At the heart of the new Chevrolet Malibu are a pair of efficient, turbocharged engines. The base engine is a 1.5L Turbocharged 4-cylinder unit that produces 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. With this engine, power is routed through a 6-speed automatic to the front wheels. The optional drivetrain for the Malibu is a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder making a healthy 250 horsepower connected to a brand new 8-speed automatic, again powering the front wheels. Acceleration with either engine feels plenty fast, thanks in large part to the weight loss the model went through with its redesign.
An intriguing option on the 2016 Malibu is the new hybrid drivetrain, which boasts mileage numbers of 45 mpg highway and 48 mpg in the city. The hybrid drivetrain combines a 1.8L 4-cylinder engine with two electric motors, for a total of 182 horsepower and the ability to drive on electricity alone at up to 55 mph.
The Malibu is available in five trim levels, L, LS, 1LT, 2LT and Premier. The Base L model is far from a stripped out bare bones vehicle, featuring most of the amenities one would expect from a mid-sized car. Standard features across the entire Malibu line include remote keyless entry, power, programmable door locks, a 6-speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity for phones, steering wheel mounted audio controls and cruise controls, OnStar navigation with a 6-month subscription, an anti-theft system, keyless start and a hill start assist system.
LS models add 16-inch aluminum wheels, a rearview camera, Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth audio streaming and a USB port for the stereo.
The 1LT equipment package improves on the LS by adding a bevy of standard features. Included on the 1LT are LED daytime running lights, heated power adjustable outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, 17-inch aluminum wheels, SiriusXM Satellite radio, 4G LTE with mobile Wi-Fi hotspot technology, improved interior lighting, an 8-way power adjustable driver's seat and express up/down control for the driver's window.
The 2LT is equipped similarly to the 1LT but also includes the more powerful 2.0L engine and 8-speed automatic transmission. Dual exhaust tips and 18-inch wheels help distinguish the 2LT from lesser models.
The top of the line Premier trim adds some extra bling to the outside of the car with chrome door handles, LED tail lights, 19-inch aluminum wheels and bright sill plates. The premium feel carries over to the interior with driver's being greeted by leather seating surfaces, a heated, leather wrapped steering wheel, power adjustable, heated and cooled front seats, an 8-inch color touch screen display controlling a 9-speaker Bose sound system, dual-zone, automatic climate control, a wireless charger for phones and a rear seat USB port.