There was a complete re-design of both the engines and transmissions in the Chevrolet Malibu as of the 2013 model year. One of the last years that listed it as flat towable....no muss no fuss was 2012 in two of three engine configurations......I have always liked the Malibu as a vehicle to suit our needs too.
I presently have a 2006 Pontiac G6 with a 3.5L V-6 engine and 4 speed tranny which is flat towable........and although the Pontiac line is no longer, any GM dealer can support this car's needs as it is the same mechanically under the bodywork as the Malibu and Saturn Aura.
The time is right to still find a well cared for low mileage 2012 or older Malibu.
Ken and Terry
2010 Georgetown 330TS being pushed by our
2017 GMC Terrain toad (4 wheels down)