The Chevrolet Malibu is a midsize car sold by General Motors in two distinct eras under nine generations of development. Most of the "original" Malibu models (1964-1983) are considered collectibles or desirables. After the Malibu's hiatus, it returned for a fifth-generation in 1997 and continues through to today. The last (8th) generation began global marketing for the car, outside of North America, and the ninth generation continues that trend.The first four generations of the Malibu were marketed until 1983 when the model was discontinued. It was revived for a fifth-generation in 1997 as a four-door sedan in the midsize segment. Both four- and six-cylinder engines were offered and a four-speed automatic transmission was the only option. The fifth-generation saw the Malibu move to a front-wheel drive platform and the car replaced the outgoing Chevrolet Corsica.In the 2004 model year, the sixth-generation of the Malibu was introduced, changing platforms yet again with both a sedan and five-door hatchback (the Maxx) being offered. Four- and six-cylinder engines remained as did four-speed automatic transmissions and FWD. Body styling and interior accoutrements were modernized.The seventh-generation of the Malibu was introduced in 2008 to be more competitive with the dominating Japanese midsized cars on the market (namely the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry). Trim levels were added to incentivize more purchasing power for consumers and during this generation, the four-speed automatic transmission was discontinued in favor of a more efficient six-speed automatic. Many four-speeds were replaced with six speed transmissions during a large recall event in 2012.The eighth-generation Malibu was introduced in 2013 and saw the car become a global offering with a more European appeal to its style and handling. Four- and six-cylinder engines were still the norm and a six-speed transmission was the norm in all markets. Chevrolet introduced the touchscreen infotainment and the Malibu was first introduced to the Chinese market in this generation as well.The 2016 model year saw a new generation (#9) of the Chevrolet Malibu introduced, again to a global market. The design is far more European and modern while the car itself became larger and more spacious inside, despite losing significant weight and gaining fuel efficiency. This generation Malibu is the first to have only four-cylinder engine options. This ninth-generation also saw the first Malibu Hybrid to be introduced to market.The most common consumer complaints about the Chevrolet Malibu are on high-mileage vehicles of the sixth-generation, which may be prone to power steering and engine coolant breakages and leaks.
Test Drive Reviews
2017 Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet has tried to be a player in the midsize hybrid sedan class for a number of years with the likes of Malibu Hybrid and Eco models. Neither model made a dent due to poor performance and unimpressive fuel economy figures. When it came to designing the new Malibu Hybrid, Chevrolet decided to take some of the lessons and parts from the plug-in hybrid Volt. The end result is a very impressive hybrid sedan.
The midsize sedan class is one of toughest marketplaces to compete in as automakers constantly improve or introduce new models to try and beat the class leaders. Show up with a half-baked model and you'll be left behind. Sadly that is what happened with the last-generation Chevrolet Malibu. Chevrolet made a number of mistakes with this model such as having one of smallest back seats in class, only selling a mild-hybrid version for the first few months after its launch, and not being a good value when compared to other models. Sales of the last-generation model dropped precipitously and Chevrolet knew that next-generation model had to be put on the fast track. Last year at the New York Auto Show, Chevrolet introduced the 2016 Malibu. This new model hopes to right the wrongs of the previous Malibu and get Chevrolet back in contention.
The completely redesigned 2013 Chevrolet Malibu features new styling inside and out, new drivetrains, refined driving dynamics, advanced high-tech features, comfortable interior, availability of a new turbocharged engine, and good fuel economy, especially in the Eco model.