2018 Chevrolet Malibu Interior

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The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu gets a special Redline Edition model based on the LT trim that gets black bowtie logos, black nameplates with red highlights, 19-inch black alloy wheels with red accents, black side mirror covers, and a black grille. A new exterior color, Sandy Ridge Metallic, has been added for the 2018 model year.


The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu is a front-drive midsize sedan that slots above the compact Cruze and below the full-size Impala. In addition to the gas-powered variant, the 2018 Malibu is also available as a hybrid. Gas-powered models are available in four trims while the Malibu Hybridin a single grade.

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Malibu L: The base Malibu L gets 16-inch steel wheels, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, keyless entry/start, a 3.5-inch instrument cluster info display, and daytime running lights.

Malibu LS: Moving up to the LS grade gets you 16-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, a USB port, Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration.

Malibu LT: Jumping up to the LT model adds 17-inch alloy wheels, ambient lighting, an eight-way power-operated driver’s seat, and LED daytime running lights.

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Malibu HybridPositioned as the second highest model, the Malibu Hybrid comes with the same equipment as the LT trim plus its own unique instrument cluster and dual-zone climate control.

Malibu Premier: Currently the most powerful model and the range-topper, the Malibu Premier adds LED taillights, a powerful 2.0-liter turbo-four, 18-inch alloy wheels, remote start, a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen, a nine-speaker Bose premium audio system, two additional USB ports, a wireless charging pad, ventilated front seats, six-way power adjustable front passenger seat, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, navigation, and 4.2-inch instrument cluster info display.

Available features include a panoramic sunroof, 19-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, an electric parking brake and automatic parking assist.


The 2018 Malibu comes standard with a 1.5-liter turbo-four with 163 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque and it’s paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. A 2.0-liter turbo-four rated at 250 hp and 260 lb-ft is available only on the Premier trim and is paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Malibu Hybrid features a 1.8-liter I-4 paired to an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery, and a CVT with a combined output of 182 hp.

EPA fuel economy ratings are 27/36 mpg city/highway for the 1.5-liter turbo-four, 22/32 mpg for the 2.0-liter turbo-four, and 49/43 mpg for the hybrid.


The 2018 Malibu received a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars). In IIHS testing, the 2018 Malibu received a Good rating on all crashworthiness tests except for the passenger side front small overlap impact and headlights test where it got a Marginal and Poor score respectively (Good is the highest possible score). In the IIHS’ front crash prevention test, the 2018 Malibu received a Superior rating after it avoided a 12-mph collision and reduced the severity of a 25-mph impact by 24 mph (Superior is the highest score for front crash prevention test). As a result, the 2018 Malibu received the IIHS’ 2017 Top Safety Pick rating.

Available on the LT and Premier trims is the Driver Confidence package, which adds automatic high beams, following distance indicator, forward collision warning, lane change alert, blind spot warning, lane keeping assist, pedestrian detection, and low-speed automatic emergency braking. The Driver Confidence II package, which is available only on the Premier trim, adds adaptive cruise control and an automatic emergency braking system that works at higher speeds.


The 2018 Malibu has a 15.8-cubic-foot trunk that can be expanded via the standard 60/40 split-folding rear seats. Hybrid variants have less trunk space at 11.6 cubic feet.


In a 2016 First Test, we said that the low-rolling resistance tires hurt its braking performance. Its limit handling takes a hit because of the eco-focused rubber but it rides comfortably and steering feel is reasonably good for a midsize sedan focused on comfort. The 1.5-liter turbo-four isn’t very powerful but it has plenty of usable power for daily driving. Interior quality on lower trims, however, is disappointing with plenty of hard plastics and cloth that feels cheap. Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system is easy to use and the rear seats are spacious.

The more powerful Malibu 2.0T offers plenty of power on tap even with passengers in the car. Its handling is also much improved thanks to its wider tires, as we noted in a 2017 First Test. There’s also a generous amount of tech available on the Malibu such as wireless phone charging, multiple USB ports and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, which should make it easy to stay connected.

We were impressed with the Malibu Hybrid in a 2016 Second Drive review thanks to its linear-feeling brakes and a hybrid system that operated smoothly, and didn’t call attention to itself when the gas engine and electric motor were interacting. There’s enough power on tap but you have to bury your foot into the accelerator so that the car knows you want full power. Like its more powerful 2.0-liter turbo-four-equipped sibling, the Malibu Hybrid handles reasonably well for a midsize sedan with precise steering, good body control, and minimal understeer, all while maintaining a comfortable ride. Tire noise, however, can get excessive and some of the plastics in the cabin feel cheap.


The current-generation Chevrolet Malibu was the first to utilize GM’s new 1.5-liter turbo-four, a more powerful version of which is now found on the Equinox and the GMC Silverado.

20 Photos of the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Interior

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