at least attainable for most aspiring part-time track rats.