Previous using the Classic badge in connection to the Caprice, Chevrolet chose to incorporate the moniker on a different vehicle in 2004. Resulting with a 2004 redesign of the Chevrolet Malibu, the Classic referred to a continuation of the previous generation Malibu marketed towards fleet customers. Using a stiff and rigid structure designed for durability, the Chevrolet Classic also benefited with the use of strong suspension components.
15-inch steel wheels were attached standard to a four-wheel independent suspension supported with the stopping force of from disc braking. Four-wheel disc braking with anti-lock control and aluminum wheels were optional on the 2004 Chevrolet Classic. Improved stiffness of the sedan also minimized unwanted rattles and road noise transmitting into the cabin of the Classic. A one-piece carpet shell also acted as a sound-reducing barrier for occupants. Space inside the four-door Classic sedan provided cabin room for up to 5 occupants and 17.3 cubic feet of trunk space.
Dual front airbags, air conditioning, cruise control, and power windows were standard conveniences of the 2004 Chevrolet fleet sedan. Power for the 2004 Chevrolet Classic was derived from a 140-horsepower, 2.2-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine. Pairing the all-aluminum double overhead cam engine with an overdrive equipped four-speed automatic transmission, the Classic sedan would achieve fuel economy of 24 miles per gallon city and 32 miles per gallon highway. The Chevrolet Classic was offered in four exterior color choices in 2004 with six available on models sold in 2005. Primarily sold for use as a rental car, taxicab or light fleet use for two years, production of the Chevrolet Classic ended after the 2005 model year.