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2022 Chevrolet Malibu Pros vs Cons

Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2022 Chevrolet Malibu? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

Despite the changing tides, Chevrolet has persevered by keeping one sedan in its lineup. The Malibu may seem unchanged at first glance, but a closer examination reveals two sides to this coin: on one hand is reliability and nostalgia; on the other – potential held back through inertia. When it comes time to take your next car for a spin around town, you must carefully decide if the pros of having 2022's Chevrolet Malibu outweigh any cons associated with owning it.

What's New for 2022?

Buyers can no longer choose the L trim level when shopping the Malibu. In 2022, the LS is considered the entry-level model. An electronic parking brake has also been added to all models. Otherwise, this sedan enters 2022 largely the same. The Malibu is in its ninth generation, which debuted in 2016.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2022 Chevrolet Malibu – The Pros

1. Spacious and Comfortable Interior

The amount of both head and legroom is impressive in the Malibu. Taller passengers, in particular, will be pleasantly surprised when sitting in either row. This is a sedan that can truly seat up to five people without everyone feeling cramped. The seats are well-padded and supportive enough to stay comfortable on even longer drives. Cloth upholstery is standard. There are several interior upgrades available, including leather, climate-controlled front seats, and a heated steering wheel.

2. Easy-to-Use Technology Features

The 2022 Chevrolet Malibu is a sleek, comfortable car designed to provide drivers with an enhanced experience through its multitude of tech features. With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth connectivity, and Wi-Fi hotspot all available as standard from the base model onwards - not forgetting the rearview camera for added safety – it's no wonder that this sedan appeals to everyday road users alike. Parents can rest easy too thanks to Teen Driver mode; setting limits on speed and audio volume whenever their teenager takes control of the wheel! Furthermore, there are plenty more luxuries such as wireless charging capabilities plus premium sound system delivered via multiple USB ports so every journey in your new Malibu will be effortless yet enjoyable at any given time.

3. Exciting Turbocharged Engine Option

The top Premier trim of the 2022 Malibu draws its power from a 2.0L turbocharged engine. It generates 250-horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, which makes for a thrilling experience. Rather than the CVT that the standard engine comes with, this engine upgrades gets a nine-speed automatic transmission for smooth and responsive shifts. Those seeking a good deal of passing power will love the Premier trim and this powerful engine.

4. Attractive Exterior Design

The sharp headlights and double-grille look of the Malibu make it very visually appealing. For an even bolder look, shoppers can go with the RS trim level. It gets a black grille, a dual exhaust system, and a rear spoiler. All 2022 models are equipped with LED daytime running lights and taillamps. LED headlights are reserved for the top Premier model of the Malibu.

5. Strong Fuel Economy Estimates

The standard Malibu engine provides plenty of power and excellent fuel economy, scoring an impressive 29mpg in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway. For those looking for a little extra kick, consider upgrading to the turbocharged model - with 22mpg around town and 33 mpg hitting highways; you'll keep your energy levels up without sacrificing efficiency.

6. Competitively Priced Base Model

The 2022 Malibu is one of the most pocket-friendly sedans currently. With a starting price under $25,000 for its LS model and just over $1,000 extra to upgrade to an RS trim, it's easy on your wallet without sacrificing style or performance. If you're looking for top luxury features at an affordable rate then springing for the Premier may be worth considering as even this highest of trims still offers great value in comparison with rivals' offerings.

7. Surprisingly Spacious Trunk

One reason that sedans have fallen out of favor is the cargo space. The 2022 Malibu is actually quite practical, giving drivers 15.7 cubic feet in the trunk. In a pinch, the backseats fold down to allow for longer objects to fit inside the Malibu as well. Even without that extra space, the Malibu can handle a luggage set or a big grocery shopping trip.

8. Smooth Ride Quality

Something about the Chevrolet Malibu screams "old-school luxury." The ride quality certainly lends to that feeling. With a cushioned ride that can handle rough pavement, passengers will love riding in the Malibu. The handling of the vehicle is also pleasant, with composed cornering and responsive braking.

9. Available Appearance Packages

The LT trim level allows buyers to customize their 2022 Malibu with either the Sport Edition or Midnight Edition package. Both of these packages include 19-inch black-painted aluminum wheels, black exterior badges, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The main difference between these two involves the exterior color. The Midnight appearance package must be paired with Mosaic Black Metallic paint, while the Sport Edition can be had with a wider variety of colors. There is also a Redline Edition for even more head-turning looks that includes red accents on the 19-inch wheels.

10. Fully-Loaded Premier Trim

Despite having a relatively low price across the lineup, the Chevrolet Malibu still offers drivers a good deal of luxury. The top Premier trim is loaded with heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated rear outboard seats, and a power moonroof. It also comes equipped with navigation, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and wireless device charging. The Premier also has a very satisfying engine upgrade underneath its hood.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2022 Chevrolet Malibu – The Cons

1. Where are the Standard Driver Aids?

Looking into the future of vehicle safety, it's clear that progress is not being made at a satisfactory rate. The Malibu for 2022 offers only a rearview camera as standard - in order to get basic driver assists such as lane change alert and blind-spot monitoring, drivers have to pay extra for Driver Confidence I & II packages. This reality serves as an unfortunate reminder that safety should never come with additional costs; automakers need to work harder towards providing better protection on all vehicles regardless of trim level.

2. Standard Engine is Merely Meh

The standard turbocharged 1.5L engine generates 160-horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. While this does not feel weak, necessarily, it also does not feel fun. The continuously variable transmission that it is paired with helps it achieve fuel efficiency, but it does nothing to improve the driving dynamics of the Malibu. It ultimately depends on a driver's personal preferences to decide if the excellent fuel economy is worth the lack of accelerating power.

3. No All-Wheel Drive Option

For those looking for a nimble car to handle their daily commute and need the extra security of All Wheel Drive, unfortunately this model does not offer that capability. That being said, it comes with Front-Wheel Drive as standard - delivering an agile ride tailored perfectly for your normal drives.

How it Stacks Up to the Competition

2022 Chevrolet Malibu vs. 2022 Toyota Camry

The 2022 Toyota Camry is the perfect sedan for families, boasting a comprehensive suite of driver-assistance features and high-end cabin accoutrements. Its nimble handling and powerful base engine make it an even more attractive option. Meanwhile, those looking to save money may opt for the reliable and affordable Chevrolet Malibu instead - but they'll have to sacrifice some performance in exchange.

2022 Chevrolet Malibu vs. 2022 Hyundai Sonata

The Hyundai Sonata is a popular well-rounded sedan. When buyers compare the Malibu Premier to the Sonata's performance-oriented N Line, they will find them to be very similar. They also have nearly identical starting prices. Giving the Sonata N Line an edge, however, is the fact that it comes with Hyundai's impressive warranty coverage. On the other hand, it can be argued that the Malibu has better styling features, particularly for the exterior.


The Chevrolet Malibu has proven its tenacity time and time again, offering an impressive selection of tech at a highly competitive price. However, if this model is to remain in contention with the competition going forward, upgrades are needed; driver assistance features ought to be made standard without delay. Furthermore, Chevy should look into enhancing performance via either higher engine power or hybrid availability - perhaps even both! If they want their vehicle to stay relevant for years down the line - these modifications could prove invaluable.


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2021 Chevrolet Malibu