The current, ninth-generation Chevrolet Malibu is the right product at the wrong time: thanks to the ongoing shift in consumer vehicle buying dynamics that favors crossovers over sedans, sales of the midsize sedan fell 17 percent to 97,006 units in 2016 and are off 35 percent in the first four months of 2017. Regardless, Chevy is giving its midsize sedan a few updates for the 2018 model year.
A new exterior color — Sandy Ridge Metallic — joins the color palette, bringing the total exterior color count to ten. There’s also the addition of the Malibu Redline Edition. Announced earlier this year, the Redline appearance package includes:
- Nameplate badge in Black with Red outline
- Black front and rear bowties
- 19″ Black-painted aluminum wheels with Red hash marks
- 245/40R19 all-season, blackwall tires
- Blacked-out grille
- Black outside mirror patch
The Redline package is available only on the LT trim level and requires the Convenience and Technology Package along with one of the following:
- Iridescent Pearl Tricoat
- Silver Ice Metallic
- Summit White
- Mosaic Black Metallic
- Jet Black
The Redline Package is not available with the Sport Package or Sun and Wheels Package.
The 2018 Malibu also sees the deletion of accessory/LPO-level 19-inch aluminum wheels and the replacement of the 13-gallon fuel tank on L, LS, and LT trim levels with the 1.5L Turbo LFV engine with the 15.8-gallon unit, the same as on the Malibu Premier, which comes standard with the 2.0L Turbo LTG engine. Meanwhile, the Malibu Hybrid continues with the 13 gallon tank.
Finally, the Sun and Wheels Package sees its RPO code changed to WPM from PCL and two new fleet-specific decal packages become available — one for Nationwide and another for Allstate.
The updates and changes described here are specific to the U.S. market and may be different for other markets.