The Malibu has been available for a very long time. Recently, the market has focused on SUVs and pickups more than anything else. As a result, the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu is the last sedan in the brand's lineup. This vehicle is practical, sleek, and comfortable, making it a strong choice for today's drivers.
What's New for 2021?
This year, drivers now can choose Cherry Red Tintcoat for their new Malibu. More importantly, all models now come standard with wireless smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Finally, there is now a Sport Edition appearance package. Exclusive to the LT model, this model gets a black grille, 19-inch black wheels, and several other black exterior accents.
There are two different turbocharged engine options for the Malibu in 2021. The standard option is a 1.5L four-cylinder that has the sedan making 160-horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Found underneath the hood of the Premier trim only is a turbo 2.0L four-cylinder that generates 250-horsepower along with 258 lb-ft of torque. While the 1.5L option pairs with a continuously variable transmission, the 2.0L goes with a nine-speed instead.
The CVT used with the standard Malibu engine makes this a highly-efficient sedan. It will give drivers 29mpg in the city along with 36mpg on the highway. Of course, the more powerful engine does not do quite as well. This option will have the Malibu getting 22mpg city and 32mpg highway. These are still respectable estimates considering the size and the power of the Malibu Premier.
Available Driver Aids
A rearview camera is the only standard driver aid for the Malibu in 2021. Buyers can easily get their sedan equipped with some of today's most cutting-edge features, however, by adding packages. The Driver Confidence I package has several important driver aids, including rear parking sensors, lane change alert, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring.
There is also the Driver Confidence II package. This option has everything in the first package, plus lane departure warning and lane-keep assist. It also adds pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and forward-collision warning. The Enhanced Driver Confidence package, exclusive for the Premier trim, also adds parallel park assist, adaptive cruise control, and an electronic parking brake.
The 2021 Malibu keeps up with the latest tech by coming standard with an 8-inch touchscreen. Unlike many rivals, this midsize sedan even comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A six-speaker audio system is standard while a nine-speaker premium setup from Bose is available.
Depending on the trim level, more highly-advanced tech features are available for the Malibu. All models except the entry-level L add a Wi-Fi hotspot, while the LT and Premier get satellite radio. Speaking of that Premier model, it also gives the Malibu an 8-inch digital driver display, wireless charging, navigation, and two extra USB ports for charging.
Interior Space and Quality
The standard setup for the Malibu is practical and comfortable for up to five people. For even more comfort, drivers should look at the higher trim levels. They add nice upgrades such as leather upholstery and power-adjustment for the driver's seat. Comfort can also be enhanced by things like heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and heated rear outboard seats.
Drivers will find that trunk space is impressive. There are 15.7 cubic feet to work with back there, which is more than enough for the average grocery shopping trip. The 60/40 split-folding rear seats help to make the Malibu even more practical.
All five of the available Malibu trims have a lot of appeal in 2021. In fact, many people will find that the entry-level L has plenty for their daily driving needs. This model comes equipped with alloy wheels, proximity keyless entry, and all of those fancy technology features.
For the LS model, Chevrolet adds the Teen Driver safety system. This model also unlocks a few packages for more customization options. The sporty RS model has a leather-wrapped steering wheel and power-adjustable driver's seat in the cabin. Outside, it has 18-inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler.
The LT gains an extra layer of sophistication to the Malibu. Added at this trim level are things like dual-zone automatic climate control. It is important to note that the LT loses some of the sportier upgrades made for the RS, however. For the Premier trim, practically every available feature comes standard.
Although the 2021 Chevrolet Malibu may belong to a shrinking segment of the market, it offers enough fun and convenience to continue to be a valid choice. This one is worth taking the time to experience in person.
Formula for Calculating Dealer Cost:
Total Dealer Cost - Rebate and Incentive + Taxes / Licensing Fees = True Dealer Cost. (You can get rebates and incentives here)
Note: All Chevrolet Malibu 1500 MSRP, invoice and dealer cost dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.
A note about rebates: Most rebates are subtracted from the "on the road" figure. In most cases, you can have the rebate if you are arranging your own financing or you are paying cash. If you decide to use the manufacturer’s low interest financing, you do not usually get the rebate. Ask your dealer for details.