Product Reviews

Welcome to Consumer Reports.

We’re so glad to have you as a member. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed.
You'll appreciate the redesigned Malibu if you prize a plush, comfortable ride and a very quiet cabin. That's where this solid, easygoing sedan excels. It also has simple controls, decent fuel economy and sound handling (although the Malibu is clearly no sports sedan). You'll probably come away disappointed, however, if you need a roomy rear seat.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2008. Head protection air bags available from 2004, standard from 2007. Side air bags available from 2005, standard from 2008. ESC available in 2008, standard from 2009.
Road Test

You'll appreciate the redesigned Malibu if you prize a plush, comfortable ride and a very quiet cabin. That's where this solid, easygoing sedan excels. It also has simple controls, decent fuel economy and sound handling (although the Malibu is clearly no sports sedan).

You'll probably come away disappointed, however, if you need a roomy rear seat. The Malibu's is relatively tight, with less space for legs and knees than most competitors.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (259 hp)
  • 2.5-liter 4 (196 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2015 Chevrolet Malibu owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

“When shifting into reverse the camera stays on as I drive forward. A few minutes later the system turns itself off and starts again. While the camera is on or the screen is blank I cannot change radio stations or volume. But if I increase the volume while the system is in limbo when the system comes back on the volume increase occurs and blasts. The dealer has not been able to fix this and system updates also have not helped. I had no such problems with my Buick”

Michael J., TX (2015 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen difficult to see

“The light source for the electronics goes dull and then bright again throughout operation from time to time”

Anonymous, CA (2015 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“First the screen freezes and then goes blank and then resets”

Ron V., AL (2015 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“First the screen freezes then goes blank and then resets”

Ron V., AL (2015 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

“Pairing cuts off after 5 minutes”

Anonymous, CA (2015 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

“Car would shake when attempting to downshift on a hill or incline. Disentangle seem to shift to a lower gear and would start to shake. Dealer adjusted the computer and it still occurs on occasion but not frequently like in the past”

Dennis G., OH (2015 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Sometimes will not shift from 5 gear to 6th gear”

Anonymous, VA (2015 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Transmission computer

“Transmission computer was modified to make the car downshift when ina higher gear and the itmneeds to downshift to handle and incline or hill”

Dennis G., OH (2015 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

“Engine began missing, running rough. 'Check Engine' light came on. Under warranty. Took to dealer. Service Order said 'reset ECM'. Asked what was wrong. Was told they did not know, just followed service suggestions”

Anonymous, FL (2015 Chevrolet Malibu LS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Premature brake wear

“Constant pressure on brakes as if they were being constantly used. Also a squeak -- Road salt also can cause this but I was on the highway very little & car was kept in a garage.. The car was quickly repaired but I was told the car needed to be driven more and to slam on the brakes once in awhile”

Anonymous, NY (2015 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ Unsure)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveline vibration

“The car is equipped with a device which essentially shuts down the motor when brake is put on to stop vehicle. This is an economy feature that cannot be overridden or shut off (on a Malibu). When engine restarts it shakes the car and sounds like th”

Willard P., CA (2015 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Keyless entry

“One of the key fobs completely fell apart. even though it had not been abused or crushed. Two different dealerships snapped it back together; however it kept falling apart and a replacement had to be ordered”

Anonymous, CA (2015 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel gauge/sender

“When gas tank was filled all the way, the gas gauge would not show full. If you tried to add fuel, the tank would overflow. Dealer found that entire fuel gauge and sender system was defective and replaced it at no charge”

Willard P., CA (2015 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

Change Vehicle