First and foremost, we really like the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu. It seems like the best apology possible after wronging the mid-size segment with the current Malibu, which never captured the magic the generation before it produced.
Though, there are a few things we think could be better, and we’ve decided to detail them below for your discussion.
1. Power Is Lacking From The Base Engine
Understandably, the new 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine is introduced for the superb fuel economy found in this latest model. The engine utilizes stop/start technology and produces 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. While the turbo helps boost the torque number passed its main competitors, its horsepower rating lags behind many of the other mid-size vehicles in the segment. The 2.0-liter, as great of an engine it may be, will also never replace a true V6 option for the Malibu. That’s not to say the 2.0-turbo will perform poorly, but a little more grunt wouldn’t hurt.
2. The Malibu Badge Alongside The Door
Alright, so this is picking nits, but it irks us nonetheless. Why interrupt the flowing lines of this new design with a sprawled out badge proclaiming the car’s nameplate? Even the placement of the name “Malibu” seems off to our eyes, as it sits square in the middle passed the door seam. Internally, we’re torn on whether it’s a bold statement, or could be left off altogether.
3. The Eight-Speed Automatic Is Only Offered On the 2.0-Liter
Why, oh why, can’t we have the eight-speed in the 1.5-liter turbo, Chevrolet? The only logical reasoning we can pair together is the 1.5-liter will sit out the eight-speed out for the upcoming nine-speed automatic being codeveloped with Ford. General Motors has been reported to have taken the lead on the nine-speed unit, which will be used in upcoming front-wheel drive applications.
4. Evolutionary Design
In our “Five Things We Like About” piece regarding the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, we named design as a heavy hitter on why we like this new car. It seems less pieced together, and more sewn together lovingly. That said, though, some of our fellow staff here are a tad disappointed in the evolutionary look. It looks good, but maybe not as new as some are looking for.
5. Navigation Is Only Available With The Eight-Inch Touchscreen
We were excited to see every 2016 Chevrolet Malibu now comes standard with a touchscreen to operate infotainment and external devices. That said, a seven-inch unit is standard on every trim minus the Premiere, which received a standard eight-inch. Said eight-inch unit is the only unit where customers can acquire navigation, something we really feel should trickle down to the seven-inch unit as well.