2.9 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
29 city, 36 highway, 32 combined
(no current inventory)
The 2019 Malibu’s fundamentals are solid. The front end was updated with a more prominent lower grille, and a continuously variable automatic transmission joined the base 1.5-liter engine for an EPA-estimated 2 mpg combined bump in fuel economy, from an EPA-estimated 30 mpg combined to an estimated 32 mpg combined. Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov. The updated infotainment system offered new software and features, including improved voice controls and a standard eight-inch touchscreen. Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ again came standard. A new RS trim with black exterior trim also debuted. Competitors may have sported newer looks, but the Malibu retained its quiet, comfortable composure.
That said, three years is a lifetime among midsize sedans. In 2019, the Chevrolet Malibu already looked a little dated next to fresher rivals, despite a thorough redesign three years earlier. Both the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry were redesigned in 2018, and the Hyundai Sonata and Mazda 6 were given a new dash of style. The Nissan Altima had also made a quantum leap, especially with its cabin quality.
F 41.5"/R 38.1"
F 39.1"/R 37.5"
Driving: The best experience behind the wheel of a 2019 Malibu is with the hybrid, oddly enough. Since it operates more like an EV at slow speeds, thanks to a Chevy Volt-derived hybrid setup, there’s always a healthy dose of instant electric torque before the gas engine kicks in. We recommend it. Regardless of engine choice, the Malibu remains surprisingly agile in turns and can be legitimately fun to drive.
Interior: Rivals like the Honda Accord and Mazda 6 offer exceptionally nice interiors in the wake of redesigns, but the Malibu is no concession prize. The dash and cabin design may feel a bit dated alongside some competitors, but the material quality and soft-touch surfaces are what you’d expect in a more expensive, full-size sedan.
Comfort: A quiet, hushed interior is a signature Malibu trait, aided by ample sound insulation. It’s an often overlooked quality, but one you’ll endlessly appreciate during a stressful commute. A longer wheelbase than the last-generation Malibu helps open up rear seat legroom, but competitors also enlarged their backseats since the Malibu’s redesign. The Accord and Malibu are the same length, for example, but the latest Accord manages two more inches of rear legroom.
Transmissions: Malibus from 2018 and before had a sluggish and clumsy feeling transmission, which Chevy fixed by eliminating the six-speed automatic and replacing it with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) for the base engine. It helps eke out a few more mpg, but it’s not an upgrade. Chevy’s product isn’t as refined as some competitors, and exhibits the kind of unnatural and noisy acceleration feeling typical of lower-end CVTs. Meanwhile, the nine-speed automatic paired with the 2.0-liter engine is still clumsy at low speeds and while braking.
2.9 out of 59 customer reviews
RepairPal gave the Chevrolet Malibu an overall reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Excellent. This rating ranks Chevrolet Malibu 13th out of 30 among Midsize Cars.View RepairPal's full rating of the Chevrolet Malibu