2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited Review

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent crash test scores
  • attractive interior
  • quiet, comfortable ride.
  • Snug backseat
  • MyLink touchscreen interface can be finicky at times.
List Price Range
$9,400 - $15,988

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Edmunds' Expert Review

As a carryover 2015 Malibu with less content, the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited is still worth a look for value-minded shoppers, but it's not on the same level as the top midsize sedans.

Vehicle overview

If you're shopping for a midsize family car, you should know that the field of possibilities just got a little more crowded. That's because the folks at Chevrolet have decided to offer two different takes on their long-running Malibu sedan for the 2016 model year. The one getting all the headlines is the fully redesigned version, of course, which looks to challenge segment leaders head-on. But if value is more important to you than the latest innovations, there's also a carryover of the previous generation that's known as the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited.

The Malibu Limited loses some of last year's more appealing options, most notably the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. What's left is a pleasant enough family sedan with some real strengths, including a quiet interior, a comfortable ride and excellent crash test scores. There are also some downsides, however, including a lack of rear legroom by midsize-sedan standards. Moreover, EPA-estimated fuel economy numbers are lower than the norm for this class.

The 2016 Malibu Limited faces a long list of distinguished rivals. Both the upgraded 2016 Honda Accord and the 2016 Hyundai Sonata deliver better fuel economy along with a much more spacious rear seat. The 2016 Ford Fusion is another strong choice by virtue of its good looks, responsive handling and long list of advanced features. The well-equipped and roomy 2016 Nissan Altima also merits consideration, while the recently revamped 2016 Toyota Camry is yet another entrant that deserves a look. You'll likely be able to get a pretty good deal on a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited, but it may be worth paying a premium to get a little more.

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited models

The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited is a midsize sedan offered in three trim levels: LS, LT and LTZ.

The base LS starts with 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a partial power driver seat with power height adjustment, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer, cruise control, OnStar (with 4G LTE and mobile WiFi), Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player.

The LT adds upgraded headlights, body-color heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, ambient interior lighting, floor mats, Chevy's MyLink infotainment system (includes a 7-inch touchscreen, voice controls, Internet radio, smartphone-app integration and voice-to-text messaging capability for certain smartphones), Bluetooth streaming audio, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio input jack and a USB port.

The top-of-the-line LTZ tacks on 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats (with power lumbar), heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Many of the upgraded features are available on lower trim levels via various options packages. Other add-ons (depending on trim level) include a rear spoiler, a power sunroof, a rearview camera, a nine-speaker Pioneer audio system, a 120-volt power outlet and an Advanced Safety package (consisting of forward collision warning, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems).

2016 Highlights

The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited is a carryover of last year's Malibu but with a few key omissions. The formerly available 2.0-liter turbocharged engine has been discontinued, as have a handful of upscale features like xenon headlights.

Performance & mpg

Under the hood, all 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited models get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that generates 197 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard.

Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 27 mpg combined (24 city/34 highway), aided by a stop-start system that automatically turns off the engine when the car comes to a halt.

Safety

The 2016 Chevy Malibu Limited comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front knee airbags, front side airbags, rear side airbags and side curtain airbags. Also standard is the OnStar telematics system, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle location. A rearview camera is available, as is an Advanced Safety package with forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems.

In government crash tests, the Malibu Limited earned a perfect five stars for overall crash protection, with five stars for total frontal impact protection and five stars for total side impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the similar 2015 Malibu its highest possible rating of "Good" in the small-overlap frontal-offset and moderate-overlap frontal-offset impact collision tests. The Malibu also earned a "Good" rating in the side-impact, roof strength and whiplash reduction (seat and head restraints) tests.

Driving

On the road, the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited accelerates adequately for a base four-cylinder midsize sedan. The 2.5-liter engine is a bit less fuel-efficient than most rivals, however. Overall levels of wind and road noise are low, and the suspension adds to this sense of refinement by delivering a smooth ride. Handling is secure but far from sporty, meaning buyers seeking a midsize sedan that's legitimately fun to drive will likely be happier with some competing models.

Interior

Inside the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited you'll find a handsome dashboard, with sweeping lines complemented by satisfactory materials quality. Controls may initially appear a bit complicated, thanks to a handful of similar-looking buttons on the center stack, but things become more intuitive with regular use. Same goes for the available MyLink touchscreen, which offers neat features like smartphone-app integration but can be a bit slow to respond at times.

In terms of accommodations, the Malibu Limited offers good comfort up front, with the optional eight-way power-adjustable seats providing a generous range of positions. The backseat is another story, though, with a shortage of legroom significant enough that rear seat passengers may ask those up front to scoot their seats forward. These tight confines can also make it difficult to fit a rear-facing child seat. Most midsize sedans offer significantly roomier rear quarters.

The Malibu Limited's trunk space is slightly better than average at 16.3 cubic feet. The 60/40-split rear seatbacks also fold down to open up more cargo room.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Overall a great car
Michelle,02/10/2016
LT 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
I am a true Chevy lover. I owned a 2004 Chevy Monte Carlo - regret trading that one in. However I find the 2016 Chevy Malibu Limited is a very reliable vehicle in all seasons. I just purchased it - right as winter started and it does very well in the snow. There are only a few things that I am not happy with - but will continue to drive this. First, the auto stop needs to have an on/off button It gets very irritating to have the vehicle shut off at almost every stop sign/light/railroad crossing ect. This should be an option - not standard. I understand the point - but it is more irritating than anything. Second - the visors are a little too short/narrow. I am 5'3 so even when I raise the base of the seat up to a comfortable position - once the sun comes in the windshield - it is hard to see. The visors offer very little blockage of the sun. The acceleration could use a little boost, but it is not too bad. Overall i really enjoy the stability of the vehicle and the safety I feel while being behind the wheel even in the snow/ice.
2016 Malibu Limited
Jessica Day,03/02/2016
LT 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
I absolutely LOVE my 2016 Malibu Limited inside and out!!!! We have owned ours for over a month and have absolutely no complaints or concerns except for that we wish Chevy would have put parking sensors on the front bumper. It is a little challenging to make sure you do not hit a curb or another car when parking.
Would Not Buy Again
Matt,08/04/2018
LTZ 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
Purchased this car after driving a 2001 Toyota Avalon. This car is very appealing on the surface, however after a year of owning it is a very high maintenance car. Repairs pop up fast and often, and it needs to be perfectly maintained (i.e. needs a specific brand of oil, transmission fluids, etc.) otherwise the cars performance fades quickly. It’s an okay car, but be ready to spend more on it than the average sedan requires after purchasing. In my opinion, you’re better off paying a higher sticker price on another manufacturer, than going for this car. You get what you pay for, and if I could do it again, I wouldn't buy a chevy, let alone the malibu. Car has electrical problems, the radio will just turn off randomly, the bluetooth and aux cord features are abysmal, and the car has pretty bad sight lines. Mechanically, after two years since it was originally put on the road the car has trouble starting, accelerating, and shifting gears (after being at a mechanics and the dealership service for a total of 3 weeks over the course of a month and a half, I was told there are no apparent problems with the car, yet the problems still persist). Additionally, the car is too low - i.e. it scratches on everything (speedbumps, steep hills, driveways, etc.). Essentially, don't buy this car.
My son loves his 2016 Malibu Limited.
Gus,12/30/2015
LTZ 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
The Malibu limited does everything you want from a good sized car very well. Unusually attractive interior and connective technology for everything. Top Safety ratings at a reasonable price. Good lease!

Features & Specs

See all Used 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover11.1%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited

Used 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited Overview

The Used 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited is offered in the following submodels: Malibu Limited Sedan. Available styles include LS 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A), LT 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A), LTZ 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A), and LS Fleet 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited LT is priced between $10,962 and$15,988 with odometer readings between 33900 and82000 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited LS is priced between $11,488 and$14,991 with odometer readings between 15760 and67898 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited LTZ is priced between $14,490 and$15,155 with odometer readings between 41427 and59890 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited LS Fleet is priced between $9,400 and$9,400 with odometer readings between 108910 and108910 miles.

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Which used 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limiteds are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited for sale near. There are currently 22 used and CPO 2016 Malibu Limiteds listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $9,400 and mileage as low as 15760 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited.

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Find a used Chevrolet Malibu Limited for sale - 8 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $19,254.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Malibu Limited for sale - 7 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $10,246.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 2 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $9,246.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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