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 Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

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 all models.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (8 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

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....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

So far...so good

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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.

What's up with the mpg

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

I rented a 2011 Sonata for 3 months and was pleased to get 23.5 mpg combined. I drive about 100 miles a day and the ratio of city/highway is 50/50. We looked at buying the 2011 Sonata, Camry or Malibu because they claim to get the same mileage. We ended up with an LTZ and I am lucky to get 19 mpg combined. Pure highway driving only gets me 21 mpg. Not happy with American cars right now and it is always the drivers fault with mileage even though the cars are all driven the same way.

1 of 12 people found this review helpful

Love this car with one

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

I love this car - looks, ride, quiet, comfort and I have had absolutely no problems. I currently have 14,000 miles on it and I have had it a year. My major disappointment comes when it comes to milage my overall average mpg on this car since new is 22 mpg overall (yes I have tracked every tank). I never speed and drive very casual and this is the first car EVER that I could not achieve the advertised mpg on. I got rid of a car that would do 27 mpg all day long on the highway and 23-24 city. This car gets under 20 in town and 27-28 hwy. I ask EVERYONE I see and they all say the same thing - anyone on here that says it will do any better does not know how to track milage. 4cyl

2nd review on this car

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

OK this is my second review of this car after having it for 7 months and putting almost 18000 miles on it. as stated before i owned an 09 LS and upgraded to an 11 LTZ. I liked the car enough to buy another one so that should say something. I still stand by the majority of my first review and I still love this car, but there is one major difference. GAS MILEAGE!!! The 09 had a 4 speed auto, this one has a 6 speed auto. So I should do better on gas mileage right? wrong. I drive mostly highway and got about 75 miles more on a full tank in the 09. still not bad, but chevy is flat out lying about getting 33 miles mpg. im getting 23 with 80% highway usage. otherwise great car.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

What a car for the

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

I've had my malibu for almost a month now and it's the best car I have ever owned! I read all these reviews before I purchased and they are spot on. The thing performs like a 6 cyl and gets better gas mileage than the crummy aveo I traded in. Styling is terrific! When I pulled up to my girls house she thought it was a BMW. Few things I would change. 1st is the headroom' it's not bad when sitting in the vehicle but I often hit my head while entering. 2nd is there are no handles inside for the passengers to hold. 3rd, the heated seat switch is on the seat in an awkward place. Other than that it's perfect! Tight, quiet and fun to drive...big head turner too.$25,000 for luxury at it's best!

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.


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 2011 Ford Fusion, 2011 Honda Accord, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2011 Kia Optima, 2011 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.


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.

Talk About The 2011 Malibu

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Gas Mileage


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