Chevrolet has graced us with its totally-redesigned 2016 Malibu, which has been received by much fanfare at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. We’ve had a chance to mull over the new design, the reworked interior and the updated powertrains, and have compiled five things we quite like about the new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu.
1. The Fuel Economy
As much as we love our small-block V8s and LS power, we also understand fuel economy is one of the most important aspects buyers look at today. That being said, both engines offered on the new Chevrolet Malibu feature forced induction, and see healthy increases in fuel economy. The new 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine sees 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, besting the car’s biggest competitors. The 2.0-liter turbo sees a reduction in fuel economy, but trades it for a healthy dose of power and torque, with 22 mpg city and 32 mpg highway.
2. The Reworked Center Stack
The previous Chevrolet Malibu‘s interior wasn’t the most pleasant cockpit to stare at, if we’re being honest. Sure, it checked off the basic necessities and features, but it was apparent the design was missing pizazz and direction. That has changed with the 2016 Malibu, which we like very much. Ditching the maze of buttons is a new tablet-looking screen, which arrives in either seven, or eight inch, variations depending on trim. But don’t fret analog lovers, Chevrolet has made a clear distinction between the climate controls, controlled with real buttons and knobs, and the infotainment system. Although many of the infotainment functions are found via touchscreen, the essential buttons retain an analog option, too.
3. There’s A True Hybrid Model
As much as Chevrolet wanted us to think the previous Chevrolet Malibu Eco was a hybrid contender, it was not. Plain and simple. This time around, they’ve appeased those who want to go green in offering a true hybrid powertrain with the 2016 Malibu. And at 48 mpg city and 45 mpg highway, Chevrolet is quick to tout their model overshadows hybrid offerings from Ford, Toyota and Hyundai. Well played.
4. An Eight-Speed Automatic Is Optional
Optional on the 2.0-liter turbo, that is. Although Chevrolet decided to mate the volume 1.5-liter four-banger to a tried-and-true six-speed unit, we’re glad to see innovation moving forward with the Malibu, which makes for the first front-wheel drive vehicle from General Motors to receive an eight-speed unit. This transmission, paired with the 2.0-turbo, seems like an excellent alternative to a V6 option.
5. The Design Feels Finished
The previous Malibu looked, alright. Again, it checked off many of the boxes to make the car a passable product in the lineup. And it showed. It showed in terms of impressions, and more importantly, sales. This time, we think this design feels whole, and well thought out. It doesn’t feel like corners were cut, and ideas were rushed. Instead, we have an elegant exterior design look and well thought interior. If this is where bread and butter Chevrolet design is headed, it’s not a bad direction at all.