The Chevy Malibu has been one of the flagship models for the brand since it was introduced in 1964. Though it hasn't always been a top performer -- it even had a 14-year hiatus in the 1980s and 90s -- it has maintained a place of honor in the Chevy lineup. Some model years were among the most popular vehicles that
Chevy has sold, and some have even become collectibles.
When Chevy last redesigned the Malibu in 2013, the model faltered a bit as the market took a collective yawn over its uninspired looks. Since then, Chevy has made a few tweaks to try to win back the market, and it is finally making people sit up and take notice with the 2016 model.
The 2016 Chevy Malibu not only has an impressive new design, but it also has an improved ride, better fuel efficiency and a host of new features.
All New Design
The 2016 Chevy Malibu doesn't look like something your grandmother would drive. The new model features a profile with a sweeping roofline, a longer hood and a shortened backside. Crisp lines are featured throughout the design, including in details on the panels.
The front fascia almost looks like a face, with no-nonsense head lights that have crisp horizontal edges and a grille that is split to look like a furrowed brow and a pursed lip. Of course, the Chevy bowtie right in the middle looks like a nose.
The hood is lower to improve aerodynamics, and new LED daytime running lights create a unique accent under the head lights. In the rear, the tail lights are narrow and tapered, creating a new, signature silhouette.
The new Malibu is both longer and had a larger wheel base, contributing to its new look and adding plenty of leg room for passengers. The Malibu is also lower to the ground, creating a sportier stance and a greater sense of power behind the wheel.
Higher-quality materials are used throughout the cabin, including satin chrome accents and luxury upholstery. The interior also sees upgrades like a new center stack and a center console storage area that is specifically designed for mobile gadgets.
Chevy officials said that their goal was to improve the look of the interior while still preserving it easy functionality, and they certainly met that goal.
Improved Performance and Efficiency
The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu doesn't just have a pretty new face -- it also has a lot more substance. The new design has dropped about 300 pounds, making it leaner and more agile. The lower weight is thanks to a new platform and the use of higher-strength steel.
Three engine options are available for the Malibu, and each offers reliable performance and great fuel efficiency. The base model comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that has 160 horsepower and 184 pounds per feet of torque.
It is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, and it gets 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. It has a combined fuel rating of 31 mpg.
The next step up is a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that puts out 250 horsepower and 258 pounds per feet of torque. It is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission with tap-shift functionality. It has a fuel efficiency of 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, or a combined 26 mpg.
The most fuel-efficient of the engine offerings is the hybrid variant. The hybrid power train includes a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine and a 1.4-kwh battery pack. It has a total output of 182 horsepower and can go from 0 to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds. It can reach top speeds of 55 mph on electric power alone.
Best of all, it gets a combined fuel efficiency of 45 mpg.
Whatever engine you choose, you will enjoy a smooth ride and a lower gas bill. You'll find that cruising around town feels effortless, and longer road trips will be more enjoyable (not to mention less expensive).
Packed with Technology Features
Today's automobiles are more like mobile command centers with all their advanced technology features. The new Chevy Malibu has some of the most cutting-edge features, improving the enjoyment of the ride and your overall safety.
Chevy's MyLink system is included in the new Malibu, mounted on the center stack. It is displayed on either a 7- or 8-inch touch screen, and it includes a navigation system and a number of apps providing entertainment and information.
You can do everything from make hands-free calls to stream Internet radio from the touch screen.
Many of the additional features on the 2016 Malibu are designed to enhance safety. In fact, there are a whopping nine new safety features on the model.
Some safety features include a backup camera, lane keep assist, forward-collision alert, and blind-spot monitoring, providing better views all the way around the car to reduce the risk of collision.
A feature not often found on other models is the pedestrian alert system, which can identify pedestrians and bring the car to a stop if the driver does not respond in time. It's an especially useful feature to avoid children and other people who run out in the road suddenly, such as on busy city streets.
Other features include adaptive cruise control, stability control, traction control, automatic braking, and automatic high-beam head lights. The car also comes standard with 10 airbags.
One of the most exciting additions is the Teen Driver feature, which allows parents to monitor their novice driver's behavior. It can be programmed to automatically mute the radio when seat belts aren't in use, and it warns drivers when speeds exceed pre-set levels.
The system also generates a report for parents showing the distance traveled, the top speeds and whether the car had to use any of its safety features.
Pricing has not yet been announced for the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu. However, the current model starts at $23,290. The 2016 model should be released in the last quarter of this year, but the hybrid model won't be released until next spring.