Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A white 2016 Chevy Malibu is shown on a city street after leaving an Allentown used car dealer.

The Chevy Malibu Makes Your Commute More Enjoyable

Has this ever happened to you? Your eyes are drawn to the clock because the work shift is almost over, and you can finally look forward to a relaxing evening at home. What’s the problem, you may ask? Well, depending on how far away you live, leaving work means you’re now doing your commute home, and likely during rush hour, no less. Going from the office to an uncomfortable car seat is nothing short of unpleasant, especially if your ride home is upwards of half an hour long or more. In the modern-day, car manufacturers have the technology and knowledge necessary to make the daily commute back and forth less mundane, and manufacturers such as Chevy have proven that commuting doesn’t have to be a chore and can be enjoyable. It’s a tempting offer, so when you’re visiting a used car dealer, you should keep an eye out for the Chevy Malibu.

Why would I recommend the Chevy Malibu out of all of the commuter-focused vehicles out there? Although the Malibu is Chevy’s priciest sedan, that doesn’t mean it’s absurdly expensive. The Malibu is an incredibly fuel-efficient vehicle, and you can save plenty of money by purchasing a used model, one that still includes many of the luxurious amenities that you’ll find in the newer ones. Between seating, high-quality materials, state-of-the-art technology, and fuel efficiency, the Malibu has it all.

Super Fuel Efficient

For years now, the Chevy Malibu has been extraordinarily fuel-efficient, partly thanks to a hybrid variant that far eclipsed any of the gasoline-powered engines. The ninth-generation Malibu started with the 2016 model year, and here you find three available powertrains. The first two powertrains include turbocharged I-4 engines, one being 1.5L and the other 2.0L. The 1.5L turbocharged engine gives drivers 27 MPG in the city and 37 MPG on the highway. The 2.0L variant reduces this to 22 MPG city and 32 MPG highway, albeit with the added benefit of 56% more horsepower and 40% greater torque output. Lastly, the hybrid powertrain found in these older Malibu models between 2016 and 2019 gives you EPA-estimated ratings of 47 MPG city and 46 MPG highway.

If you’re interested in saving some more money when purchasing a Malibu model, springing for the prior generation isn’t a terrible idea. The 2015 Malibu and its predecessors are still impressively fuel-efficient. For example, the 2015 Malibu can include a turbocharged 2.0L I-4 engine that gets EPA-estimated ratings of 21 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway, but it can also include a regular gasoline-powered 2.5L I-4 engine. This I-4 engine isn’t turbocharged, but that doesn’t stop it from saving you money with its fuel ratings of 25 MPG city and 36 MPG highway.

Even shopping for a Malibu model released one year before means you can get a different hybrid model, one that utilizes a 2.4L I-4 with eAssist. This powertrain gives EPA-estimated ratings of 24 MPG city and 35 MPG highway. As you can tell, commuters will be more than pleased with the amount of mileage they get with their Malibu. Less gas station trips mean that you can finish your commute quicker and begin eating your ramen noodles while watching the latest Netflix craze before bed.

The black interior of a 2019 Chevy Malibu is shown from the passenger seat.

Can’t Go Wrong With Comfort

Inside the Chevy Malibu is where you truly begin to see your money’s worth. One of the first amenities that I recommend you look for is leather seating. Leather seats, especially those in great condition after their previous ownership, can look stunning and change the entire aesthetic of the interior. Not to mention, they’re comfortable and can get decently hot when using heated elements, albeit those who live in cold areas should warm up their seats before sitting in your car – you’ll thank us later.

Aside from the materials, the seats are generally comfortable to sit on, and while manually-adjustable chairs have historically come standard, 8-way power-adjustable seats are available as an option. I recommend opting for the power-adjustable seating because you can better fine-tune your seat to find a position that makes you comfortable, yet one where you can still see everything you need to when operating the vehicle. Best of all, if you need to adjust the seat at a moment’s notice, it’s as easy as pushing a few buttons.

Ahead of Its Time

The Chevy Malibu has always been ahead of the times. I believe there’s no better example of this than connectivity features. While more than a few vehicles still don’t offer 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspots, the Malibu has come with one since 2015. In many ways, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is a luxurious amenity, and it’s because a hotspot provides a private internet connection that travels with your vehicle. This internet connection is restricted behind a password that you set, and every passenger who connects a wireless device can enjoy fast internet with nobody near your vehicle who can intrude on the connection.

Several models released before 2016 included a form of infotainment center, which remains an easy and intuitive way to access your favorite media, whether it’s songs on a smartphone or any other Bluetooth connection. However, starting with the 2016 Malibu, a new infotainment center was implemented, and it’s one that still stomps much of its competition in the sheer amount of features. Features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto hit the scene, both of which were still relative newcomers to the industry, and the screen size was then increased to a large 7-inch display. An upgrade path was available, including a couple of more features, most notably, an 8-inch touchscreen.

When thinking about the tech inside of the Malibu that could be considered luxurious, over the years, the Malibu has remained both groundbreaking and trendsetting. This is especially true when you consider the vast amount of competition that still skips out on some of the most notable tech features, but fortunately for shoppers interested in the Chevy Malibu, they won’t be missing out. So, when you’re commuting home, plug your phone into the media console, put on your favorite songs, and enjoy the ride. If you need to catch up with a friend or family member during your commute, then Apple CarPlay or Android Auto allows you to contact people without ever taking your eyes off of the road. Sure sounds like a luxury to me.

A grey 2019 Chevy Malibu is shown from the front at an angle on a city street.

Bring the Malibu to Your Garage

The Chevy Malibu is an impressive vehicle, and over the years, Chevy has only made the offer more tempting. Against many competing sedans, many being flagships of their respective manufacturers, the Malibu is easier to take seriously than most. Why is this? For starters, the Malibu isn’t absurdly priced, the performance is rock solid, you’ll continuously save money with fewer gas station trips, and both the interior and driving experience are shrouded in luxury for commuters. In the used market, it doesn’t get much better than that.

If you’re simply not interested in an SUV, or you’re not drawn to the idea of electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids, the Malibu is the perfect choice because of its low entry cost. Alone, the low cost would make this a tempting offer, but then add a diverse set of features that would make you think you’re about to spend far more than you are about to, and that’s the Malibu. If there’s one thing the Malibu has taught us, it’s that luxury doesn’t have to come at a high price. With that said, commuters are the ones who will benefit the most because there’s nothing better than saving money while making money.