Since its debut back when the Beatles were singing about holding hands, the Chevrolet Malibu has gone through several iterations. The initial lineup consisted of rear-drive midsizers that included coupes, sedans, wagons and the legendary, high-horsepower SS-badged muscle car. After a downsizing in the late 1970s and a quiet death in the early '80s, the Malibu was reincarnated as a smaller, anonymous, front-wheel-drive favorite of rental fleets.
The latest Chevy Malibu, however, builds upon the good graces established by its strong predecessor and is well deserving of some "Love Me Do." It boasts a level of refinement and overall competence that puts it head and shoulders above its past generations and among the best midsize family sedans. Traits such as a high-end cabin, a composed and quiet ride, handsome styling and advanced electronics features make the latest Chevrolet Malibu a top choice.
Current Chevrolet Malibu
The current Chevrolet Malibu represents an all-new generation introduced for 2013. It boasts welcome improvements in refinement, feature content and efficiency.
The Malibu's appeal is best seen inside. Even lesser-equipped models enjoy an abundance of sound deadening, soft-touch materials, high-quality switchgear and an attractive appearance. There's also an emphasis on technology, as Chevy's MyLink system connects your smartphone to the car via a USB jack and/or the Bluetooth system, allowing for not only hands-free calling, but audio connectivity and Internet music streaming as well. A well-designed center control stack with an integrated touchscreen makes the Malibu more user-friendly than its Chevy cousins.
There are four well-equipped trim levels: LS, LT, LTZ and Eco. Under the hood, the Malibu comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. From there, shoppers can go either the performance or fuel economy route. The former is satisfied by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder for those who want more power on hand in their family sedan. The Malibu Eco, on the other hand, features a 2.4-liter four-cylinder connected to a mild hybrid system that provides some electric-motor assistance during acceleration but primarily powers an auto stop/start system as well as certain vehicle accessories that would normally draw power from the engine-run alternator. The Eco's 29 mpg combined is certainly impressive fuel economy, but only a smidgen better than several competitors with normal four-cylinder engines.
In total, however, the Chevrolet Malibu is among the best choices in the midsize family sedan class that includes very appealing competitors from Ford, Hyundai, Kia and Volkswagen. We suggest checking them all out before deciding, but the Chevy's handsome cabin, high-tech features and general level of refinement are its particular strong points.
Read the most recent 2014 Chevrolet Malibu review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Chevrolet Malibu page.