Chevrolet Malibu

2016 Chevrolet Malibu

The all-new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu ranks among the best of the midsize sedans. It was a finalist for the 2016 North American Car of the Year award, and compares well against Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, Kia Optima, Nissan Altima and Maxima. The Malibus refinement, comfort, easy-to-use controls, driving pleasure, and fuel-efficiency add up to a great sedan.

With its new design and entirely new structure, the 2016 Malibu has moved closer to the larger Chevrolet Impala in shape as well as dimensions. Following the trend toward lightness and efficiency, weight has been cut by nearly 300 pounds over the previous-generation Malibu. No V6 option is offered for this generation, and no engine is bigger than 2.0 liters.

Most 2016 Malibu models come with a new 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Developing 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, the new engine feels smoother and stronger than the old 2.5-liter it replaces. Quiet-running and neatly composed, the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine mates with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The 2016 Malibu 2LT and Malibu Premier get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Generating 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet, it drives an 8-speed automatic, which promises more precise, well-defined gearchanges. The 2.0-liter models feel as swift as some V6 forerunners, and rank among the most refined cars of their class.

The 2016 Malibu Hybrid couples a 1.8-liter four-cylinder gas engine with twin electric motors and a 1.5-kWh battery pack for combined output of 182 horsepower. Chevrolet claims 0-60 mph acceleration in 8.2 seconds. The Hybrid can function at times in full-electric mode, up to 55 mph, and is EPA-rated at 48 mpg in combined driving. Weve found the Malibu hybrid powertrain to be a smooth operator.

Inside, the 2016 Malibu seems significantly more spacious than before, though dimensions havent changed much. The dashboard is lower than previously. New seats provide better support, besting some rivals in comfort. Noise has been suppressed by rerouting air intakes and adding active noise cancellation. Few engine sounds are heard.

MyLink connectivity comes on most models with a big, crisp touchscreen. OnStar 4G LTE, for establishing a wireless hub, is available.

All except the 2016 Malibu L come with a rearview camera. Active-safety features are offered, including new Front Pedestrian Alert; but some are available only for Malibu LT and Malibu Premier models. With the new Teen Driver system, parents can specify a maximum speed, and the vehicle tracks infractions. Malibu comes with 10 airbags.

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

Chevrolet Malibu, all-new for 2013, has been further revised for 2014. The 2014 Malibu brings a revised engine, revised suspension, and revisions to rear-seat interior space. The changes are intended to further improve fuel economy, improve ride quality and handling, and increase rear-seat roominess. That's all in addition to the substantial changes brought by the all-new 2013 Malibu.

The 2013 Malibu arrived on a shorter wheelbase with less rear legroom than the previous-generation model. Chevrolet says the 2014 Malibu adds rear-seat legroom and knee room for a noticeable improvement in back-seat comfort over the 2013 model.

Also, the 2013 Malibu launched with a fuel-efficient but pricey eAssist mild hybrid system, but Chevrolet has dropped E-assist for 2014. In its place is a Stop/Start feature intended to reduce fuel economy, or at least gain credits from the Environmental Protection Agency. The Stop/Start feature, which comes standard, shuts down the engine when the car is stopped then smoothly restarts it when the brake is released.

Beyond those changes are a new, sportier face for the 2014 Malibu, with black-out mesh grille texture in wider twin-port openings. That's in addition to the all-new design ushered in by the 2013 model. An ECO badge indicates an Ecotec engine with Stop/Start is under the hood of the 2014 Malibu.

The 2014 Malibu comes standard with the 196-horsepower 2.5-liter Ecotec engine, with double overhead cams, variable valve lift control and Stop/Start. The 2014 Malibu delivers an EPA-estimated 25/36 miles per gallon City/Highway, a significant improvement over the 2013 model. Revised transmission shift points and quicker shifts are intended to enhance both refinement and sportiness of the 2014 Malibu.

The 2014 Malibu is also available with a much more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 259 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, making for a midsize sedan that's fun to drive.

Redesigned front seats with more deeply sculpted seatbacks contribute to the improved rear-seat room and comfort for 2014, and a slightly shorter rear cushion with more seatback sculpturing and a new material allow rear passengers to sit more deeply in their seats. The new center console on 2014 models has a longer armrest, twin cup holders and dedicated storage for two cell phones. Otherwise, the 2013 Malibu's interior carries over for 2014, a good thing because we loved the lavish, business-class feeling of the top models.

The 2014 Malibu suspension updates were inspired by the all-new Chevrolet Impala, including rebound springs integrated inside the struts, which contribute to the Malibu's smoother ride while reducing weight transfer and body roll during acceleration and cornering. Standard energy-efficient, variable-effort electric power rack-and-pinion steering enables near-effortless low-speed driving along with improved steering feel at higher speeds, and the new Malibu's brake system is also improved for a more solid, confident feel.

We found the all-new 2013 Malibu a rewarding car to drive, with handling and ride comparable to that of the superb new 2013 Honda Accord. We enjoyed its handling at high speeds, but thought it could feel more lively. So we look forward to a more finely tuned 2014 Malibu.

Malibu comes standard with a full suite of safety features. Among them: four-channel anti-lock brakes, full-function traction control, four-corner electronic stability control, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, corner brake control, hydraulic brake fade assist, drag torque control. Ten airbags are standard, with a rear-view camera system optional.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu

The Chevrolet Malibu is completely redesigned and re-engineered for the 2013 model year and the 2013 Malibu is a winner, delivering a smooth ride, responsive handling, cabin comfort and ease of use. The 2013 Malibu is a midsize sedan with a choice of powertrains, ranging from a low-cost 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to the sporty 260-horsepower Malibu Turbo to the Malibu Eco mild hybrid that rates an EPA-estimated 25/37 miles per gallon City/Highway.

A quick glance at the 2013 Malibu tells you you're looking at a new kind of Chevrolet. Completely redesigned, the 2013 Malibu has an international look about it while not being either outlandish or overdone. It looks both modern and nicely understated; the stylists resisted the temptation to go Lady Gaga just to attract attention.

The interior, like the exterior, is handsome and, for a Chevrolet, pleasingly elegant. The luxury level of this Chevrolet seems almost Buick, though drawn with a much freer hand. Obviously, having the mission of standing out all around the world has not hurt Chevrolet's styling vocabulary in the least.

But the minute we drove the 2013 Malibu Eco around a fast bend, we knew we were driving a new kind of Chevrolet. It's a family car, to be sure, filled with all the familiar keynotes that define mid-size Chevrolet sedans. But in the same moment, it is a far more roadable vehicle than the Malibus of five or ten years ago. Gone is the vaguely ramshackle ride and the wanton tendency to lean far over when cornering in even the slightest haste.

Also gone is the wayward, numb sense of not knowing what the pavement beneath you is telling you. A proper driver's car communicates precisely what the driving conditions are, and serious lapses in driver feedback have ever been a shortcoming not only of non-Corvette Chevrolets but most American cruisers. Yet very suddenly, the new Malibu is a genuine contender in the world driver's car sweepstakes. It's not perfect; the more expensive sports-sedan marketers, after all, have had decades' more experience at fine-tuning their cars' behavior. But this Chevrolet family sedan has made a truly remarkable move in their direction. It is a genuinely rewarding car to drive. It's handling and ride are comparable to that of the superb new 2013 Honda Accord.

Furthermore, the Malibu Eco model's thriftily priced mild-hybrid drivetrain we tested has an impressive new E-Assist electrical torque-boosting arrangement that adds force to the car's very fuel-efficient 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The result is vigorous over-the-road performance, achieved while also registering very high highway mileage.

The 2013 Malibu Eco is a sleek new mild-hybrid package that is reasonably roomy, handsomely styled, and most of all, a convincing contemporary American rendering of the world car. The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco mild hybrid is debuting simultaneously in the U.S. and China. That singular fact tells you how completely the world view at Chevrolet and General Motors has changed. Though General Motors has long paid lip service to the concept of world cars, very suddenly in 2012, it is a world car company and will be judged by world-car standards. It's no longer enough to be applauded in Hammond, Indiana; it also has to be craved in Beijing, China and Singapore, Malaysia, and if such a thing be possible, Munich, Bavaria.


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