The Chevrolet Malibu mid-size sedan has long been the sweetheart of the rental car fleet.
For 2016 Chevrolet has significantly transformed the model.
The 2016 Malibu will face established rivals like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima.
The standard powertrain is a 1.5L turbo 4 cylinder engine that directs its torque through a 6-speed automatic transmission. This setup is estimated to deliver 27 mpg city and 37 mpg on the highway.
GM estimates the tiny engine is capable of producing 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. That is a testament to the efficiency of new turbo charger designs; the engine is a full litre smaller, yet it produces similar levels of torque.
The 2016 Malibu will also offer consumers an all-new hybrid powertrain.
According to GM estimates, this version will deliver 48 mpg city, and 45 mpg highway.
The hybrid system consists of a 1.8L 4 cylinder engine partnered to a 2-motor drive unit. The combined output is 182 hp. This system will also showcase the company’s first Exhaust Gas Heat Recovery, or EGHR, system. The function of this new technology is to redirect exhaust heat to warm the engine and cabin. EGHR helps to limit engine warm up times and aids in providing consistent fuel efficiency in cold weather.
For the consumer who likes a bit more power a 2.0L turbocharged engine may be the answer. This engine develops 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.
All that extra power may not hurt at the pumps as much as we might expect. By incorporating an all-new 8-speed automatic, the estimates for fuel consumption are 22 mpg city and 32 mpg highway.
The 2016 Malibu is sure gain the approval of parents for the Teen Driver feature. The unique technology allows parents to capture and view exactly how their child drives.
The built in system will display, on screen, the maximum speed reached, distance driven and number of times active safety features were engaged. The system is more than just a data recorder too; it will proactively mute the radio or any device that has been paired to the vehicle until the front seat occupants fasten their seat belts. It will also provide a visual and audible warning if the car passes a pre-programmed speed.
There is a lot tech now available, optional equipment includes: rear cross traffic and forward collision alerts, Onstar 4G LTE, WiFi hotspot, wireless phone charging, automatic park assist and many airbags to mention a few.
Perhaps the most important change to the Malibu is the new styling.
The new fascia sporting the dual grille and sweeping headlights is quite exciting. The sculpted body lines and aggressive stance are a breath of fresh air.
An elongated wheelbase has gained 33 mm (1.3 inches) of rear seat leg room, which was one of the biggest complaints levied against the outgoing model.
The 2016 Malibu will be available in late 2015.
By giving customers more space, better efficiency and a much nicer look, the 2016 Malibu should do well in the highly competitive mid-size segment.
Are you interested in the latest Malibu?