2019 Chevrolet Malibu

#27
in Sedans
2019 MODEL
$22,090 - $31,820

FILTER BY YEAR

FILTER BY STYLE

INDIGO

2019 Chevrolet Malibu Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide


Amratya Nigam's image

Amratya Nigam Automotive Journalist Updated on: November 2, 2019


This updated Chevy is one of the best designed and well-built sedans in the segment, but despite the flashy design, reminiscent of the Camaro, the Malibu is not picking up in sales numbers. However, that's likely to change. To make its presence felt in the market, the Malibu has kept the price highly competitive and has christened the engine with a great fuel economy and, of course, power.

Along with all this, comes a new updated infotainment and a long list of safety features that are now standard across the lineup. The whole package ties in neatly and weaves an affordable overall deal which not only performs in the city but also on the highways. The 1.5L, turbocharged engine introduced last year gets an upgraded transmission setup which now brings the Malibu closer to the performance category.

See detailed review »

Pros

Redesigned front fascia

Smooth powertrain

Great city cruiser

Good interior material quality

Cons

Low on juice for highways

Lacks athleticism

Lackluster cabin

What's New?

New transmission for turbo 1.5-liter engine

New front and rear styling

Upgraded infotainment system


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$22090

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

130 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

91 cu.in.

horsepower

160 hp @ 5700 rpm

torque

184 lbs.-ft @ 2500 rpm

transmission

continuously variable-speed automatic

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

62.6/62.5

dimensions

wheelbase

111.4 in.

length

194.2 in.

width

73 in.

height

57.3 in.

curb weight

3126 lbs.

capacity

passenger volume

38.8 cu ft.

cargo volume

39.6 cu ft.

towing capacity

1000 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

8.2 sec.

zero to 100 mph

25.3 sec.

standing ¼-mile

16.4 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

29/32/36 mpg

highway range

568.8 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr. / 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr. / 60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

60 months. / 60000

corrosion warranty

5 yr. / 100000 mi.

roadside assistance

5 yr. / 60000 mi.


Pictures & Videos


Styles

 2019 Chevrolet Malibu in Cajun Red Tintcoat color  2019 Chevrolet Malibu in Summit White color  2019 Chevrolet Malibu in Silver Ice Metallic color  2019 Chevrolet Malibu in Shadow Gray Metallic color  2019 Chevrolet Malibu in Sandy Ridge Metallic color  2019 Chevrolet Malibu in Pacific Blue  Metallic color
Cajun Red Tintcoat

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

6.0

Engine And Performance

6.9

Fuel Economy

6.0

Interior

7.7

Exterior

6.0

Safety

6.0

6.4

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2019 Chevrolet Malibu L

L

power
160 hp @ 5700 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$22,090


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
L 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) Starting at $22,090 MSRP (29/32/36) 160 hp @ 5700 rpm, 1.5 L, I-4, regular unleaded
continuously variable-speed automatic front wheel drive 5   Summit White
  Silver Ice Metallic

 2019 Chevrolet Malibu LS

LS

power
160 hp @ 5700 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$23,220


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) Starting at $23,220 MSRP (29/32/36) 160 hp @ 5700 rpm, 1.5 L, I-4, regular unleaded
continuously variable-speed automatic front wheel drive 5   Summit White
  Silver Ice Metallic
  Mosaic Black Metallic
  Shadow Gray Metallic

 2019 Chevrolet Malibu RS

RS

power
160 hp @ 5700 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$24,220


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
RS 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) Starting at $24,220 MSRP (29/32/36) 160 hp @ 5700 rpm, 1.5 L, I-4, regular unleaded
continuously variable-speed automatic front wheel drive 5   Summit White
  Silver Ice Metallic
  Mosaic Black Metallic
  Cajun Red Tintcoat
  Pacific Blue Metallic

 2019 Chevrolet Malibu LT

LT

power
160 hp @ 5700 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$26,620


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LT 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl Turbo CVT) Starting at $26,620 MSRP (29/32/36) 160 hp @ 5700 rpm, 1.5 L, I-4, regular unleaded
continuously variable-speed automatic front wheel drive 5   Sandy Ridge Metallic
  Summit White
  Iridescent Pearl Tricoat
  Silver Ice Metallic
  Cajun Red Tintcoat
  Shadow Gray Metallic

 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Premier

Premier

power
250 hp @ 5300 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
26 combined

$31,820


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Premier 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) Starting at $31,820 MSRP (22/26/32) 250 hp @ 5300 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
9-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5   Sandy Ridge Metallic
  Summit White
  Iridescent Pearl Tricoat
  Silver Ice Metallic
  Cajun Red Tintcoat
  Shadow Gray Metallic

Expert Review

6.4

Overall Rating


Malibu continues to stay in the competition, thanks to its spacious cabin, easy and intuitive infotainment system. However, it still belongs to a segment that is already being ruled by some Japanese manufacturers like Honda and Toyota. Honda's Accord and Toyota's Camry are amongst the best selling vehicles in the country. In fact, the native manufacturer needed to up their game in order to even nudge their reign. And the Malibu is finally here, locked and loaded. Let's move ahead and find out the credibility of the all-new 2019 Malibu and if it poses a threat to the rulers of this segment.

2019 Chevrolet Malibu Front Three-quarter view
2019 Chevrolet Malibu Front Three-quarter view
2019 Chevrolet Malibu Rear Three-quarter view
2019 Chevrolet Malibu Rear Three-quarter view

6.0/10
Features

 

6.9/10
Engine and Performance

 

6.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

7.7/10
Interior

 

6.0/10
Exterior

 

6.0/10
Safety

 
 
 

2019 Chevrolet Malibu Features

6.0/10

The mid-size sedan, Malibu comes in 5 gasoline variants starting from the base model Malibu L at $22,090 all the way to the Premier trim at $31,820 which includes an engine upgrade to a turbocharged 2.0L engine and a 9-speed automatic gearbox.

Model

L

LS

RS

LT

Premier

MSRP

$22,090

$23,220

$24,220

$26,620

$31,820

Key feature

StabiliTrak Electronic

16" aluminum wheels

Black Chevrolet bowtie emblems

LED daytime running lamps

9-speed automatic transmission with overdrive

 

Stability Control System

Acoustic-laminated windshield

Blacked-out grille

LED taillamps

Dual-outlet exhaust with polished tips

 

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Teen Driver technology

Rear spoiler

Outside heated power-adjustable body-color mirrors

18" aluminum wheels

 

Theft-deterrent system with content-theft alarm

Compass and outside temperature displays

18" Black chrome-finish aluminum wheels

17" aluminum wheels

8-inch diagonal HD color touch-screen display

 

Rear Vision Camera

Visor vanity mirrors for driver and front passenger

Dual-outlet exhaust with polished tips

Remote vehicle starter system

Bose 9-speaker premium audio system

   Daytime running lamps

 

8-way power driver seat with power lumbar control

Dual-zone automatic climate control

Wireless charging

   Halogen projector-beam headlamps with automatic exterior lamp control

 

Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob

8-way power driver seat with power lumbar control

Heated and ventilated driver and front passenger seats

   Outside power-adjustable Black mirrors    

 

Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob

   16" steel wheels with painted wheel covers      

 

We Recommend

The best bang for your buck model is the RS trim which gets the Malibu some sporty aesthetics and 18” wheels. It has improved handling as well as leather wrapped interior which makes the cabin feel more premium.

2019 Chevrolet Malibu Engine and Performance

6.9/10

Underhood, the Malibu comes standard with a 1.5-liter turbo-4 rated at 163 horsepower that pairs to a new continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The transmission works well with the turbo engine and features simulated “gears” to eliminate the rubber band feel of older CVTs. - Car Connection

Engine and Transmission

Offered with two engine configurations; a 1.5L inline-4 engine which produces 160 hp and 184 lb-ft, while the 2.0L turbocharged engine makes 250 hp and 260 lb-ft torque. The base level engine delivers smooth power from the get go, but you want the punch, you should opt for the 2.0L turbo instead.

Power is transferred through the CVT to the front wheels, which simulates gear shifts pretty well and makes the Malibu a great sedan to drive around the city and on the highway. Although the lack of power is pretty apparent once you jam the pedal. The 9-speed automatic which comes paired to the 2.0L feels solid and responsive with good in-gear acceleration.

Models

Chevrolet Malibu

Honda Accord

hKia Optima

Ford Fusion

Toyota Camry

Buick Regal Sportback

Hyundai Sonata

MSRP

TBD

$23,720

$22,900

$22,840

$23,845

$25,995

$22,300

Engine

1.5L I-4 Turbocharged

1.5L Inline-4

2.4L I-4

2.5L I-4

2.5l I-4

2.0L Inline-4

2.4L Inline-4

Transmission

CVT

CVT

6-speed automatic

6-Speed Automatic

8-speed automatic

9-speed automatic

6-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC

Horsepower

160hp @ 5700 rpm

192hp @ 5500 rpm

185hp @ 6000 rpm

175hp @ 6000 rpm

203 hp @ 6600 rpm

250 @ 5400

185 @ 6000

Torque

184 lb.-ft. @ 2500 rpm

192 lb.-ft. @ 1600 rpm

178 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm

175 lb.-ft. @ 4500 rpm

184 lb.-ft @ 5000 rpm

260 @ 2000-5200

178 @ 4000

The main competitor to the Malibu, the Honda Accord comes with a 1.5L inline-4 engine which manages to produce 192 hp, 32 hp more than the Chevy. The Kia Optima and Ford Fusion also offer stiff competition, with 2.4L four-bangers under the hood.

Acceleration

The sedan accelerates smooth and without any jerks from a standstill, but it lacks brute force which becomes apparent when you gun the sedan on the highway or try to accelerate hard. In the sprint to 60mph, the official tests are yet to be conducted, but based on previous gen the sprint takes approx 8.5 seconds.

Models

Chevrolet Malibu

Honda Accord

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Toyota Camry

Buick Regal Sportback

Hyundai Sonata

0-60 MPH(sec)

8.5*

7.6*

6.8*

8.9*

7.5s

6.2

6.8

Quarter mile(sec)

16.0*

15.9*

15.2*

15.2*

15.9

N/A*

15.8

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

5.9*

5.3*

6.1*

7.1*

-

7.4*

-

Curb Weight (lb..)

3126

3131*

3411*

3431*

3241

3748

3247

The rivals in this segment have better figures in response. The Kia Optima attains the same in 6.8 seconds, while the Honda Accord takes 7.6 seconds to reach the mile-a-minute mark. However, the Malibu manages to cover up the gap when it competes in the quarter mile.

Ride and Handling

Malibu is a comfortable A to B commuter, but athleticism is not a trait it can boast. The suspension is soft and compliant, absorbing most of the bumps before they reach the cabin, however a few sharp ones manage to sneak past the security. The steering is numb and lacks feedback, as is the case with most sedans in this segment.

Quite unlike the hybrid, you won’t get the immediate rush of torque from get go. The power comes gradually, a bit too much so to be even called punchy. The throttle response is rather diluted and mellow, great for cruising, but if you feel adventurous, the Malibu bails out.

Braking

The Malibu’s brakes bite down onto the speed effortlessly without any sudden jerks. However, sudden braking the brakes panic and the suspension has a hard time keeping up. The 11.8-inch discs up front are larger than you find on most sedans and are ventilated for better heat dissipation.

Models

Chevrolet Malibu

Honda Accord

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Toyota Camry

Buick Regal Sportback

Hyundai Sonata

Brake Front (in.)

11.8

11.5*

12

11.8

12

NA

12

Brake Rear (in.)

11.3

11.1*

11.2

11.9

11

NA

11.2

70-0 MPH (ft.)

113(60-0)

163

124(60-0)

122(60-0)

122 (60-0 MPH)

162

TBD

When the brakes are put through their paces in the braking test, the Malibu is the first to come to a halt, while the Kia and Ford need extra tarmac to stop. In terms of pedal response, the Accord is the sedan to be in, with excellent brake modulation.

2019 Chevrolet Malibu Fuel Economy

6.0/10

The mileage for 2019 Malibu hasn’t been tested for the 1.5L engine yet, but the 2.0L turbo engine gives you 32 mpg on the highways and 22 mpg in the city. Based on the figures from the outgoing model, we estimate similar or a slight improvement in numbers from 36 mpg on the highways and 27 in the city.

Models

Chevrolet Malibu

Honda Accord

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Toyota Camry

Buick Regal Sportback

Hyundai Sonata

MPG (city)

TBD

30

24

21

29

22

26

MPG (highway)

TBD

38

33

32

41

32

35

MPG (combined)

TBD

33

27

25

34

26

29

Fuel Tank Capacity(Gal.)

15.8

14.8

18.5

16.5

14.5

16.3

18.5

The Honda Accord is the one to keep an eye on, with the skyrocketing mpg in the city as well as the highways. The ones that lag behind are the Optima and especially the Fusion, particularly because of the 2.4L engines which drink like camels.

2019 Chevrolet Malibu Interior

7.7/10

Front-seat passengers have comfortable thrones that offer a good view out. Most 2019 Malibus on dealer lots have an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, but a 6-way manual seat is standard. - car and driver

Seating and Comfort

The seats in the Chevy have great bolstering and support, creating a comfortable habitat for long rides. Even the back seats are accommodating, however the middle seat is best avoided for long journeys. The materials in the cabin are soft and premium to touch, while road and engine noise is effectively muted out

Models

Chevrolet Malibu

Honda Accord

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Toyota Camry

Buick Regal Sportback

Hyundai Sonata

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

40.1/58.5/45.3

39.5/58.3/42.3

39.8/58.1/45.5

39.2/57.8/44.3

38.3/57.7/42.1

39.6/55.5/41.5

40.4/ 57.9/ 45.5

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

37.5/57.1/38.1

37.3/56.5/40.4

37.8/56.4/35.6

37.8/56.9/38.3

38/55.7/38

37.8/54.5/34.6

38.0/56.5/ 35.6

The eight way adjustable seats and the telescopic steering are easy to customize according to the driver’s needs, meanwhile providing excellent visibility all around. Comparatively the sedans in the segment have very similar interior character, with most manufacturers focussing their attention on providing optimal passenger comfort.

Cargo Capacity

The Chevy sedan has good capacity to store your cargo at the back. The loading and unloading height is low enough so you needn’t strain your back. The interior storage is below average compared to the rest of the segment.

Models

Chevrolet Malibu

Honda Accord

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Toyota Camry

Buick Regal Sportback

Hyundai Sonata

Cargo Capacity (lb..)

15.8

16.7

15.9

16

14.1

19.2

16.3

The Honda Accord has a slight advantage of almost 1 cubic feet over the Malibu, thus winning the battle of practicality. The Fusion and Optima also have similarly mediocre sized trunks at the rear.

Infotainment System

The Malibu has good standard infotainment features, but it lacks standard driver aids and active safety features that are now common in the class. The standard 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and the range of OnStar services are excellent, and Wi-Fi is standard on all but the base trim.

Interior Features

To up their game, Chevrolet has blessed the Malibu with a plethora of features inside. Apart from the infotainment system, other highlights of the Malibu's cabin include:

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control with cabin air filter
  • Leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel
  • Power tilt/sliding sunroof
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support
  • 6-way power-adjustable front passenger seat
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Heated rear outboard seats
  • Illuminated visor vanity mirrors for driver and front passenger

2019 Chevrolet Malibu Exterior

6.0/10

Malibu casts an upscale shadow thanks to its long roofline and three side windows. Its sides are voluptuous, but not excessively so. Up front, an extra-wide grille is flanked by narrow strips of headlights. Chrome detailing ties it all together nicely. - Edmunds

Design and Dimensions

The redesigned Malibu comes with a large new grille up front, which redefines the aura from a tame city cruiser to a edgy modern sedan. The long sloping roofline makes the rear visually stunning and the chrome styling accents the fascia perfectly. The sharp geometrical LED daytime running lights give the sedan a futuristic flair.

Models

Chevrolet Malibu

Honda Accord

Kia Optima

Ford Fusion

Toyota Camry

Buick Regal Sportback

Hyundai Sonata

Curb weight (lb..)

3126

3131

3219

3411

3241

3748

3247

Length(in)

193.8

192.2

191.1

191.7

192.1

192.9

191.1

Width(in)

73

73.3

73.2

75.6

72.4

73.3

73.4

Height(in)

57.6

57.1

57.7

58.1

56.9

57.3

58.1

Ground clearance (in)

 TBD    5.3

 

5.7

N/A

 

Wheelbase (in)

111.4

111.4

110.4

112.1

111.2

111.4

110.4

The size is perfect to maneuver around city blocks and tight parking lots. Although the Chevy is a bit longer than most, it’s also a bit narrower and weighs less than most of the cars in this segment. Let’s head inside and analyze its cabin next.

Exterior Features

The 2019 Malibu poses a sleek exterior with most of the design elements fusing into each other fluidly. The large grill, however, throws a bold statement onto the spectators with a massive blackened grille that is split in two. There are a few curvy lines along the sides of the vehicle that add more character to the vehicle. The rear sums up the look with a flattened trunk and a small lip spoiler adding more to the sportiness factor. That said, some of the key highlights of the 2019 Malibu's exterior are:

  • Halogen projector-beam headlamps with automatic exterior lamp control
  • LED DRLs and taillamps
  • Body-colored antenna
  • 18-inch aluminum wheels
  • Exterior heated, power-adjustable, body-colored mirrors
  • Dual-outlet exhaust with polished tips
  • Chrome door handles with body-color inserts
  • Bright sill plates

2019 Chevrolet Malibu Safety

6.0/10

The Chevrolet Malibu has not just been redesigned visually, the safety and driver assistance features have also been brushed up and made ready for 2019. The standards features you’d expect to find are:

  • StabiliTrak, stability control system with brake assist includes...
  • Braking control, ECM grade
  • Daytime Running Lamps, integral to headlamps
  • Airbags, 10 total, frontal and knee for driver and front...
  • OnStar and Chevrolet connected services capable (Fleet orders...
  • Chevrolet Connected Access with 10 years of standard...
  • Rear Vision Camera
  • Rear seat reminder
  • LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Top tethers for CHildren), for...
  • Door locks, rear child security
  • Trunk latch, safety, manual release
  • Tire Pressure Monitor System

2019 Chevrolet Malibu Competition

Chevrolet Malibu vs Honda Accord

The Honda Accord has long been revered as the class leader of the mid-size sedan segment. It has the perfect blend of performance, economy, utility and technology. Compared to the Malibu, the Honda not only has a brawnier engine, the driving dynamics are also much more refined. The interiors focus on function rather than fancy in both of these sedans. From the outside, the design are equally impressive and completely subjective. Overall, the Honda sits a notch higher than the Chevy in the segment.

Chevrolet Malibu vs Kia Optima

The Kia Optima comes with the same engine as the Hyundai Sonata; the 2.4L inline-4, which makes 185 hp, while the 1.4L engine on the Malibu manages to make 160. The smaller displacement also means that the Chevy gives you better fuel economy. On the inside the Optima uses space optimally to keep the rear roomy for taller passengers, while the middle seat in the Malibu gets cramped. The front grille of the Optima resembles the iconic Stinger GT, while some would find resemblance of the Camaro in Malibu’s new front grille.

Chevrolet Malibu vs Ford Fusion

The Ford has fused the sedan with mix of comfort and practicality, but the engine lacks the punch you’d expect considering it comes with a 2.4L engine. Even in terms of fuel economy the Malibu has better mileage. The Sync3 optional infotainment in the Ford Fusion is the best in class available, compared to the one on the Chevy, it’s far better. The Malibu’s design in much more edgy compared to the Fusion which feels tamed and dated.

2019 Chevrolet Malibu Final Verdict

The Malibu is an fun and reliable sedan from Chevrolet, it has refined handling and performance and the styling has been revised to fit in 2019. Both the engine configurations make good power and are responsive to the throttle, especially the 250 hp 2.0L turbo engine. The interiors and the infotainment are fundamental and functional, with no fancy bells and whistles. The Chevrolet Malibu may not be the best in the segment, but it’s a good option for those who don’t want to buy any run-of-the-mill sedan.