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2018 Chevrolet Malibu

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
6 photos

Chevrolet Malibu highlights

Customer rating

Pros

  • Spacious interior
  • Sporty handling
  • Quick hybrid acceleration
  • Responsive and user-friendly touchscreen

Cons

  • Mediocre base engine acceleration
  • Clumsy transmission at low speeds
  • Sparsely equipped base trim
  • Touchscreen prone to glare and smudging

Mileage (EPA estimate)

22 city, 32 highway, 26 combined

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Year
Mileage

2018 Chevrolet Malibu makes appealing mix of family features

Two years on from a full redesign, the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu quietly added a special Redline Edition package to the lineup. Only available for LT trims, the Redline Edition included, ironically, a blackout trim package with 19-inch black aluminum wheels, a black grille and mirror accents, and black Chevy bowtie logo and nameplates.

The 2018 Malibu carried over the same appealing mix of features introduced two years earlier, including optional perforated leather upholstery, ventilated seats and an array of driver assistance features. Rivals like the Honda Accord — redesigned for 2018 — began including some driver assistance features as standard equipment, setting a trend that continues today. For 2018, new features included a standard rearview camera (to comply with federal law) and a power sunroof for upper trims.

All Chevrolet Malibu years

What is new for the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu?

  • Flex Fuel Vehicle features are now available as options on select trims.

2018 Chevrolet Malibu trims

Curious how Chevrolet Malibu trims differ? Use our side-by-side vehicle comparison to see the differences and similarities

L:

  • 160-hp, 184-lb-ft of torque 1.5L
  • Smart Key
  • Cloth Seats
  • Cruise Control
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Power Mirrors
  • Rear Defroster
  • Side Airbags
  • Traction Control

LS:

  • Includes all features available on the L
  • Rear View Camera
  • Alloy Wheels
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay

LT:

Premier:

  • Includes all features available on the LT
  • 250-hp, 260-lb-ft of torque 2.0L
  • Leather Seats
  • Memory Seats
  • Front Seat Heaters
  • A/C Seats
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Remote Start
  • BOSE Sound System
  • Navigation System
  • View our Chevrolet Malibu Premier inventory

Chevrolet Malibu photos

5 reasons to buy the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu

What We Like

Driving: Whether you want maximum fuel economy, a mix of power and efficiency or a satisfying dollop of speed, the Malibu covers it. The standard turbo four-cylinder generates a meager 160 horsepower, but its low-end torque is useful for short bursts of power in everyday driving. The optional turbo four-cylinder upgrade makes 250-hp and can dash from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. The Hybrid is the underrated hero, however. It’s surprisingly quick, smooth and returns an EPA-estimated 46 mpg combined.

Interior: The Malibu’s interior quality is a highlight of both the car and the class. Even the standard upholstery feels a notch above average, while the soft-touch surfaces, metal accents and weighty buttons and switches feel more like entry-level luxury than mainstream economy sedan. Sleek, sporty gauges, a tablet-style touchscreen, and flowing dash design all contribute to the Malibu’s modern feel.

Comfort: Ample sound insulation helps keep outside noise out of the Malibu, while rear seat legroom expands compared to the previous-generation car. A longer wheelbase helps open up more of the backseat, which can comfortably accommodate two tall passengers, but it also contributes to the 2018 Malibu’s more lively handling feel and overall ride comfort.

What Needs Improvement

Transmissions: The Malibu’s balky automatic transmissions — six-speed for the base engine, nine-speed for the upgraded turbo — often feel sluggish or clumsy, with rough downshifts while slowing, or lurching just before stops. The hybrid has an advantage here, its seamless electric motor and transaxle helping make for smooth slowing or stops, especially in city traffic.

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu is a car that customers like for its good gas mileage and comfortable interior.
4
Excellent

RepairPal gave the Chevrolet Malibu an overall reliability rating of 4 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Excellent. This rating ranks Chevrolet Malibu 10th out of 28 among Midsize Cars.

View RepairPal's full rating of the Chevrolet Malibu

Chevrolet Malibu features and specs

L 2WD 4D Sedan

Standard Features

  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Cloth Seats
  • Cruise Control
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Side Airbags
  • Smart Key
  • Traction Control
  • Turbo Charged Engine
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Flex Fuel Vehicle
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Smart Key

Drive Wheels

Front Wheel Drive (2WD)

Engine size

1.5L

Horsepower

160

Torque (ft-lbs)

184

Engine type

Turbo Gas

Fuel capacity

15.8

Wheelbase

111.4"

Overall length

193.8"

Width

73"

Height

57.6"

Leg room

F 42"/R 38.1"

Head room

F 39.1"/R 37.5"

Front tires

P205/65R16

Rear tires

P205/65R16

Seating capacity

5

Transmission

Automatic

2018 Chevrolet Malibu FAQ

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