Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • 12 Best Family Cars of 2014
  • 10 Most Affordable Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000
Go

2011 Chevrolet Malibu

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2011 Chevrolet Malibu Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

Chevy's mid-size offerings, like most GM passenger cars, suffered corporate neglect in the 1990s and early 2000s as customers – and the company's engineering attention and budget – increasingly shifted toward trucks and SUVs. What a difference a few years make. After surviving one of the worst crisis in automotive history, GM emerges from bankruptcy with a renewed emphasis on high-quality, fuel-efficient vehicles. Nowhere is this philosophy more evident than in the company's most successful mid-size sedan, the Chevrolet Malibu. Now entering its third year of production, the Malibu has bolted from middle-of-the-road contender straight to the top of the mid-size sedan game. The 2011 Malibu looks wonderful, is solidly built and carefully crafted inside and out, offers good fuel economy, drives wonderfully and is priced to sell in serious volumes. If there is one weakness in the Malibu game plan, it is the lack of a proper hybrid model to challenge the Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2011 Chevrolet Malibu's bold, attractive sheetmetal and stylish interior touches are backed by confident handling, a quiet ride and an overall level of refinement competitive with the category's best. Unlike some competitors, the fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine is available on all Malibu trims, not just the entry-level model.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2011 Chevrolet Malibu hasn't been around long enough to challenge the impressive resale values of the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. Certain high-end features available on competitors, like DVD navigation (OnStar Turn-by-Turn does not feature a map display), music streaming and keyless start and entry, are not offered on the Malibu. And Chevrolet has nothing to counter Ford's SYNC voice activated audio system.

What's New for 2011

For 2011, Chevrolet adds its fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmission with TAPshift manual shift control to all Malibu trims.

Driving the Malibu

Driving Impressions The 2011 Chevrolet Malibu's long wheelbase, wide stance and stiff structure combine for a pleasing balance of ride and handling that's not at all common in this class, particularly for...

a domestic brand. The energy-efficient electric power steering on four-cylinder models – though better than earlier GM electric power steering applications – feels a bit artificial on-center; the conventional hydraulic power steering on V6 cars offers more precise feel. The Malibu is amazingly well behaved on uneven pavement, absorbing all but the most stubborn bumps and never giving in to wheel hop or chatter. The cabin is also luxury-car quiet, with no perceptible wind noise around the pillars or mirror caps. GM's fuel-efficient six-speed automatic is a welcome addition to the Malibu lineup and offers paddle shifters for more spirited driving.

Remote Starting
Available on 1LT models and standard on 2LT and LTZ, this terrific feature lets you start the engine and warm or cool the interior from a distance, with the car still locked, well before departing.

Turn-by-Turn Navigation
A GM OnStar feature, this service provides precise verbal directions through the car's audio system without the need to program in a destination.

2011 Chevrolet Malibu Details
Interior

The 2011 Chevrolet Malibu's beautifully crafted interior uses premium materials throughout. The "dual-cockpit" instrument panel's major gauges are backlit in blue, ambient lighting provides a warm environment and overhead LED floodlights project subdued light on the console area between the front seats. The deep center console's sliding cover opens to accommodate large items, there's a handy storage compartment atop the instrument panel and an available "rear power center" provides a 110-volt AC power outlet. Two available two-tone trim combinations – Ebony and Brick and Cocoa and Cashmere – offer a choice of metallic-look or wood grain accents, while an all-Ebony combination is accented with tasteful wood grain. Rear seat legroom for tall passengers is exceptionally good, and the high roofline allows enough head room for all but the super long-bodied, who probably will be more comfortable up front.

Exterior

The 2011 Chevrolet Malibu hits a high-water mark for its size and price with taut proportions, elegant lines and a crisp, clean profile. Its split grille represents the new global face of Chevrolet cars, and its twin round tail lamps are traditional Chevy cues. The Malibu feature a large, deep trunk with a low lift over height for easy loading, and the car's elongated rear doors make entry and exit comfortable even for tall passengers. LTZ models feature front fog lamps and clear-lens LED tail lamps, while V-6-powered Malibus sport twin chrome exhausts. With tight panel gaps and rich-looking details, this mid-size Chevy looks like $40,000 while starting at half that price.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Malibu's comprehensive list of standard safety features includes four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and traction control, StabiliTrak stability control, front seat-belt pretensioners, OnStar 9.0 and six air bags: Dual-stage front, front seat-mounted thorax (side) and two-row head-curtain bags. Also standard are a six-speed TAPshift automatic transmission, 17-inch painted steel wheels, XM Satellite Radio and (surprisingly) a choice of interiors that includes two-tone trim combinations. The range-topping LTZ offers front fog lamps, 18-inch aluminum wheels, dual chrome exhausts and clear-lens LED taillamps.

Optional Equipment

2011 Chevrolet Malibu option and equipment packages include such features as power-adjustable pedals, up level interiors, leather seats, power equipment groups and a premium audio system. A touch screen GPS navigation system is not available (partially because the center stack design doesn't provide room for a screen), but Turn-by-Turn verbal directions can be easier to use (you call in destinations to an OnStar operator rather than program them in) and you may not miss the screen.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Chevrolet Malibu offers a choice of a standard 169-horsepower 2.4-liter ECOTEC four, or a 252-horsepower 3.6-liter V6; both engines feature dual overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and variable valve timing. Chevrolet's fuel-efficient six-speed automatic is standard across the line, and features a manual shift mode to aid when passing or merging. The 2011 Malibu does not offer a manual transmission option.

2.4-liter 4-cylinder
169 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
160 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/33 (six-speed), 15/23 (E85, six-speed)

3.6-liter V6
252 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
251 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2011 Chevrolet Malibu Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 519 Ratings for the 2008 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Wonderful car but does not hold value

By on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Cons: "Does not hold trade in value"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I bought my 2012 Chevy Malibu brand new and have loved it ever since. Gas mileage is wonderful. It's the perfect size sedan for my small family. Very stylish and sporty looking. The only downfall is that it started losing value as soon as I drove it off the lot. Now, 2 years later, it is only worth 1/2 of the purchase price. Therefore, if I ever decided to trade it in, I would take a large financial hit."

Chevy malibu hybrid

By on Friday, July 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Handles very well very smooth ride"

Cons: "Too much electronics (computers)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"One of the most comfortable cars I've owned. The little 4 cylinder engine is enough for it to get up and go. the highway mileage is phenomenal for the size of the car. I'm 6'2" and this is the only car that the seat isn't all the way back. The telescopic steering wheel is great. The room this vehicle has is almost comparable to a 70's Cadillac almost. It has a huge trunk and spacious interior."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

It's a great and very reliable, comfortable ride.

By on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great car and I like it much more than the Impala"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"When driving on highway I set on cruse control and the MPG is so good. I have a need for a pick up at this stage of my life, or I would hold on to this car. It rides real smooth and I haven't had any problems at all. It's been serviced every 3000 miles. Currently has 24850 miles on the car. The color is pearl, and some folks call it metallic white. Very nice paint and great wheels. No dings or dents, as I always parked in away from others, and it's in the garage when it isn't in use. It's style is LTZ which has a lot of options. Interior is leather with a beautiful walnut wood trim."

Except for steering noise has been a very good car

By on Sunday, June 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "mpg, comfort, quiet, dependable."

Cons: "noise in steering."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Bought one of the first "new" malibus. Noticed a clunking noise as I was driving it home for the first time. Took it in and they "fixed" it. The noise came back. The dealership "fixed" it two more times and it continued to come back. The last time I took it in (still under warranty) I was simply told that "all malibus do that" as if it was ok because they all are messed up. This turned out to be the same problem I had with my GMC pickup. The steering column develops a slack in it and while it is not a safety issue it is very annoying and speaks to GM's failure to build a quality vehicle that they will make right if it has something wrong. Long story short, every time I drive it, especially on cold days when the noise id particularly bad the car (and truck) sing me a song that goes something like this ... Never again, never again, I'll never buy a GM again. The pickup was new in 2004 and stickered for 41k and the malibu was 28k. For that kind of money GM should make it right. At the right price a used malibu would be a good car but just know that they "all do that"."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

comfortable for long drives

By on Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Looks great, easy to drive."

Cons: "not enough cup holders in easy to get to places."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Love this car. Roomy enough for 5, great ride, comfortable interior. Looks great even after almost three years."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great car for trade in from 2001 Ford Taurus

By on Sunday, June 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,588

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "gas mileage, ambient lights, doors open wide"

Cons: "small trunk, no onstar, no satellite radio"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

She's new to me

"I had a 2001 Ford Taurus SES that I loved but it had major problems. Well I decided to stop in at a dealership because of traffic, I love car so the guy comes up and says "I will not bother you but if you have questions just ask" I had questions and drove some cars, then after everything; he asked if I wanted to see if I could be approved. I had been approved and I'm working on my credit :) They financed me for a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu LS and I never even test drove it. When I took it home everyone loved it and so did I. I had to take it back to the dealership three days later because the alignment was off a little bit. They said it was fine and turned the steering wheel back straight and it was still eating up the drivers tire. Other than the tire problem and noise from the tires the car is awesome."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

She's new to me

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

See if you qualify for
up
to
Cash Back
on a new
Details