2023 Chevrolet Malibu Review, Pricing, and Specs (2024)

Starting at $26,095

6/10

C/D RATING

Specs

Photos

2023 Chevrolet Malibu Review, Pricing, and Specs (1)

Chevrolet

6/10 C/D RATING

Specs

Photos

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  • Highs Attractive appearance, cushy ride and competent handling, terrific standard infotainment features.
  • Lows Mediocre interior materials, most rivals are better equipped, can’t turn off engine stop/start.
  • Verdict Chevy Malibu isn’t a bad car, it’s that it has grown stale compared with its more impressive and evolved peers.
By Eric Stafford

Overview

For those seeking a new Chevy sedan, the 2023 Malibu is the best option because, well, it’s the only option. In a segment full of more impressive alternatives—namely the Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata—the Malibu is our least favorite. It’s not that we don’t appreciate its comfy interior or pleasant driving character; it’s more that the ‘Bu isn’t as well-equipped as rivals and its cabin is undermined by lackluster materials. Still, we think that, like us, most shoppers will find its exterior styling attractive, and the sedan’s standard turbo four-cylinder engine is potent enough to get from A to B without drawing attention to itself. What the 2023 Chevy Malibu lacks in standard driver assists it makes up for with its roster of desirable infotainment features, including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Plus, folks who want tech such as blind-spot monitoring or adaptive cruise control can add them—they just cost extra.

What's New for 2023?

Horsepower fans will be disappointed to learn the 2023 Malibu is losing its most powerful engine. That’s because the 250-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder has been dropped. With it goes the top-level Premier trim, which is essentially replaced by the 2LT. Other than that, Chevy’s family sedan is unchanged.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

The price of the 2023 Chevrolet Malibu starts at $26,095 and goes up to $32,595 depending on the trim and options.

    We recommend buying the LT trim, as it comes with more standard features than the lowly LS. The LT comes standard with 17-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote engine start, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver's seat. Every LT also features automated emergency braking and lane-keeping assist, but a blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert can be added with the $545 Driver Confidence package. For a sportier look, might we recommend the Sport Edition or Midnight Edition, which add black 19-inch wheels and black body trim.

    Engine, Transmission, and Performance

    Unlike many other family sedans, the 2023 Malibu is only available with a single powertrain. There’s also no hybrid or all-wheel-drive option. The Chevy features a dutiful 163-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that drives the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The version we tested recorded a wholly average 7.8-second zero-to-60-mph time. This combination is slower than similar rivals in our acceleration tests, but it delivered a smooth, even pull. For those who want a speed demon for the whole family, check out the Hyundai Sonata N Line or the Kia K5 GT, which both have 290-hp engines that’ll shoot them to 60 mph in about 5 seconds.

    View Photos

    Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

    In terms of EPA fuel-mileage estimates, the Malibu's lone engine underperforms the equivalent base powertrains in the Accord and the Toyota Camry. The Chevy is rated at 30 mpg combined, which is 2 mpg less than last year. Still, its turbocharged 1.5-liter managed a respectable 34 mpg over the course of our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route. For more information about the Malibu's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.

    Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

    While the Malibu's interior is not the fanciest or the quietest, it is comfortable and ergonomically friendly. The cabin has competitive passenger space and options, but most alternatives have better outward visibility. The Malibu's symmetrical dashboard and the large opening beneath the center stack make the co*ckpit feel spacious. The front seats have a wide base and supportive side bolster, but their back cushions are too narrow for some occupants. The back seat has less legroom than the Accord's back seat, but it still fit our adult frames. The Malibu boasts a big trunk with ample carry-on capacity; it also has plenty of interior storage space even though it doesn't lead the class.

    View Photos

      Infotainment and Connectivity

      Chevy fits every Malibu with a touchscreen infotainment system that includes many desirable options—Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. While the touchscreen interface is easy to interpret, the system is losing ground versus the competition, and it lacks a convenient rotary control knob as a secondary way to interact with the interface.

        Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

        Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)

        2023 Chevrolet Malibu Review, Pricing, and Specs (4)2023 Chevrolet Malibu Review, Pricing, and Specs (5)2023 Chevrolet Malibu Review, Pricing, and Specs (6)2023 Chevrolet Malibu Review, Pricing, and Specs (7)2023 Chevrolet Malibu Review, Pricing, and Specs (8)

        View Crash Test Results

        Although the Chevy sedan can be had with all the high-tech assists that help protect modern families, none of them are standard. For more information about the Malibu's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

        • Available automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
        • Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
        • Available adaptive cruise control

        Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

        The Malibu has competitive limited and powertrain warranties, but its corrosion protection and roadside assistance are longer than most rivals in this matchup. Likewise, the Chevy offers just one complimentary scheduled maintenance visit while the Camry is covered for two years or 25,000 miles.

        • Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
        • Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
        • Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit

        2023 Chevrolet Malibu Review, Pricing, and Specs (9)

        Specifications

        Specifications

        2019 Chevrolet Malibu 1.5T RS

        VEHICLE TYPE
        front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

        PRICE AS TESTED
        $25,840 (base price: $25,095)

        ENGINE TYPE
        turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
        Displacement
        91 cu in, 1490 cc
        Power
        160 hp @ 5700 rpm
        Torque
        184 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm

        TRANSMISSION
        continuously variable automatic

        CHASSIS
        Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
        Brakes (F/R): 11.8-in vented disc, 11.3-in disc
        Tires: Continental ProContact TX, 245/45R-18 96H M+S TPC

        DIMENSIONS
        Wheelbase: 111.4 in
        Length: 193.8 in
        Width: 73.0 in
        Height: 57.6 in
        Passenger volume: 108 cu ft
        Trunk volume: 16 cu ft
        Curb weight: 3184 lb

        C/D
        TEST RESULTS
        Zero to 60 mph: 7.8 sec
        Zero to 100 mph: 22.3 sec
        Zero to 120 mph: 41.6 sec
        Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 9.1 sec
        Top gear, 30–50 mph: 4.3 sec
        Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.8 sec
        Standing ¼-mile: 16.1 sec @ 87 mph
        Top speed (governor limited, mfr's claim): 130 mph
        Braking, 70–0 mph: 167 ft
        Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.88 g

        C/D
        FUEL ECONOMY
        Observed: 25 mpg
        75-mph highway driving: 34 mpg
        Highway range: 540 miles

        EPA FUEL ECONOMY
        Combined/city/highway: 32/29/36 mpg

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