Chevrolet's midsize Malibu sedan was completely refreshed last year with a sleeker design similar to that of the larger Impala. In that redesign the wheelbase was stretched to fix the rear passenger space complaints from the outgoing model. Despite the extra size, a new chassis means that the new car is still about 150 kg lighter than the old one. That makes it one of the lightest cars in the class. Other changes inside improve the materials used to give the car a more upscale appearance. The Malibu has more space inside than the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry, and the hybrid gets better fuel economy than the Ford Fusion or Camry hybrids. With last year’s extensive changes, there are none for 2017.
Malibu starts with the base L model that has a 163 hp turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder. There is a six-speed automatic, 16-inch steel wheels, tilt and telescoping wheel, cruise control, air conditioning, bluetooth, power windows, and OnStar. The 1.5L is rated for 8.7 L/100 km city, 6.3 highway.
Next up is the LS which adds a backup camera, MyLink infotainment with a 7.0-inch touchscreen and USB along with adding a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. The LT model adds 17-inch wheels, power adjustable seats, interior ambient lighting, vents for the rear seats, and satellite radio. On LT, a convenience and technology package adds remote start, leather wheel, colour driver info centre, 8.0-inch touchscreen, and wireless charging. A leather package adds six-way power front seats with heat and leather, along with a nine-speaker Bose stereo.
Top trim is the Malibu Premier. This gets a 250 hp 2.0L turbo four, and eight-speed automatic, and 19-inch wheels. There are also LED taillights and there is more chrome on the doors, exhaust, and sills. The car gets dual-zone climate, a colour display for the driver information center, and the steering wheel is heated with a leather wrap. The seats are perforated leather and are heated and ventilated. The stereo is a nine-speaker Bose system and it gets navigation, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and extra USB ports for the back seat. On LT and Premier, a driver confidence pack gets front automatic braking, pedestrian auto braking, automatic high beams, park assist front and rear, blind spot and lane change warnings with lane guidance, and cross traffic alert. Adaptive cruise control and semi-automatic parking can be added to Premier only. The 2.0L engine is rated for 10.6 L/100 km city, 7.1 highway.
Malibu Hybrid gets most of the features from the Premier (with the rest optional) and has a 1.8L four-cylinder and an electric motor to return 182 hp and 5.0 L/100 km city, 5.1 highway.