2015 Chevrolet Malibu Review and Prices
Past and Future Reviews
The Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan is expected to continue for 2015 with only minor changes after receiving a modest update for the 2014 model year in response to criticism of its 2013 full redesign. It should again share its underpinnings and major components with the somewhat sportier and plusher Buick Regal, though the Malibu’s styling will probably remain somewhat lackluster, especially as compared to its sleeker looking corporate cousin. It should continue to come powered by a choice of either a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 196 horsepower and fuel-saving stop-start technology, or a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 259 horsepower; a six-speed automatic transmission will likely remain standard across the line. Ten airbags should again be standard, with blind spot, lane departure, and forward collision warning systems optional for added safety. The available MyLink infotainment system should again be able to stream data from Bluetooth-enabled smartphones.
Should you buy the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu or the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu?
Buy the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu if you’re a Chevy fan and are looking for a smallish midsize sedan that delivers good all-around performance, albeit with somewhat clumsy styling and a cramped interior.
There’s little reason to wait for the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu as no major changes are expected.
2015 Chevrolet Malibu Changes back to top
We don’t expect the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu will see any substantive updates, following a rushed refresh for the 2014 model year in response to some well-deserved criticism of its 2013 major redesign. The 2014 model received modestly revised front-end styling to make it more closely resemble its larger sibling, the Impala, along with a revised center console, and a slightly roomier rear seat (with 1.25 inches of additional knee room essentially carved from the front seatbacks). Unfortunately its clumsy-looking rear-end treatment remained intact. On the mechanical front it received a revised suspension, a more fuel-efficient 2.5-liter base engine with a gas-saving start-stop function, and added power for the optional 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder version.
What would improve the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu’s features?
The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu should again fall about mid-pack in terms of available features. One area in which it should continue to edge out many of its competitors is its available MyLink multimedia control system that affords wireless connectivity, data streaming, and text-to-voice text messaging via Bluetooth enabled smartphones. Unlike some competitors’ systems it should remain relatively easy to master, operating via either voice commands or a large dashboard-mounted touchscreen. It should again offer Apple’s Hands Free interface that allows motorists to access the Siri “virtual assistant” function from their iPhones.
What’s more the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu should continue to offer an array of safety-oriented features, again optional in all but the 1LS and 1LT versions. These include a backup camera for easier and safer parking, a blind-spot warning system that alerts the driver to other vehicle he or she might not otherwise be able to see in the side mirrors, a lane-departure warning system that lets the driver know if the car inadvertently crosses the lane markers, and a forward collision warning system that sounds an alarm if the car is closing in too quickly on a vehicle or other obstruction in its path.
Otherwise, we’d like to see the Chevrolet Malibu offer a few additional upscale features, including ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel.
What would improve the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu’s performance?
The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu should continue largely status quo in terms of mechanical updates. The base engine will likely again be a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 196 horsepower and a stop-start function that automatically de-powers itself while the car is at idle to save fuel; it starts up again automatically when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake pedal. A quicker turbocharged 2.0-liter four will likely return as a worthy alternative to a V-6 with 259 horsepower and an impressive 295 pound/feet of torque that enables strong launches from a standing start and authoritative highway passing abilities.
A six-speed automatic transmission should remain standard across the line, though this comes at a time when other automakers are introducing automatics with eight or more gears for added refinement and improved fuel economy.
Though Chevrolet enlivened the Malibu’s road manners a bit for its 2014 update, particularly in models with the base 2.5-liter engine, we’d like to see the Malibu offer a genuinely sporty suspension, especially with the turbo-four engine that would help give the car added character and more appeal to driving enthusiasts.
2015 Chevrolet Malibu Prices back to top
The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu shouldn’t see much more than a token price increase to help the car stay competitive with its rivals in a hotly contested market segment.
Among versions coming powered by the base 2.5-liter engine, the base 1LS should start at around $23,500, with the 1LT at about $24,750, the 2LT at around $26,500, and the 1LZ at about $29,000. (All base prices include the manufacturer’s destination charge, which should again be around $825.)
For those choosing the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the 3LT model should start at around $28,000, with the top 2LZ version at about $31,000.
Among options, expect to pay around $900 for an Advanced Safety Package that includes blind spot, forward collision and lane-departure warning systems and about $1,200 for an Electronics and Entertainment Package that bundles a rearview camera, autodimming rearview mirror, garage door opener, and a Pioneer premium audio system. A navigation system should continue to be priced at about $800, with a power sunroof going for around $1,000.
2015 Chevrolet Malibu Fuel Economy back to top
EPA fuel-economy ratings for the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu should remain close to or at their model-year 2014 levels, which would again place the vehicle at about average in its class.
The base 2015 Chevrolet Malibu with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine will likely continue to be rated at 25/36/29-mpg city/highway combined, which would come close to similarly configured leaders in the midsize segment including the Nissan Altima (at 27/38/31 for 2014) and the Honda Accord (at 27/36/30 for 2014). Models with the lively 2.0-liter turbo-four should again be rated at a far less efficient 21/30/24 mpg; by comparison, the Accord with a much smoother 3.5-liter V-6 was rated at 21/34/26 mpg for 2014.
2015 Chevrolet Malibu Release Date back to top
The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu should be available in late August or early September 2014.
What's next for the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu back to top
After a rushed update for the 2014 model year, we don’t expect the Chevrolet Malibu will see its next full redesign until the 2019 model year, though it could receive another update, perhaps with another round of exterior styling changes and modest mechanical updates, as early as 2017.
Reports suggest the Malibu could by then receive a new turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder as the base engine to help improve its fuel economy. To that end, Chevrolet may likewise offer the 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine from the compact Cruze sedan which, in that model, is rated at an impressive 27/46/33 mpg.
We’d expect the next-generation Malibu would be a bit larger and roomier than the current edition to help it better keep pace with its chief segment rivals, the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. It could ride on a shorter version of the platform that underpins the current Chevrolet Impala, or perhaps a stretched version of the chassis from the compact Cruze. It will likely remain a front-drive sedan, though adding an all-wheel-drive option could be a possibility. A higher-performance edition could also be in the works for a future model year that would include a stiffer suspension for added cornering prowess, more heavily bolstered sport seats, a slightly boosted version of the turbo-four engine, and perhaps a few styling tweaks to help differentiate it from the rest of the line.
We don’t, however, envision a future Malibu coming with either a V-6 engine or a manual transmission.