The Chevrolet Malibu, the current version of which introduced for 2016, is one of our beloveds among family sedans and an outstanding vehicle in its own right. It is bewitching, light for its collection, and solidly made. In our most brand-new examination try-out of the part, it beaten both the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry, completing a close second to the sportier and even beautiful Mazda 6. The front-wheel-drive Chevy’s leaning roofline doesn’t prevent back room as much as you’d think, and its long 111.4-inch wheelbase affords lots of legroom for both front- and back-seat inhabitants. The roll starts with the measure L, LS, and LT sedan models, all of which are energy by a creaseless, 163-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder motor joined to a six-speed automatic transmission. These models are EPA-rated at 30 mpg combined, although in the same examination try-out, the LT could only equal the spied fuel economy of naturally aspirated Accord and Camry models at 23 mpg versus the Mazda’s 25 mpg.
Values commence at $22,555 for the L. We rode a LT version for this appraisal, which starts at $26,000. The aculeu rose to $28,090 with the $1195 chauffeur certainty collection (forward-collision and back-cross-traffic alerts with crisis stopping, blind-spot and lane-departure observing and front and back parking assists) and the $895 comfort and Technology collection (remote start, USB and 110-volt AC outlets, a charging pad for wireless inclinations, a leather-wrapped driving wheel and stagehand, and a 8.0-inch area touchscreen in place of the standard 7.0-inch unit). The thrifty, 182-hp Malibu hybrid starts at $28,750 and can drive only a few miles on artillery energy alone. The EPA gives it a 46-mpg combined evaluating, though, and we’ve totalled 35 mpg in our try-out, which is acceptable than we see with most hybrids.
We also decided 44 mpg on our 200-mile freeway-fuel economy try-out, 1 mpg acceptable than the EPA freeway evaluating. Despite a continuously variable automatic, more weight than the 1.5-liter vehicles (about 200 pounds), and slightly less stalk space because of the 1.5-kWh lithium-ion artillery pack (12 blockish feet versus 16), the hybrid ’Bu enjoys the same well-sorted roadway demeanors as the conventional models. The Malibu 2.0T Premier with its 250-hp 2.0-liter turbo four and nine-speed automatic can elegance to 60 mph in about six seconds and regions the extent at $31,850. Being the expensive instance, it comes with the most standard nutriments, including 19-inch wheels that unfortunately degrade the otherwise beautiful drive standard analyzed with the 17-inch parts on our LT vehicle.
While not much changes on the Malibu sedan for 2017 (the version was designed just last year), GM has met its brand-new nine-speed autobox in the Premier in place of the eight-speed that the 2.0T version had in its first year. There’s also a brand-new $875 Sport collection accessible on the mid-level LT, which adds a back campaigner and 10-spoke 18-inch wheels, these look transmitting, although we haven’t yet evaluated whatever changes the wheels might transport to the Chevy’s driving demeanors. Pricing increases are minute and encase squeezes few, the 2.0-liter motor is no longer an option on the LT, and the nine-speed’s more wheel ratio nets the Premier a 33-mpg freeway evaluating from the EPA, 1 mpg more than in 2016 (its 22-mpg municipality illustration remains the same). Other changes include the component of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to the standard 7.0-inch touchscreen in LS and LT models, both of which also increase, as standard tool, GM’s young chauffeur technology for worry-prone genitors.
After ages of bittersweet, uninteresting Malibu that we’d only reluctantly drive away from the Hertz table, the brand-new one is refreshingly modern and nicely knew. Its formations flow handsomely without being agitated, and there’s less fussiness in the compartment in statuses of design and substances. Safety gear is incalculable and is more useful than irritating, while Chevy’s MyLink screen is unequivocal in use and filled with connectivity options, including standard OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi on all but base L models.
This Chevy drives with disposition and certainty, adjusted to take benefit of the light and immobile bodies. While it’s not exactly fair, it never feels behaved on the roadway, acknowledgments to specific steering, hard brakes, smartly adjusted drivetrains, and civilized powerplants. Increase in agonistic determining and fuel economy and the current Malibu is very well circular indeed.
It’s good of Chevy to increase an elective Sport collection option for 2017, but we wish it went heavy than impressions, because the Malibu’s bodies could easily control some performance adjusting. We’re not declaring anything chaotic, but rather little maneuvers like a more tautly regulated mixture that could make the Malibu, like the Honda Accord and the Mazda 6, more bountied to drive on empty, crooked anchorages. The 13.0-gallon fuel tank in 1.5-liter and hybrid models is too small and the chintzy solids in the compartment are too apparent. We’d also prefer bat stagehands over the inconvenient +/- attendant control atop the stagehand, as well as bladed A-pillars for acceptable sightlines.