The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu stands firmly in the mid-size sedan segment because of its sharp appearance and a blend of exciting qualities. It is full of technology and offers a spacious interior. There are a variety of engine options, including hybrid options. Overall, it’s a solid choice.
Trim, Features and Engine Specs
The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu is a four-door mid-size sedan offered in four main trim levels: L, LS, 1LT, Premier and Hybrid.
The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu L comes with standard equipment includes a 16-inch steel wheel, keyless ignition and entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity, OnStar and a six-speaker audio system. The LS trim adds quite a bit of equipment such as 16-inch aluminum wheels, a rearview camera, laminated side windows, a 4G LTE connection with Wi-Fi, a Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto.
Moving to the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu 1LT trim gets you all features above plus 17-inch wheels, rear-seat air vents, an eight-way power adjustable driver seat, heated mirrors and satellite radio.
There also several optional packages for 1LT. The Convenience and Technology package adds an auto-dimming mirror, remote-vehicle start, wireless charging pad, and an 8-inch screen with navigation. The Leather package adds power front-seat lumbar adjustment, heated front seats, leather upholstery and a nine-speaker Bose audio system. The Driver Confidence package adds forward collision warning, front and rear parking sensors and automatic high beams.
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New and only available on the 1LT is the Redline Edition appearance package, which adds blacked 19-inch wheels, black and red trim pieces in place of chrome.
The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid features are similar to the 1LT and can be upgraded with the Driver Confidence package, the Leather package, the Convenience and Technology package.
The top-level 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Premier trim adds 18-inch wheels, a heated steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings, ventilated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, unique exterior plus all of the 1LT contents, the Convenience and Technology and Leather packages.
Optional package for the Premier is the Driver Confidence package and the Driver Confidence package II, which includes automatic forward collision avoidance system, parking assist, adaptive cruise control and an electronic parking brake. The Premier Sun and Wheel package adds 19-inch wheels a dual-pane power sunroof and upgraded floor mats.
All the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu models are front-wheel drive only. Powering the L, LS, and 1LT is a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 160 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque. It mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, EPA estimated fuel economy stand at 27 mpg city/36 mpg highway.
The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Premier is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine good for 250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard, and EPA fuel economy stands at 22 mpg city/33 mpg highway.
The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid uses a combination of 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, it produces 182 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. EPA fuel economy rated at 49 mpg city/43 mpg highway.
Inside, the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu benefits from a modern, fun and neat dashboard design and simple layout control. Passenger space is on par to other cars in this segment, which means there is plenty of abundance for it. The quality of the material is acceptable even though it is far from the class leader. The hard plastic in front is at least nicely textured and does not look cheap. The other surfaces are covered with thin-coated fabrics or imitation leather, but are well put together and feels solid.
Driving position is quite customizable when equipped with an eight-way power seat. The seat adjusts quite far backwards for the high driver. The pedals are naturally placed and the steering wheel has a good telescoping range. Front seats are spacious enough even for large-bodied passengers. The rear seats provide enough headroom and legs even for tall adults. Like most sedans in this class, thick roof pillars and high rear declins block out visibility. The existing baige dash also causes disturbing reflections. A standard rearview camera is helpful for this.
For mid-size sedans, the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu’s small item storage was poor. A small glovebox, average center armrest, small door bin, one cup holder without gripper and media bins too small even for mobile phones. The 2018 Malibu has a 15.8-cubic luggage space, which is average for this segment. The hybrid model is much smaller and too narrow for a golf bag, due to the battery filling the rear.
Release Date and Price
The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu is on sale and arriving now at dealers.
Official pricing will be unchanged, with the Malibu L starts at $22,555 with destination, but you’ll probably skip that model. The real base model is the 2018 Malibu LS, starting at about $24,100. The Premier starts just below $32,000, while the Malibu Hybrid starts at about $28,750.