The new Malibu’s curves are reminiscent of the sleek Audi A7. The fresh look evokes desire instead of acquiescence—rare among bland midsized sedans. It escapes decades of rental-car heritage with a quiet and spacious cabin, the straightforward GM MyLink infotainment system, and clear, concise controls. We’d opt for the higher-quality leather seats; the cloth seats aren’t supportive enough.

The raspy-sounding 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine pulled with confidence and returned a commendable 29 mpg overall. The optional 2.0-liter turbo provides more effortless acceleration.

The Malibu’s comfortable ride has the plushness of a more expensive car, ironing out bumps commendably. Handling is planted and stable but not sporty, unlike the Ford Fusion.

But the cool, swoopy design has several drawbacks. For example, visibility, particularly to the side and rear, is somewhat compromised. And getting in and out requires more agility than in a typical upright sedan.

Advanced safety gear, including blind-spot monitoring and forward-collision warning with automatic braking, are available as options.

The Malibu is an attractive, solid-performing sedan. If reliability proves to be decent, this car could challenge the segment leaders.

Read the complete Chevrolet Malibu road test.

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Review

HIGHS: Ride, quietness, controls, fuel economy
LOWS: Raspy 1.5-liter turbo, front-seat comfort, so-so visibility
POWERTRAIN: 160-hp, 1.5-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine; 6-speed automatic transmission; front-wheel drive
FUEL: 29 mpg

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the October 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.