We have the 2009 Malibu LTZ w/4cly & 6sp. Excellent car, been back to dealer for oil changes twice and all that we have had them do is add few lbs. to the tires if they need it.
Installed the Blue Ox adapter and used ReadyBrake hitch.
Yes, we used a drop hitch, we are still a few inches from being exact level with the hitch, but close enough.
Would buy the same car again!