For those looking for a new Chevy sedan, the 2023 Malibu is the best option because it’s the only option. In a segment full of more impressive alternatives viz Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata– Malibu is our least favorite. It’s not that we don’t appreciate its comfortable interior or pleasant driving nature; what’s more, the Bu isn’t as well-equipped as the competition, and its interior is blown away by lackluster materials. Still, we think, like us, most buyers will find the looks attractive, and the sedan’s standard turbo four-cylinder engine is powerful enough to get you from A to B without attracting attention. What the 2023 Chevy Malibu lacks in standard driver assistance systems, it makes up for with a list of desirable infotainment features, including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Plus, people who need tech like blind-spot monitoring or adaptive cruise control can add them — they just cost extra.
What’s new in 2023?
Horsepower enthusiasts will be disappointed to learn that the 2023 Malibu will lose its most powerful engine. That’s because the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a capacity of 250 hp. turbocharged was cancelled. Along with it comes the top-level Premier trim, which is essentially a replacement for the 2LT. Other than that, Chevy’s family sedan hasn’t changed.
Pricing and which one to buy
We recommend buying the LT trim, as it comes with more standard features than the humble LS. The LT comes standard with 17-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote engine start, heated front seats, and a power driver’s seat. Every LT also has automated emergency braking and lane-keep assist, but a blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert can be added with the $545 Driver Confidence package. For a sportier look, we can recommend the Sport Edition or the 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 available with only one transmission. There are also no hybrid or all-wheel drive options. The Chevy is powered by a 163-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that drives the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The version we tested recorded a completely average zero to 60 mph time of 7.8 seconds. This combination is slower than similar competitors in our acceleration tests, but it provides a smooth, even pull. For those who want a speed demon for the whole family, check it out Hyundai Sonata N Line or Kia K5 GTwhich both have 290hp engines that propel them to 60mph in about 5 seconds.
Fuel economy and real mpg
In terms of EPA fuel mileage estimates, the Malibu’s single engine trails equivalent base powertrains in the Accord and Toyota Camry. The Chevy is rated at 30 mpg combined, down 2 mpg from last year. Still, its 1.5-liter turbocharged engine returned a respectable 34 mpg over the course of our fuel-efficient highway route at 75 mph. For more information on fuel economy in the Malibu, visit EPA website.
Interior, comfort and cargo
Although the interior of the Malibu is not the most fancy and quiet, it is comfortable and ergonomic. The interior has competitive passenger space and options, but most alternatives have better outward visibility. The Malibu’s symmetrical dashboard and large opening under the center pillar make the cabin spacious. The front seats have a wide base and supportive side bolsters, but their backs are too narrow for some passengers. The rear seat has less legroom than the Accord’s rear seat, but it still fits our adult frames. The Malibu boasts a large trunk with ample carry-on luggage space; it also has plenty of interior storage space, even if it’s not class-leading.
Infotainment system and communication
Chevy fits every Malibu with a touchscreen infotainment system that includes plenty of desirable options — Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. While the touch interface is easy to interpret, the system loses ground compared to the competition and lacks a convenient rotary control knob as a secondary way to interact with the interface.
Safety features and driver assistance
Although a Chevy sedan can be had with everything high-tech aids that help protect today’s families, none of them are standard. For more information on Malibu crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute of Road Safety (IIHS) websites. Key security features include:
- Automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection is available
- A lane departure warning system with lane assist is available
- Adaptive cruise control is available
Warranty and maintenance
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 only offers one free scheduled maintenance, while the Camry offers two years or 25,000 miles.
- The limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- The transmission is warranted for five years or 60,000 miles
- Free service is paid for the first visit
2019 Chevrolet Malibu 1.5T RS
front engine, front wheel drive, 5-seat, 4-door sedan
PRICE ACCORDING TO TESTING
$25,840 (base price: $25,095)
turbocharged intercooled DOHC, 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
91 U.A., 1490 cubic meters
160 horsepower at 5,700 rpm
184 lb-ft at 2,500 rpm
Suspension (F/R): Strut/Multilink
Brakes (F/R): 11.8-inch ventilated disc, 11.3-inch disc
Tires: Continental ProContact TX, 245/45R-18 96H M+S TPC
Wheelbase: 111.4 inches
Length: 193.8 inches
Width: 73.0 inches
Height: 57.6 inches
Passenger volume: 108 cubic feet
Trunk capacity: 16 cubic feet
Curb weight: 3184 lbs
Zero to 60 mph: 7.8 seconds
Zero to 100 mph: 22.3 seconds
Zero to 120 mph: 41.6 seconds
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 9.1 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 4.3 s
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.8 sec
Standing ¼ mile: 16.1 seconds at 87 mph
Top speed (limited by governor, manufacturer’s claim): 130 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 167 feet
Road resistance, 300 feet in diameter: 0.88g
Recorded: 25 mpg
Highway driving at 75 mph: 34 mpg
Highway distance: 540 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 32/29/36 mpg