The 2019 Chevrolet Malibu RS – Chevy’s new sporty-looking model in the midsize Malibu sedan lineup – will start at $24,995 including $875 destination charge, according to our friends at CarsDirect. That’s exactly $1,000 more expensive than the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu LS model, the website reports, and considering the equipment that comes with the upgrade, it might just be worth it for the buyer seeking a bit more of a sporty appearance.
On the other hand, buyers hoping they’ve found Chevrolet’s answer to Ford’s Focus RS compact hot-hatch will be sorely disappointed, as the “RS” badge doesn’t carry quite so much weight at GM’s bowtie division. Like the L and LS models that slot below it in the lineup, the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu RS will be powered by GM’s turbocharged, 163-horsepower 1.5L LFV inline-four, paired with a continuously-variable transmission for the first time in the Malibu.
For $1,000 more than the reasonably-priced Chevrolet Malibu LS, Malibu RS customers can look forward to sporty black grilles, black-out bowtie emblems, a decklid spoiler, dual-outlet exhaust, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The interior is made a tad more special with the addition of a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. The seats make do with standard black cloth.
CarsDirect notes that the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu RS with its $24,995 base price comfortably undercuts both the Honda Accord Sport and Toyota Camry SE by more than $1,000, but that it commands a higher price than the A/T Mazda6 Sport at $23,895.
Chevrolet Malibu sales are way down in 2018 compared to their all-time high in 2016, when GM moved some 227k units of the midsize family car. It’s worth noting that the Malibu’s sales record is quite a bit lower than the US-market Ford Fusion’s all-time peak of more than 306k units in 2014. Ford has, of course, chosen to phase out all of its “traditional sedan” models in North America over the coming years, potentially leaving more room for the Chevrolet Malibu and its like later down the road – assuming they stick around.