The Chevrolet Malibu entered its latest ninth generation for the 2016 model year, breaking cover at the 2015 New York International Auto Show as as the 2016 Malibu. Offering a brand new exterior design, a longer wheelbase, and lighter curb weight over its predecessor, the ninth-gen Malibu also offers two gas-only engine options, including a standard turbocharged 1.5L four and an optional turbocharged 2.0L four. And now, we’re finally getting some official acceleration specs for these two engine options, straight from GM.
Let’s start with the entry-level 2020 Chevrolet Malibu, which cradles GM’s relatively new turbocharged 1.5L I4 LFV. This powerplant is tuned to produce upwards of 160 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 184 pound-feet of torque at 2,500 rpm, all of which is sent to the front axle by way of a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which replaced the regular 6-speed for the 2019 model year. Properly motivated, the LFV will propel the Chevrolet Malibu to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.3 seconds.
That’s roughly on par with the last-gen Malibu’s naturally aspirated 2.5L four-cylinder LCV engine, which managed a sprint to 62 mph in 9.1 seconds.
What’s more, the latest Malibu’s 9.3-second acceleration figure pairs with some decent fuel economy numbers. According to fueleconomy.gov, Chevrolet Malibu models equipped with the turbo 1.5L manage 29 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, averaging out to 32 mpg combined.
For those who prefer extra mph over mpg, the Chevrolet Malibu also offers the optional turbocharged 2.0L inline four-cylinder LTG, which doles out upwards of 250 horsepower at 5,300 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm. The 2.0L replaces the 1.5L’s CVT with the GM nine-speed automatic transmission, once again feeding the front wheels. With more power under the hood, the Malibu hits 62 mpg in “just over six seconds,” according to GM.
|Engine||Power (hp @ engine rpm)||Torque (lb-ft @ engine rpm)||Transmission||0-60 mph (seconds)|
|1.5L inline four-cylinder LFV||160 @ 5700||184 @ 2500||CVT||9.3|
|2.0L inline four-cylinder LTG||250 @ 5300||260 @ 2000||nine-speed auto||6|
Notably, we believe that the Malibu Hybrid is probably quicker than the model with the 2.0L turbo-charged LTG, but no official acceleration specs are available for that model just yet.
It’s also worth noting that the Malibu will be spared – at least for now – as GM streamlines its product lineup to offer fewer sedans and cars and more crossovers and utilities.