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 6 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu has been recalled 6 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
Worse Better
00
01
02
03
04*
05
06
07
08*
09
10
11
12
13*
14
15
16*
17
18
19
20
Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA 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.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2018 Chevrolet Malibu owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

Body control module

"Intermittent acceleration"

Anonymous, IL (2018 Chevrolet Malibu LS 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"The reverse lights stopped working. The dealer performed warranty work in that area by replacing the appropriate fuse (which also controlled the interior map reading lights) on two separate occasions, but the problem returned shortly thereafter. Eventually, on the third trip for warranty work on this problem, there was a wiring problem that was discovered and repaired, and there have been no problems since then."

Daniel L., ON (2018 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Gauges

"oil pressure gauge read incorrectly"

Anonymous, PA (2018 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Warning lights

"reduce power by itself"

Anonymous, ON (2018 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

"Gear shift had trouble getting in and out of park. Think it was electrical interlock related, but not sure."

Anonymous, CA (2018 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"While driving, engine spontaneously goes into "reduced power mode" and engine light turns on. I have needed to pull over and off the road, turn off the car, wait a full minute and restart. The car goes back to normal driving, but the engine light remains on for several hours."

Anonymous, GA (2018 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Couldn't shift car into drive, could not get it out of park mode"

Craig M., NJ (2018 Chevrolet Malibu LS 1.5-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

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Dead battery twice, finally replaced by dealer"

Jeffrey C., GA (2018 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Spark plugs or wires failure

"Fouled up and not firing #2 spark plug at 5500 miles. Check engine light and low traction warning lights came on. Dealer replaced all 4 plugs under warranty and problem solved for now!"

Anonymous, WI (2018 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

Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"The system suddenly will not pair with my cell phone and has to be reset up"

Anonymous, GA (2018 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Radio

"Rear window built-in AM antenna had a break in the connection. Window was replaced."

Anonymous, CA (2018 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-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

"When the car was about a year old, we took a 1500 mile trip and when we were about a 100 miles from home it would go over about 55 mph. When we got home I called the dealer and he said to bring it in as it sounded like the engine computer needed to be reset. That fixed the problem. Then shortly after that I got a recall notice on the same issue. They then did another reset and I could tell no difference. Everything has been fine since. I will probably buy this car at the end of the lease."

Anonymous, (2018 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"It had to do with 2 warranty covered recalls. One to immediately correct and one that supposedly covered by letting the dealer know I received the second recall notice but until something goes wrong GM won't cover it but promised that Gm would if it occurs during ownership."

Anonymous, NE (2018 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

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Check Engine light came on. Dealer replaced some valve that was covered with an extended warranty"

Anonymous, (2018 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Fuel gauge/sender

"did not register properly"

Dale G., OH (2018 Chevrolet Malibu)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Driver door handle/key molding fell off"

Anonymous, VA (2018 Chevrolet Malibu LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"Driving at highway speed, when flooring it to go around another vehicle and then having to suddenly let off, there was significant hesitation in the engine & transmission and the cruise controls stopped working. Code thrown for cylinder miss. Once shut off and restarted the issues have not recurred."

Anonymous, IA (2018 Chevrolet Malibu Premier 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"ratcheting noise when turning."

Anonymous, FL (2018 Chevrolet Malibu LS 1.8-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

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.

Exhaust

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

Brakes

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

Engine Cooling

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

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.

Body Integrity

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

Compare 2018 Models

Similar Cars
Chevrolet Malibu
Ford Fusion
Honda Accord
Hyundai Sonata
Kia Optima
Mazda 6
This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
SEAT BELTS
Aug 20, 2021
An improperly secured seat belt retractor may not function properly in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.
Summary:
General Motors, LLC (GM) is recalling certain 2016-2021 Chevrolet Malibu and 2019-2021 Cadillac XT4 vehicles. The rear seat belt retractors may be improperly secured with loose or missing fasteners.
What should you do:
Dealers will inspect and tighten the rear seat belt retractors, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters were mailed on September 17, 2021. Owners may contact Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020 and Cadillac customer service at 1-800-458-8006. GM's number for this recall is N212333380.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 21V649000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 402
POWER TRAIN
Oct 29, 2020
Missing bolts on the start-stop accumulator endcap could result in a transmission oil leak and may progress to a loss of propulsion, increasing the risk of a crash. A transmission fluid leak in the presence of an ignition source may increase the risk of fire.
Summary:
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain 2018-2019 Chevrolet Cruze and Buick LaCrosse, 2018-2020 Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Terrain, 2018 Chevrolet Malibu, 2019-2020 Buick Encore, Buick Enclave, Cadillac XT4, Chevrolet Blazer and GMC Acadia, and 2020 Cadillac XT6 vehicles. The start/stop accumulator endcap may have missing bolts.
What should you do:
GM will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the start-stop transmission accumulator and replace it if any bolts are missing, free of charge. The recall began December 15, 2020. Owners may contact GMC customer service at 1-888-988-7267, Buick Customer service at 1-866-608-8080, Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020 or Cadillac customer service at 1-800-458-8006. GM's number for this recall is N202313440.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 20V668000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 194105
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM, ENGINE, FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE
Sep 06, 2019
Disabled fuel injectors would prevent the engine from starting and may cause a stall, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain 2018 Chevrolet Malibu vehicles equipped with 1.5L turbo engines. An error in the Engine Control Module (ECM) software may result in the fuel injectors being disabled.
What should you do:
GM will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the ECM software, free of charge. The recall began October 16, 2019. Owners may contact GM customer service at 1-800-630-2438. GM's number for this recall is N192221960.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 19V642000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 177282
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC
Aug 30, 2018
A reduction of braking performance can increase the risk of a crash.
Summary:
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain 2018-2019 Chevrolet Equinox, Impala, Cruze, Volt and Bolt EV vehicles, GMC Terrain vehicles, Buick Lacrosse and Regal vehicles, Cadillac XTS and XTS Professional vehicles and 2018 Chevrolet Malibu vehicles. The rear brake caliper pistons may have an insufficient coating causing gas pockets to form, potentially reducing rear brake performance.
What should you do:
GM will notify owners, and dealers will bleed the vehicle's brake system, free of charge. The recall began October 11, 2018. Owners may contact Buick customer service at 1-800-521-7300, Cadillac customer service at 1-800-458-8006, Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020, or GMC customer service at 1-800-462-8782. GM's number for this recall is 18279.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 18V576000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 210628
AIR BAGS
Jun 14, 2018
In the event of a crash, improper air bag deployment can increase the risk of injury.
Summary:
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain 2016-2018 Chevrolet Malibu vehicles. During servicing, a Passenger Presence System (PPS) may have been installed that was not correctly calibrated to the vehicle's seat type. As a result, the PPS may not properly identify an adult passenger from a child passenger in the front passenger seat, potentially causing the air bag to not deploy when it should, or causing the air bag to deploy when it shouldn't.
What should you do:
GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front passenger PPS seat service kit, free of charge. The recall began August 7, 2018. Owners may contact Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020. GM's number for this recall is 18208.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 18V400000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 66
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE
May 31, 2018
A damaged fuel line can create a fuel leak, increasing the risk of a fire.
Summary:
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain 2015-2018 GMC Canyon, 2016-2017 Buick Envision, 2016-2018 Chevrolet Colorado and Malibu, 2017-2018 GMC Acadia, 2018 Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac ATS, Chevrolet Equinox, and GMC Terrain vehicles. The high pressure fuel pump may detach from its mounting flange, possibly resulting in the pump damaging the high pressure fuel line.
What should you do:
GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the high pressure fuel pump, and high pressure fuel pipe, free of charge. The recall began July 2, 2018. Owners may contact Buick customer service at 1-800-521-7300, Cadillac customer service at 1-800-458-8006, Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020, or GMC customer service at 1-800-462-8782. GM's number for this recall is 18188.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 18V358000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 895
Check Vehicle for Unrepaired Recalls
Enter a valid 17-character VIN
Enter a valid 17-character VIN
Change Vehicle