2020 Chevrolet Malibu review

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
6 photos

Chevrolet Malibu highlights

Customer rating


  • Spacious interior with ample front-seat headroom
  • Hybrid trim offers high fuel efficiency and brisk acceleration
  • Easy-to-use touchscreen interface


  • Lackluster acceleration from base 1.5-liter engine
  • Limited outward visibility
  • Interior looks dated compared to rivals

Mileage (EPA estimate)

22 city, 32 highway, 26 combined

Pricing for current inventory

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The 2020 Chevrolet Malibu remains a strong, steadfast American choice

The 2020 Chevrolet Malibu represents a solid American-made choice among midsize family sedans, although its competitors have moved at a faster pace of change and innovation. It has a roomy cabin, rides well on the highway and its infotainment system is easy to use. But for 2020, Chevy pulled the plug on what we felt was the lineup’s best model, the Malibu Hybrid, so if you want its smooth power delivery and EPA-estimated 46 mpg combined rating, you’ll have to look at 2019 and earlier models. 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 That leaves just the uninspired base model engine and the optional 2.0-liter turbo engine available only in the priciest Premier trim.

The lack of standard driver assistance features is also an oversight, as many of the Malibu’s contemporary rivals now offer at least a basic bundle in base models. The Malibu is still a strong choice, especially if you can find a good deal or a low-mileage earlier hybrid model. But its rivals have quickly outpaced it.

All Chevrolet Malibu years

What is new for the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu?

  • Malibu trims have been upgraded with Sunroof(s) and Panoramic Sunroof as standard equipment this year.
  • The L trim now comes with Alloy Wheels as standard equipment.

2020 Chevrolet Malibu trims

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

Chevrolet Malibu photos

5 reasons to buy the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu

What We Like

Driving: The discontinued hybrid offered the best time behind the wheel of a Malibu, thanks to its smooth and efficient acceleration and braking, and its surprising swiftness. In its absence, we’d only reach for the optional 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder. It makes 250 hp, zips from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds and pairs perfectly with the Malibu’s delightful handling agility. Unfortunately, it’s only available in the top Premier trim.

Interior: The Malibu has always punched above its weight with interior quality, and while the 2020 model is showing its age alongside fresher rivals, it doesn’t detract from the inherent quality of materials and appealing soft-touch surfaces. The Malibu isn’t the only one offering an entry-level luxury type cabin, but it’s still an acceptable choice.

Comfort: The Malibu’s hushed interior comes into focus during stressful commutes or long-distance highway travel, and it’s among the car’s best traits. Ample sound deadening keeps outside noise at bay, while the wide and supportive front seats suit nearly all body types. Even the rear seat is finally roomy enough for taller passengers to ride comfortably for stretches.

What Needs Improvement

Transmissions: Chevy replaced a clumsy six-speed automatic transmission paired with the base engine with an equally uninspired continuously variable transmission (CVT). It ekes out a few more mpg, but it’s not exactly an upgrade. Chevy’s unit isn’t quite as refined as other CVTs and is prone to the noisy and unnatural acceleration feel that plagues lesser examples. While we still like the 2.0-liter turbo engine, the nine-speed transmission is also awkward and comes down to software programming aimed at maximizing fuel economy.

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

Based on customer reviews, the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu is a car that is great for a young driver. It is a smooth and quiet riding car with great pick up. It has a leather interior and all of the features you can think of. It is a car that is praised for its appearance and gas mileage.

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

RS 2WD 4D Sedan

Standard Features

  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Cloth Seats
  • Cruise Control
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Seat(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear Spoiler
  • Rear View Camera
  • Side Airbags
  • Smart Key
  • Traction Control
  • Turbo Charged Engine
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Rear Spoiler
  • Remote Start

Drive Wheels

Front Wheel Drive (2WD)

Engine size




Torque (ft-lbs)


Engine type

Turbo Gas

Fuel capacity




Overall length






Leg room

F 41.5"/R 38.1"

Head room

F 39.1"/R 37.5"

Front tires


Rear tires


Seating capacity




2020 Chevrolet Malibu FAQ

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