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2011 Chevrolet Malibu loses four-speed automatic

by Andrew Ganz

Chevrolet's popular Malibu sedan drops its standard four-speed automatic transmission for 2011 in favor of becoming an all six-speed automatic lineup.

With the demise of its Pontiac and Saturn nameplates, Chevrolet's Malibu soldiers on as General Motors' primary mainstream family sedan. For the 2011 model year, the Malibu drops its standard four-speed automatic, making the Malibu a six-speed automatic-only lineup.

The Malibu, which was first introduced for the 2008 model year, was among the first midsize non-luxury sedans to be offered with a six-speed automatic, although the car lagged behind some rivals by still coming standard with a comparatively archaic four-speed automatic on certain low trim level models.

Chevrolet also says that the sedan gains standard alloy wheels on the 1LT model (a step above the base LS) and an upgraded OnStar. Otherwise, the Malibu mostly stands pat for its last year in its current configuration. A new Malibu is due out for 2012.