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The Malibu has long remained one of Chevy's most popular cars. However, it has always been overshadowed by rivals such as the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry. This year, Chevy has given the 2019 model a much-needed refresh. Not only does the 2019 Chev Malibu promise to offer improved fuel economy, but it also benefits from a few exterior styling tweaks. Good interior space and excellent safety scores also help the new Malibu to remain competitive.
What's New for 2019?
Although the new 2019 Chev Malibu may not look dramatically different, it's styling has been updated. Chevy has also equipped the Malibu with its all-new infotainment system. On models equipped with the base engine, a CVT replaces the previous six-speed automatic transmission.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 Chevrolet Malibu – The Pros
1. New CVT Aids Fuel Economy
The base power source for the 2019 Chev Malibu remains a 1.5-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. However, it's no longer paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. To promote better fuel efficiency, Chevrolet has introduced a new CVT. The extra fuel savings will especially benefit the drivers who spend a lot of time in urban areas. While the Malibu's highway fuel economy is unchanged at 36 mpg, city fuel economy has improved to 29 mpg.
2. Surprisingly Fun Hybrid Model
Drivers looking to obtain the maximum fuel savings should consider the Malibu Hybrid. It's rated by the federal government to return a combined 46 mpg on regular unleaded. However, the Malibu Hybrid doesn't just conserve fuel. Most people will find it to be surprisingly engaging to drive. A lightweight design helps the Malibu Hybrid to have a good punch off the line. Testers clocked the sedan with a 0-60 time of around 7.8 seconds.
3. Larger Turbocharged Engine Feels Powerful
Only the range-topping Premier trim can be equipped with a larger 2.0-liter engine. It helps the 2019 Chev Malibu to deliver a far more entertaining performance. Chevrolet rates the engine to produce a solid 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Although the the Malibu is still not as quick as the new Honda Accord, there's definitely a strong kick under the hood. In regard to efficiency, drivers can look forward to getting a combined 26 mpg on premium gas.
4. Controlled Handling
You will enjoy the Malibu's smooth handling. A well-sorted suspension enables it to smoothly glide down the road. Drivers will also benefit from the electric-assist steering system, which delivers a good amount of road feedback. It certainly gives the Malibu an extra sense of sportiness. Most importantly for families, this car doesn't ride bad. Even the available 19-inch wheels don't seem to upset the Malibu's comfortable ride quality.
5. Styling Looks Better
If you were attracted to the previous Malibu's styling, you may find the new model to be even more charming. Chevy updated it with a new grille, which has a striking resemblance to the one found one the latest Chevrolet Camaro. New integrated headlights also help give the 2019 Chev Malibu a bolder look. The new RS model really makes a powerful statement with its blacked-out exterior trim and attractive rear spoiler.
6. Easily Handles Passengers and Cargo
When it comes to keeping families comfortable, the 2019 Chev Malibu stacks up very well against the competition. With 38 inches of legroom in the rear, there's definitely enough space for most adults. If you need to accommodate three kids in the back, the hip room will come in handy. This midsize sedan also gets high marks for its good seat comfort. Ample trunk space also helps make the Malibu a good traveling companion.
7. Won't Put a Big Dent In Your Bank Account
The 2019 Chev Malibu is an affordable family car. Prices for the new Malibu start at slightly more than $22,000. Aside from the top-of-the-line Malibu Premier, all of the trims are priced below $30,000. Fortunately, even the base model now comes equipped with an upgraded backup camera. Some of the other standard features include an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, smartphone integration, and Bluetooth audio streaming.
8. Marvelous Infotainment System
Chevy's previous MyLink infotainment system was good. However, the new Infotainment 3 system is being mentioned among the best in the segment. It'll make your life on the road more satisfying. Infotainment 3 can be controlled with swiping gestures, which is good news for smartphone users. Drivers will definitely like the overall simplicity of the interface. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto may it easy to sync your mobile phone. Meanwhile, units equipped with navigation provide real-time traffic updates.
9. Teen Driver System
Most parents have a bit of fear about their teenager getting behind the wheel. All versions of the 2019 Chev Malibu come standard with a Teen Driver system. This technology allows parents to essentially watch over their young drivers. You can set a top speed and restrict the audio system's maximum volume. Teen Driver can also compile a detailed report card of your teenager's driving habits, which is sent directly to your phone.
10. Safe Vehicle for Everyone
Like the majority of cars in this segment, the 2019 Chev Malibu received a five-star overall safety rating from the federal government. A lot of important safety tech is available as well. Most models come standard with OnStar, which is among today's most rewarding emergency communications systems. Some of the advanced driving aids include forward collision avoidance, blind-spot alert, and adaptive cruise control.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 Chevrolet Malibu – The Cons
1. Advanced Driving Aids Don't Come Standard
Rivals, such as the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry, now come standard with an advanced safety package. Unfortunately, Chevrolet forces you to pay extra for technologies like forward collision alert and lane departure warning. Although the Malibu has a low starting price, you'll forced to go without certain safety technologies. You can't get any advanced driving aids on the base 2019 Chev Malibu L.
2. Base Engine Delivers Just an "Okay" Performance
Don't expect to be thrilled by the performance of the Malibu's base engine. It pushes out 160 horsepower, which is less than you get from most of the competition. While the Malibu doesn't have trouble getting up to speed, it's simply not as quick. You can expect to hit 60 mph in around 8.5 seconds. Even the hybrid-powered Malibu offers stronger acceleration.
3. All-Wheel Drive Not Available
Malibu buyers still don't have access to an AWD system. The absence of all-wheel drive makes the Malibu not as suitable for harsh winter weather. When driving around on a wintry day, you'll be more likely to get stuck in the snow. Some of the best AWD sedans in this class include the 2019 Subaru Legacy and the 2019 Nissan Altima.
4. Not As Engaging to Drive
The 2019 Chev Malibu isn't a total snooze to drive. Nevertheless, some drivers will ultimately desire a car that has a sportier character on the road. It doesn't feel as entertaining as the 2019 Mazda 6 and the new Honda Accord. Aside from delivering more responsive handling, these cars offer an engaging manual transmission.
5. More Powerful Premier Model Requires Premium Gas
Drivers looking for a stronger output will want the Premier model. While it's engine develops good power, you must pay extra for premium gas. Over time, the additional money spent at the pump will start to pile up.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition
As expected, the 2019 Chev Malibu competes against the 2019 Toyota Camry. While the Chevy Malibu has a slightly lower starting price, a greater number of standard features are found on the Toyota Camry. Drivers seeking power will also enjoy the Camry's new V6 engine.
The 2019 Honda Accord is another great family sedan. Not only does the Accord feel more premium on the inside, but it also offers a manual transmission. If you live in an area that has a lot of snowfall during the winter, check out the 2019 Subaru Legacy. Its standard Symmetrical AWD system will help you to maintain very good traction.
Although the 2019 Chev Malibu may not be the best midsize sedan, it still remains an appealing option. Excellent crash protection and a roomy cabin make the Malibu a highly recommended car for families. While the base engine may leave some drivers wanting more performance, the Premier trim's more powerful engine brings an extra level of fun. You should also strongly consider getting the eco-friendly Malibu Hybrid.
• Why buy a 2018 Chevrolet Malibu? w/ pros vs cons