Reviews

2017 Chevrolet Malibu Walk Around


For its 2016 redesign, the Malibu got longer and lighter, helped by additional high-strength steel. Starting with a lower, stretched nose, the current version also grew more handsome than its mundane predecessors. Design cues are similar to those used for the larger Impala, with more satisfying proportions.

Doors are wider than they used to be, windshield pillars are slimmer, and the back window is rather narrow. Taillights also are narrow, while the front end flaunts a bolder look. Viewed from the side, in particular, the Malibu exhibits a nicely balanced appearance.

Interior

Despite a relatively short wheelbase, Malibu is one of the most spacious midsize sedans, enhanced by a thoughtful layout and clever packaging. Back-seat legroom reaches 38.1 inches, close to Impala space.

Displaying understated charm, the cabin features a conventionally-styled, relatively low dashboard, expanded toward the corners. The center stack contains a 7.0-inch touchscreen (8.0-inch in Premier). Many owners are likely to welcome the use of control buttons. The driver sits a little lower than in some midsize sedans.

Sound-deadening techniques and active noise cancellation help subdue vibrations, whether from the road or powertrain. Base-level cloth upholstery fails to impress, but upper trim levels are pleasing.

Sensible details include knee-height console padding and substantial seat bolstering. Sufficiently long front-seat bottoms promise good support even for all-day driving.

Back-seat passengers also enjoy good leg support, on a flat floor. Less curvy than some rivals, the Malibu roofline doesn’t cut into headroom. Trunks have 15.8 cubic feet of space (11.6 cubic feet in the Hybrid).

Soft-touch surfaces are plentiful, but interior materials suggest some cost-cutting.

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