Chevrolet says the all-new 2016 Malibu, which makes its first public appearance April 1 at the New York International Auto Show, will be able to easily tackle terrible roads and potholes. That toughness could come in handy for many drivers who spend their winters dodging craters on their local roads.
The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu will also be almost 4 inches longer than the 2015 Malibu, which Chevrolet says translates into more back-seat legroom. Stronger steel means the 2016 Malibu will also be about 300 pounds lighter than the outgoing model, which Chevy reports "benefits the sedan's fuel economy and handling."
To improve the redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Malibu’s performance on rough roads, General Motors put it through an extensive testing process on its test courses in Michigan. GM gathered data from data boxes in vehicles driven in the real world that record the severity of bumps and holes in the road in the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Russia and other countries since 1972. GM then used the data to recreate the nasty potholes on its test courses, which it says simulate the amount of abuse and damage a vehicle would sustain after driving 150,000 miles.
Chevrolet explains that it has used this kind of testing in the past to make sure the Malibu is "dependable and durable," which it says are important factors in J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Study and Vehicle Dependability Study. The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu was the highest-ranked midsize car in J.D. Power's 2014 Initial Quality Study, which measures problems owners report in their first 90 days of ownership of their new vehicle. The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu is the highest-ranked midsize car in J.D. Power's 2015 Vehicle Dependability Study, which looks at problems in the past year original owners of 2012 model-year vehicles have experienced.
Automotive News reports that despite the top J.D. Power accolades, "the Malibu has been a sales disappointment. Deliveries have fallen every year since 2012, to 188,519 Malibus last year, when it was the only midsize car among the top eight in volume to record a sales decline."
The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu goes on sale by the end of this year, though Chevrolet has not released prices yet. The 2015 Malibu starts at $22,465. Specs and features for the new 2016 Malibu have also not been announced yet. The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu currently ranks 12th out of 17 in our affordable midsize car rankings. Do you think the redesigned 2016 Malibu will be able to beat higher-ranking cars like the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry?