Reviews

2017 Chevrolet Malibu Driving Impressions


Even in base trim, a Malibu feels light and nimble. Handling capably, it’s a pleasure to drive compared to most midsize sedans.

With 163 horsepower, the 1.5-liter base engine is fine for daily commutes as well as longer-distance treks. Only on mountain grades, is that powertrain likely to feel overtaxed. Even when pushed hard, the 1.5-liter engine is comparatively quiet. The 6-speed automatic doesn’t over-rev the engine before upshifting on the highway, which keeps noise down.

Considerably more powerful as well as refined, the 2.0-liter turbo under Premier hoods suppresses any need for a V6 engine. Even at lower engine speeds, this engine promises eager acceleration. Chevrolet omits the selectable modes for the powertrain and steering boost that have become popular, but the fixed calibrations deliver fine performance without fuss.

Among the lightest sedans in the midsize group, Malibu feels firm but well-composed, with its comfortably-tuned suspension. Though it leans toward comfort over sharpness, any Malibu feels impressively agile – almost like a compact model.

Although the Malibu Hybrid borrows some technology from Chevrolet’s Volt, and can travel short distances on battery power, it’s intended to be driven in a conventional manner. Acceleration to 60 mph is achieved in 7.8 seconds – sufficient to satisfy nearly all midsize sedan owners. Steering feels no less vivid than that of a regular Malibu, though its engine will be heard more often.

Non-hybrid models emit minimal engine drone. Most wind and road noises are suppressed, though rough surfaces might transmit some vibration.

Request More Info