2011 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan Review | Edmunds.com
 

2011 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan

 
 

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Chevrolet Malibu Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 169 hp @ 6400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/33 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No
 

Review of the 2011 Chevrolet Malibu

  • The 2011 Chevrolet Malibu remains a popular, well-equipped entry in the hotly contested segment of midsize family sedans. It's starting to lag behind stronger segment leaders in some respects, however, and a replacement isn't due until 2012.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Strong V6, economical inline-4; fine ride and handling balance; quiet cabin: high scores in crash tests.

  • Cons

    Rear seat is less than spacious; inconsistent quality of cabin materials; lacks some competitive features.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 Chevy Malibu receives only a few minor changes that include new wheel designs and a standard six-speed automatic transmission on…

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (34 total reviews)


From bad to worse

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Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

I had 3 Malibu's 2006, totaled by a drunk driver. 2006, totaled by a bus. Car accelerated into traffic. I reversed as my choice was a gasoline tanker and a bus. 2011 : This car from day one has been a lemon. It is getting worse. I have 18 k on the car. I get 21 miles on open highway and 17 in city. I have been told by GM to put 20 more thousand miles to loosen it up. Door on drivers side leaks and has "been" fixed only to leak worse. At 40 mph there is a dinging in the right rear. At 60 mhp under load the steering column shakes and rattles the whole car. If you let off the gas it quits. Dealer told me this is "normal". Transmission fluid is dark brow..."normal" too. JUNK




So far so good!

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Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Malibu LT1 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Purchased a few months ago. Already put on 4,000 miles. It's a very comfortable car Me being 6'6" I fit quite well. Although anyone who sits behind me had better be quite short! Monique as she is rightfully named is a snappy accelerator, corners fantastically, and I love the clad wheels. Trunk is huge. I had taken a trip to Frankfot KY. and I averaged 37.7mpg!! with a full trunk At times the remote start is finicky, but no complaints. She was a lease car before I bought her. The driver seat is kind of like crumpled near the door, which is causing a tear. Which is very disappointing. Considering my 02 Impala had over 230,000 on it and no rips or tears.




Traction system failed and poor

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Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Malibu LT2 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

poor gas millage on a 4 cylinder 19-23mpg mostly hwy miles. traction control system failed causing accident. this is an unsafe car. car under warranty 34000 miles.GM response less than helpful. GM equipment for black box testing was in for repair at time of accident and unavailable for 2 weeks, no loaner car and car under warranty. so a $28000 car sits at body-shop and I walk. GM said there was no code for the gas millage problem and could not fix, but they had a code for the traction problem CO133 and reset it and sent me to an accident.This is an lemon or is it GM's new way of building cars. Body is repaired but i am afraid of this car.




Longtime gm customer very disappointed.

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Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Malibu LT2 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

I have owned 3 prior new GM vehicles. This one has been trouble from day 1. First it had rail dust, orange rust spots all over the car in which it took the dealer three times to fix. Then the wheels vibrated, which they never could fix. After spending at least 12 different trips to the dealer, I now have two bent rims. This car gets driven MAYBE twice a week by my wife. I will be trading this car in, and I am very disappointed with this car. Very cramped on the inside, trunk is very short, plastic trim comes off all the time. Exterior badging fell off. Horrible wheels. Horrible (20mpg) gas mileage. I will never buy a GM car again.




Brakes and rotors

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Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Have less than 29,000 miles on the car, the front ROTORS have been resurfaced once and replaced twice ! Front BRAKES replaced once. The back ROTORS have been replaced once, and BRAKES replaced once. I have filed a complaint with GM. The mileage is not close to where they advertised ! In addition the transmission doesn't act right. I have been told there is no problem with it ! I would love to hear from others that have had brake and rotor issues, or anyone that has been successful at GM buying the while back ? ! Please....




So far...so good

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Have owned this car for 20 months and wanted to wait until this point to write a review on this Malibu. This has been the most reliable car I have ever owned(and I have owned over a dozen new cars in 33years of driving). It has never been to the shop for any unscheduled service. I was not planning to trade when I did, but an unexpected windfall convinced me to trade and was glad I did! This car now has almost 25,000miles and still is as tight and quiet as the day I drove it from the dealership. Every thing works the way it is supposed to. I am averaging 26mpg in 70%/30%hwy-city driving which is NOT what I was hoping for when I bought this car, but it's not terrible.



 
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 22
  • cty
/
  • 33
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Full 2011 Chevrolet Malibu Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Chevy Malibu receives only a few minor changes that include new wheel designs and a standard six-speed automatic transmission on all models.

Introduction

The seventh-generation Chevrolet Malibu bolted smartly out of the starting gate in 2008, one of the stars of GM's product renaissance over the last several years and one of the first Chevys to feel modern rather than retro. As a result it was acknowledged as the 2009 North American Car of the Year and earned a fair amount of positive praise. Four years on, the 2011 Chevrolet Malibu continues to be a very desirable car, but the competition has caught up.

On the plus side, the Malibu features a stylish cabin with straightforward controls, nicely balanced ride and handling characteristics, and a choice of either a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine or a strong V6. Perhaps best of all, the Malibu has an upscale look that says "premium sedan" rather than "rental car." Although we could live without its flashy chrome-clad wheels, the Malibu sports clean, classy lines with tight panel gaps, and doesn't succumb to cheap visual add-ons like spoilers, side vents or body flares.

Unfortunately, a few shortcomings nix any pretensions of class leadership. The Malibu's rear seat space is tight compared to that of some competitors, and it lacks a center armrest. Although the cabin is generally well designed, the quality and finish of the materials are inconsistent. The 2011 Chevy Malibu also comes up short in terms of features, as some desirable items like dual-zone climate control and an in-dash navigation screen aren't offered.

If Chevy addresses these nits in the next redesign, we might again have ourselves a well-rounded superstar. Until then, we'd recommend checking out other top midsize sedans like the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda 6 and Nissan Altima.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Chevrolet Malibu is available in four trim levels: LS, 1LT, 2LT and LTZ.

Standard equipment on the Malibu LS includes 17-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry, cruise control, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, OnStar and a six-speaker stereo with CD player, satellite radio and auxiliary audio jack.

Next up is the 1LT that adds 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome and color-keyed body accents, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and access to various optional features. The 2LT then adds remote engine start, Bluetooth, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power driver seat, heated front seats, premium upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The range-topping LTZ includes 18-inch cast-aluminum wheels, heated outside mirrors, LED taillights, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a power front passenger seat, upgraded instruments, a rear window shade, a rear 110-volt power outlet and a Bose eight-speaker stereo with MP3 playback and USB audio jack. Many of these available features are grouped into packages that can be added to the lower trim levels. In addition, a sunroof is optional for all trims except the LS.

Powertrains and Performance

Every 2011 Malibu can be equipped with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine as standard equipment, which generates 169 horsepower and 160 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent through the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. Estimated fuel economy checks in at 22 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. In Edmunds performance testing, a four-cylinder Malibu reached 60 mph in 9.1 seconds, which is about average for four-bangers in this class.

A 3.6-liter V6 is available for the Malibu LT and LTZ, and bumps output to 252 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic is again standard. Fuel economy is estimated at 17/26/20 mpg. Our test of a V6-equipped Malibu resulted in a 0-60-mph sprint in just 6.7 seconds, making it one of the quicker V6 sedans in its class.

Safety

The Chevy Malibu comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, OnStar telematics, front side airbags and head curtain airbags. In the government's new, more strenuous crash testing for 2011, the Malibu earned an overall rating of four stars out of a possible five, with four stars for overall frontal crash protection and five stars for overall side crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Malibu its highest rating of "Good" in its frontal-offset and side-impact testing. In brake performance testing, a V6 Malibu impressed us by stopping from 60 mph in a short, fade-free 122 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2011 Chevrolet Malibu features a curvaceous dual-cowl dash design up front, emphasized strikingly by a couple of available two-tone interior color options. However, the sedan's quality doesn't always keep up with its overall design promise, as fit and finish is compromised by a few cheap pieces here and there. Control layout is simple and straightforward, and plenty of insulation and the use of acoustically laminated glass contribute to a serene driving experience.

The front seats are comfortable and pleasantly supportive, though some editors found the car's pedal placement somewhat awkward. Additionally, the sedan's seat bolsters may prove to be somewhat intrusive for wider passengers. Passengers of average size should be fine in back, though larger folks will notice tight quarters compared to other midsize sedans. And although the rear seat is fine for two passengers, it's a tight squeeze for three. The lack of a center armrest and grab handles also compromises the experience for second-row travelers. The trunk offers 15.1 cubic feet of capacity, but the opening is narrow and the space is shallow.

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Chevrolet Malibu strikes an excellent balance between ride and handling, exemplified by confident cornering and a smooth, quiet ride over varying types of pavement.

The four-cylinder engine achieves its frugal efficiency in part due to the use of an electric steering system. As these systems go, this is a good one, and several of our editors preferred the four-cylinder and its electric-assist steering to the optional V6 with its conventional hydraulic steering assist. Mated to the now-standard six-speed automatic, even the fuel-efficient four-cylinder Malibu should deliver enough power and response for most buyers. The V6 is much stronger of course, and is likely a better fit for those who place a premium on quickness.

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