The forgettable Malibu doesn’t stand out in the mid-size class, but it’s due for a refresh that promises to bring more excitement to Chevy’s mid-sizer. What do you need to know before you buy a Chevrolet Malibu? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything right here in our Buyer’s Guide.
The Chevy Malibu is boring, there’s no other way to put it. It looks boring, it’s not exciting to drive, and there really aren’t many stand-out features that would make you love your Malibu. Our Jason Torchinsky said it best in his review:
While there’s nothing out-and-out horrible about this car, I just can’t imagine actually desiring one. You’d be delighted if someone up and gave you the Malibu Turbo, but if that same generous somebody gave you the cash, I really doubt this would be the car anyone in the Jaloposphere would pick.
And while that car, the 2013, has been tweaked since, it’s still a car best purchased with huge incentives on the hood. The Malibu scored a 50/100 in Jason’s review. That’s as average as it gets, and the score really exemplifies where the Malibu stands in terms of value. It’s just, meh.
The eighth generation Malibu came into the world in the spring of 2012 as a 2013 model year vehicle. It rode on a new, shorter Epsilon II platform and offered new powertrain options. Sheet metal and front and rear fascias were significantly updated from the seventh generation, and the interior and suspension also got tweaks.
Only one year after the new Malibu launched, GMC decided to significantly revise the car for the 2014 model year. It got a tweaked front fascia, increased rear seat leg room, suspension tweaks, and stop-start technology on 2.5-liter models. Not many changes were made for the ‘15 car aside from deleting the mild hybrid model and offering 4G LTE hotspot capability.
The Malibu comes in six trim levels: LS, 1LT, 2LT, 3LT, 1LTZ, and 2LTZ. They all come with a strut-type independent front suspension, a four-link rear setup in the back, and electric power steering. Brake discs are 11.7 inches and vented up front, while the rears are 11.5 inches and solid.
If it’s us, we’d wait for the all-new 2016 Malibu, which will be built on a stretched Epsilon II platform. The fresh ‘Bu will be larger, lighter, and more fuel efficient. The new car will feature a 1.5-liter turbo I4 to replace the 2.5-liter as the base engine, and a new 8-speed automatic will be standard on the more powerful 2.0-liter models.
If you don’t want to wait, keep an eye out for good deals on the current outgoing Malibu, especially the turbocharged model.
MSRP: $22,465 - $30,480 Top Speed: ~150 MPH (2.0L turbo estimated)
Acceleration: ~6.5s to 60 [2.0L Turbo]
MPG: 25 city/ 36 hwy / 29 combined [2.5L]
Engines: 2.0L turbo, 2.5L I4
Max Horsepower/Torque: 259 hp/295 lb-ft [2.0L Turbo]
Curb Weight: ~3,393-3,660 pounds IIHS Rating: Top Safety Pick
Transmissions: 6-speed Automatic
Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, FWD
Photo credit: Chevrolet