Coming Soon: The Redesigned 2016 Chevy Malibu

June 1st, 2015 by

Chevy is shaking up the midsize sedan class with a the all-new 2016 Chevy Malibu, rocking a much-anticipated makeover.

This ninth generation Malibu looks more like a coupe than a sedan, featuring a sporty edge and upgraded technological innovations.

Check out this preview of what’s to come and then get yourself over to your local Chevy dealer in Lexington, KY and and get in line to be among the first to own the latest Chevy game changer.

Turning History on Its Head

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First introduced in 1964, the Chevy Malibu has been experiencing something of a midlife crisis recently.

Though its latest redesign was in 2013, the result inspired about as much excitement as one might expect from dry toast.

Sensing the disappointment from its drivers, not to mention spurred to action by its increasingly stylish sedan-class competitors, Chevy went back to the drawing board and is poised to deliver a stunning success.

According to Jesse Ortega, chief engineer on the 2016 Malibu, “Midsize customers tell us they want great fuel economy, connected technologies, wrapped in a gorgeous exterior. This is exactly what the 2016 Malibu was engineered to do.”

Built for Change

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Supported by General Motor’s all new E2 front-drive architecture, the Malibu is slightly longer overall by 2.3 inches, owing in part to a wheelbase extended by 3.6 inches.

Though it retains the width of its predecessor at 73.0 inches, the lowered cowl and hood make the new Malibu seem more robust.

However, this is just an illusion, a trick of the eye, as the new Malibu actually drops more than 200 pounds in weight, and now falls on the lighter side of the mid-size sedan class.

Despite its slimmed-down look, back seat passengers will enjoy 1.3 extra inches of rear legroom, a very welcome upgrade after the pinched feel of the rear cabin, which the 2013 redesign did little to adjust.

Between the slimmer structure, more sculpted style, and roomier interior, the Malibu enjoys greater dynamics, no doubt evident in its performance.

The Same, But Different Drivetrains

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Equipped with two engine options, the 2016 Malibu’s drivetrains remain largely unchanged from the earlier models; however, the drop in weight will certainly increase the new Malibu’s performance, though the engines are essentially the same.

A 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine from GM’s small Ecotec line comes standard in the 2016 Malibu, operated by a six-speed automatic transmission. There is no manual option.

Featuring automatic stop-start, direct fuel injection, and a 17 psi turbo boost, drivers might perceive a slight dip in horsepower, 160 hp at 184 lb.-ft. of torque, but on a lighter body, the Malibu’s performance shouldn’t suffer.

Moreover, drivers will undoubtedly enjoy the improved fuel economy of 27 city to 37 highway miles, a slight jump over the current model.

Yeah, so it’s only a bit of an improvement, but hey – when it comes to fuel efficiency and shelling out money at the pump, every bit helps, right?

Although the available engine option is also the same as that seen in the current model, it does have hints of enhancements here and there.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder generates 250 horsepower with 258 lb.-ft. of torque, and is operated by only one transmission, the eight-speed, which hails from GM’s 8L90, as seen powering other Chevy models, like the iconic Corvette and ever-popular Silverado pickup truck.

In order to maintain its svelte figure, the Malibu is only offered as front-drive.

Those automotive journalists and reviewers who have been lucky enough to test drive this new Malibu report that its dual-motor electric power steering, new to this model, support excellent precision behind the wheel.

Better fuel efficiency in a more precise drive bodes well for this car’s debut.

Still Committed to Safety

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No matter how slinky or sporty the new Malibu might be, Chevy knows that the majority of sedan drivers are concerned with safety and choose sedans for that very reason.

Anyone interested in the best of the coupe and sedan worlds will be happy to know that the 2016 Malibu still comes standard with ten airbags and a wealth of advanced safety options.

Available features offered include:

  • pedestrian detection with automatic braking
  • blind-spot monitoring
  • lane-keep assistance
  • lane-departure warning
  • forward collision warning with automatic braking
  • rear cross-traffic alert
  • front and rear parking sensors
  • automatic parking
  • automatic high beams
  • Adaptive Cruise Control

Phew!

Though that’s quite a list, it’s really just a quick overview of the protection this new Malibu offers its drivers and passengers.

Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, and just in case your teenager is eager to see you purchase a new Malibu for his or her own self-serving purposes, Chevy would like to introduce you to the all new Teen Driver feature.

Protected by a security pin of your own creation, this system monitors your teenager’s driving habits and…ahem…skills, when you’re not in the car beside him or her.

How?

It tracks driver’s speed, reduces the maximum volume level on the audio system, and allows you to set speed limit warnings.

Any infractions or recklessness on the part of your teen will be recorded for your review.

While this likely drops the Malibu’s cool-quotient in your teenager’s eyes, it surely just earned more respect from you.

And really, it wasn’t designed with policing in mind, but as technologically-based, reliable method to encourage safe driving from your teenager.

Of course, you can come up with your own incentives to support this system, but the idea is that Chevy wants to inspire safety on the road, and that starts with the new generation of young drivers.

More Fun on a Trim by Trim Basis

Though pricing has not yet been announced for the 2016 Chevy Malibu, we do know that the car will be offered in four trim levels.

Although the L level is the base model, it does come standard with the 4G LTE connectivity with wireless hotspot and three months of free data, as do all Malibu models.

Moving up to the LS line, you’ll see a rearview backup camera come standard, along with active grille shutters and a seven-inch infotainment screen, the smaller version compared to the newly available eight-inch screen, seen on the upper trim levels.

The LT offers additional LED running lights, while the high-end, and aptly named, Premier level sports LED taillights, leather and ventilated seats, rear-seat USB ports, a 110-volt outlet and a wireless phone charger.

Whether base or Premier, the 2016 Chevy Malibu is going to reject the vanilla reputation it has come to be associated with…until now.

How About a Hybrid?

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Sure!

But not just a hybrid, a seriously fuel-efficient hybrid.

In addition to its overhaul, the 2016 Malibu reintroduces the hybrid version for those of you who want style and socially-responsibility all in one package.

The two-motor drive unit, modeled after the Chevy Volt, features a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, paired with an 80-cell 1.5 kWh lithium ion battery pack and energy-saving regenerative braking.

Able to get 55 miles per hour on just electric power, the Chevy Malibu hybrid generates 182 horsepower and can zip from zero to sixty miles per hour in 7.8 hours.

Fuel efficiency is estimated at approximately 48 highway and 45 city miles per gallon.

This is unbelievably impressive, especially for the midsize sedan class.

There is already lots of excitement surrounding this hybrid alternative, and you can expect the 2016 Malibu Hybrid to give the others an unexpected run for their money.

Although the adage says that “patience is a virtue,” it’s tough to sit tight and wait for this car to be released on the market.

But, the proverbial “they” also assure us that time marches on…

The 2016 Chevy Malibu is certainly going to prove that it was worth the wait.