Following a lengthy teaser campaign, Chevrolet has introduced the all-new Malibu at the 2015 New York Auto Show.
Even though it's 2.3 inches (58mm) longer than before, the next generation Malibu is almost 300 lbs (136 kg) lighter and provides a more spacious cabin thanks to the stretched wheelbase which has been extended by 3.6 inches (91 mm). It looks considerably sleeker compared to its predecessor and comes with a sloped roofline and a more curvaceous body making the mid-size sedan appear more refined.
In terms of power, Chevrolet will offer the 2016 Malibu with a newly developed 1.5-liter Ecotec turbocharged gasoline engine developing an estimated 160 bhp (119 kW) and 184 lb-ft (250 Nm). Equipped with a stop/start system, the new engine enables the Malibu to return an estimated 27 mpg (32.4 mpg UK or 8.7 liters / 100 km) in the city and 37 mpg (44 mpg UK or 6.3 liters / 100 km) on the highway.
There's also a beefier 2.0-liter turbo with an estimated 250 bhp (186 kW) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) which they say will do 22 mpg (26.4 mpg UK or 10.6 liters / 100 km) city and 32 mpg (38.4 mpg UK or 7.3 liters / 100 km) highway. While the 1.5-liter works with a six-speed auto, this larger motor is paired to a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
Chevrolet will also offer the 2016 Malibu with a hybrid setup which will combine a four-cylinder 1.8-liter direct-injection gasoline engine with a two-motor drive unit to provide a combined output of 182 bhp (136 kW). This hardware setup has been adapted from the 2016 Volt and also includes an 80-cell, 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. At speeds of up to 55 mph (88 km/h), the Malibu Hybrid can run solely on electric power and at higher speeds the conventional engine will kick in to provide the additional oomph.
The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid also benefits from regenerative braking while the combustion engine has an Exhaust Gas Heat Recovery (EGHR) system that will use the exhaust heat to warm the engine and cabin. It will return more than 45 mpg (54 mpg UK or 5.2 liters / 100 km) in the combined cycle which Chevrolet says is more than the hybrid versions of the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata.
As far as the interior cabin is concerned, rear legroom has been extended by 1.3 inches (33mm) thanks to the longer wheelbase while up front there's a 7-inch color capacitive touchscreen or a larger 8-inch display for the upper-spec models. Chevrolet has installed dual rear-seat USB ports and a 110-volt power outlet on select versions and if you go for one of the more expensive trims you also get wireless phone charging.
Parents can rely on the Teen Driver system to keep a closer eye on their kids while ventilated seats make their debut on the Malibu. This ninth generation of the mid-size sedan benefits from a plethora of safety and assistance systems including 10 airbags, rearview camera, Front Pedestrian Alert, New Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Automatic Braking and Automatic Parking Assist, just to name a few.
Chevrolet has announced the 2016 Malibu is set to go on sale in the fourth quarter of the year in the following trims: L, LS, LT, Premier and Hybrid.