two thousand sixteen Chevrolet Malibu review: Can it finally compete with the section stalwarts?

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 6:10 PM

The car handles distant better than this former rental-car should -- firm and fairly flat, and a lot better than Malibus of the past. While it could be too harsh for some, I thought the suspension a excellent compromise of stiffness and comfort.

two thousand sixteen Chevrolet Malibu review: Can it finally compete with the section stalwarts?

Stunning looks, striking sticker

The totally new Malibu gets a punchy, turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 and an eight-speed transmission that work perfectly together. The car handles distant better than this former rental-car should -- firm and fairly flat, and a lot better than Malibus of the past. While it could be too harsh for some, I thought the suspension a excellent compromise of stiffness and comfort. Through the well-worn Detroit streets, it managed sizable pot holes with dull thuds and without knocking my teeth loose. When facing the more common coarse road, the noise barely crept into the cabin and didn't shake anything loose.

The Malibu's acceleration won't spill your morning coffee but will obtain you up to pace quickly, with shifts firm sufficient for you to notice but not sports-car rough. The steering was heavier than I expected, and I was pleasantly surprised by its agility. However, if you're looking for steering feedback, you won't discover too much of it behind the wheel of this Chevy. Of course, that won't be an issue with too many people who just wish a commuter -- in that respect, it can be optioned with GM’s latest suite of semi-autonomous goodies that should create commuting in mind-numbing traffic that much easier.

The stock infotainment system is perfectly responsive and intuitive. The added layer of Apple CarPlay furthers that intuitive feel -- ironically though, I found the stock navigation to work better, and be easier to use, than Apple Maps through CarPlay.

Is the Malibu better than an Accord, Fusion or Camry? That'd be tough to say, at minimum in regard to the Agreement and Fusion, but it’s definitely in the discussion for what midsize car you should bring home -- just rescue money and ditch some of the extras.

-- Wes Wren, associate editor

I didn’t displeasure the elderly Malibu, nor did rental fleets, but number question this is much better-looking. It’s bigger, and that helps with interior room -- it’s huge, something midsize sedan buyers number doubt see for. I think the exterior is excellent, much more stylish. The car is also three hundred pounds lighter, according to our website.

The interior looks excellent to my eye, and the thing is loaded with goodies love remote start, driver information system, leather, heated/cooled front seats, heated steering wheel, wireless smartphone charging, Apple CarPlay … on and on it goes.

Taking three hundred pounds out of it certainly helps; it feels nimble and quick-witted and the steering felt good, ditto the oomph and shift smoothness. Number issues there. But there was something about it that bugged me, and I can’t keep my finger on it, other than to declare it didn’t ride as smoothly as I thought it would, or as smoothly as an Accord, I guess I should say. It’s a bit harsh over coarse stuff, and the suspension sounded noisy, or again, noisier than an Accord. Love I said, I don’t know why. Off the top of my head and doing zero research, I’m blaming the 19-inch tires.

-- Wes Raynal, editor

Chevrolet has a grand powertrain here in their turbo 2.0-liter/eight-speed combo; there's power right where you wish it, and shifts are fast and crisp without being harsh. In fact, that kind of sums up the whole car -- it's a beautiful midsizer with number genuine flaws; I tried my damndest to replicate the rough-road harshness Wes mentioned but didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. Yes, the Malibu might be a bit more harshly sprung than a Camry or Accord, but it's not necessarily a bad thing.

So Chevy finally builds a competitive Malibu … why, then, do they price it thousands of dollars higher than a comparable Accord? A loaded V6 Honda is less than this four-cylinder Malibu, and the highest-spec four-cylinder Agreement is a whopping $4K cheaper. That means incentives will be needed right off the bat to move Malibus, which translates to lower resale, which repeats the same song Chevy's midsizers have been dancing to for decades.

-- Andrew Stoy, digital editor

driver confidence package II, including parking brake, adaptive cruise control, semi-automatic parking assist and front automatic braking ($1.295); driver confidence package, including intellibeam auto high-beam control head lamps, following distance sensor indicator, forward collision alert, rear cross traffic alert, lane-keep assist, side blind-zone alert with lane-change alert and front pedestrian detection ($1.195)

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