The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu has been officially revealed. The ninth generation midsize sedan is larger, more technological, safer and completely restyled. The new-generation model follows the brand’s global design language and has styling inspired from that of the 2014 Impala.
The model is lighter despite being larger. The wheelbase has been stretched by almost 3.6 inches (91mm). The rear legroom has been improved by 1.3 inches (33 mm). Though the weight has notably reduced by 300 pounds (136 kg) from that of the eighth-generation model. The range comprises four models – LS, LT, Hybrid and Premier.
The new-generation model features a new Ecotec 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that produces 160 hp and 185 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque. The 1.5-liter engine is matched to a 6-speed automatic transmission. With this stop/start technology equipped engine, GM estimates 27 MPG city – 8% higher than that of the currently sold model. The models equipped with this engine feature active grille shutters that improve aerodynamics by reducing the drag, thus optimizing the efficiency.
The model range also includes a more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that delivers 250 hp and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque. The engine sends power to the front wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. The automaker estimates that the models equipped with this engine will have fuel economy of 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg in the highway.
The Hybrid model features technology borrowed from the 2016 Volt. The powertrain comprises of a direct-injection 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a two-motor drive unit that is powered by an 80-cell, 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The combined power output is 182 hp. Electric-only mode driving is possible till speeds up to 55 mph (88 km/h). The GM-estimated combined fuel economy of Malibu Hybrid is 45 mpg.
The LS, LT and Hybrid models feature Chevrolet MyLink 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard, while the range-topping Premier model gets Chevrolet MyLink 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation as standard. The next-generation model also features new Teen Driver feature as standard, which allows parents to restrict some vehicle functions to make their children’s driving safer and to view their children’s driving statistics such as maximum speed, warning alerts and more. Standard safety and driver assistance features across the range include ten airbags, including front-seat knee airbags, head-curtain side-impact airbags and seat-mounted side airbags; Forward Collision Alert; and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu will be built at GM’s Fairfax Assembly in Kansas City, Kansas, and go on sale in Q4 2015 in the U.S. The all-new midsize sedan will make its world debut at the 2015 New York International Auto Show today.