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A silver and a red 2023 Chevy Malibu are shown at a dealership.

2023 Chevy Malibu Trim Buying Guide

There’s no denying that the SUV has become one of the most popular items in recent years among both average and family-oriented consumers. So much so the attention placed on the four-door sedan, arguably the most affordable and economical of vehicles on the marketplace, seems to be lacking. Well, we’re here to change that. Visit any local Chevrolet dealer, and you might notice a four-door sedan that takes the form of the 2023 Chevy Malibu.

Once one of the biggest competitors during the golden age of the muscle car, the vehicle has since become somewhat domesticated to adapt to the growing consumer needs for economical vehicles. Adequately priced with a starting MSRP of only $26,095, the Malibu is more affordable than the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Now that’s some stiff competition, and Chevy once again brings forth a better product for a much lower cost. But which version of the 2023 Chevy Malibu is ideal for you? Today we’ll examine the various trims and look at the unique advantages that each one has to offer.

2023 Chevy Malibu LS

There are four distinctive trims associated with the Chevy Malibu. The introductory level is what Chevy refers to as the LS. The first thing that you need to know about the Malibu is that it utilizes the same powertrain for every trim. This is a practice that many manufacturers have been undertaking since the worldwide microchip shortage began and limited production quotas. This move allows manufacturers to streamline production and, at the same time, makes repairs easier and parts more plentiful. It also ensures that you’ll have the same benefits as a capable powertrain no matter what trim you decide.

For the Chevy Malibu, this capable powertrain takes the form of a 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Built with the average consumer in mind, it propels the Malibu forward with the benefit of 160 horsepower and the ability to generate 184 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), adept at adhering to the stop-and-go traffic patterns accompanying city driving. The Malibu also maintains conservative fuel consumption, with an estimated 27 MPG in the city, 35 MPG on the highway, and a combined 30 MPG, according to the EPA. This allows drivers to save upwards of $750 over the course of five years when compared to other vehicles in its class.

Aside from boasting cost-effectiveness, the LS trim also comes with a variety of standard safety features that are meant to enhance the driving experience and afford you the peace of mind you’re entitled to. This suite of standard safety features comes packaged as Chevy Safety Assist. This feature set includes automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian detection, following distance indicator, forward collision alert, and IntelliBeam high beam assist. You get all of that standard, which shows Chevy’s dedication to providing the absolute best for its customers. In regards to keeping you entertained when you’re on the road, a six-speaker stereo system and eight-inch infotainment screen are standard as well.

A red 2023 Chevy Malibu RS is shown from the rear at an angle on a city street.

2023 Chevy Malibu RS

For those of you who were around in the 1980s, the RS badge will certainly be familiar, as it was a major part of the various trims of the Camaro. The RS trim of the Malibu is ideal for those who favor aesthetics and the driving experience. Two of the most notable upgrades have to do with the wheels, as you’ll have 18-inch rims with all-season tires. A black front grill and badging are impressive and allow you to make a memorable first impression, as does a rear spoiler that elevates the performance image. While image isn’t essential for every type of driver, those who want to look sharp will find a lot about the RS to be excited about.

2023 Chevy Malibu LT

The next two trims of the 2023 Chevy Malibu are LT, or “luxury touring,” variations. This is where the Chevy Malibu becomes adorned with more features while remaining a relatively inexpensive vehicle. While the LT retains the same powertrain as the LS and RS trims, the interior becomes more refined and sophisticated. The perfect choice for someone who’s looking for luxury on a budget. The most notable features that come with the LT trim are dual-zone climate control and heated and ventilated front seats for maximum comfort. Power windows and interior reading lamps are also included. You’ll also have the additional benefit of LED daytime running lamps.
If you find yourself wanting the stylish aesthetic of the RS and the additional amenities of the LT, the Sport Edition package will give you that extra style you crave. Not only will this give you a jet-black interior and a pair of blackwall tires, but you’ll also be gifted a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shifter, both of which are standard on the 2LT trim, which we’ll be taking a look at next. If you want a darker aesthetic, opt for the Midnight Edition package, or get the Redline Edition package for some extra red accents.

The black and grey interior of a 2023 Chevy Malibu is shown from the passenger seat after leaving a Chevrolet dealer.

2023 Chevy Malibu 2LT

Here we are. When it comes to the 2023 Chevy Malibu, this is the very best, the creme-de-la-creme, and still affordable for a consumer on an average budget. For this particular edition of the Malibu, Chevy rolls out the red carpet for you and gives you a one-way ticket to the gala. The top trim level comes standard with a set of 19-inch wheels as well as front and rear LED lights. While many of the featured amenities of the interior are standard across all four levels of trim, the 2LT has the extras that many covet. These include a more advanced infotainment screen with wireless charging and a high-end nine-speaker stereo system from pro audio giant Bose. Ambient lighting and lumbar support are there to stimulate the senses of sight and touch, and the same could be said about the leather trim and heated steering wheel. While the Malibu isn’t technically classified as a luxury sedan, it’s easy to see why choosing the top trim level will afford you many of the creature comforts associated with the higher-end sedans.

The 2023 Chevy Malibu Has a Trim for You

There’s a lot to be said about a manufacturer who builds a vehicle that costs much less than its top competitors but also affords drivers the ability to experience the comfort, luxury, safety, and style that’s sometimes kept away from them. As we’ve seen here today, the 2023 Chevy Malibu is a masterclass in offering more and charging less. What’s more, it demonstrates Chevy’s ability to cater to the expectations of drivers and do it quite well.

No matter what you’re looking for regarding a four-door sedan, the Chevy Malibu provides four distinctive trims that are more than perfect for your needs. Whether you’re concerned about cost, want something that exudes personality, a combination of both, or have the opportunity to experience your commute in the lap of luxury, there’s a Malibu that’s catered just for you. While the Malibu of the present day might not have the 350 small-block V8 that it did several decades ago, you’ll find that it’s just as capable of making an impact on your quality of life.