Honestly, the Malibu is probably one of the most under-rated vehicles in the 2017 lineup. Initially a trim level on the venerable Chevelle, the Malibu name has been with Chevy since 1964. The new “Ninth Generation” was released in 2016, and the 2017 model iterates off of that leap forward.
Exterior styling shows a significant departure from the 2016 look, elongating the body and getting rid of the high grille that marked a lot of small and mid-size Chevys previously. It is definitely a visually sleeker look, which is honestly a refreshing change from the slow boxification that seemed to be infecting the small to midsize market in the past few years. On top of that, larger rims and low swept LED running lights give it a sporty, swept appearance that sets the Malibu a bit apart from other mid-size sedans.
As far as statistics, it is evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. The big leap happened between the 2015 and 2016 models; for 2017, Chevy has put effort into refining and tweaking the car, especially in the technology department. Although much of it is optional, the tech package is pretty impressive if you opt for the full kit. Built in WiFi, easy smartphone connectivity, a voice command that doesn’t totally suck, and an 8-inch horizontal display round out the highlights.
Power depends a lot on the engine choice, with the lower option being a 4 cylinder 1.5L turbo, and the higher end choice bumping that up to a 2.0L turbo. No six cylinder options exist for this model year, although the 2.0L turbo pushes 250HP, which is no joke in a car as light as the Malibu.
All told, it is a very solid, sleek, surprisingly sporty package in a time when the rest of the mid-size sedan market is starting to blend into sameness.Get yours at Les Stanford Chevrolet!