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2015 Chevrolet Malibu Review

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2015 Chevrolet Malibu Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.0

Last year, Chevrolet upgraded the Malibu midsize sedan's suspension for a more comfortable and controlled ride, improved rear-seat room (a little), and reshaped the nose a bit. Now, Chevy's just having fun. The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu gets available 4G LTE with OnStar, the same high-speed wireless connection that's probably on your smartphone. And, just like your phone, the 2015 Malibu can act as a wireless hotspot, allowing broadband Internet connections through tablets, smartphones, computers, or just about any other connected technology. Otherwise, with the exception of a few new colors, the 2015 Chevy Malibu is largely carryover, and that's fine with us. We like the quiet and comfortable ride, and the Malibu remains one of the better looking sedans in its class, inside and out.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want solid family transportation with the unfettered entertainment options that only come from the Internet, the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu may be the answer to your midsize sedan prayers.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu is at the smaller end of the midsize segment, and still suffers from a lack of rear-seat space. The Toyota Camry and Honda Accord sedans both offer up more room for rear passengers.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.0
  • 6.9
  • 7.9
  • 6.9
  • 5.7
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#11

out of 17

Fuel Economy

#2

out of 17

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.0 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2015 Chevrolet Malibu Low/wide front photo What's New for 2015

The biggest change to the 2015 Chevy Malibu is the addition of 4G LTE technology to OnStar. This allows the Malibu to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing computers, smartphones and tablets access to the Internet, as long as there's a 4G connection.

Driving the Malibu
2015 Chevrolet Malibu Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu is a quiet, composed and competent sedan. Last year's suspension improvements went a long way toward settling the car on the road, and when combined with...

... the quiet ride, the result is a midsize sedan that's well suited to long road trips over mile after mile of Interstate. The Malibu is also confident, if not exactly thrilling, on mountain roads too. The standard 4-cylinder engine offers decent power but only mid-pack fuel economy. The start-stop system added last year, which shuts off the engine at stoplights or in heavy stop-and-go traffic, is one of the best out there. The turbocharged Malibu offers notably more power and low-end torque, easily making the 4-cylinder competitive with the V6 engines available in other cars.

4G LTE WI-FI
The Wi-Fi availability in the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu has the potential to be a game-changer in the midsize-sedan segment. The most obvious example is a long road trip, where the kids in back could stream Netflix as you drive down the Interstate.

MYLINK INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM
Chevy's MyLink infotainment system is easy to use, and packed with features. You can use your Pandora and Stitcher accounts, Bluetooth sync is fast and easy, and everything's displayed on a large 7-inch touch screen that opens to reveal a hidden storage compartment.

2015 Chevrolet Malibu Details
2015 Chevrolet Malibu Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The 2015 Malibu is a comfortable place to while away your time on the road. Despite being on the smaller end of the midsize-sedan market, the Malibu's airy interior offers plenty of room for front passengers, and rear passengers as long as they're "tweens" or younger. The design, plus chrome accents and available leather, feel upscale for the class. At speed, the Malibu is quiet compared to its competition, and the controls and gauges are easy to use and see. Trunk space is adequate, although it's a high lift to the trunk compared to other sedans in the class.

Exterior
2015 Chevrolet Malibu photo

The 2015 Malibu carries over the new nose and tail it received last year. The design changes bring the Malibu closer to the larger Chevrolet Impala, one of the most handsome cars in its class. However, the distance between the front and rear wheels on the Malibu, known as wheelbase, is shorter than in other midsize sedans, giving it a somewhat awkward profile. Nonetheless, from other angles this is a handsome vehicle. We particularly like the taillights, inspired by performance cars like the Chevrolet Camaro, and the sporty stainless-steel exhaust tips on the top-line LTZ model.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The basic 2015 Chevrolet Malibu LS sedan comes with a 6-speaker audio with AM/FM/CD/satellite radio, cruise control, remote keyless entry, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and standard Wi-Fi connectivity, although it requires an OnStar subscription. The LT adds 7-inch touch screen with MyLink, a USB port for audio devices, Bluetooth audio streaming and a power driver's seat. Top-line LTZ versions enhance comfort with a power passenger seat, heated front seats and leather upholstery. All 2015 Malibus have 10 airbags and a 6-month trial of GM's OnStar safety and communications system, plus a 3-month 3GB data trial.

Optional Equipment

Optional on 2015 Malibu LT and LTZ midsize sedans is the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, which adds quite a bit of punch over the standard 4-cylinder. Other available options include navigation, a power sunroof, a backup camera and leather seating. The Advanced Safety Package includes blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, and a rear cross-traffic alert. Those seeking a premium audio system can opt for a 9-speaker Pioneer setup.

Under the Hood
2015 Chevrolet Malibu Engine photo

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu offers two different engines to drive its front wheels. The first is the standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, which comes standard with start-stop technology that shuts off the engine when the vehicle isn't moving. The upgrade engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that offers up enough power that you'll never wish for a V6. Both engines come with a 6-speed automatic transmission that includes a manual-shift mode, although the buttons mounted on top of the shift handle aren't the easiest to use. As with most midsize sedans, all versions of the Malibu can run on regular unleaded gasoline, though premium is recommended for the turbo model.

2.5-liter inline-4
196 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
186 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy, estimated: 23/35 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
259 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 mpg

Prices for the base 2015 Chevrolet Malibu LS start right at about $23,000. Mid-level LT models start at just below $24,500, and the top-line LTZ sedan rings in at a starting price of about $29,000. The turbocharged engine adds roughly $2,000 to the price of an LT or LTZ, although it's not a direct comparison since the turbo also comes with other equipment. Those prices are right in line with midsize-sedan rivals like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata. Before buying, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their Chevy Malibu. Resale value is not a strong point for the Malibu. Its long-term value is predicted to drop noticeably quicker than that of segment leaders such as the Honda Accord and Ford Fusion.

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2015 Chevrolet Malibu Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.0
Out of 10

Based on 110 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.0/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

This is my best Malibu by far!

By on Thursday, April 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500

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: "Fun and enjoyable to drive!"

Cons: "Navagation, back seat cup holder location"

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

"This is my 3rd Malibu. Had a 2006, 2011, and now the 2015. The 2006 and 2011 were base models and I enjoyed both of them. This time I decided to upgrade to the 2015 Malibu 3LT and I am very happy that I did. It has a 4 cylinder turbo engine with dual exhaust and it is quick. It is butte red metallic and is very sporty looking and feels sporty when driving it. I have been averaging 22 mpg in the city and about 31 MPG on the highway. The leather appointed seats are very comfortable. I like the way it lets me set my work phone and my personal phone up on the Bluetooth. The navigation system needs some work as far as finding some addresses, but the map is pretty cool as it will indicate certain points of interest on it, such as near by banks, gas stations, etc. I enjoy the remote start both with the On Star app and my key since it helps on cold days, especially with heated seats. On hot days it helps also, with cooling the car. I don't like that they took away the extra storage compartments, such as on the dash and the extra one on the console that I had with the 2011. I also don't like that you can't use the cup holders in the back if you have 3 people sitting back there since the cup holders are now in the middle, but if you have just 2 sitting back there not only can you use the cup holders, but you have storage. Other than that, I just simply love this car!"

great car

By on Friday, April 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

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: "fun to drive"

Cons: "has an air pump need a spare tire"

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

"Love love this car. Had only one problem with my 2013 malibu LT, when I bought it about 3 days later my wheel well was flooded, found out one of the pressure valves was bad had it replaced. No other problems rides quite and smooth don't know why other people are having issues. It's got a 4 cylinder what do you expect..but this engine is great sometimes I feel I got a 6 cylinder. No power lost when you punch it from a full spot.....love it"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Drives so well!

By on Monday, April 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

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: "Awesome"

Cons: "no cons"

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

"Handles amazingly, great gas milage, you'd think this was a expensive sports car, not a $20,000 Sedan.!!!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

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