2015 Chevrolet Malibu Expert Review

3.8 Overall Score
Performance 3.8 Comfort 3.7 Styling 3.6 Value 3.7

Editor's Overview

Last year, Chevrolet updated the Malibu midsize sedan with enhancements like a refined suspension, improved rear-seat roominess, and start-stop engine technology. This year, GM adds 4G LTE connectivity to the 2015 Chevy Malibu, along with standard Wi-Fi hotspot technology. The combination – along with an OnStar subscription – turns the Malibu into a mobile Internet hub.

You'll Like The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu If...

If you want solid family transportation with the unfettered entertainment options that only come from the Internet, the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu may be the answer to your midsize sedan prayers.

You May Not Like The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu If...

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu is at the smaller end of the midsize segment, and still suffers from a lack of rear-seat space. The Toyota Camry and Honda Accord sedans both offer up more room for rear passengers.

What's New

The biggest change to the 2015 Chevy Malibu is the addition of 4G LTE technology to OnStar. This allows the Malibu to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing computers, smartphones and tablets access to the Internet, as long as there's a 4G connection.

Interior Features

The 2015 Malibu is a comfortable place to while away your time on the road. Despite being on the smaller end of the midsize-sedan market, the Malibu's airy interior offers plenty of room for front passengers, and rear passengers as long as they're "tweens" or younger. The design, plus chrome accents and available leather, feel upscale for the class. At speed, the Malibu is quiet compared to its competition, and the controls and gauges are easy to use and see. Trunk space is adequate, although it's a high lift to the trunk compared to other sedans in the class.

Exterior Features

The 2015 Malibu carries over the new nose and tail it received last year. The design changes bring the Malibu closer to the larger Chevrolet Impala, one of the most handsome cars in its class. However, the distance between the front and rear wheels on the Malibu, known as wheelbase, is shorter than in other midsize sedans, giving it a somewhat awkward profile. Nonetheless, from other angles this is a handsome vehicle. We particularly like the taillights, inspired by performance cars like the Chevrolet Camaro, and the sporty stainless-steel exhaust tips on the top-line LTZ model.

Driving Impressions

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu is a quiet, composed and competent sedan. Last year's suspension improvements went a long way toward settling the car on the road, and when combined with the quiet ride, the result is a midsize sedan that's well suited to long road trips over mile after mile of Interstate. The Malibu is also confident, if not exactly thrilling, on mountain roads too. The standard 4-cylinder engine offers decent power but only mid-pack fuel economy. The start-stop system added last year, which shuts off the engine at stoplights or in heavy stop-and-go traffic, is one of the best out there. The turbocharged Malibu offers notably more power and low-end torque, easily making the 4-cylinder competitive with the V6 engines available in other cars.

Pricing Notes

Prices for the base 2015 Chevrolet Malibu LS start right at about $23,000. Mid-level LT models start at just below $24,500, and the top-line LTZ sedan rings in at a starting price of about $29,000. The turbocharged engine adds roughly $2,000 to the price of an LT or LTZ, although it's not a direct comparison since the turbo also comes with other equipment. Those prices are right in line with midsize-sedan rivals like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata. Before buying, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their Chevy Malibu. Resale value is not a strong point for the Malibu. Its long-term value is predicted to drop noticeably quicker than that of segment leaders such as the Honda Accord and Ford Fusion.

Notable Equipment

The basic 2015 Chevrolet Malibu LS sedan comes with a 6-speaker audio with AM/FM/CD/satellite radio, cruise control, remote keyless entry, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and standard Wi-Fi connectivity, although it requires an OnStar subscription. The LT adds 7-inch touch screen with MyLink, a USB port for audio devices, Bluetooth audio streaming and a power driver's seat. Top-line LTZ versions enhance comfort with a power passenger seat, heated front seats and leather upholstery. All 2015 Malibus have 10 airbags and a 6-month trial of GM's OnStar safety and communications system, plus a 3-month 3GB data trial.

Notable Options

Optional on 2015 Malibu LT and LTZ midsize sedans is the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, which adds quite a bit of punch over the standard 4-cylinder. Other available options include navigation, a power sunroof, a backup camera and leather seating. The Advanced Safety Package includes blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, and a rear cross-traffic alert. Those seeking a premium audio system can opt for a 9-speaker Pioneer setup.

Favorite Features

4G LTE WI-FI

The Wi-Fi availability in the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu has the potential to be a game-changer in the midsize-sedan segment. The most obvious example is a long road trip, where the kids in back could stream Netflix as you drive down the Interstate.


MYLINK INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM

Chevy's MyLink infotainment system is easy to use, and packed with features. You can use your Pandora and Stitcher accounts, Bluetooth sync is fast and easy, and everything's displayed on a large 7-inch touch screen that opens to reveal a hidden storage compartment.

Under the Hood

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu offers two different engines to drive its front wheels. The first is the standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, which comes standard with start-stop technology that shuts off the engine when the vehicle isn't moving. The upgrade engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that offers up enough power that you'll never wish for a V6. Both engines come with a 6-speed automatic transmission that includes a manual-shift mode, although the buttons mounted on top of the shift handle aren't the easiest to use. As with most midsize sedans, all versions of the Malibu can run on regular unleaded gasoline, though premium is recommended for the turbo model.


2.5-liter inline-4

196 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm

186 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy, estimated: 23/35 mpg


2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4

259 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm

295 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 mpg

Editors' Notes

Last year, Chevrolet upgraded the Malibu midsize sedan's suspension for a more comfortable and controlled ride, improved rear-seat room (a little), and reshaped the nose a bit. Now, Chevy's just having fun. The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu gets available 4G LTE with OnStar, the same high-speed wireless connection that's probably on your smartphone. And, just like your phone, the 2015 Malibu can act as a wireless hotspot, allowing broadband Internet connections through tablets, smartphones, computers, or just about any other connected technology. Otherwise, with the exception of a few new colors, the 2015 Chevy Malibu is largely carryover, and that's fine with us. We like the quiet and comfortable ride, and the Malibu remains one of the better looking sedans in its class, inside and out.

Road Test Video Reviews

2015 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Reviews

4.53
463 Reviews
61% 32% 7% 2 star 0% 1 star 0%
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Buy it for all of its amazing features, comfort, colors and reliability.

I love my Malibu, the only issue with it is that the auto stop sometimes does not work, other than that it runs smooth, the seats are really comfortable. I have never had an issue with the car starting or running. When we go on long trips I never have to worry about having a sore back because the seats are the most comfortable out of all the cars that I have owned. The seats are made of a very soft leather and have lumbar support that seems making trips a breeze. I take the car in every three months to change the oil and at least once a year to rotate the tires this seems to help keep the car up and running and making it one of the most reliable cars on the market. It has a am/FM/CD player, Bluetooth, heat, air conditioning, it gets between twenty five-thirty highway miles to the gallon. It's a four door with seating for five people. Comes in ten amazing exterior colors and four interior colors. It has more airbags than any car that I have ever seen front, side back knee, ten in total, a security system, remote keyless entry, tracker system, brake assistant, abs and driveline traction control, four-wheel abs brakes, rear child safety locks, abs, manual adjustable front head restraints, standard transmission, powertrain, suspension handling, a great warranty. Power locks and power windows. I cannot say enough about my Chevy Malibu it is just one of the best cars that I have purchased.

- Karen D

This 2015 style of Malibu was first offered in 2013, yet the prototype came out in January 2012. I know, because I bought the first one on the market in Jan 2012. I found it in the Midwest, "Phillip's Chevrolet in Frankfort, IL.

Great Automobile. As I started above, I bought the first 2013 Malibu that was displayed in one of the Midwest's Largest Dealerships.' That was in Jan 2012. I suppose it was in the prototype stage, with only two available. Of those 2, I chose the Burgundy color. ~ So many compliments. Everyone I passed on the streets was gawking and giving a "Thumbs Up," wondering what type of eye-catching vehicle it was. All recalls on this vehicle was judged by my personal notifications. The only problem was the Auxillary Battery for the 'Stop-Start' technology. Beautiful Car well worth the price. No other problems. I traded it in on a 2014 Impala but missed my Malibu, so I bought a Burgundy 2015 Malibu 2LT in 2015 that looks identical to the one I purchased in Jan 2012, a 2013 Malibu. I still have it (May 2019). It looks and runs like it just left the showroom floor. It's loaded w/Sunroof. The technology is amazing. I'm keeping this one. Great Automobile.

- Charlie Haynes

2015 Chevy Malibu ltz. Sunroof, auto start, luxury detailed interior.

I have had my 2015 Malibu two months now. The main thing that drew my eye to it is the champagne color and the shape. It looks clean and like a luxury vehicle. The seating has cloth in the middle with leather on the outside. The design on the interior has great detail, faux wood grain, ice blue lights under the center screen that responds to adjusting the sound. Other features that are great are 2 slots next to the cup holders that fit your cell phone or wallet. For the vehicle to be a 2015 if really has all the features of a newer vehicle, Bluetooth, touchscreen display, steering wheel controls, auto start, eco fuel, sun roof. The only missing feature I would have preferred is a keyless entry and start. I definitely recommend if you are looking for a feature filled budget friendly vehicles.

- Erika D

. Chrome pig makes car very attractive.

The appearance is what attracted me to my car. Even though I am 71 years old I still like the sporty look. The interior is large enough to comfortably seat 4 people and being a 4-door makes me the driver often. The ride is that of a larger car in that it handles well in all weather and reduces impact from pot holes with it is suspension system. The only real problem I have is getting in and out but this should be remedied when I have my hip replaced. The ceiling clearance is a little low for my six foot tall friend. The rear view camera is ok but I still find myself doing all the moves checking the old way. The temperature adjustment is nice but not as good as in my friends Cadillac. All in all I like my car and plan on driving out to Colorado next summer.

- Marcia N

2015 Chevy Malibu. Nice semi-sporty car.

Currently the check engine light is on and says its an emission issue. Too new of a car for that. Very sleek interior. Like the lighting across the dashboard. Has a large screen which is nice for the backup camera. Bluetooth works will with iPhone. Do not like that the answer/hangup buttons are not color coded. I believe that is a safety factor as it is easier to glance to answer call when the button is green. Seats are pretty comfortable for car trips. Excellent heat and air. Doesn't take long to cool down or heat up. I like the options. Backup camera, heated side mirrors, lots of air bags. Easy to see out the back window. Could get a little better gas mileage. I expect more with the advanced today. Fun car to drive. Get compliments on it regularly.

- Nancy W

The vehicle that makes you stop driving to read your messages!

My Car is amazing I can honestly say I haven't ran across any problems with it so far. My two favorite features are my touch screen with possible abilities to watch movies, videos, etc... Also I love that I can connect my phone by Bluetooth to the car and retrieve call and or texts. The fact that the car is programmed to keep u safe while driving with that feature blows my mind. For example: if a text message comes through it will not allow u to read the message unless your vehicle is stopped and the moment the vehicle moves the messages becomes disabled and u are no longer able to read it. This vehicle is truest one of the best cars I've had and I hope to have it around for a lot more years to come.

- Tiara P

Malibu Barbie: My dream Car

I love my Malibu. I haven't had any mechanical issues with this vehicle. My Malibu is very quiet, as it has gas & eco boost batteries. I have all the features that are in a Cadillac. The ride is very smooth. The sound system is a Bose. Even though the vehicle has a 4 cylinder engine, I have no problem jumping on the interstate or keeping up with traffic. In fact the ride is so smooth the Malibu will get away from you if you're not careful. I'll be driving down the road, and the next thing I look down I'm doing 80 mph, but it feels like you are just cruising at 60. My Malibu is fun to drive. She is also beautiful. I give all my cars a name. She is Malibu Barbie.

- Jacqueline J

I love all of the features of my Malibu!

I love my Chevy Malibu! It is very roomy so I do not have to worry about moving my seat back and forth constantly to accommodate for my backseat passengers. It also drives very smoothly. My ltz model has the eco option that allows me to save gas when I am stopped at a stoplight. I get around 30 mpg too, which is great for how roomy the car is. My leather seats are extremely comfortable too. I also have automatic start which is a lifesaver in the winter. The on star app makes this feature even better! I can lock/unlock, start, and set my horn off from anywhere! The combination of all of these features and the performance of my Malibu definitely has made me a loyal Chevrolet customer.

- Kayla M

My pretty dark metallic gray baby lol.

I love my car. I often refer to it as my baby. I love the color. The gas mileage is wonderful. The only issue I have had lately is that it the information system keeps saying the fuel cap needs tightened. I replaced it and I still get it. I pay $256/month on my car. I super love the hands free phone feature. I think that the OnStar and internet capability are nice but I do not see myself paying for it plus my home internet. It would be nice to use the navigation display on the message display. This was one of my best options for a new car. I have two teens and a 18 month old and the back seat in my car is great. The trunk space is nice too.

- Amanda F

I am extremely pleased with the quality and features of my 2015 Chevrolet Malibu.

Since I have purchased this vehicle, I have been very pleased with it is overall performance, including reliability, comfort, features, style. I like the exterior style of the vehicle, and like that it is not too boxy like many cars can be. The interior is nice as well, and has held up to my expectations in Accordance with the time I have had the vehicle. I have never experienced any major issue with this vehicle, aside from minor issues, including replacing tires, windshield blades, etc. The features are minimal on this vehicle, but it is not an issue for me. I would recommend this vehicle to a friend for sure.

- Rhiannon C

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