The 2021 Chevy Malibu is the last sedan still being sold by Chevrolet in the United States and Canada. The Chevy Malibu, now in its ninth generation, received a midcycle enhancement (otherwise known as a refresh) for the 2019 model year. Today, we’re bringing you this live photo gallery of the refreshed Chevy Malibu taken in South Korea.
The most immediately obvious alteration of the 2019 refresh was to the front fascia, where the headlights are now integrated with the upper grille.
Meanwhile, the lower grille is larger and bolder than before. The grilles and headlights are also more defined thanks to the use of chrome accents.
The lower front lights and air intakes were also completely redesigned during the MCE. Along with the other changes, this has given the front end of the Chevy Malibu a more “drawn back” appearance, in contrast to the “jutting forward” look of the pre-MCE model (2016-2018 model years).
From the side, the current Malibu is almost indistinguishable from the pre-update version. However, Chevrolet also offered some of the exterior colors and added a new wheel design as part of the MCE updates.
The new taillamps fitted to the Malibu since the 2019 model year deliver a more dramatic execution of the Bow Tie brand’s signature dual-element taillamp design. A new rear valance places the dual exhaust outlets further at the edges of the sedan, giving a greater sense of width even though that dimension has not in fact changed.
Inside, the Chevy Malibu now has the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system with an eight-inch diagonal color touchscreen.
The Korean-market Chevy Malibu is built at the Bupyeong plant in South Korea. Examples sold in North America are built at the GM Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kansas, USA, while the GM Jinqiao plant in Pudong, Shanghai builds cars for the Chinese market.
The current ninth-gen model, introduced for the 2019 model year, is based on the GM E2 platform. The same version of the platform underpinned the sixth-generation Buick Regal family, along with its various international-market variants, including the Opel Insignia, Vauxhall Insignia, and Holden Commodore. A longer-wheelbase version of the same platform underpinned the third-gen Buick LaCrosse before its discontinuation in the Americas, though the model is still available in China. Yet another variant of the E2 platform is used for the first-gen Cadillac XT4 and second-gen Buick Envision.
In North America, the 2019 and newer Malibu is mostly fitted with the 1.5L I4 LFV turbo gasoline engine, which produces 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque and is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The range-topping Premier version has the 2.0L I4 LTG engine, rated at 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The up-level engine is paired with GM’s nine-speed automatic gearbox.
Due to consumers’ ongoing love affair with crossovers, the Malibu isn’t expected to be around for much longer. The sedan is expected to be discontinued at the end of its lifecycle, around 2024.