Why You’ll Appreciate the Chevy Malibu

November 6th, 2015 by

2015 Chevrolet Malibu

The Chevy Malibu recently hit a monumental sales mark, a significant moment for both the brand and the nameplate. The Chevy Malibu has undergone significant changes and faced a lot of adversity since it first made its debut back in 1964. However, the car’s sales have always proved to be consistent, and that’s a big reason why the vehicle is still on the road today.

The engineers behind the Malibu have always done an admirable job of assuring that their product doesn’t get stale. It occasionally works and occasionally it doesn’t, but it certainly keeps their product’s name on the consumer’s mind. That willingness to change things up and be fresh is another reason for the consistent sales. Therefore, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise if the 2016 Chevy Malibu ends up being an absolute hit.

Before we explain why the 2016 Chevy Malibu could be the best in the nameplate’s history, let’s understand a bit about the vehicle and its many predecessors…

As Joseph Capparella of AutoMobileMag.com writes, the 10 millionth Chevy Malibu was produced and sold this past August. The company says that 90-percent of those cars were either sold in the United States, China or South Korea, although the writer does point out that the car is currently sold in 25 global markets.

Generally known today as a “front-wheel-drive family sedan,” Capparella explains that the Malibu was originally supposed to be similar to the “midsize, rear-wheel-drive Chevrolet Chevelle.” Initially available in sedan, coupe, convertible, and station wagon versions, the Malibu ultimately replaced the Chevelle in the brand’s line of cars. Following moderate changes to the second generation (1968) and third generation (1973), the Malibu saw a significant downsizing upon the release of the fourth generation in 1978.

However, starting in 1983, the Malibu took an extended break, and it was uncertain if the vehicle was going to be retired. As Capparella notes, Chevy tried to cycle “through a few different front-wheel-drive models, including the Celebrity and the Lumina, through the rest of the 1980s and 1990s.” The Malibu triumphantly made its return in 1997, repurposed as a “smaller, front-wheel-drive sedan” and the vehicle ended up being slotted in between the Cavalier and Lumina.

Of course, the revamped Malibu, saw additional redesigns, as well. The Malibu was temporarily sold as the Malibu Maxx station wagon in 2004, but the company seemingly decided to scrap that idea prior to the introduction of the seventh-generation Malibu in 2008.

The eighth-generation, which would hit dealer lots in 2013, will be end up being short lived, as the 2016 model will introduce the ninth generation. As the writer notes, among the new changes to the Malibu is the inclusion of a “gas-electric full hybrid variant [that uses] a parallel hybrid drivetrain with certain elements taken from the Chevrolet Volt.”

It’s not all about the changes, though. The Chevy Malibu will be retaining many of the attributes that have made it so successful in recent years, including a number of innovative (and appreciated) safety features. These amenities have led to car being a popular choice among first-time drivers (and their accompanying parents).

Now, we’re not just talking about antilock brakes or multiple airbags (although, the Malibu impressively features 10 airbags, assisted by a 360-degree sensor that can monitor and analyze the severity of an impact, adjusting the inflation in the process). Instead, we’re referring to innovative technology like the Lane Keep Assist system, which prevents the driver from unintentionally drifting into another lane. There’s also the Rear Cross Traffic Alert system (which alerts you via the rear vision camera of any fellow drivers, walkers, or obstacles that may have snuck behind you) and the Forward Collision Alert system (which helps anticipate and prevent a potential accident).

Chevy will also be rolling out their new Teen Driver technology with the upcoming Malibu, which the company believes “encourages safe driving habits for new drivers.” The system cleverly limits its features to keep these young drivers focused on the road. For instance, the audio will mute when passengers aren’t wearing seatbelts, and the car will also alert the driver via audible and visual warning when they’re driving too fast.

If an accident does happen, OnStar is notified immediately, and they’ll be able to determine whether emergency services need to be dispatched. If the driver is unable to respond, the system can still utilize your vehicle’s GPS to figure out your exact location, assuring that help will always be available.

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Besides the innovative safety features, there are also a number of interior amenities that will improve the driver’s overall experience. The reported add-ons include a six-speaker audio system (which is supplemented by an eight-inch MyLink Infotainment system), and there’s also the option for ventilated front seats and adaptive cruise control. The MyLink system will presumably be included, allowing drivers and passengers to access their phone, the radio, navigation, whatever they want… all without taking their eyes off the road. The 2015 model also came with OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi, allowing up to seven devices to use the hotspot.

Perhaps the biggest addition to the nameplate is the inclusion of a hybrid engine. The vehicle’s previously-mentioned 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine can deliver an incredible 48 city mile per gallon and 37 highway mile per gallon fuel efficiency, which are some of the best specs in the class. It was an apparent priority of the brand to knock fuel efficiency out of the park, and they ended up succeeding, as the numbers top those of the Ford Fusion Hybrid (42 combined mpg) and Camry (41 mpg). This fuel economy can be appreciated by any driver, especially commuters who have lengthy drives to work. The other option will likely be some variant of 2.5-liter I-4 engine seen in last year’s model, capable of reaching 196 horsepower.

There’d be no reason not to be excited about the upcoming 2016 model, especially since the 2015 Malibu took home a number of accolades. The car was named the “Most Dependable Midsize Car” and “Highest Ranked Midsize Car in Initial Quality” by J.D. Power in 2015. The vehicle was also commended by a number of car-reviewing websites, and it received great marks for safety. We can expect much of the same for the 2016 model.

If the 2016 model ends up having a price tag that resembles the 2015’s MSRP of $22,465, consumers be receiving quite the bargain. You expect to see these types of features on vehicles that are at least $10,000 more, making the Malibu a heck of a deal. Early reports have it coming in at even cheaper than that, with the MSRP expected to be around $21,625. It’s uncertain when the car will hit lots, but we should expect to see it in the coming months.

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There’s just too many reasons for a consumer to opt for the Chevy Malibu. The vehicle caters to a variety of different drivers, whether that be teenagers (who would rely on the safety features) or commuters (who would appreciate the fuel economy). After having seen what Chevy did with the 2015 model, we should be eagerly anticipating the release of their updated Malibu.

Posted in Chevrolet