2017 Chevy Malibu’s Innovative 9-speed Transmission

January 11 2021

Yes, folks, you read that correctly, the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu has an all-new 9-speed transmission! How is that possible you ask? Well, let’s dive right into our latest 2017 Chevrolet Malibu Review. 

Chevrolet is rolling out its first-ever nine-speed automatic transmission, making the Malibu one of three vehicles to get this latest advancement. As far as multi-speed transmissions go, GM is paving the way for optimized efficiency, modern advancement, and even higher performance. 

Let’s take a closer look at the coveted nine-speed automatic transmission that GM has developed. The Hydra-Matic 9T50 nine-speed transmission was paired up with the 2.0L Turbo engine for this year’s Malibu, providing great fuel economy on the highway. All in all, that’s an increase of 3 percent when compared with last year’s model which featured the 8-speed automatic transmission. 

As Dan Nicholson, vice president of Global Propulsion Systems states, the 9T50 doesn’t just improve fuel efficiency, it offers better performance and refinement for drivers overall, that’s why Chevrolet intends to offer the 9T50 in four models by the end of 2017.

The improvements and differences between the 8-speed and 9-speed are largely due to the gear ratios. The 9-speed offers smaller steps between the gears, contributing to the smooth upshifts that are nearly imperceptible. Drivers will find that whatever speed they travel at, the engine will be in the perfect gear. 

If you’re a driver who frequently commutes for work or travel, you’ll appreciate the stop/start technology that this new transmission comes equipped with. The technology was developed to improve fuel efficiency in certain stop-and-go driving conditions by shutting down the engine. Now, that’s technology truly designed for today’s customers in mind. 

Chevrolet’s director of Marketing, Steve Majores, goes on to say that the nine-speed transmission was specifically designed to maximize benefits for drivers. Fuel efficiency is a major priority for drivers now and this transmission improves fuel economy both in the city and on the highway while boasting superior refinement for a quiet, smooth ride. 

You’ve Never Felt a Smoother Shift

When selecting clutches, gear sets, and the torque converter, an efficient strategy was employed to find the best ratios for smooth and precise shifting that’s seamless. Instead of the freewheeling design, GM has combined three rotating clutches, four stationary clutches, and five planetary gear sets. 

This design allows the clutch to be engaged in its current gear at precisely the time it is released from the previous gear, known as clutch-to-clutch shifting from gears two through nine. For the first upshift from first gear to second gear, the design allows for this singular freewheeling shift. You’ll find that at lower speeds, while the first-gear one-way clutch is in a free spin, the second gear clutch is able to engage, providing for a smooth shift even at lower speeds.  

Whether you’re looking for high performance and serious refinement to suit your tastes and upgrade from your current vehicle or fuel efficiency to suit your lifestyle, we think you’ll love the smooth ride in the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu.