Challenging our expectations of what a Chevrolet midsize sedan should be, the 2016 Malibu is turning heads.
Following in the wake of the stylish new Hyundai Sonata, the Chevrolet Malibu is a good choice in its own right.
In the release, Jesse Ortega, Malibu chief engineer said, “Midsize car customers tell us they want great fuel economy and connected technologies, wrapped in a gorgeous exterior. This is exactly what the 2016 Malibu was engineered to do.”
The all-new Malibu wears Chevrolet’s modern global design language. It features slim, sweptback headlights and a contemporary take on the brand’s classic grille. The creases along the sides bring some drama to the overall look.
Compared to the previous model, the hood and cowl on this Malibu are lower to aid aerodynamics. The active grille shutters on LS and LT models takes that effort a step further.
Under the sleek exterior, the new Malibu boasts a stronger and lighter structure. Despite having a longer wheelbase and being longer overall, this model is nearly 300 lbs lighter.
The longer wheelbase allows the Malibu to offer more cabin space and functionality. Rear seat legroom is increased 1.3 inches.
A greater emphasis was placed on comfort and convenience. As with all new GM products, the Malibu comes standard with OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot. Wireless phone charging is also available.
At launch, Malibu’s with the 7-inch MyLink infotainment system will be compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. However, the 8-inch version of MyLink will only have access to Apple CarPlay, but Android Auto compatibility may be available later in the year.
Also available on the 8-inch MyLink system is the all-new Teen Driver feature. This allows parents to restrict certain vehicle functions to support safer driving and to view their kids’ driving statistics such as maximum speed, warning alerts and more.
Powering the standard 2016 Malibu is an all-new Ecotec 1.5-litre turbo. This is part of GM’s new global family of small-displacement gas engines engineered for greater power density and enhanced efficiency. The 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque is adequate, and the estimated 9.3L/100km of city driving is an 8-percent increase over the current model. It is mated to a 6-speed automatic.
If you are looking for more performance, a higher-output 2.0-litre turbo is available. Producing 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, it is also the first front-wheel drive GM vehicle fitted with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
However, the darling of the lineup is the all-new Malibu Hybrid. Using components and knowledge from the plug-in Chevrolet Volt, a 1.8-litre 4-cylinder gas engine is paired to a 2-motor electric drive unit. The electric motor provides additional power to aid acceleration and combines for a total system output of 182 hp. An 80-cell, 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack allows the Malibu Hybrid to travel up to 88 km/h on electricity alone.
All said and done, the Malibu Hybrid maintains the styling, comfort, driving dynamics and connectivity of gas-only models, but achieves fuel economy of 5.0L/100km of combined driving.
What do you think about the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu? Is this what you expect when you think about the Malibu?