Specifications of Chevrolet Malibu IX (facelift 2019) 1.5 (165 HP) CVT
General characteristics of Chevrolet Malibu IX (facelift 2019) 1.5 (165 HP) CVT
The Chevy Malibu is 194.2 inches long, housing a wheelbase of 111.4 inches. The width without the side mirrors is 73 inches, and the Malibu stands 57.9 inches tall. The track width at the front is 62.6 inches wide, while the rear is 0.1 inches smaller. The lightest Malibu is 3,135 pounds, while the heaviest is 3,223 lbs. Compared to two of its main competitors, the Malibu's weight is similar to that of the Honda Accord that starts at 3,150 lbs, but lighter than the Mazda 6 that starts at 3,437 lbs. Oddly enough, all three of these cars have the same wheelbase of 111.4 inches, yet packaging differences mean that not all offer the same amount of interior space.
We don't want to be mean to the 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, as it serves a specific purpose. That purpose is to offer sufficient forward momentum without making too much of a fuss while using as little gas as possible. There's a noticeable amount of lag, and the CVT's calibration doesn't help it. Still, it feels perfectly happy around town, and it gets up to highway speed without being annoying and the power delivery is gradual rather than immediate. This engine delivers 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque.
The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 250 hp and 260 lb-ft is much better, and it's such a pity it's only available in the top-end model. The nine-speed automatic does a much better job of exploiting the available power as well. With so many gear ratios to choose from, some gearboxes can feel slightly dimwitted. However, the Malibu's nine-speed always seems to be in the right gear, whether accelerating away from a dead stop or passing slower traffic.
The 1.5-liter turbocharged four-pot and CVT transmission work together to deliver some seriously impressive gas mileage figures. The smaller engine has an EPA rating of 29/36/32 mpg city/highway/combined. The Honda Accord manages to be more frugal, with an EPA rating of 30/38/33 mpg for the equivalent 1.5-liter turbocharged engine mated to a CVT.
The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine in the Malibu isn't half bad either, given the performance potential. It has EPA estimates of 22/33/26 mpg city/highway/combined. The Malibu has a 15.8-gallon gas tank, which means the 1.5-liter should be able to do just over 500 miles on a full tank.
Chevrolet says the Malibu is a five-seater, and, to be fair, it is. It just depends on the size of the three rear passengers. The rear legroom measures 38.1 inches, good for a tall person, but the shoulder and hip room (57.1 and 53.4 inches, respectively) is slightly tight. The legroom in the front is plentiful, measuring 41.5 inches. The front headroom is 39.1 inches and the rear headroom is 37.5 inches.
The seats are nicely cushioned, offering plenty of support. A six-way manually-adjustable driver's and a tilt and telescoping steering column make it easy for the driver to find a suitable driving position. The seat material quality isn't that great, with only the top-spec model receiving decent looking perforated leather seats as standard.
The Malibu has a 15.7 cubic foot trunk, which is on the small side in this segment, although it is still big enough for a month's worth of groceries. When more space is needed, the rear seats can be folded down in a 60/40 split. The Honda Accord has a bigger trunk, offering 16.7 cubes of space.
The storage options in the cabin are more impressive. It has a large glovebox, large door pockets with bottle holders, two cupholders, and a space for small items in the center console and center armrest storage. Rear passengers get smaller bottle holders in the doors and two cupholders hidden in the armrest for trims equipped with this armrest.
Reliability ratings for the Chevrolet Malibu are very good. The 2022 Chevrolet Malibu received 80 out of 100 points overall in the J.D. Power survey and a specific 84/100 rating for quality and reliability. It seems the people who own these cars like them very much. According to the NHTSA, the Malibu has suffered only one recall in 2020 and one in 2021, both for the same reason - an improperly secured rear seat-belt retractor. The Malibu is sold with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain/drivetrain warranty. Roadside assistance also runs for five years or 60,000 miles while complimentary scheduled maintenance covers a single visit in the first year.