Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips and Reviews

A red 2019 Chevy Malibu is parked downtown at night.

A Full Review of the 2019 Chevy Malibu

Some have considered the sedan, a dying area of the automotive industry. Sure, there are plenty of manufacturers who are still fronting their line of sedans from luxury brands like BMW to household names like Toyota. That said, the sedan is becoming an endangered species, replaced by the new fuel-efficient compact SUVs. One of the few vehicles that continues to face-off against the encroaching shift towards SUVs is the 2019 Chevy Malibu.

Chevy has a diverse lineup, including everything from compact SUVs to pickup trucks and sports cars. The Chevy Malibu is the resident sedan of the family, providing an option for both the daily commuter and the driver who wants a little power behind their daily drive. The 2019 Chevy Malibu is an affordable all-purpose sedan that certainly brings plenty to the table, but can it continue to gain a footing over competitor vehicles? In this post, we’ll do a full review of the 2019 Chevy Malibu, and whether or not it is a worthwhile purchase.

At First Glance

The Chevy Malibu is one of those vehicles that when you spot on the road, you might confuse for a luxury vehicle. Sleek is just one word you can use to describe this car. From the angular lines and the subtle headlight sockets to the polished front grill, the Chevy Malibu leads with style. That said, this sedan isn’t trying to be flashy. Take a closer look, and you’ll find a vehicle that straddles the line between premium styling and practical design.

With plenty of window room, a sizable wheelbase, and some smart color choices, the Chevy Malibu wears the skin of a luxury car but with affordable pricing. Starting at just $22,090 MSRP it is a vehicle that won’t break the bank, that is if you stick to the standard trim option. Speaking of trim options, the Chevy Malibu features five different configurations, including the L, LS, RS, LT, and Premier. All of these trims lend for plenty of customization, and chances are there is a Chevy Malibu out there for everybody.

A black 2019 Chevy Malibu is driving on an overpass over a highway at night.

Taking a Peek Under the Hood

There isn’t a whole lot we expect from a sedan like the Chevy Malibu in terms of performance. It isn’t a sports car, nor is it a tow-capable SUV. That said, the Chevy Malibu certainly delivers anyway offering up a drive that is responsive, light on its feet, and simply addicting. Upon first inspection, the 1.5-liter 4-cylinder may seem underpowered, but Chevy managed to do some brilliant design work as this compact engine delivers 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft worth of torque to drivers. The power doesn’t stop there either, as the Chevy Malibu can be bumped up to offer a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine which puts 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft worth of torque at every driver’s fingertips.

The transmission is where things fall a little flat on the performance end for the Chevy Malibu. Almost all trim options, spare the highest, sport a relatively clunky 2-speed CVT, which can be somewhat disappointing, especially when your paying upwards of $24,095 MSRP for higher trim options. Although, if you payout for the highest trim option, you can expect to find a buttery-smooth 9-speed automatic transmission that simply doesn’t hesitate.

We shouldn’t be complaining too much though, where the Chevy Malibu truly excels is in gas mileage. Standard models start strong offering up 29 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. While nowhere near the amount of range of something like the Toyota Corolla, this is still a great choice for daily commuters looking to save some cash on gasoline. If you’re looking for even greater fuel economy the Chevy Malibu offers a Hybrid option which brings fuel efficiency to competitive levels earning an EPA-estimated 49 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway.

While performance is an important aspect of choosing your sedan, it isn’t the only thing that the Chevy Malibu has going for it.

Luxury Comforts for Standard Pricing

When we mentioned that the Chevy Malibu wears the exterior styling of a luxury sedan, we also meant that for parts of the interior as well. While there isn’t necessarily anything flashy about the interior design of the Chevy Malibu, the comfort of the front seats and the option of an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat certainly bring a lot of appeal to the table. Not only that, the Chevy Malibu offers up a considerable amount of rear legroom, which you’d be hard-pressed to find in other vehicles of its class. Rear passengers can enjoy over 38 inches of legroom, and with 53.4 inches of hip room, you can fit three rear passengers quite comfortably.

Cargo space is about on par with other sedans, providing only 15.8 cubic feet of cargo room to work with. Unfortunately, if you opt for the hybrid model, you’ll be working within a similarly tight space, as Hybrid trims only garner 11.6 cubic feet of cargo space thanks to the lithium-ion battery packed into the rear.

All that said, the Chevy Malibu still offers some seriously luxurious interior stylings. If you’re willing to front the cash, you can even upgrade the interior seating to vinyl trim, giving it a real air of class.

The Sedan of the Future

The tan interior of a 2019 Chevy Malibu is shown.

The demand for automotive technology has changed dramatically over the years. There once was a time where having just a CD player was more than enough. Nowadays, drivers have come to expect even standard models to practically drive themselves. Surprisingly the Chevy Malibu lives up to this modern expectation.

Base models of the Chevy Malibu just barely make the mark, sporting an 8.0-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, as well as a seamless Bluetooth connection. Moving up the trim option ladder, you can enjoy visor mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a Bose audio system, and even leather seating.

While comfort and entertainment are a key aspect in automotive technology, safety tech plays a huge role as well. Modern safety technology can go as far as taking control of the wheel and driving the car for you. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay a little extra for the technology of that caliber. Base models feel rather spartan, but you can upgrade the vehicle to host advanced features like blind-spot monitors, active lane control, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and pedestrian detection. While we wish some of these features were standard, the fact that they’re offered at all is a win for the Chevy Malibu.

Should You or Shouldn’t You Buy the Chevy Malibu

If you’re tired of the compact SUV and fuel-efficient crossovers, the 2019 Chevy Malibu will certainly be refreshing. Unfortunately, the Chevy Malibu still joins the background noise of other similar grade sedans. Sure, there are some premium qualities to this full-sized sedan, it is difficult to compete with manufacturers who are including some of these top-of-the-line features as standard. So, should you purchase the Chevy Malibu? If the premium styling has caught your eye, and you’re not too much a fan of all the bells and whistles that seem unavoidable in other similar vehicles, then the Chevy Malibu is certainly a worthwhile pick.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *