Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A grey 2023 Chevy Malibu is shown parked on the side on a city street.

There’s No Other Sedan Quite Like the Chevy Malibu

Crossovers and SUVs seem to rule the road, but many drivers aren’t ready to hop on the bandwagon. Instead, they remain loyal to their sedans and genuinely appreciate the agility, efficiency, and ride quality that comes with these smooth-handling road warriors. Having driven both off and on over the years, I can attest that a sedan is far more manageable to navigate in a congested city, easier to park, and often kinder on the wallet when it’s time to fill the tank.

The 2023 Chevy Malibu is one of the few remaining sedans in the industry and the only one of its kind in the Chevy lineup. As one of the longest-running nameplates under the Chevy banner, the Malibu’s firm grip in the fleet is thanks to its attractive styling, plush ride, on-road manners, and a healthy suite of standard technology features. It’s hard to find a sedan that compares to the Malibu’s high-value packaging, making it the ultimate car for commuters, couples, and individuals who appreciate a lower driving position, outstanding efficiency, and an exceptional ride.

Why It’s Easy on the Wallet

Louis Chevrolet and William C. Durant founded Chevrolet in the early 1900s with the vision of building performance-oriented cars that were affordable and accessible to more drivers. The 2023 Malibu continues that legacy as a stylish sedan that can elevate your everyday drive without costing a fortune. Chevrolet accomplishes as much by competitively pricing the sedan at $25,000 for the entry-level LS.

The Malibu LS is a far cry from other entry-level sedans and offers a high-value package that promises a greater return on your investment. For example, the sedan comes standard with an eight-inch color touchscreen display, Chevy Safety Assist, and a potent 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The savings continue when you’re on the road, with the engine’s stop-start technology minimizing fuel consumption as the continuously variable transmission balances power delivery and efficiency. The result is impressive, giving the Malibu an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 27 MPG in the city and 35 MPG on the highway.

A silver 2023 Chevy Malibu is shown from the rear on the side of a city street.

Why It’s Innovative

The 2023 Malibu does something that few other sedans have accomplished. It comes with advanced technology without a mile-high price tag. Chevrolet outfits the popular sedan with a standard eight-inch center touchscreen display that gives you seamless access to your smartphone via wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, a feature that rival manufacturers only offer on top-tier models or as an available upgrade.

The display also gives you access to a mobile WiFi hotspot that transforms the Malibu into a traveling office and entertainment venue designed to keep you connected and informed. Top-tier trims like the Malibu 2LT add to these features and come standard with an eight-inch color Driver Information Center and a nine-speaker sound system from Bose. The digital Driver Information Center is a notable upgrade and puts vital performance insights within immediate view to optimize your focus on the road and enhance your safety.

Why It’s Safe

The Malibu comes standard with cruise control and conveniences like keyless open, keyless start, remote start, and three years of remote access via the myChevrolet Mobile app. In addition, the sedan offers compatibility with OnStar and Chevrolet Connected Services, two safety features that complement the Malibu’s already impressive lineup of safety and driver-assist technology. This technology is centralized in the Chevy Safety Assist suite. It includes Automatic Emergency Braking, IntelliBeam automatic high beams, a Following Distance Indicator, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, and Forward Collision Alert.

Chevrolet’s Teen Driver Technology also distinguishes the Malibu from other sedans and makes it an excellent option for families with young drivers at home. The tool lets parents set driving parameters and associate those parameters with a key fob. Then, when your teen driver gets in the driver’s seat, the tool engages and monitors those parameters, such as requiring seatbelts before shifting out of park and into gear. Once the teen returns home, parents can access an in-vehicle report card that provides teachable moments to encourage safer driving habits.

Chevy Safety Assist and Teen Driver add outstanding value to the sedan, but Chevy gives you more options to extend the Malibu’s safety features with advanced technology. For example, the Driver Confidence package is an affordable upgrade that outfits the Malibu with Rear Park Assist, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. These tools extend your visibility by helping you keep an eye on the sides and rear of the sedan, actively minimizing the potential for collision wherever you are.

Why It’s the Center of Attention

The 2023 Malibu distinguishes itself in a segment of ordinary sedans by offering three special edition models that command attention on the road. Available on the Malibu 1LT and 2LT, the Midnight Edition, Redline Edition, and Sport Edition come with exclusive design details that let drivers customize the sedan to their unique style. The Midnight Edition puts the Malibu in stealth mode, adding 19-inch black-painted aluminum wheels, a blacked-out grille, black badging, and black bowtie emblems to complement the Malibu’s Mosaic Black Metallic exterior.

The Malibu gains a sportier aesthetic when outfitted as the Redline Edition. The special edition package adds 19-inch black-painted aluminum wheels with red hash marks, a standard design of sports cars with a penchant for speed. The red outline around the black nameplate badge and the red decals on the black exterior mirrors tie the details together with the blacked-out grille and black bowtie emblems.

The Sport Edition doesn’t take the Malibu to the same extremes as the Redline Edition. Instead, it eliminates the red performance-oriented details and outfits the sedan with 19-inch black-painted wheels, black bowtie emblems, a blacked-out grille, and a black nameplate badge. The key difference with this package is that it’s available with the Malibu’s entire exterior color palette, while the Midnight Edition is only available with the Mosaic Black Metallic exterior.

A black 2023 Chevy Malibu RS is shown from a rear angle parked next to glass windows.

Why It’s Fun and Engaging to Drive

The Malibu’s affordable price tag must mean that Chevrolet cut corners somewhere, or so one might think. After all, affordability is often mutually exclusive with performance, handling, and ride quality. Fortunately, that’s not the case with the 2023 Malibu.

The sedan comes standard with a MacPherson strut front suspension and four-link rear suspension that optimize ride quality and handling in every condition. As a result, it’s just as comfortable cruising at highway speeds as navigating rush-hour traffic or busy city streets. Moreover, this comfort doesn’t come at the cost of performance. While Chevrolet discontinued the Malibu’s beefier 2.0L powerplant for 2023, the standard 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder is plenty capable for a sedan of this size. It delivers an exceptional balance of power and efficiency, churning out 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque.

From Hot Rod to Midsize Marvel

The Malibu surprisingly got its start as a hot rod amid the burgeoning popularity of the muscle car in the 1960s. However, as drivers’ needs shifted, so did the Malibu and Chevrolet’s approach to its best-selling sedan. The former hot rod transformed into a midsize sedan renowned for its sophisticated styling, cushy ride, and on-road manners, giving it a distinct advantage over rivals from Toyota and Honda. Where models like the Camry and Accord proved comfort, luxury, and innovative tech were mutually exclusive with affordability, the Malibu proved otherwise.

Today, the 2023 Malibu showcases its success at defying industry standards by offering a value-oriented lineup that meets every budget and driving need. Because of this, it remains one of the industry’s most popular sedans. Moreover, it keeps a tight grip on a segment inundated by ordinary options as automakers focus most of their efforts on crossovers and larger SUVs. Fortunately, Chevy knows the power of a quality sedan and delivers with one of its longest-running nameplates that takes a no-compromise approach to ride quality, performance, innovation, and affordability.