Two versions of the rear end are under development.
The refreshed 2019 Chevrolet Malibu has been caught testing again, but this time the engineers didn't bother to fit the black body cladding like on previous mules. The relative lack of concealment provides the best look yet at the updated sedan.
Without the front end concealment, this test mule provides a fantastic look at the revisions. The lower portion gets new wavy slats in the grille rather than the current flat pieces. The LED signature lights now appear to angle upward rather than pointing down like the present layout. The headlights have more angular, less rounded styling too.
Similarly, these shots give us a better look at the Malibu's tail, too. Revised taillights feature white sections at the top and bottom with thin red sections separating them. These spy photos show two takes on the lower fascia. One of them (left) has narrow exhausts integrated in the bottom. The other lacks these outlets, but there's a downward pointing pipe visible behind the bumper.
Further details about the refreshed Malibu remain a mystery. Inside, material upgrades, possibly minor infotainment improvements, and upgraded driver assistance tech are likely.
Powertrain changes are also an unknown element. The existing options are a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 160 horsepower (119 kilowatts) and 184 pound-feet (250 Newton-meters), a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with 250 hp (186 kW) and 260 lb-ft (353 Nm), and a 1.8-liter four-cylinder hybrid. Any tweaks would likely be minor.
Chevrolet will certainly look for the refresh to boost Malibu sales. In 2017, the company delivered 185,857 of them, which was an 18.4 percent drop from 227,881 in 2016.
The updated Malibu will be on sale for the 2019 model year. Look for it to debut at an American auto show in 2018.