I had an Accord, son had an Altima, son in law had a Camry. Wife and I know the segment well. After lots of comparing, ended up going with the Malibu as the most car for the money without any compromises.
First tank of gas (highway) yielded 36mpg, as have subsequent fill ups. Stop/Start has engaged a few times, almost didn't notice.
Ride and cabin noise are on a par or slightly better than others in segment. Chevy My Link system works well with voice commands, bluetooth, and USB thumb drive music. Homelink mated up easily with garage door at home.
So far everything works as advertised and we are very satisfied with our purchase.
I ordered my 2014 Malibu with all of the options and received it within a month (7 months ago).
It now has 18K miles and has been averaging 24 City and 32 Highway which is much better than the cars estimates of 21 City and 30 Highway.
It has only been in the shop for regular maintenance so far.
This is my first Chevrolet, but one of the many GM vehicles I have owned.
The interior is exceptionally quiet (not library silent like Buick), functional, and comfortable.
I have taken it down to Texas from Indiana and it is a great trip vehicle!
The ride and handling are far more superior than the Fusion, Accord, and Sonata.
I work for General Motors as an associate engineer, but am not biased
I have had this car as a company fleet car for about two years and will soon turn it in at 65k miles. I had the 2012 Malibu before it and the 2012 was a dog. In this car they improved and fixed literally everything I hated about the previous model. I also have had nearly unending bad luck with American cars going back to a '78 Chevy Citation with the roof liner falling in. So, for about 25 years I have not owned an American car. However, I get American cars for fleet vehicles and most I might give a modest recommendation to but never glowing.
Well, this car has been great. It is not a sport sedan but a super solid daily driver. The layout is great. For me, the comfort is superb. The electronics are fairly simple, far simpler than my Mercedes and Mini. Sometimes my back bothers me and it actually feels good, almost therapeutic to sit in this car as it is easy to adjust. I have had zero defects or repairs or faults at almost 62,k miles. The brakes are still original. The mileage is good but not as good as listed. I do a lot of heavy duty urban driving and it gets mid 20's to low 30's and that is great.
My favorite things would be 1. Comfort. 2. A really nice quick pedal with no lag. 3. Reliability. 4. Simplicity. The space is also great as I fill up the entire vehicle including back seat, especially in ski and convention season. I put snow tires on in winter and traction is fine. Even the USB, charging ports and drink holders are a nice layout for me.
I can honestly highly recommend this car to you as a used car presuming decent care. I would bet with good care this car will do many miles pretty trouble free. If I were in the market for this kind of car for myself I'd look for a nice low mileage car, perhaps corporate (not rental) fleet and expect many good miles and years of driving. To my surprise, I have no negatives.
I think this car is a terrific value at it's price points. It is a roomy people and luggage/cargo mover and does everything just right; comfort, power, responsiveness and layout. If you are thinking of one, I'd just spend time on colors and the options you like and go for it.
As I said in my title, I am NOT an American car fan, yet this has been a great car from my least favorite manufacturer (GM). I give it a solid recommendation based on a whole lot of driving under every single condition you can name and it has never let me down or disappointed. Good job, GM and good luck if you decide to get one.