First Drive: 2016 Chevy Malibu [video]

It’s just past 6 a.m. local time, but I’ve been up for hours, having recently flown from Detroit to Palo Alto to drive Chevy’s new, 2016 Malibu. You read that right. I’m in Silicon Valley, not Motown, for the launch of the Bowtie’s monumentally important mid-size sedan.

Frankly, there’s a lot of technology stuffed into this midsizer.

Palo Alto is a weird town for cars. It nearly goes without saying that Teslas cover the city streets like a thick-pile EV carpet. Yesterday I saw three Fiat 500e models in the span of six blocks, and Nissan Leafs are hardly scarce, either. Prius are everywhere.

With that landscape taken as read, and with Google and Apple world headquarters some dozen miles away, it’s clear that Chevy is trying to drive home a tech-first image for Malibu. And, frankly, there’s a lot of technology stuffed into this midsizer. GM has been leading the charge in rolling out the wonderfully intuitive Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to its full line, and the Malibu offers up the system on a fast, responsive, and pretty eight-inch touchscreen. What’s more, the car can be had with native 4G LTE WiFi onboard, meaning backseat denizens can connect and keep quiet. The latest iteration of Chevy’s MyLink software is quite good to use, as well. So there’s a pretty impressive tech story happening inside Malibu’s new sheet metal.


2016 Chevy Malibu test drive

Residents of Palo Alto might never find that out though, as the design of the model-year 2016 car is, while quite tidy, hardly of the idiom changing ...