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2004 new car guide, model guide, new car reviews, by brand


2004 Chevrolet Model GuideFor diversity, passenger cars grouped behind the bow-tie badge of Chevrolet include everything from fuel-efficient commuter vehicles and refined family sedans to a powerful coupe and the two-seat Corvette sports car.

Theme for Chevy's Class of '04 could be more and more of everything as supercharged versions of the Impala sedan and Monte Carlo coupe debut with SS (Super Sport) labels, and new models emerge, such as a remake of the midsize Malibu sedan and the five-door extended version, Malibu Maxx, plus an entirely new entry-level small car cut in stylish sedan or sporty five-door variation.

Chevy's midsize Malibu sedan appears in new editions built on GM's Epsilon platform and featuring contemporary new body styling and innovative features for a flexible cabin design. Malibu Maxx, a five-door sedan with stretched wheelbase, works as a multi-task hauler of people and cargo with a back seat that moves forward and back, a cargo area accessible from the hatchback-style back door and a skylight fixed in the rear section of the ceiling.

Aveo arrives later in the model-year as Chevy's new entry-level car with body styling worked out by Giorgetto Giugiaro's Italdesign studios in Italy. The Impala line of sedans adds the Impala SS edition packing a supercharged V6 that delivers 240 hp. A coupe edition is the Monte Carlo SS toting the same supercharged powertrain. Cavalier, the compact-class economy car from Chevrolet, returns in two-door coupe and four-door sedan variations with look-at-me paint choices like Rally Yellow and Sunburst Orange Metallic.

And fabled Corvette, conformed as either a daring convertible or sleek hatchback coupe, marks the success of the C5-R racer for the American Le Mans Series with special commemorative editions in a paint scheme called, appropriately, Le Mans Blue.

Chevrolet Malibu
2004 Chevrolet Malibu

The Malibu nameplate first appeared in Chevy's lineup more than three decades ago and the Malibu Super Sport as a sporty coupe or sedan derivative of the midsize Chevelle became a hot item, ultimately accounting for millions upon millions of sales until its demise in 1983.

Then in 1997, the Malibu badge returned to Chevrolet in the format of a midsize sedan with four doors and seats for five, two engine options and a pair of trims -- plus competitive price tags.

Now Malibu is born again as an entirely new car cast on GM's Epsilon platform that also underpins the Saab 9-3. It looks sleek and stylish and comes with a spacious five-seat cabin that has a fold-flat seatback for the front passenger bucket and a rear split bench for flexibility when arranging passengers and cargo.

Engine options include the EcoTec 2.2-liter four-cylinder worth 140 hp or a new 3.5-liter V6 zipped to 200 hp. Each plant connects strictly to a four-speed Hydra-Matic 4T45-E automatic transmission. Three trim levels - base Malibu, Malibu LS and top-grade LT -- are available, with a factory-installed remote starter package on the list of options.

Read our Review: Chevrolet Malibu

Chevrolet Malibu Maxx
2004 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx

Here's a new twist to the four-door confines of a sedan - a version of the new Malibu comes with the wheelbase extended and a hatchback-style door added at the tail. The wheelbase gains six inches in length and that adds room in the rear with space expanding to 106 cubic feet.

Maxx adds a back bench that slides almost seven inches fore and aft to vary the space for people and cargo - and increase backseat legroom to 41 inches. The back of the front passenger bucket folds forward to form a flat horizontal surface, and backs of the rear bench, divided into two sections of 40/60 percent, also fold on the same plane. Long cargo items like lumber can be stacked on top of these folded seats and extended from dashboard to tail door. To shed extra light into the rear compartment, there's a fixed skylight overhead with retractable sunshade.

Standard powertrain is Malibu's up-level 3.5-liter V6 producing 200 hp through a four-speed automatic transmission. Audio and entertainment packages for Maxx include an in-dash CD changer for six discs, XM satellite radio service and a DVD-based video entertainment system for backseat riders with a seven-inch LCD screen pinned to the ceiling and two sets of infrared headphones plus video game jacks.

Chevrolet Impala
2004 Chevrolet Impala

Chevrolet's popular Impala sedan, with a midsize structure but full-size cabin space and seats for all in the family, ranks among the best-selling passenger cars in America and it's also the bestseller at Chevrolet.

In Chevrolet's 2004 line, Impala earns upgraded seats with new cloth fabric covering the front split bench or twin buckets. Also new is an optional sport appearance package with tail spoiler and body-color taillamp appliques. Two trims, a base model and upscale LS, show two V6 powertrains. The base Impala uses a familiar 3.4-liter plant from GM that produces 180 hp. An optional 3.8-liter V6 reaches to 200 hp.

Chevrolet Impala SS
2004 Chevrolet Impala SS
A supercharger attached to the 3.8-liter V6 puts out 240 hp to fire up the resurrected Chevy nameplate of SS - Super Sport. It goes to a sport-tuned Impala equipped with beefy suspension and speed-rated tires mounted on 17-inch aluminum wheels. A monochromatic black SS also stocks twin exhaust pipes in bright stainless steel, foglamps up front and a six-gauge package in the instrument panel.
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

In coupe style, Monte Carlo for 2004 rides on the platform of Impala and contains many of the same mechanical components yet follows its own tack for exterior styling and interior features.

The volume model - Monte Carlo LS - totes a 3.4-liter plant that delivers 180 hp and earns fuel economy figures to 32 mpg. The performance edition - Monte Carlo SS - has the 3.8-liter V6 that reaches 200 hp.

New to the series is the Monte Carlo Supercharged SS, which puts a blower to the 3.8-liter plant for a boost to 240 hp through a heavy-duty Hydra-Matic 4T65-E four-speed automatic. Like Impala SS, Supercharged SS Monte Carlo gets stronger suspension components and larger wheels and tires, with large-diameter discs for brakes and an anti-lock braking system (ABS) too. Supercharged SS offers eight color schemes including race-inspired tints like Competition Yellow and Victory Red.

Chevrolet Cavalier
2004 Chevrolet Cavalier

Chevrolet's compact, continuing with three trims for a two-door coupe and four-door sedan, gains an optional CD deck capable of playing MP3 files. Also optional are seat-mounted torso air bags for the driver and front-seat passenger.

Trim levels for both coupe and sedan extend from base Cavalier to upgraded LS and top-end LS Sport with GM's FE2 sport suspension. Each pull power from a dual-cam 2.2-liter EcoTec in-line-four engine that produces 140 hp and mates to either the standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic.

You can also dress Cavalier in optional gear like chrome aluminum wheels, a tail spoiler and leather to wrap the steering wheel and shifter stick's knob.

Chevrolet Corvette
2004 Chevrolet Corvette

What can you say about a svelte two-seat sports car that runs to 40 mph in only the first of six forward gears, packs hardware to control suspension, traction and brakes, and tops out at well over twice any legal highway speed?

Only one word comes to mind - Corvette.

For 2004, Chevy's Corvette attains peak performance and automotive sophistication with three models including the hatchback coupe and convertible plus Z06 hardtop coupe with power points added, positioning it in the exotic club of plus-400 hp rippers.

To mark Corvette's wins with the C5-R racer, special commemorative editions of all three versions appear in the lineup. The Commemorative Edition Coupe and Convertible wear special badges with body paint in Le Mans Blue and the convertible's top in the shade of Shale to match the interior color. Z06 Commemorative Edition also in Le Mans Blue has a striping scheme patterned after the C5-R, with polished Z06 wheels and a hood made from lightweight carbon fiber.

Coupe and convertible use the LS1 Corvette engine, a 5.7-liter V8 producing 350 hp. Souped-up Z06 with the LS6 V8 soars to 405 hp.

Chevrolet Aveo
2004 Chevrolet Aveo

A new itsy-bitsy economy car is heading to Chevrolet, arriving later in the model-year in formats of a four-door sedan and five-door hatchback. Called Aveo, the new model comes together in South Korea under a joint-venture arrangement between GM and Daewoo.

Despite the assembly in Korea, styling for the curvy Aveo looks downright Italian due to handiwork of stylists at the Italdesign studios of Giorgetto Giugiaro in Turin. And cabins of both models seem far more spacious than the subcompact dimensions imply. Seatback folds flat in the sedan to boost cargo capacity, but on the five-door hatch the rear seat folds and flips forward to forge a generous cargo bay with 42 cubic feet of room.

Two trims, base and LS, go to both models, but there's only one powertrain. It's a frisky 1.6-liter in-line four with twin cams and a rating of 105 hp with standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic.

Read our Review: Chevrolet Aveo


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