2019 Chevrolet Malibu

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2019 Chevrolet Malibu Review: Not The Family Vacation you Were Looking For

Much can be said for the Malibu - with a fresh new look for 2019, and a brilliant Hybrid option included in the range, this mid-size sedan faces some fierce competition in the segment where the brilliance of the Mazda 6, Honda Accord, and Ford Fusion is clearly seen. Sporting a 1.5-liter four-pot on all but the top model where a more impressive 2.0-liter powerplant is housed, the Malibu manages either 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque or 250 hp and 260 lb-ft. With a spacious cabin, fantastic infotainment system and a generally smooth ride, the Malibu manages to hang onto its appeal - for the most part. Frustratingly, the Chevy loses points against rivals for not having standard safety features that are, in this day and age, really expected as factory-fitted on vehicles intended to carry your family; and this, after a very comprehensive redesign for 2019. Add to that glaring negative that the cabin - although well-appointed, and technically ergonomic - is simply quite boring, and one is left wondering whether the Malibu is still quite as exciting as its name would suggest.

Read in this review:

6.6
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2019 Chevrolet Malibu Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2018 Malibu?

The Malibu has had a full redesign for the 2019 model year and is now boasting modern front and rear styling, as well as an upgraded infotainment system featuring an eight-inch touchscreen monitor. A similarly-sized instrument panel screen can also be optioned on additionally. In an effort to lower fuel consumption, the outdated six-speed automatic fitted to the base 1.5-liter engine last year has now been replaced by a new CVT unit. A sporty RS trim has also been added to this year's lineup.

Pros and Cons

  • Spacious cabin with ample headroom
  • User-friendly, updated infotainment system
  • Smooth and pliant ride
  • New RS model
  • Punchy 2.0-liter engine on top-end Premier trim
  • Below average rear cabin space
  • Drab and dull cabin
  • Only two top trims have access to active driver aids
  • Mediocre safety scores

Best Deals on 2019 Chevrolet Malibu

2019 Chevrolet Malibu Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
L
1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$22,090
LS
1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$23,220
RS
1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$24,220
LT
1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$26,620
Hybrid
1.8L Inline-4 Hybrid
2-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$28,220
See All 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Trims and Specs

2019 Malibu Exterior

2019 Chevrolet Malibu Front Angle View Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Malibu Rear View Driving Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Malibu Side View Chevrolet
See All 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 194.2 in
  • Wheelbase 111.4 in
  • Height 57.3 in
  • Max Width 73.0 in
  • Front Width 62.6 in
  • Rear Width 62.5 in
  • Curb Weight 3,126.0 lbs

2019 Malibu Performance

2019 Chevrolet Malibu Front Angle View 1 Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Malibu Rear Angle View Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Malibu Wheel Chevrolet

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 1.8L Inline-4 Hybrid, 2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmissions
    2-Speed Automatic, 9-Speed Automatic, Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

A vehicle such as the Malibu has been designed for comfort over distances, and while it isn't necessarily performance-oriented, it does offer some sportier characteristics. This is evident in the precise and accurate handling characteristics which the Malibu possesses, and the punchy 2.0-liter engine that allows for it to accelerate, overtake, and generally maneuver with enthusiasm. Pliant and composed handling, even when thrown into a sudden corner at speed, is quite impressive for a mid-size sedan. Steering is a little lacking in terms of feedback, but it only needs a light touch to make placing the vehicle easy enough for even inexperienced drivers; more spirited pilots will find it adequate - maybe even fun. One excellent aspect of the Malibu is its braking prowess, beating rivals to a 113-feet emergency stop from 60 mph. The brakes are firm and inspire confidence, although some may feel like they need to apply more pressure than usual. Chevrolet has done a good job with the Malibu; it rides comfortably and absorbs most road imperfections to create a stable and poised overall feel.

2019 Malibu Interior

2019 Chevrolet Malibu Dashboard Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Malibu Front Seats Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Malibu Rear Passenger Seats Chevrolet
See All 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.5 in
  • Front Head Room 39.1 in
  • Rear Leg Room 38.1 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.5 in

2019 Malibu Trunk and Cargo Space

2019 Chevrolet Malibu Trunk Space Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Malibu Rear Bumper Chevrolet
2019 Chevrolet Malibu Taillights Chevrolet
  • Trunk Volume
    15.7 ft³

2019 Malibu Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain Note:
    Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Rust-Through:
    6 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    8 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance Note:
    Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Maintenance Note:
    1 Year \ 1 Visit

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu a good car?

The Malibu has a long history of capably carrying American families on their daily commute, and with a newly refreshed design for this year, things were looking up for this sedan. Sadly, it doesn't score particularly high in crash tests or reliability, mostly because all the valuable driver aids need to be optioned on at extra costs, where almost all rivals include this as standard, with some crucial features not even available on the cheaper models. Still, it offers a decent ride quality, more than adequate performance when equipped with the available 2.0-liter engine, and favorable levels of fuel economy. With pricing as competitive as it is - and taking into account that you will need to add on packages to get the same level of safety as what main rivals offer - it makes sense to shop around before deciding on the Malibu. The Honda Accord offers much more value for money, coming in at a very similar price; so while the Malibu manages to tick some of the boxes, we'd be hard-pressed to say it manages them all.

Check out other Chevrolet Malibu Styles

2019 Chevrolet Malibu Comparisons

Chevrolet Impala Chevrolet
Honda Accord Honda
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Chevrolet Malibu160 hp29/36 mpg$23,400
Chevrolet Impala 305 hp19/28 mpg$31,620
Honda Accord 252 hp22/32 mpg$26,520

2019 Chevrolet Malibu vs Chevrolet Impala

The Malibu's big brother, the Impala, seems like an odd comparison, and it may very well leave you with more questions than answers to compare the two. But it stands to reason that the larger sedan would be more spacious and comfortable, and with a lengthier body, the Impala has much more cabin space, and quite a bit more cargo volume. It also sports a much more impressive base engine, equipped with a 2.5-liter inline-four that supplies 197 hp and 191 lb-ft to the Malibu's 160 hp and 184 lb-ft. The downside of more power is the decrease in fuel efficiency, and with much more to worry about in terms of your fuel budget, there doesn't seem to be much to convince us either way. The Impala, with its bulkier size and heftier price tag, doesn't handle quite as nimbly as the Malibu does, and so, if we had to choose, we'd stick with the smaller sedan purely for its soft and compliant ride and better gas mileage.

See Chevrolet Impala Review

2019 Chevrolet Malibu vs Honda Accord

The Accord also offers two powertrain options, and at only a slightly higher price, it comes well-equipped with many advanced driver aids and safety features which are only available on the top-end Malibu. Both engine options on the Accord are impressive in their capabilities and their generally fuel-efficient nature, and together with adept and sporty handling result in a wonderfully engaging vehicle to drive. The cabin and trunk space on the Accord are only marginally better than what Chevy has managed to put together in the Malibu, but the Honda just presents a better package overall: a classy, roomy cabin a supple ride, good fuel economy and the things that the Malibu lacks the most - safety tech, included as standard from even entry-level models. There really is no contest in this regard - take the Accord, in any guise. It's worth the small increase in price.

See Honda Accord Review
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