The Chevy Malibu currently has the best quality seats in its segment of “Mass Market Midsize / Large Cars,” according to new research released by data and market analysis firm J.D. Power.
Per data published in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Seat Quality and Satisfaction Study the Chevy Malibu comes in first in its category, with its 6.2 seat problems per 100 vehicles putting it ahead of the second-place Kia K5 and third-place Toyota Camry.
The study based its findings and selected the Chevy Malibu as the top vehicle for seat quality in its segment based on two factors. These include the number of problems per hundred vehicles, or PP100, and the level of satisfaction with the seats which study respondents report. Both measures are based on the first 90 days of ownership.
The study notes that power-adjusting seats generally result in higher levels of satisfaction and lower numbers of problems with manually adjusting seats being more problematic on average. More and more power-adjustable seats are finding their way from premium vehicles into mass-market vehicles such as the Chevy Malibu. For now, memory seats are still lagging and mostly found in premium models only.
The J.D. Power senior director of global automotive supplier benchmarking and alternative mobility Ashley Edgar remarks that “mass-market brands have the ability to benchmark what premium brands do well.” Using this information will create “an opportunity to deliver seat features in a more intuitive, less problematic way,” Edgar added.
The J.D. Power seat study collected seat satisfaction and problem data between February and May of this year from purchasers and lessees of 93,380 new vehicles. The study is specifically designed to make data on seat and seat belt features, designs, and technology available as “a powerful benchmarking tool that allows suppliers and manufacturers to easily identify strengths and weaknesses.”
As a reminder, the 2023 Chevy Malibu is the only sedan remaining the Bow Tie’s vehicle lineup. It represents the eighth model year of the sedan’s ninth generation, and follows a mid-cycle refresh that arrived with the launch of the 2019 Chevy Malibu. GM extended production of the 2023 model year through July 2023, pushing back the start of 2024 Chevy Malibu production.
For motivation, the 2023 Chevy Malibu currently only offers a single powerplant and drivetrain configuration. This is based on the turbocharged 1.5L I4 LFV gasoline engine, rated at 163 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission.
The Chevy Malibu lineup previously included an additional engine choice, the turbocharged 2.0L I4 LTG, rated at 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, which delivered power to wheels via the GM nine-speed automatic transmission. GM dropped that powertrain combination when the automaker replaced the Premier trim level with the 2LT.