2021 Chevrolet Malibu

What’s new

  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality
  • New Sport Edition package with blackout exterior trim
  • Part of the ninth Malibu generation introduced for 2016

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious interior with lots of front-seat headroom
  • Easy-to-use touchscreen interface
  • Lackluster acceleration from the base 1.5-liter engine
  • Limited outward visibility
  • Interior looks dated compared to rivals
  • Many advanced driver safety aids don't come standard
MSRP Starting at
$22,140

Save as much as $1,032
Select your model:

2021 Chevrolet Malibu Review

The Chevrolet Malibu has been around in various forms, as well as various levels of success, since 1964. The 2021 Malibu, somewhat surprisingly, is now Chevy's only sedan. Everything else, from the smaller Cruze to the bigger Impala, has been put out to pasture.

A well-equipped Malibu Premier with the upgraded turbocharged engine is likable enough. The problem is that any other Malibu trim — which would be most of them you find on a dealer lot — isn't going to be competitive against other midsize sedans. The base engine lacks power, and Chevy doesn't add the latest advanced driver safety aids as standard equipment as most automakers do these days. The Malibu's interior design and materials could also use a thorough redo.

Unless you can get a great deal on a Malibu, we'd suggest going with a more appealing rival sedan such as the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia K5, Mazda 6 or Toyota Camry.

Which Malibu does Edmunds recommend?

We don't usually recommend the most expensive trim, but when it comes to the Malibu, we feel the top-of-the-line Premier is far and away the best option. It's the only trim that gets the powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter engine as well as many other desirable features that are simply unavailable on lower trim levels.

Chevrolet Malibu models

The Malibu midsize sedan available in five trim levels: L, LS, RS, LT and Premier. Two engines are available. Most Malibus come with a turbocharged 160-hp four-cylinder connected to a continuously variable automatic transmission. For the Premier trim, Chevy fits a bigger turbocharged four-cylinder engine that's good for 250 hp. It's connected to a nine-speed automatic transmission. All Malibus are front-wheel-drive. Highlight features include:

L
Starts you off with:

  • 16-inch wheels
  • 8-inch infotainment touchscreen
  • Wireless compatibility for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Cruise control
  • Keyless ignition and entry
  • Cruise control

LS
Adds a few features to the L such as:

  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Teen Driver (allows for custom settings to encourage responsible driving)
  • Buckle to Drive (prevents vehicle from being driven until driver's seat belt is fastened)
  • Driver and front-passenger vanity mirrors

RS
Dresses up the Malibu with:

  • 18-inch wheels
  • Rear spoiler
  • Black grille and badging
  • Dual exhaust
  • Body-colored outside mirrors
  • Power-adjustable driver's seat
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel

LT
Starting from the LS, the LT gets you:

  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Satellite radio
  • Power-adjustable driver's seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Rear passenger vents
  • Three available appearance packages: Midnight, Sport and Redline

Premier
Tops the range with:

  • 250-hp engine
  • 19-inch wheels
  • LED headlights
  • Dual-pane sunroof
  • Leather upholstery
  • Upgraded infotainment touchscreen with navigation
  • Nine-speaker audio system
  • Driver-seat memory settings
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Heated outboard rear seats
  • Wireless device charging

The Malibu doesn't come standard with any advanced driver safety features. Instead, Chevy offers them through a few different Driver Confidence packages. These features include:

  • Rear parking sensors (alerts you to obstacles that may not be visible behind the vehicle when parking)
  • Rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle behind you is about to cross your vehicle's path while in reverse)
  • Blind-spot monitor (alerts you if a vehicle in the next lane over is in your blind spot)
  • Lane keeping assist (steers the car back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)
  • Collision mitigation braking (applies the brakes automatically to stop the vehicle to avoid or minimize a collision)

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu.

5 star reviews: 100%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%
Average user rating: 5.0 stars based on 1 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

    Most helpful consumer reviews

    5 out of 5 stars, 45-50 mpg says it all.
    Patrick,
    LS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT)

    Outstanding efficiency. Comfortable, enjoyable ride, based on 60 mile per day commute in real mixed driving conditions.

    Write a review

    See all 1 reviews




    Features & Specs

    LS 4dr Sedan features & specs
    LS 4dr Sedan
    1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT
    MSRP$23,270
    MPG 29 city / 36 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
    Horsepower160 hp @ 5700 rpm
    See all for sale
    Premier 4dr Sedan features & specs
    Premier 4dr Sedan
    2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A
    MSRP$33,370
    MPG 22 city / 32 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission9-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower250 hp @ 5300 rpm
    See all for sale
    L 4dr Sedan features & specs
    L 4dr Sedan
    1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT
    MSRP$22,140
    MPG 29 city / 36 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
    Horsepower160 hp @ 5700 rpm
    See all for sale
    LT 4dr Sedan features & specs
    LT 4dr Sedan
    1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT
    MSRP$26,670
    MPG 29 city / 36 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
    Horsepower160 hp @ 5700 rpm
    See all for sale
    See all 2021 Chevrolet Malibu features & specs

    Safety

    Our experts’ favorite Malibu safety features:

    Forward Collision Alert
    Warns the driver of potential obstacles ahead. (Automatic braking is available as an optional extra.)
    Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
    Informs the driver of vehicles in perpendicular motion behind the car when reversing.
    Pedestrian Detection
    Warns the driver of pedestrians in the roadway and automatically applies the brakes if the driver does not take action.

    NHTSA Overall Rating 4 out of 5 stars

    The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

    Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
    Side Crash RatingRating
    Overall4 / 5
    Side Barrier RatingRating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
    Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
    Front Seat4 / 5
    Back Seat3 / 5
    RolloverRating
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.3%

    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 TestNot Tested
    Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

    Chevrolet Malibu vs. the competition

    Chevrolet Malibu vs. Honda Accord

    A perennial front-runner in the family sedan category, the Honda Accord continues to impress with an upscale and roomy interior, efficient engines and host of standard safety equipment. To see what life is like with this car, read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Honda Accord.

    Compare Chevrolet Malibu & Honda Accord features

    Chevrolet Malibu vs. Toyota Camry

    With a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine and easy road manners, the Camry is a no-brainer to recommend. And unlike the Malibu, every Camry trim comes standard with driver safety aids such as forward collision mitigation. The Malibu offers a better infotainment system, but the Camry is a better car overall. Check out our long-term road test of the Toyota Camry to see what we liked from 40,000 miles of ownership.

    Compare Chevrolet Malibu & Toyota Camry features

    Chevrolet Malibu vs. Hyundai Sonata

    The Hyundai Sonata offers great value for the money thanks to its long list of standard equipment and excellent warranty. It's also fair to say it looks more distinctive and stylish than the Malibu. Chevy does offer a more powerful engine upgrade, which is something you can't get on the Sonata.

    Compare Chevrolet Malibu & Hyundai Sonata features

    FAQ

    Is the Chevrolet Malibu a good car?

    The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Malibu both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Chevrolet Malibu fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Malibu gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg to 32 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Malibu has 15.7 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Chevrolet Malibu. Learn more

    What's new in the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu?

    According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu:

    • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality
    • New Sport Edition package with blackout exterior trim
    • Part of the ninth Malibu generation introduced for 2016
    Learn more

    Is the Chevrolet Malibu reliable?

    To determine whether the Chevrolet Malibu is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Malibu. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Malibu's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

    Is the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu a good car?

    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Malibu is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more

    How much should I pay for a 2021 Chevrolet Malibu?

    The least-expensive 2021 Chevrolet Malibu is the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu L 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $22,140.

    Other versions include:

    • LS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) which starts at $23,270
    • Premier 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) which starts at $33,370
    • L 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) which starts at $22,140
    • LT 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) which starts at $26,670
    • RS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) which starts at $24,270
    Learn more

    What are the different models of Chevrolet Malibu?

    If you're interested in the Chevrolet Malibu, the next question is, which Malibu model is right for you? Malibu variants include LS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT), Premier 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A), L 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT), and LT 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT). For a full list of Malibu models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu

    2021 Chevrolet Malibu Overview

    The 2021 Chevrolet Malibu is offered in the following submodels: Malibu Sedan. Available styles include LS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT), Premier 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A), L 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT), LT 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT), and RS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT).

    What do people think of the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Malibu 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Malibu.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Malibu featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Our Review Process

    This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

    We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

    What's a good price for a New 2021 Chevrolet Malibu?

    2021 Chevrolet Malibu LT 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT)

    The 2021 Chevrolet Malibu LT 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $30,230. The average price paid for a new 2021 Chevrolet Malibu LT 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) is trending $1,032 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $1,032 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $29,198.

    The average savings for the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu LT 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) is 3.4% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 4 2021 Chevrolet Malibu LT 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

    2021 Chevrolet Malibu RS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT)

    The 2021 Chevrolet Malibu RS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $25,730. The average price paid for a new 2021 Chevrolet Malibu RS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) is trending $510 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $510 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $25,220.

    The average savings for the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu RS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) is 2% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 1 2021 Chevrolet Malibu RS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

    2021 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT)

    The 2021 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $24,235. The average price paid for a new 2021 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) is trending $795 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $795 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $23,440.

    The average savings for the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) is 3.3% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 16 2021 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

    Which 2021 Chevrolet Malibus 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) 2021 Chevrolet Malibu for sale near. There are currently 50 new 2021 Malibus listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $24,195 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap 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 2021 Chevrolet Malibu. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $1,929 on a used or CPO 2021 Malibu available from a dealership near you.

    Can't find a new 2021 Chevrolet Malibus you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Chevrolet Malibu for sale - 2 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $21,867.

    Find a new Chevrolet for sale - 6 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $20,516.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

    Should I lease or buy a 2021 Chevrolet Malibu?

    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.

    Check out Chevrolet lease specials