4.5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
29 city, 36 highway, 32 combined
(no current inventory)
With its roomy and quiet cabin, comfortable ride and surprisingly good handling, the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu is a likable enough midsize sedan. But today, “likable enough” isn’t a sustainable strategy for competing against offerings from Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and Kia. Those brands continue to innovate with features, technology and quality, while Chevrolet continues tweaking at the margins of its lone sedan. The Chevy Malibu is still an appealing choice if you like the idea of a roomy, American alternative to an SUV. Otherwise, the Malibu’s rivals have increasingly left it behind in terms of standard and available features.
For 2021, wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ come standard, and a new safety feature called Buckle to Drive prevents the car from being driven until the driver’s seat belt is fastened. A new Sport Edition includes blacked-out exterior trim. The 2021 Malibu doesn’t offer standard driver assistance features, such as blind-spot monitoring or lane departure warning, which are now common features that most competitors offer in some standard bundles. It’s an unfortunate oversight for a modern family sedan.
F 41.5"/R 38.1"
F 39.1"/R 37.5"
Driving: We hesitate to recommend the Malibu’s most expensive trim level, the Premier, but it’s the only way to get the 250-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This engine helps the Malibu zip from 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds and it’s a perfect foil for the Malibu’s surprisingly athletic ability. It also returns an EPA-estimated 26 mpg combined.
Interior: The 2021 Malibu’s interior design shows its age alongside fresher competitors, but it’s still a comfortable cabin with classy touches and materials. The symmetrical dash and wide center console enhance the cabin's spacious feel, while buttons and controls are arranged in logical and ergonomic fashion.
Comfort: The Malibu uses ample sound insulation to reduce outside noise and keep it from filling the cabin with a dull roar. Anyone will appreciate the effect during a hectic commute or long journey over varying road surfaces. It’s a subtle quality that, when combined with the Malibu’s wide and supportive front seats and roomy backseat, makes for a pleasant drive anytime.
Transmissions: The Malibu’s two different transmissions are disappointing. The uninspired continuously variable transmission (CVT) that pairs with the 1.5-liter base engine lacks refinement, and while it’s good for extra mpg, it’s prone to the unnatural and noisy feel common with inferior CVTs. And while we still like the 2.0-liter turbo engine, its nine-speed transmission is also awkward, hampered by software programming aimed at maximum fuel economy.
4.5 out of 52 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
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