2018 Chevrolet Malibu
- Larger fuel tank on L, LS and LT models
- New Redline Edition appearance package
- Part of the ninth Malibu generation introduced for 2016
- Spacious interior with lots of front-seat headroom
- Hybrid trim offers high efficiency and brisk acceleration
- Responsive and intuitive 8-inch touchscreen interface
- Limited outward visibility
- Six-speed automatic can be unrefined at low speed
- Lackluster acceleration from the base 1.5-liter engine
2018 Chevrolet Malibu pricingin Ashburn, VA
Which Malibu does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating4 / 5
The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu stands out in the midsize sedan field for its sharp looks and mix of appealing qualities. It's loaded with technology and offers a roomy interior. There's also a range of engine choices, including a hybrid option. Overall, we think it's a solid pick.
Since its complete redesign for the 2016 model year, the latest Chevrolet Malibu is very competitive in the midsize sedan category. Some rivals might boast better driving dynamics or more features for the money, but the Malibu provides a solid and stylish all-around package.
Chevrolet has loaded all but the most basic trim with desirable features, which means you won't have trouble finding the features you want. We also like the way the Malibu handles, and acceleration from the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is surprisingly peppy. The Malibu Hybrid is a smooth and refined driver, which returns an impressive 45 mpg combined.
Trim levels & features
For 2018, the Malibu has four trim levels. The base L trim is sparsely equipped, so unless you're looking for the least expensive sedan possible, it's better to step up to the LS or 1LT. Both add a considerable amount of content, although like the L, they rely on a smaller, slightly underpowered engine. The Premier trim comes almost fully loaded and adds a more powerful motor. The Malibu is also available in Hybrid trim with similar features to the LT.
The base L trim comes with a 16-inch steel wheels, keyless entry and ignition, cruise control, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, OnStar, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker audio system, and not much else. Notably, a rearview camera and Bluetooth audio streaming are both lacking.
The minor price hike to the LS trim adds quite a bit of equipment. A rearview camera, 16-inch aluminum wheels, and a Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility are all notable upgrades. You also get laminated side windows, which reduce noise, and a 4G LTE connection with Wi-Fi.
Upgrading to the 1LT trim gets you all of the LS' features, as well as 17-inch wheels, heated mirrors, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat, rear-seat air vents and satellite radio.
The 1LT can also be upgraded with several packages. The Convenience and Technology package adds remote-vehicle start, an auto-dimming mirror and wireless charging pad, and it upgrades the touchscreen interface to an 8-inch screen with navigation. A Leather package is also available, which adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, power front-seat lumbar adjustment, and, oddly, a nine-speaker Bose audio system. The Driver Confidence package adds automatic high beams, front and rear parking sensors, and forward collision warning.
New for 2018 is the Redline Edition appearance package, only available on the 1LT, which adds blacked-out 19-inch wheels along with black and red trim pieces in place of chrome.
The L, LS, and 1LT are all powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine (160 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque) mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The Malibu Hybrid uses a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor, producing a combined 182 horsepower and a noteworthy 277 pound-feet of torque. It comes with the same standard features as the Malibu 1LT and can be upgraded with the Convenience and Technology package, the Leather package and the Driver Confidence package.
Finally, the Premier trim includes all of the 1LT's features, as well as the contents of the Convenience and Technology and Leather packages. The engine is upgraded to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque) and paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Also included are 18-inch wheels, ventilated front seats, driver-seat memory settings, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, and unique exterior styling cues.
The Premier can be upgraded with the Driver Confidence package and the Driver Confidence package II, which includes an electronic parking brake, adaptive cruise control, parking assist, and an automatic forward collision avoidance system. The Premier Sun and Wheel package adds a dual-pane power sunroof, 19-inch wheels and upgraded floor mats.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our First Drive of the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 8-speed automatic | FWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Chevrolet Malibu has received some revisions, including a new nine-speed automatic transmission for the Premier trim in 2017, and the deletion of the 2LT trim level. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Chevrolet Malibu.
Noise & vibration4
Ease of use
Getting in/getting out3.5
Child safety seat accommodation
Audio & navigation
Most helpful consumer reviews
2018 Chevrolet Malibu video
BRYN MACKINNON: I'm Edmond's Editor Bryn MacKinnon, and here's a features rundown of the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu. Among the four trim levels and three power trains, we recommend the Malibu Hybrid LTE. It has a good mix of features, performance, and efficiency. We also suggest adding the optional convenience and technology package. We found the 1.5 liter base engine to be a little weak by comparison and upgrading to the hybrid shouldn't break the bank. We deducted points for the occasionally clumsy transmission that can be sluggish and prone to odd lurches when slowing to a stop. Thick roof pillars and a high rear deck lid can cause some issues for outward visibility. Our rear-view camera is standard on all but the base model Malibu. The standard Malibus have almost 16-cubic feet of trunk space which is about average for the class. Unfortunately, the hybrid is reduced to 11.6 cubic feet, but there is still a rear seat pass through for longer items. The rear seats can accommodate taller passengers, but the sloping roof line can make it feel a little confining back there. The interior is pleasantly modern, but materials quality is only about average for the class. We caution against the lighter colored dashboards as they can cause some distracting reflections. The Chevy MyLink system gets high marks for its ease of use as well as the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You also get a Wi-Fi Hotspot. The front seats are firm, yet comfortable with plenty of lateral support. They're also very spacious with little fatigue to report after several hours behind the wheel. Chevy Malibu's top competitors include Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Mazda 6. Bottom line-- since it's completely redesigned for the 2016 model year, the latest Chevrolet Malibu is very competitive in the midsize sedan category. Some rivals might boast better driving dynamics or more features for the money. But the Malibu provides a solid and stylish all-around package. [MUSIC PLAYING]
2018 Chevrolet Malibu Features Rundown
The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu stands out in the midsize sedan field for its sharp looks and mix of appealing qualities. It's loaded with technology and offers a roomy interior. There's also a range of engine choices, including a hybrid option. In this video, we highlight the key features that matter most. From mpg, interior space and technology to design and comfort - these pros and cons will help steer you toward a perfect car.
Features & Specs
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.
Chevrolet Malibu vs. the competition
2018 Chevrolet Malibu
2018 Toyota Camry
Chevrolet Malibu vs. Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry is the heavy hitter in the midsize sedan segment, and it's fully redesigned for 2018. No matter which trim you specify, the Camry's four-cylinder engine is slightly more fuel-efficient than the Malibu's, and it achieves this edge without an annoying engine stop-start system. A suite of standard safety features bolsters the Camry's value proposition, too. On the downside, the Camry doesn't offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and its cabin can be noisier than the Malibu's.
Chevrolet Malibu vs. Chevrolet Cruze
The Malibu competes in the midsize sedan segment, while the Chevrolet Cruze, as a compact, is a size smaller. The shorter footprint means passengers with long legs might find the Cruze's cabin a little cramped, and interior materials are not as nice as the Malibu's. Naturally, the Cruze is less expensive than its midsize sibling and fuel economy is better. If you like the Malibu but find it's out of your budget, the Cruze is a solid alternative.
Chevrolet Malibu vs. Chevrolet Impala
On the opposite end of Chevrolet's sedan offerings is the full-size Chevrolet Impala. The main reason to get an Impala is its roomier cabin and trunk. It also has an optional V6 engine, which some buyers might prefer over the Malibu's upgraded turbocharged four-cylinder. The Impala's larger size, however, makes it a little harder to park. Also, it typically costs thousands more.
2018 Chevrolet Malibu for Sale
Midsize sedan shoppers should definitely consider the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu. It's been a standout in the class since its full redesign two years ago, a complete reversal from just a few years ago. Chevrolet's redesign made the new Malibu a much more stylish car and gave it an appealing cabin with more space than many other sedans. The 2018 Malibu stands apart from most midsize sedans for its entertaining feel on the road that even extends to the frugal hybrid version.
Behind the handsome new front end, the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu has a choice of three engines: two turbocharged four-cylinder engines, a 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter, making 160 and 250 horsepower, respectively, and a hybrid setup that makes 182 hp and an impressive 277 pound-feet of torque. The optional 2.0-liter offers brisk acceleration, but, thanks to its smooth power delivery and comparable handling, we think the Hybrid is the most pleasing version of the Malibu. Even better, it returns 46 mpg combined (49 city/43 highway).
Aside from the Hybrid (which offer similar features and options to the 1LT trim), the 2018 Malibu has four trim levels: L, LS, 1LT and Premier. The base L trim is disappointingly spare, offering little in the way of amenities beyond air-conditioning, cruise control and a push-button start. It has a Bluetooth phone connection, but no Bluetooth audio streaming.
The LS and 1LT trims will be the most popular versions of the Malibu sedan, offering more features at a reasonable price. Both come with Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and a 7-inch touchscreen display, as well as a rearview camera and more sound insulation to keep the sedan's cabin quiet.
A number of packages are available to upgrade the 1LT with more tech, more active safety features, leather upholstery and a nine-speaker Bose stereo. Like the L, both the LS and 1LT are powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Buyers looking for fuel efficiency and smooth performance should give the Malibu Hybrid a look. It offers the same features as the 1LT and can be upgraded with the same packages.
The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Premier gets all of the 1LT's standard equipment, along with much of its optional technology and luxury upgrades like an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation and leather seats. It also gets the potent 2.0-liter engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission. It's the priciest version of the Malibu, but it also has a lot to offer.
Thanks to its refined driving experience, convenient features and roomy cabin, the newest Malibu manages to stand tall in a crowded and competitive segment. Make sure to read the full Edmunds review to find the trim that's right for you, and take advantage of our shopping tools to find the best deal on a 2018 Chevrolet Malibu.
2018 Chevrolet Malibu Overview
The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu is offered in the following submodels: Malibu Sedan, Malibu Hybrid. Available styles include LT 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), LS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Premier 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A), Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid DD), L 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and LS Fleet 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A).
What do people think of the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 Malibu 4.5 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 2018 Malibu.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 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 2018 Chevrolet Malibu?
2018 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $31,890. The average price paid for a new 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) is trending $9,870 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $9,870 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$22,020.
The average savings for the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) is30.9% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 63 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
2018 Chevrolet Malibu LT 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu LT 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $26,935. The average price paid for a new 2018 Chevrolet Malibu LT 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is trending $9,768 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $9,768 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$17,167.
The average savings for the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu LT 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is36.3% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 247 2018 Chevrolet Malibu LT 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
2018 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $24,140. The average price paid for a new 2018 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is trending $7,581 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $7,581 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$16,559.
The average savings for the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is31.4% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 318 2018 Chevrolet Malibu LS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid DD)
The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid DD) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $28,930. The average price paid for a new 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid DD) is trending $9,754 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $9,754 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$19,176.
The average savings for the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid DD) is33.7% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 26 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid DD) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
Which 2018 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) 2018 Chevrolet Malibu for sale near. There are currently 1551 new 2018 Malibus listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $24,100 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 Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $12,028 on a used or CPO 2018 Malibu available from a dealership near you.
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Find a new Chevrolet Malibu for sale - 7 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $23,307.
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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 2018 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.