Buyer's Guide

2022 Chevrolet Malibu
Select a Different Model (4 Available): LS Sedan
Fuel Economy $ 29 / 36 mpg
Horsepower 160@5,700
Torque 184@2,500
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2022 Chevrolet Malibu MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Handsome styling
  • Potent optional powertrain
  • Composed handling

Cons

  • Boring cabin
  • Weak base engine
  • Lacks standard active safety tech

The 2022 Chevrolet Malibu was once a decent entry in the midsize sedan segment, but it's starting to show its age. Trims and powertrains have steadily disappeared from the lineup, leaving the Malibu with two engines and four trims. We like the exterior, but dated tech and an uninspired cabin have dulled the Malibu's shine. We anticipate replacement or discontinuation within the next few years.

What's New

  • Base L trim cut from lineup
  • Electronic parking brake is now standard
  • Shadow Gray Metallic and Black Cherry Metallic paint colors eliminated, Mineral Gray Metallic and Dark Ash Metallic added

What We Think

The Chevrolet Malibu comes within shouting distance of excellence, but ultimately it falls short. The biggest culprit is a lackluster interior, which is outfitted with cheap trim and an outdated gauge cluster. That's a shame because the Malibu's shape is elegant and attractive.

The Malibu's ride strikes a nice balance between agility and comfort. Body roll is well controlled, and the sedan comports itself well when the road gets twisty. Unfortunately, most trims are saddled with an underpowered 1.5-liter engine.

The Malibu starts cheaper than competitors like the Honda Civic or Hyundai Sonata, but Chevy's lack of standard active safety tech makes it a hollow victory. The Premier trim improves both the interior and the powertrain, but it costs about $10,000 more than the base LS. In the end, the Malibu falls behind the competition.

Performance and Fuel Economy

The 2022 Malibu starts with a 1.5-liter turbo-four making 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a CVT and front-wheel drive, it's good for an EPA-estimated 29/36 mpg city/highway. The powertrain is decent around town, but it feels underpowered on the highway, and the CVT buzzes under heavy acceleration.

A 2.0-liter turbo-four is available, but it's limited to the top Premier trim. With 250 hp and 260 lb-ft, the turbo powertrain offers strong acceleration and smooth shifts courtesy of a nine-speed automatic. When we tested it in 2017, a Malibu Premier did the 0-60-mph sprint in a respectable 5.7 seconds. Fuel efficiency falls to 22/33 mpg city/highway.

The Way of the Future

The Malibu was briefly available with a hybrid powertrain, but that option was dropped in 2020. The future of the Malibu is uncertain—rumors have circulated about discontinuation, but nothing has been officially confirmed.

In the meantime, the Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, and Honda Accord all offer hybrid powertrains. GM has pledged to invest heavily in electric and alternative powertrains over the next few years. If the Malibu is next on the chopping block, an electrified replacement may not be far behind.

Safety Ratings and Features

The Malibu has a decent but unexceptional safety record. Last year's model earned four stars from the NHTSA and Good scores on all but one IIHS test. In the agency's passenger-side small overlap front test, the Malibu received a Marginal score.

Active safety tech is available but never standard. Most features, including automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitors, are bundled into a $1,095 package. Adaptive cruise control is limited to the Premier trim, where it's part of an upgraded $2,095 safety package.

Cargo Space and Interior Room

The Malibu seats five. It's comfortable for a midsize sedan, although it can't quite match the spacious Honda Accord.

Cargo space:

  • 2022 Malibu: 15.7 cubic feet
  • 2022 Accord: 16.7 cubic feet

Legroom (first/second rows):

  • 2022 Malibu: 41.5/38.1 inches
  • 2022 Accord: 42.3/40.4 inches

Technology

Every Malibu gets an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen. The software is quick and easy to use, and the system comes with wireless smartphone compatibility as well as a Wi-Fi hotspot. The Malibu Premier gets Bose sound, wireless charging, navigation, and an 8.0-inch instrument cluster for the driver.

Trim Levels

The 2022 Chevrolet Malibu loses its base L trim, which means the lineup now begins with the LS trim. At around $24,500, it's still spartan, and the lack of standard active safety tech doesn't help its value. For another $1,000, the RS trim jazzes up the exterior but does little to help the interior.

At around $28,000, the LT improves the feature list with heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and heated side mirrors. The Premier might be the most tempting of the lot. Though it starts at nearly $35,000, the interior is much improved over lower trims, and the 2.0-liter engine is a worthwhile upgrade.

Other Midsize Sedans:

2022 CHEVROLET MALIBU SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
REBATES
Engine Name
Engine: 4-Cyl Turbo 1.5 Liter Ecotec
Transmission Name
Transmission, Hydra-Matic Continuously Variable Automatic
Trim
LS Sedan
Class
Passenger Car
Horsepower
160@5,700
Standard MPG
29/36
Body Style
Sedan
Drivetrain
FWD
Fuel Type
Unleaded Regular
Seating Capacity
5/5
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
100,000
Maintenance Warranty Months
none
Corrosion Warranty Months
72
Powertrain Warranty Miles
60,000
Full Warranty Miles
36,000
Powertrain Warranty Months
60
Full Warranty Months
36
Roadside Assistance Miles
60,000
Maintenance Warranty Miles
N/R
Roadside Assistance Months
60
IIHS Best Pick
0
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
Amount Description Expiry Date
$0 0% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48 Months - GM announces a GM Financial APR program that is good towards the purchase of select models. 01-31-2022
$0 1.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - GM announces a GM Financial APR program that is good towards the purchase of select models. 01-31-2022
$0 0.9% Financing for a maximum term of 60 Months - GM announces a GM Financial APR program that is good towards the purchase of select models. 01-31-2022
$0 2.99% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60, 72 Months - GM announces APR rates on select models. 01-31-2022
$0 3.24% Financing for a maximum term of 75 Months - GM announces APR rates on select models. 01-31-2022
$0 3.49% Financing for a maximum term of 84 Months - GM announces APR rates on select models. 01-31-2022