IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
The Chevrolet Malibu is a well-rounded midsize sedan that offers excellent passenger room, a user-friendly infotainment system, and a fine array of high-tech safety and convenience features.
Cabin materials are a bit disappointing in base and mid-line trim levels.
The Malibu Hybrid’s two-motor electric drive unit is adapted from the current-generation Chevrolet Volt. Chevy says that the lithium-ion battery system can power the Malibu Hybrid at speeds up to 55 mph on electricity alone.
WHAT IS IT?
The Malibu is Chevrolet’s mainstream midsize sedan, which was redesigned last year on an all-new platform with a 4-inch-longer wheelbase for much-improved rear-seat space. The base L, mid-line LS, and up-level LT all share a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder with 160 horsepower paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The top-line Premier trim level gets a 250-hp 2.0-liter turbo four mated to a new 9-speed automatic. Topping the list of available high-tech features is GM’s 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability, along with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality and wireless charging for mobile devices. Available safety features include Forward Pedestrian Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, and a Teen Driver system that offers a host of functions that help parents monitor teenage drivers and encourage safe driving.
After its ground-up redesign for 2016, the Malibu is little changed this year. The top-line Premier model exchanges its 8-speed automatic transmission for a 9-speed, and a couple of new trim packages are available.
The Malibu is EPA-rated at 27 mpg city/36 mpg highway with the 1.5-liter turbo four and 22/33 with the 2.0-liter turbo four. The Malibu Hybrid checks in at an impressive 49 city/43 highway. In Consumer Guide® testing, an LT model averaged 25.2 mpg in about 85-percent highway driving, and a Hybrid averaged 44.0 mpg in 80-percent city driving.
VALUE IN CLASS
The Chevrolet Malibu is a comfortable, capable midsize sedan that’s quite compelling with any of its three powertrains. Pleasant driving dynamics, an adult-friendly back seat, and a generous helping of up-to-the-minute tech features are chief among its strengths. We’d avoid the spartan L model, but the rest of the Chevy Malibu line is well worth checking out if you’re shopping midsize sedans.
2017 Chevrolet Malibu Best Buy
|BASE PRICE RANGE||$21,680 – $30,975|
|BODY STYLES||4-Door Sedan|
|AVAILABLE ENGINES||Turbocharged 160-Hp, 1.5-Liter 4-Cyl; Turbocharged 250-Hp, 2.0-Liter 4-Cyl.; 182-Hp, 1.8-Liter 4-Cyl./Electric|
|DRIVE WHEELS||Front-Wheel Drive|
|EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE||27-47 MPG|