Chevrolet has pulled the wraps off of one of the most important products for the bowtie brand’s lineup. Enter the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu. With the new mid-size sedan, Chevy rights every wrong it had committed in the previous generation of the car.
Most importantly, the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu arrives minus the 2.5-liter four-cylinder LKW. Instead, the new base engine for the Malibu is the new 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with standard start/stop technology while making 160 horses and 184 pound-feet of torque.
We already don’t miss the 2.5-liter four-banger, because not only does the new 1.5T make just as much torque, but it returns 27 mpg during city driving, and an impressive 37 mpg on the highway. The car also features active grille shutters to reduce aerodynamic drag and therefore boosting efficiency during highway driving.
The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu also arrives with a higher-output variant of the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder LTG engine. The motor makes an estimated 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. With greater power comes lesser fuel economy, with the engine returning 22 mpg city and 32 mpg highway.
Rounding out the new powertrain goodies is the application of the General Motors’ first eight-speed automatic transmission mated to a front-wheel drive vehicle. The eight-speed arrives exclusively with the 2.0-liter, while the 1.5-liter will be mated to a six-speed automatic.
From a design perspective, the 2016 Malibu shows face in a longer, and leaner guise. Thanks to the new E2XX platform new Malibu is also nearly 300 pounds lighter than the outgoing car, and is stretched four inches to offer superb interior space, an area in which the current-gen Malibu needed to improve upon.
As always, styling remains subjective, but we think the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu wears its new styling very well, with possibly being akin to a Mazda 6 in side-profile. The new sleek take on the Chevrolet front fascia is eye pleasing, while the rear drops the “Camaro inspired” taillamps for ones which seemed to be stripped from an Impala. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the Impala is quite the looker in its own right.
Inside, things are spruced up accordingly, too. The Chevrolet MyLink seven-inch display is standard on LS, LT and Hybrid models, while an eight-inch variant of the system is optional and standard on the car’s new Premier trim. Chevrolet prides itself on the redesigned center stack having a distinct delineation between infotainment and climate controls, especially for quick-glance operation. Additional interior features include satin chrome accents, wireless phone charging and ventilated seats, which happen to be a first for the Malibu.
The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu does not slack on safety equipment either. As well as the Malibu’s new Teen Driver System, available safety features include:
- Front Pedestrian Alert that uses a forward-looking camera to help avoid or reduce the harm caused by crashes with pedestrians ahead of the vehicle
- New Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
- Side Blind Zone Alert with Lane Change Alert
- New Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Front and Rear Park Assist
- Intellibeam, which automatically switches the headlamps to high beam for better road illumination and improved visibility
- Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Automatic Braking
- Automatic Parking Assist
Upon our first look, all we can do is simply give a nod of approval to Chevrolet. The Bowtie knows that it need this Malibu to be a winner, and we’re pretty sure it contends with the consistent podium finishers.