The 2024 Chevrolet Malibu’s age isn’t stopping it from successfully competing in the mid-size sedan segment. Though the near-decade-old Chevy is not a superstar in its class (nor was it ever), the Malibu remains a competent family sedan option that’s bolstered by its good looks, comfortable ride, and competent handling. A turbocharged four-cylinder and a continuously variable automatic transmission serve as the sole powertrain available. The pair offer enough grunt to sufficiently push the bow-tie-badged four-door around at city speeds, even if the Chevy sedan lacks the punch of competitors’ more powerful turbo four and six-cylinder engine options. More irksome is the middling quality of the Malibu’s interior, which heavily relies on low-grade plastics. The car’s standard features list is also rather sparse compared to the competition, which includes the Honda Accord and the Hyundai Sonata. To put it bluntly, the Malibu’s strengths fail to outweigh its weaknesses. Chevy’s mid-size sedan is no penalty box, but it’s also nowhere near as well-rounded as its peers.
What’s New for 2024?
All 2024 Malibus now come standard with a tire inflation kit. Additionally, Chevy adds Lakeshore Blue Metallic to the Malibu’s color palette.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We recommend buying the LT trim, as it includes more standard features than the lowly LS. The LT comes with 17-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote engine start, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. Every LT also features automated emergency braking and lane-keeping assist. A blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert system are notably missing but dropping an extra $250 adds the two features.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Unlike many other family sedans, the 2024 Malibu is only available with a single powertrain: a dutiful 160-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that drives the front wheels through a CVT. A 2019 Malibu we tested recorded an average 7.8-second run 60 mph. This combination is slower than similar rivals in our acceleration tests. For those who want a speed demon for the whole family, check out the Hyundai Sonata N Line or the Kia K5 GT, both of which have 290-hp engines that’ll shoot them to 60 mph in about 5 seconds.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
In terms of EPA fuel-mileage estimates, the Malibu’s lone engine underperforms the equivalent base powertrains in the Accord and the Toyota Camry. The Chevy nets an estimated 30 mpg combined. Still, its turbocharged 1.5-liter managed a respectable 34 mpg over the course of our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route. For more information about the Malibu’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
While the Malibu’s interior is not the fanciest or the quietest, it is comfortable and ergonomically friendly. The cabin has competitive passenger space and options, but most alternatives have better outward visibility. The Malibu’s symmetrical dashboard and the large opening beneath the center stack make the cockpit feel spacious. The front seats have a wide base and supportive side bolster, but their back cushions are too narrow for some occupants. The back seat has less legroom than the Accord’s back seat, but it still fit our adult frames. The Malibu boasts a big trunk with ample carry-on capacity; it also has plenty of interior storage space even though it doesn’t lead the class.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Chevy fits every Malibu with a touchscreen infotainment system that includes many desirable options—Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. While the touchscreen interface is easy to interpret, the system is losing ground versus the competition, and it lacks a convenient rotary control knob as a secondary way to interact with the system.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Although the Chevy sedan is available with all the high-tech assists that help protect modern families, many are optional. For more information about the Malibu’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- ● Available automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- ● Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- ● Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Malibu has competitive limited and powertrain warranties, but its corrosion protection and roadside assistance are longer than many rivals.
- ● Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- ● Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- ● Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit
2019 Chevrolet Malibu 1.5T RS
front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
PRICE AS TESTED
$25,840 (base price: $25,095)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
91 cu in, 1490 cc
160 hp @ 5700 rpm
184 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm
continuously variable automatic
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 11.8-in vented disc, 11.3-in disc
Tires: Continental ProContact TX, 245/45R-18 96H M+S TPC
Wheelbase: 111.4 in
Length: 193.8 in
Width: 73.0 in
Height: 57.6 in
Passenger volume: 108 cu ft
Trunk volume: 16 cu ft
Curb weight: 3184 lb
Zero to 60 mph: 7.8 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 22.3 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 41.6 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 9.1 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 4.3 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.8 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 16.1 sec @ 87 mph
Top speed (governor limited, mfr’s claim): 130 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 167 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.88 g
Observed: 25 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 34 mpg
Highway range: 540 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 32/29/36 mpg