SUM UP (3 Stars)

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for Malibu in 2015

The Malibu enters the 2015 model year relatively unchanged, but gains a standard built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. Iridescent Pearl Tricoat, Butte Red, Sable Metallic and Autumn Bronze Metallic are added as exterior color options...
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Vehicle Overview

The Malibu is a midsize sedan that fits below the full-size Impala and above the compact Cruze in Chevrolet’s lineup.

Summary

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu is available with two engines, both paired with a six-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels. The volume 2.5-liter I-4 makes 196 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque, and gets a standard engine start/stop system that helps to improve fuel economy, which is good for an EPA-estimated 25/36 mpg city/highway. Buyers who want more power, and might have considered a V-6 sedan, can opt for the 259-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 that makes 295 lb-ft of torque, which gets an EPA-estimated 21/30 mpg.

The 2015 Malibu gets a few notable features: a seven-inch infotainment screen, Duralife brake rotors (they won’t rust, and don’t create brake dust), 10 airbags, side blind zone and rear cross traffic alerts, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning system. The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu received a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), and is considered a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS.

What We Think

Two years of revisions have led to this relatively unchanged Malibu for 2015. We noted, when driving a 2014 Malibu, that the revised base engine’s start/stop system worked better than quite a few systems on the market, providing an unobtrusive changeover that was as smooth as Chevrolet claimed.

The engine still sounds a bit buzzy in the upper portion of its rev range, but no vibration or harshness is physically transmitted into the cabin … Our prior experiences with GM’s eAssist systems led us to be skeptical of the promise of a seamless start-stop system in the Malibu. We’re now serving our hats as entrees.

The Malibu Turbo, which has power numbers that seem to promise a sporting drive, lands somewhere in the middle: between conservative and sporty; promising one, but not quite delivering the other extreme. This balance aptly describes the Malibu in general (not just the turbo), a car that delivers a high degree of refinement, but “no evidence of passion.”

You’ll Like

  • Economical 2.4-liter I-4
  • Safe and refined
  • Duralife brake rotors mean no more dirty wheels

You Won’t Like

  • Conservative styling
  • Turbo doesn’t mean excitement

Key Competitors

  • Toyota Camry
  • Honda Accord
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Ford Fusion
  • Volkswagen Passat

Rating

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2015 Malibu Standard Equipment

Climate Control

  • Front Air Conditioning
  • Rear Air Conditioning

Convenience

  • Auto On Headlights
  • Compass
  • Cruise Control
  • Keyless Entry
  • Power Locks
  • Power Outlet(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Steering Wheel Scope
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Trip Computer

Exterior

  • Sunroof

Interior

  • Cargo Cover
  • Cargo Net
  • Cup Holders
  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel

Safety

  • Brake Assist
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Driver Air Bag
  • Engine Immobilizer
  • Front Fog Lights
  • Integrated Turn Signal Mirrors
  • Knee Air Bag
  • Passenger Air Bag
  • Side Air Bag(s)
  • Theft Deterrent System
  • Traction Control

Seats

  • Dual Power Seats
  • Folding Rear Seat
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Leather Seats

Sound and Entertainment

  • Compact Disc MP3 Capable
  • Compact Disc Player
  • Satellite Radio

Technology

  • Blue Tooth Compatible
  • GPS/Satellite Communication
  • Navigation System
  • Voice Activated Controls
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