When equipped with the 2.0L turbo and nine-speed automatic transmission, the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu will see fuel economy returns of 22 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. This compares with the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu, which was rated at 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined.
General Motors seems to have made some small calibration improvements to the midsize sedan’s powertrain for 2021, in addition to other vehicles like the Chevrolet Blazer and the Cadillac XT5, for example, that also saw slight fuel economy improvements with their 2.0L LSY engine between the 2020 and 2021 model years.
The only 2021 Chevrolet Malibu trim level available with the 2.0L engine is the range-topping Premier, which starts at $34,295. All Premier models come with chrome exterior trim, 19-inch wheels, an 8-inch touchscreen display with navigation, Bose premium audio system, leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, power tilt-sliding sunroof, a wireless charging pad and other high-end creature comforts.
As a reminder, GM’s 2.0L LTG engine produces 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque in the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu. Meanwhile, the base turbocharged 1.5L engine is good for 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet. The 2.0L engine comes standard with GM’s nine-speed automatic, while the 1.5L engine comes paired to a CVT. The LTG engine is now only available in the Malibu as well as the Chevrolet Camaro, since the motor is being phased out in favor of the newer LSY four-cylinder unit.
As it stands, the Chevrolet Malibu’s future is uncertain. It is believed GM is preparing to drop the nameplate outright following the 2023 model year, as sales of the sedan have been dwindling in recent years. The larger Chevrolet Impala also bit the dust earlier this year for the same reason, while the compact Chevrolet Cruze was axed last year.