You couldn't take the Malibu because your car was slow and the Malibu probably made more power. Ask me how I know! I went down the same path. I got my ass handed to me on the interstate one night by a 2005 Malibu V6. The next day, I ordered cams, gears, intake, custom tune, and bought everything for a 5 speed swap. That Malibu made me spend a decent chunk of money.
Rebuild in the works. New crank, 2013 Boss rods, srp .020 over flat top pistons with valve reliefs, 12:1 compression, ported pi heads, comp xe278ah cams.