2018 Chevrolet Malibu

MSRP $21,680

Ranked #9 in Sedan

7.4

Overall Rating

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2018 Chevrolet Malibu Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: September 17, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The Chevrolet Malibu is available for sale with a base MSRP of $21,680 and it goes all the way up to $31,020. It is offered in four trims- L, LS, LT, and Premier. The Malibu is also available in hybrid form that is priced at $27,920. 160-hp turbo-4 engine power most of the models while the Premier trim gets a 250-hp four-cylinder engine. Both these engines have been tuned to deliver good fuel economies. 

2018 Chevrolet Malibu three-quarter view

The cabin of the Malibu looks reserved yet modern and offers good levels of space for adults in both rows. In terms of safety, the Malibu offers top safety features through an optional package. New for this year is the Redline Edition package exclusive to the LT trim to give Malibu a sporty look. In the competitive midsize sedan segment, the rivals of the Malibu include the Honda Accord, the Hyundai Sonata, and the Ford Fusion

See detailed review »

Pros

Spacious seats but interior feels cheap

Great fuel economy

Intuitive infotainment system

Good resale value

Agile handling

Cons

Base engine is underpowered

No standard driver-assist features

Slightly less cargo volume

What's New?

Optional Redline Edition package for LT trim


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$21680

bodystyle

dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

155 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

91 cu.in.

horsepower

160 hp @ 5700 rpm

torque

184 lb.-ft. @ 2500 rpm

transmission

6 speed shiftable automatic

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

capacity

passenger volume

102.9 cu ft.

cargo volume

15.8 cu ft.

towing capacity

1000 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.3 sec.

zero to 100 mph

25.3 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

14.3 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

191 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

27/30/36 mpg

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

5 yr./ 60,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

6 yr./100,000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

L$21,680 onwards

Colors and Styles

2018 Chevrolet Malibu in Arctic Blue Metallic color
Arctic Blue Metallic

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

8.0

Engine and Performance

6.0

Fuel Economy

8.0

Interior

6.4

Exterior

7.0

Safety

7.0

7.4

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.4

Overall Rating


The Chevrolet Malibu proves that a dependable family sedan doesn’t have to be boring- CarGurus

The Chevy Malibu has long been one of the most desirable vehicles to ever grace a rental car a lot. But in the consumer market, Chevrolet has been unable to capture a meaningful chunk of market share in the midsize sedan segment. But lately, Chevy has put forth the engineering effort it takes to succeed in the industry's most competitive segment. 

The Malibu's ownership costs are less than some of its segment rivals while its repair costs are on the opposite end. The true cost to own the Malibu is calculated to be $6,500 per year while the average cost per mile is $0.43. This includes fuel, maintenance, repair, finance, insurance, and depreciation. The Malibu also has a great resale value thanks to its good reliability ratings. 


8.0/10
Features

6.0/10
Engine and Performance

8.0/10
Fuel Economy

6.4/10
Interior

7.0/10
Exterior

7.0/10
Safety


2018 Chevrolet Malibu Features

8.0/10

The 5-passenger Malibu is also a technological triumph, offering one of the best infotainment systems- Autotrader

The Chevy Malibu is available in four trims namely L, LS, LT, and Premier. It has a starting price tag of $21,680 and it ranges up to $31,020. These prices exclude the $875 destination fee. Two different engines and transmissions are on offer but the FWD drivetrain is standard throughout the range. The base L model has fewer standard features for its price. 

2018 Chevrolet Malibu three-quarter view

But these features keep increasing as you move on to higher trims. In addition, the Malibu is very competitive in terms of optional packages. The $1,145 Convenience and Technology package adds a leather steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, wireless charging, an 8-inch touchscreen, 120V power outlet, remote engine start, and 18-inch aluminum wheels with all-season tires only on the LT trim. 

Trims L LS LT Premier
MSRP (FWD) $ 21,680 $ 23,320 $ 25,220 $ 31,020
Key Features 16-inch steel wheels Adds/ Upgrades to L trim Adds/ Upgrades to LS  trim Adds/ Upgrades to LT trim
  6-speaker sound system 16-inch alloy wheels LED daytime running lamps 18-inch alloy wheels 
  3.5-inch instrument cluster Chevy MyLink with 7-inch touch-screen 17-in. aluminum wheels Remote Start
  Manually adjustable front seats OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot Ambient lighting 9-speaker Bose premium sound system
  Keyless entry Android Auto and Apple CarPlay 8-way power driver's seat 18-in. aluminum wheels
  Bluetooth connectivity Rearview Camera Heated exterior mirrors 8-inch touchscreen display
      Satellite radio Leather-wrapped & heated steering wheel
      Dual-zone automatic climate control Wireless charging
        Ventilated front leather seats
        6-way power passenger's seat
        4.2-inch instrument cluster
        Remote start

We Recommend

We suggest you buy the LT trim as it is available with an optional Driver Confidence package. This trim also adds 17-inch alloy wheels, LED DRLs, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated exterior mirrors, satellite radio, and an 8-way power driver's seat. 


Also Read:

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Engine and Performance

6.0/10

The high-class Premier trim is surprisingly sporty, with excellent handling and a peppy turbocharged engine- Edmunds

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Engine and Transmission

The standard engine in the Chevy Malibu is a 1.5L turbo inline-4 engine that is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. It is good for 160 hp and 184 lb-ft. of torque. This engine while it's acceptable is installed in probably any Malibu that you have ever rented. The top-end Premier trim is equipped with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine that makes 250 hp and 260 lb-ft. of torque. 

2018 Chevy Malibu engine 

A 9-speed automatic transmission is exclusive to this engine while power is driven to the front wheel only no matter which engine you choose. The driver enjoys a whoosh of power from nearly any point in the rev range. The 9-speed gearbox is a model of sophistication and refinement except for the silly manual shift rocker switch on the top of the gear shifter. 

Models 2018 Chevrolet Malibu 2018 Ford Fusion 2018 Honda Accord 2018 Hyundai Sonata
MSRP $ 21,680 $ 22,120 $ 23,570 $ 22,485
Engine 1.5L Turbo Inline-4 2.5L Inline-4 1.5L Turbo Inline-4 2.4L Inline-4
Drivetrain FWD FWD FWD FWD
Transmission 6-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Automatic CVT 6-Speed Automatic
Power 160 hp @ 5,700 RPM 173 hp @ 6,000 RPM 192 hp @ 5,500 RPM 185 hp @ 6,000 RPM
Torque 184 lb-ft. @ 2,500 RPM 175 lb-ft. @ 4,500 rpm 192 lb-ft. @ 1,600 RPM 178 lb-ft. @ 4000 RPM

With 192 horses galloping under the hood, the Honda Accord takes the top place on the table but is also a pricey option. Also, it is the only car here with a CVT transmission. Both the Hyundai Sonata and the Ford Fusion make decent power for their price tags and also use a 6-speed automatic like the Malibu. 

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Acceleration

Speaking of acceleration, the Chevy Malibu isn't that fast with the base engine equipped. The 0-60 MPH sprint is completed in 8.2 seconds while the quarter-mile run is covered in 16.4 seconds with a top speed of 135 MPH. The optional 2.0L engine bursts to 60 MPH in just 5.9 seconds and further races to the quarter-mile mark in 14.4 seconds. 

2018 Chevrolet Malibu sprints to 60 MPH in 8.2 seconds

The base engine isn't the best engine out there. It has a raspy note to it and while it feels quick off the line, it runs out of steam fast.  The 2.0L's rapid acceleration and the perfectly calibrated 9-speed automatic transmission go a long way forward toward making the Malibu more enjoyable to drive. This is the go-to engine for speed lovers. 

Models 2018 Chevrolet Malibu 2018 Ford Fusion 2018 Honda Accord 2018 Hyundai Sonata
0-60 MPH 8.2 sec 8.9 sec 7.3 sec 7.9 sec
Quarter Mile 16.4 sec 16.6 sec 15.6 sec 16.1 sec
Engine 1.5L 2.5L 1.5L 2.4L

Top Speed

135 MPH 135 MPH 5.3 6.8

The low curb weight and the punchy engine of the Honda Accord help it to accelerate past its rivals in both performance tests. As expected, the Hyundai Sonata is right at the tail of the Accord. But the heavy curb weight and weak base engine of the Ford Fusion made it the slowest contender in this segment. 

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Handling and Steering

The Chevy Malibu is a pleasant car to drive. Around city corners, highway ramps, and twisty corners, the Malibu's handling will impress a lot of buyers. At speed on a freeway, the Malibu feels solidly planted inspiring confidence. GM is doing a great job with its electric steering systems.

2018 Chevrolet Malibu driving view

From the design, size, and shape of the wheel, the Malibu's steering can only be improved by making it a little bit sharper. When driving in town, some people might the ride quality to be stiff. But for the most part, the Malibu rides well even with 19-inch wheels of the Premier trim. 

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Braking

Unlike its acceleration, the brakes in the Chevy Malibu are outstanding. . The front wheels get 11.6-inch ventilated discs while the rear wheels settle for 10.8-inch disc brakes. These brakes are strong to stop this sedan from 60-0 MPH in 117 feet. Compared to its rivals, the Malibu archives the best braking distance in this segment.

2018 Chevrolet Malibu brakes

One of the reasons for its shortest braking distance is its low curb weight. Despite heavy use, they don't display a single hint of fade. The pedal is soft and very responsive while the pedal travel is very less compared to other cars in the segment. Thanks to its great stopping power, the drivers can drive their Malibu confidently on the road 

Models 2018 Chevrolet Malibu 2018 Ford Fusion 2018 Honda Accord 2018 Hyundai Sonata
Brakes Front 11.6 in 11.8 in 11.5 in 12.6 in
Brakes Rear 10.8 in 11.9 in 11.1 in 11.2 in
Curb Weight 3,086 lbs 3,472 lbs 3,131 lbs 3,250 lbs
60-0 MPH 117 ft. 122 ft. 135 ft. 121 ft.

No other car is close to the Malibu's braking performance. However, the Hyundai Sonata manages to come in second place with 121 feet. The brakes in the Honda Accord are very weak and tend to lose their grip. Hence, it has the longest braking distance. The Ford Fusion's brakes do a wonderful job in bringing this heavy sedan to a complete stop in 122 feet. 


Also Read:

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Fuel Economy

8.0/10

With the base 1.5-liter engine, you’ll get one of the best fuel economy ratings for a vehicle this size- Cars.USNews

When it comes to gas mileage, the Chevy Malibu is one of the best in the market. With the base engine equipped, the Malibu returns 27 MPG in the city, 36 MPG on a highway, and 30 MPG combined. These fuel estimates are among the best in the segment as the standard 1.5L engine has a start/stop engine feature that helps to improve fuel economy. 

2018 Chevy Malibu driving view

The more powerful 2.5L engine drops down the fuel economy to 22 MPG in the city, 33 MPG on a highway, and 26 MPG combined but it's still reasonable. A combined range of 498 miles is delivered owing to its 15.8-gallon fuel tank while the Premier model with a 2.5L engine can drive up to 434 miles only. Therefore, the Malibu is one of the best choices for short trips on your weekend. 

Models 2018 Chevrolet Malibu 2018 Ford Fusion 2018 Honda Accord 2018 Hyundai Sonata
MPG (City) 27 21 30 25
MPG (Highway) 36 32 38 36
MPG (Combined) 30 25 33 29
Fuel Tank Capacity 15.8 16.5 14.8 18.5
Range (City/Highway/Combined; Miles) 427/569/498 347/528/437 444/562/503 463/666/564

The Honda Accord has the best fuel ratings in this segment thanks to its fuel-efficient engine. The large fuel tank of the Hyundai Sonata helps it to achieve better fuel estimates and the best range in this competition. On the other hand, the Ford Fusion has the worst MPG figures, though it is not a powerful sedan. 


Also Read:

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Interior

6.4/10

Seat comfort is a strong point in the Malibu- Edmunds

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Seating and Comfort

The Chevy Malibu's cabin has a nice mix of materials and all the areas are softly padded. This five-seater comes standard with cloth upholstery except for the top-end Premier trim that upgrades to perforated leather seats. The front seats are comfortable and are nicely cushioned. The driver's seat is positioned properly with good outward visibility. In the Premier trim, both the front seats are power-adjustable with heated and ventilated functions. 

2018 Chevrolet Malibu dashboard

Upfront, there is plenty of room for an adult. The rear seats are wide and flat and they also supply proper support for long-distance travel. At the back, you can sit comfortably with tons of legroom though, the roof is still pretty low. The higher versions also add rear air vents, USB ports, and a 115V power outlet at the back. Overall, the cabin of the Malibu is executed in a visually consistent and aesthetically pleasing fashion. 

Models 2018 Chevrolet Malibu 2018 Ford Fusion 2018 Honda Accord 2018 Hyundai Sonata
Passenger Capacity 5 5 5 5
Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in) 39.1/58.5/42.0 39.2/57.8/44.3 39.5/58.3/42.3 40.4/57.9/45.5

Second Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

37.5/57.1/38.1 37.8/56.9/38.3 37.3/56.5/40.4 38.0/56.5/35.6

When it comes to front-seat comfort, the Hyundai Sonata excels in this field. It offers the best head and legroom in the front row but fails to provide adequate legroom in the rear row. The Honda Accord offers good levels of passenger space in both rows. The Ford Fusion's cabin is as spacious as the Malibu but its interior quality is much better than the Malibu. 

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Interior Features

Some comfort and technological features of the Malibu are:

  • Power front heated & ventilated seats 
  • Cloth & leather upholstery
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Remote engine start
  • 115V rear power outlet
  • Dual illuminating vanity mirrors
  • Ambient lighting
  • 7 & 8-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Wireless charging
  • 9-speaker Bose premium audio system
  • Wi-Fi hotspot

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Infotainment System

The MyLink infotainment system in the Chevy Malibu is an impressive piece of work. A 7-inch touchscreen display is standard while an 8-inch touchscreen is optional. But both have clear, easy-to-use on-screen menus. The system responds quickly to every input and even has features like a built-in 4G Wi-Fi hotspot if you pay for the subscription. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported as well as Chevy's OnStar telematics service except for the base L trim. 

2018 Chevrolet Malibu infotainment system

The system also comes equipped with modern connectivity features. A standard 6-speaker sound system is good but the sound quality from the 9-speaker Bose premium audio system in the Premier trim is really great. The interface is simple to understand and incorporates minimalism without ruining the user experience. The physical buttons and knobs present below the screen complement a quick change of audio and climate settings.

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Cargo Capacity

At 15.8 cubic feet, the Chevy Malibu's trunk is about the same size or even a little larger than some of the competition. You can fold the back seats down for more storage as well. Like in some cars, the seatbacks don't fold down automatically. You need to pull the release and then go all the way to the second row and pull the seatbacks down manually. 

2018 Chevrolet Malibu trunk volume

But, this is a wide deep trunk with tons of space for family vacations. You could easily fit in three suitcases. The low ground clearance of the vehicle reduces the effort while filling the trunk. However, the loading lip isn't flat. The center cubby is roomy for storing a lot of stuff. There are also really big cupholders on the center console and big door pockets for carrying all your hydration essentials. 

Models 2018 Chevrolet Malibu 2018 Ford Fusion 2018 Honda Accord 2018 Hyundai Sonata
Trunk Volume (cu-ft.) 15.8 16.0 16.7 16.3

The Honda Accord offers the best cargo volume in this competition. Moreover, its trunk has a wide opening, which is not the case with its rivals. Both the Hyundai Sonata and the Ford Fusion have decent cargo capacities for a sedan, leaving behind the Malibu to the last place. Therefore, the Malibu earns the least points for its trunk volume. 

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Exterior

7.0/10

Chevy’s Malibu has a look that’s sporty and current- Carfax

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Dimensions and Weight 

The Malibu looks much like other Chevy cars with the Cruze involved. In general, it looks a little anonymous and doesn't really push the envelope in terms of styling for a midsize four-door sedan. Upfront, the headlights are halogen throughout the range but LED DRLs and taillights are standard from the LT trim onwards. The Malibu has the lowest ground clearance in this segment but that benefits in smooth and effective handling. 

2018 Chevrolet Malibu front angle view

The Malibu gets 17-inch wheels as standard but 18 and 19-inch wheels are optional. It has a wheelbase of 111.4 inches which is almost on par with most of its rivals. Around the back, the sloping roofline adds a good taste to it. The optional Redline Edition package adds black front & rear bowties, 19-inch gloss black wheels with red hash marks, a blacked-out grille, black Malibu badges with a red outline, and black mirror caps.  

Models 2018 Chevrolet Malibu 2018 Ford Fusion 2018 Honda Accord 2018 Hyundai Sonata
Curb Weight 3,086 3,472  3,131  3,250 
Length (in) 193.8 191.7 192.2 191.1
Width (in) 73.0 72.9 73.3 73.4
Height (in) 57.6 58.2 57.1 58.1
Ground Clearance (in) 4.6 5.3  5.8 5.3
Wheelbase (in) 111.4 112.2 111.4 110.4
Track Width (in) F/R 62.6/62.5 62.7/62.4 63/63.4 62.9/63.1

The ground clearance of the Honda Accord is 1.2 inches more than the Malibu. Therefore, you dint have to concern much about its underbody getting damaged while riding on high bumps. The heavy curb weight of the Ford Fusion is the sole reason for its sluggish acceleration. The Hyundai Sonata's wheelbase is the shortest here and hence, it affects its rear legroom badly. 

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Exterior Features

The main exterior features of the Malibu are mentioned below:

  • Halogen headlights
  • LED DRLs & taillights
  • Door courtesy lights
  • Heated exterior mirrors
  • Chrome door handles
  • Dual exhaust tips
  • Black grille with chrome accents
  • Silver window trim
  • 17, 18 & 19-inch aluminum wheels

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Safety

7.0/10

The Chevy Malibu does well in crash tests, but it's missing a few safety bits- The Car Connection

The Chevy Malibu received five out of five stars for its safety from NHTSA, which is really good. It also received a great response from IIHS too. The 'Top Safety Pick' award was given to the Malibu for its great crash-test results. This is the second-highest accolade from the agency. However, it received the lowest 'Poor' rating for its headlights. 

2018 Chevrolet Malibu IIHS crash test

The base L trim does not come with any advanced safety features while the LS trim adds a rearview camera. The LT and Premier models have the option to upgrade to the $1,245 Driver Confidence package that adds a long list of driver assistance features. These features can prevent the risk of an accident and keep the passengers safe. Some of them include:

  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Rear Seat Reminder
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Low-Speed Front Automatic Braking
  • Follow Distance Indicator
  • Teen Driver
  • Front & Rear Parking Sensors
  • Front Pedestrian Braking

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Competition

2018 Chevrolet Malibu vs 2018 Honda Accord

The Honda Accord has the highest starting price in this competition but it certainly deserves it. Although its engine is powerful, it has one of the best fuel economies in this segment. The Accord's interior feels much better than the Malibu and also offers spacious rear seats. Its trunk volume is slightly more than the Malibu. The Accord earns a lot of points in terms of safety as it offers many safety techs as standard. 

2018 Honda Accord

2018 Chevrolet Malibu vs 2018 Ford Fusion

Although the Ford Fusion's base engine makes more power than the Malibu, its offers lackluster acceleration. Also, this engine displays poor fuel efficiency. Like the Malibu, the Fusion offers decent passenger space and trunk volume but its standard infotainment system is outdated. The Fusion is also a Top Safety Pick from IIHS and comes with a good amount of driver-assist technologies. 

2018 Ford Fusion 

2018 Chevrolet Malibu vs 2018 Hyundai Sonata

The Hyundai Sonata makes 25 horses more than the Malibu but it isn't as efficient as the Malibu. It also offers a comfortable and gentle ride like the Malibu. Inside, the Sonata offers a great deal of space in the front row but lacks rear legroom. On the positive side, it offers a larger trunk. The Sonata was honored with the 'Top Safety Pick+' award and offers more standard safety features than the Malibu. 

2018 Hyundai Sonata

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Final Verdict

There is no real reason to not consider the Chevrolet Malibu. In almost every aspect, it runs right down in the middle of the midsize sedan segment. It is a great option for somebody who needs a roomy midsize car easy to live with. While it might not set the new standard among midsize sedans, the Malibu has proven itself to be affordable, likable and most of all, recommendable. 

2018 Chevrolet Malibu three-quarter view

2018 Chevrolet Malibu FAQs

Is there any recall on the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu?

There are a total of 5 recalls imposed on the Chevy Malibu. 

Is the Chevy Malibu reliable?

According to J.D. Power, the Chevy Malibu scored 89 out of 100 and ranks third on the list. 

Is the 2018 Chevy Malibu fast?

The base engine feels underpowered and isn't the best choice for speed lovers. The optional 2.0L engine is pretty quick with a top speed of 155 MPH. 

Does Chevy Malibu have leather seats?

Only the top-end Premier trim comes standard with perforated leather seats. 

Do the back seats fold down in the 2018 Chevy Malibu?

Yes, the rear seats fold down in the Chevy Malibu.   

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