2020 Chevrolet Malibu

MSRP $22,970 - $34,195

Ranked #18 in Midsize Sedan

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2020 Chevrolet Malibu Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: September 15, 2021

Amratya Nigam's image
Amratya Nigam 

Automotive Journalist


This updated 2020 Chevrolet Malibu 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

$25095

bodystyle

dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

91 cu.in.

horsepower

160 hp @ 5700 rpm

torque

184 lbs.-ft. @ 2500 rpm

transmission

1 speed CVT

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension

brake rotors (f/r)

11.8/11.3 in.

capacity

passenger volume

102.9 cu ft.

cargo volume

15.7 cu ft.

towing capacity

1000 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

8.2 sec.

zero to 100 mph

25.3 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

16.3 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.

corrosion warranty

6 yr./ 100,000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

L$22,970 onwards

LS$24,095 onwards

RS$25,095 onwards

LT$27,495 onwards

Premier$34,195 onwards

Colors and Styles

2020 Chevrolet Malibu in Cajun Red Tintcoat 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

Pricing and Feature

7.0

Features

6.0

Engine and Performance

6.9

Fuel Economy

6.0

Interior

7.7

Exterior

6.0

Safety

6.0

Competition

8.0

6.6

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

6.6

Overall Rating


The 2020 Chevrolet 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 2020 Malibu and if it poses a threat to the rulers of this segment.

2020 Chevrolet Malibu front angle view
2020 Chevrolet Malibu rear angle 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

8.0/10
Competition


2020 Chevrolet Malibu Features

6.0/10

"A modern mid-size sedan that meets the needs of modern families." - Car and Driver

The mid-size sedan, 2020 Chevrolet 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. A comprehensive chart that describes their features is given below:

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 Chevy Malibu some sporty aesthetics and 18” wheels. It has improved handling as well as leather-wrapped interior which makes the cabin feel more premium. It comes in at an MSRP of $24,220.

2020 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". - The Car Connection

Engine and Transmission of the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu

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.

2020 Chevrolet Malibu driving view

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

2020 Chevrolet Malibu

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Kia Optima

2020 Ford Fusion

MSRP

$23,220

$23,870

$23,390

$23,170

Engine

1.5L I-4 Turbocharged

1.5L Inline-4

2.4L I-4

2.5L I-4

Transmission

CVT

CVT

6-speed automatic

6-Speed Automatic

Horsepower

160hp @ 5700 RPM

192hp @ 5500 RPM

185hp @ 6000 RPM

173hp @ 6000 RPM

Torque

184 lb.-ft. @ 2500 RPM

192 lb.-ft. @ 1600 RPM

178 lb.-ft. @ 4000 RPM

174 lb.-ft. @ 4500 RPM

The main competitor to Malibu, the 2020 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 of the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu

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 sprint takes approx 8.5 seconds.

Models

2020 Chevrolet Malibu

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Kia Optima

2020 Ford Fusion

0-60 MPH(sec)

8.5

7.6

6.8

8.9

Quarter mile(sec)

16.0

15.9

15.2

15.2

Emission

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

5.9

5.3

6.1

7.1

Curb Weight (lb..)

3135

3131

3230

3472

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, Malibu manages to cover up the gap when it competes in the quarter-mile.

Ride and Handling of the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu

Malibu is a comfortable A to B commuter, but the 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 the 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 of the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu

The Malibu’s brakes bite down onto the speed effortlessly without any sudden jerks. However, with 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

2020 Chevrolet Malibu

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Kia Optima

2020 Ford Fusion

Brake Front (in.)

11.8

11.5

12

11.8

Brake Rear (in.)

11.3

11.1

11.2

11.9

70-0 MPH (ft.)

113(60-0)

163

124(60-0)

122(60-0)

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.

2020 Chevrolet Malibu Fuel Economy

6.0/10

"In terms of EPA fuel-mileage estimates, the Malibu's smallest engine underperforms the equivalent base powertrains in the Accord and the Toyota Camry. " - Car and Driver

The 2.0L turbo engine gives you 32 mpg on the highways and 22 mpg in the city. While the EPA readings for the 1.5L engine see 29 miles for the city, 36b miles for the highway and a combined reading of 32 miles to a gallon. It further features a fuel tank measuring 15.8 gallons.

Models

2020 Chevrolet Malibu

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Kia Optima

2020 Ford Fusion

MPG (city)

29

30

25

21

MPG (highway)

36

38

35

31

MPG (combined)

32

33

29

25

Fuel Tank Capacity(Gal.)

15.8

14.8

18.5

16.5

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.

2020 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 of the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu

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.

2020 Chevrolet Malibu front seats

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.

Models

2020 Chevrolet Malibu

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Kia Optima

2020 Ford Fusion

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

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

39.1/58.5/41.5

39.5/58.3/42.3

39.8/58.1/45.5

39.2/57.8/44.3

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

In comparison with its competition, it is the 2020 Kia Optima that measures the largest interior cabin space. However, all the other contenders are just around those dimensions, with a difference of just 1-2 inches. The most spacious rear row is offered by the 2020 Honda Accord.  

Infotainment System of the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu

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 of the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu

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

Cargo Capacity of the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu

The 2020 Chevy sedan has a 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

2020 Chevrolet Malibu

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Kia Optima

2020 Ford Fusion

Cargo Capacity (lb..)

15.7

16.7

15.9

16

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

2020 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 of the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu

The redesigned Malibu comes with a large new grille up front, which redefines the aura from a tame city cruiser to an 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

2020 Chevrolet Malibu

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Kia Optima

2020 Ford Fusion

Curb Weight (lb..)

3135

3131

3230

3472

Length(in)

194.2

192.2

191.1

191.7

Width(in)

73

73.3

73.2

72.9

Height(in)

57.6

57.1

57.7

58.2

Ground clearance (in)

 TBD TBD  5.3

TBD

Wheelbase (in)

111.4

111.4

110.4

112.1

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 go ahead and analyze its exterior features.

Exterior Features of the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu

The 2020 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 2020 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

2020 Chevrolet Malibu Safety

6.0/10

" Although the Chevy sedan can be had with all the high-tech assists that help protect modern families, these options are unavailable on some models." - Car and Driver

Safety Rating of the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rates the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu with an overall safety rating of 4 out of 5 stars. It scores the same in the side crash safety test and roll-over safety test. In the aspect of the frontal crash, it gets a perfect 5 water 5-star rating. We further go ahead to check the safety grade that the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu gets from IIHS, it scores a good grade in almost all the aspects except for Small Overlap Front: Passenger Side and Latch: ease of use. In these two aspects, it scores only a marginal grade.

Safety Features of the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu

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
  • 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

2020 Chevrolet Malibu Competition

8.0/10

2020 Chevrolet Malibu vs 2020 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.

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Chevrolet Malibu vs 2020 Kia Optima

The 2020 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 a resemblance to the Camaro in Malibu’s new front grille.

2020 Kia Optima

2020 Chevrolet Malibu vs 2020 Ford Fusion

The Ford has fused the sedan with a 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. Malibu’s design is much edgier compared to the Fusion which feels tamed and dated.

2020 Ford Fusion

 

2020 Chevrolet Malibu Final Verdict

The Malibu is a 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.

2020 Chevrolet Malibu

 


2020 Chevrolet Malibu FAQs

At what price is the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu offered?

It ranges from a price of $22,090-$31,820.

How many trims are offered for the 2020 Model year?

The 2020 Chevrolet Malibu is offered in a total of 5 trims.

What is the engine configuration of the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu?

The basic engine offering is a 1.5L I-4 cylinder engine that puts out 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque.

What is the fuel economy reading of the 2020 Chevy Malibu?

The 2020 Malibu gets a gas mileage reading of  29/36/32 for city/highway/combined.

How is the warranty offering of the 2020 Chevy Mailbu?

The warranty offering of the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu is as given below:

  • Basic Warranty: 3 yr./ 36000 mi.
  • Drivetrain Warranty: 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
  • Roadside Warranty: 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
  • Rust Warranty: 6 yr./ 100000 mi.
  • Free Maintenance Warranty: 1 yr./ unlimited mi.

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