Striking styling distinguishes the Chevrolet Malibu, complete with sumptuous curves that evoke the luxurious Audi A7. Beyond the style there is true substance, with a comfortable ride, an almost absurdly quiet cabin, and undaunting controls. And, compared to the previous model, the rear seat now has more room. But there are several form and functional setbacks that result from this swoopy look, most notably visibility.
Alerts
There are 8 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
2019
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
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
2019
NA
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

Striking styling distinguishes the Chevrolet Malibu, complete with sumptuous curves that evoke the luxurious Audi A7. Beyond the style there is true substance, with a comfortable ride, an almost absurdly quiet cabin, and undaunting controls. And, compared to the previous model, the rear seat now has more room. But there are several form and functional setbacks that result from this swoopy look, most notably visibility.

Sleeker-looking than many competitors, the Malibu compromises outward visibility compared to the more upright Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, or Subaru Legacy. Getting in and out of this slick cruiser requires more body contortions than we're used to. And the base cloth seats are not very supportive; this is a case where we'd spring for the optional, more comfortable leather seats.

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
  • 8-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • 1.5-liter 4 turbo (160 hp)
  • 1.8-liter 4 hybrid (182 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (250 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2016 Chevrolet Malibu owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"The spare tire area in the trunk filed with water and over flowed in to the back seat. From the rain"

Brad L., MO (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"both Malibu's developed a leak in the 3rd stop light on the roof"

Thomas W., IN (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"same problem as before leak at the 3rd roof stop light"

Thomas W., IN (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The sunroof leaks every time it rains, to the point that my headliner is permanently stained."

Christopher H., FL (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"High brake light on roof was missing a mounting screw causing water to leak into trunk and passenger compartment. Spare tire well and rear passenger seat cushion saturated and moldy."

Anonymous, MA (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Seal around the third break light was leaking, as water would come in when it rained. Took to dealer body shop and they fixed it be repairing the seal. Haven't had any issues since"

Anonymous, KS (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LS 1.8-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"excessive wind noise"

Tom B., OH (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Excessive amounts of dust enters the interior in the back of the car. It has been to a body shop where all the rear door seal have been replaced, it still has the same amount of dust entering the rear."

Anonymous, KS (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaks or rattles

"Several rattles within the dash and headliner"

Scott H., OR (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The car developed a rattling noise deep in the dash that is constant, but faint, at any speed above 0 mph. I've also noticed a similar rattle near the rear shelf in the area below the rear glass"

Anonymous, MI (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"rattles from two different places in the interior of vehicle"

Anonymous, TX (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 1.8-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"A buzzing noise seems to be in the dash"

Anonymous, ON (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT)

"Rattle in the dash that is engine speed dependent. Rattle near the battery pack that is roughness of the road dependent."

Steven N., MI (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 1.8-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"There is an occasional vibration that no one has been able to diagnose. It's not a major issue just a minor irritant when it occurs."

Anonymous, MD (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wind noise

"Wind noise is horrendous"

Kay E., OH (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier)

"excessive wind noise"

Tom B., OH (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"Car had to be towed TWICE at 1600 miles. "Bad computer sensor" on both occasions"

Dennis T., FL (2016 Chevrolet Malibu 1.8-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"I had a recall for the Engine Control Module (EMC). The car when stopped at a red light would power down and shut the engine completely off. It's not supposed to shut off the engine, just power down which I don't like at all. It took the dealership four tries to fix this problem! The car still powers down when stopped at a light. I don't like the operation of the power driver's window either. You can't control the downward operation without tapping the button. It wants to go all the way down! Th"

Michael S., ME (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Failure of accelerator sensor caused check engine to come on, and engine slowed intentionally."

Frederic B., CT (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Mass air flow sensor needed to be cleaned from pollen build up which caused the engine to stop. The other problem was with the shifter. Car would not turn off because of bad electronic."

Anonymous, VA (2016 Chevrolet Malibu)

"The vehicle is a piece of junk and will trade it in as soon as possible. Tired of the headeaches"

Anonymous, AL (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LS 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"computer engine shutoff failed. I think it was fuel economy. component had to be replaced."

Robbie C., GA (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"reduction of power. accelerator sensor."

Anonymous, CT (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Oil leaks

"Fortunately I lost no significant oil but a couple of oil drops were noted on the seal when the oil was being changed. This was covered by warranty and no further problems have been detected."

Anonymous, MD (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"seal replaced between engine and tansmission"

Dwight B., MB (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

Apple CarPlay

"Inconsistent connection. Would freeze-up randomly."

Anonymous, IN (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Backup or other camera/sensors

"Parking sensors were disabling the parking system. After two appointments it appears to be fixed"

John V., NC (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The "park assist" system stopped working, meaning the vehicle would not park itself nor indicate the closeness of objects during manual parking, plus no rear cross traffic alert. Backup camera and turn signals were NOT affected. Took vehicle to dealer. Codes were read and system reset. All then good"

Craig B., CA (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Warranty issue with sensors and sunroof were resolved to our satisfaction"

Anonymous, MA (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Radio

"radio stopped working. New radio was installed on two occasions"

Anonymous, NY (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"On 2 occasions, the radio stop working . it went blank..."

Anonymous, NY (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Software update fixes

"We had to reboot the computor to get the forward collision sensor to work"

Rodney J., WI (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Speakers

"I have an ongoing issue with the speaker in the front passenger door rattling."

Christopher H., FL (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Rt side tail signal break lights"

Anonymous, NY (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Gauges

"fuel gage was inaccurate"

Thomas W., IN (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Heated or cooled seats

"Wiring interference with moving seats"

Steven K., IL (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Keyless entry

"Keyless entry stopped working"

Anonymous, MI (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Remote engine starter

"Tried to start car with remote start, it started then shut-off after 10 minutes? When I went to get into car there was not electrical power to anything. Had to have it towed to the dealer."

Donna S., OH (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Tire pressure monitor

"Dealer replaced defective presssure sensor in right rear tire"

Lou A., NJ (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The pressue changes every time I get in to drive. Once driving the repair notice comes on. But the dealership says noyhing is wrong."

Anonymous, MI (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.8-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

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.

What Owners Say

Electronic or air suspension

"power steering failed on highway, towed to dealer, re-programmed. dealer had service notice on problem"

Anonymous, MA (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Shocks or struts

"One rear shock leaked after only 28,500 miles and one month after 36 mo warranty expired."

Wayne P., PA (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Springs or torsion bars

"I was turning into a parking lot on an incline and heard a bang. Not sure if that was a part breaking or if the tire kicked something up and broke the part. Sway bar end link broken."

Anonymous, IL (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"There was a minor flaw (cosmetic) in the leather wrap. When we took the car in to have the steering wheel replaced the dealer found that the steering wheel was incorrectly installed causing the dealer to have to order an entire steering assembly. The car was out of service for five days due to this error"

Warren M., GA (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The steering column makes a noticeable squeaking noise when turned fully left or right. I was told the rack will need replacement because it's not holding steering fluid."

Kenn R., MD (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

"Gauge indicator replaced twice and still doesn't register properly"

Kay E., OH (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier)
Fuel injection system

"Check engine light came on."

Anonymous, NY (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LS 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"see the previous comment"

Anonymous, NY (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Fuel pump

"High pressure fuel pump quit working. Replacement pump connections leaked. Replacement connections had to be installed."

Anonymous, ON (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

What Owners Say

Electronic ignition

"would not start while vacationing in florida, taken to authorized dealer in ft. pierce.turned out to be a rip-off with my fuel injection system costing me a sizeable amount for something I thought was warrwntied"

Anonymous, NY (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Both areas checked were the same problem. A recall regarding Pre Ignition that could cause engine failure. They also changed the recommended oil type / viscosity to use going forward"

Anonymous, MO (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LS 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Ignition switch

"Engine would not cut off. Car was under warranty and they fixed it. Took several days to get part."

Anonymous, TN (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LS 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Major

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

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

"This was a recall item"

Anonymous, VA (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Engine rebuild or replacement

"Engine was sporadic, took to dealer, engine was defective. CHEVROLET replaced the entire engine, but it was a hassle and took 3-4 weeks."

Kenn R., MD (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Head gasket

"Was a warranty item picked up by car company that resulted in the repair and a switch of the type of engine oil recommended."

Anonymous, VA (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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.

What Owners Say

Mirrors

"cover fell off. needed replacement"

Anonymous, CT (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Seat controls - movement

"Had to have the drivers seat fixed 3 times because it would slip out of place"

Anonymous, NY (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LS 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The drivers seat , when turning a corner would make an audible click, and would feel like something in the seat itself was moving, it took 4 trips to the dealer before they finally replaced the seat base, which fixed the problem. I dont know if I was more frustrated with the dealer, who could not fix it the first time, or the quality control program at GM. Also, not related to the seat problem, was the front carpet fit , there is a gap of 1 inch around the steering column, as if the carpet was made for something else and was forced to fit, dealer told me there was nothing they could do about it because all 2016 Malibus were that way. Unacceptable answer for a 35000 car!"

Rodney J., WI (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"the door weatherstrip came loose and had to be repaired and the carpet does not reach the moulding under steering column. There is a 1 inch section that you can see the underlayment. Dealer says this is normal!!!!"

Rodney J., WI (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Door moulding had bad finish and was replaced."

Anonymous, GA (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"inside the door, is a rubber moulding that came off. Poor design as your foot drags against it when you enter car"

Rodney J., WI (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"I had bought the car a few months previously, and the A/C wasn't working. I took it back to the dealer where I bought it, and they had to replace the A/C compressor. It had a pin hole leak, and all the cooling was gone. It was fixed in about 3 days. As you might assume, it was covered under the initial new car warranty."

R B., CA (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Condenser

"I had bought the Chevy new. After a few days, the A/C didn't seem to be working. I took it back to the dealer, and they determined there was a pin hole leak in the condenser. It was replaced under warranty. Now it's working fine"

R B., CA (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

Electrical failure

"The hybrid battery went dead after the car sat for four months without being started or driven. There is no instruction in the owners manual that indicated that the car needed to be started at least once every two weeks in order to keep the hybrid battery charged and functioning. When the problem was discovered (the car would not start) it took a week to replace the battery at the dealership. Then when the battery was replaced it took a week to discover that the vehicles On Star system was not functioning properly, requiring a second trip to the mechanic to replace the On Star electronics. Once that repair was complete the car has operated without any issues."

Anonymous, PA (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"failure of sensor that resulted in vehicle not recognizing that transmission was in park, couldn't start engine"

Anonymous, TX (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 1.8-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Transmission computer

"The manual shifting option would not work consistently"

Anonymous, PA (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Transmission sensor or solenoid

"trans would not sense gearshift moving from any gear into park some times."

Helen D., SC (2016 Chevrolet Malibu LS 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Parking brake

"It took 6 weeks to get replacement part"

James B., ON (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 1.8-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"THE COMPLETE HYBRID TRANSMISSION BROKE DOWN AFTER 7500 MILES AND GM BOUGHT THE CAR BACK FROM ME"

Steven S., AZ (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 1.8-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"Just defective module, indicator light came on advising and new part was ordered and installed by dealer within a week. Under warranty - No costs. No problems since repair."

Anonymous, MI (2016 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

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

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