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2017 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 8.3

The 2017 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid features an attractive design with mostly quality materials like premium cloth and leatherette trimmings. A negative is that some plastic surfaces are hard and glossy. However, the seats are supportive and comfortable, and passenger room is good all-around. Rear legroom is even sufficient for taller adults. The standard infotainment system is easy to use and features smartphone integration. Cargo room is average for hybrid sedans, but the hybrid's battery placement affects some usable space.

  • "Even if you don't use CarPlay or Android Auto, you'll appreciate the Chevy MyLink infotainment system's combination of big icons and physical knobs and buttons. It's all part of an interior design that isn't just functional, but is among the best in class from a purely esthetic point, too. The gauges are big and clear, the dash curves and swoops attractively, and it's even easy to see out." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The cabin design is more subdued than the exterior, but the (cloth or leatherette) dash covering and liberal use of chrome trim help liven things up." -- Edmunds
  • The interior trim was high-grade cloth, let down a little by dashtop plastics with a bit too much gloss." -- Automobile Magazine (2016)

Seating

The Malibu Hybrid seats five on standard cloth seats. An eight-way power driver’s seat is standard. Upgrades include leather upholstery, a six-way power passenger seat, and heated front seats.

All of the Malibu’s seats are very comfortable, and the front seats offer good support. The front seats can be adjusted in a number of ways to accommodate passengers of all sizes. The door openings are large, making it easy to get in and out of the car. Back-seat room is good as well, with plenty of legroom for full-size and tall adults.

The Malibu has two complete LATCH car-seat systems in the rear outboard seats, and the middle seat has a top tether anchor. All three top tether anchors are easy to find and separate from other hardware. However, the lower anchors are too deep in the seats, and it requires some force to attach the straps to the anchors.

  • "Seat comfort is a strong point in the Malibu. The power driver seat (we haven't tested the manual version) slides back farther than the Accord's, making this Chevy a good pick for tall shoppers, and all front-row riders will likely find support and cushioning to be satisfactory. In back, the elongated wheelbase opens up enough legroom to challenge rivals including the Ford Fusion, though in our experience, the Accord and Sonata offer even more. Still, the Malibu is competitive in terms of backseat space, and that addresses a major complaint about the previous-generation car." -- Edmunds
  • The comfortable front seats adjust to virtually any body size, and the rear seats boast enough legroom to seat tall adults, although they might find headroom a little tight." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The seats were supportive and comfortable, getting in and out was easy (tall drivers noted they no longer risked bumping their heads on the way in), and the rear seat was fine for full-size adults with 1.3 inches more legroom than last year." --Automobile Magazine (2016)

Interior Features

Standard features in the 2017 Malibu Hybrid include dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a USB port, satellite radio, a rearview camera, proximity key entry, and push-button start, the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and OnStar with 4G LTE and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Optional features include an auto-dimming rearview mirror, two USB ports, a 120-volt outlet, remote start, an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, wireless charging, a Bose nine-speaker premium audio system, automatic high beams, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, low-speed automatic emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and lane keep assist.

The MyLink infotainment system has menus that respond quickly to commands and are easy to navigate, which make it very user-friendly. Smartphone connectivity adds even more familiarity and utility to the system. With the standard 7-inch screen, the display is unimpressive but the larger 8-inch screen mimics the visual quality of a tablet.

See 2017 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid specs »

  • "While Chevrolet MyLink is one of the better touch-screen infotainment systems out there, we love the consistency using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto brings to a vehicle's interior. Using the identical functionality of a smartphone on your infotainment system is just as desirable and useful as it sounds." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Front and center is the optional MyLink touchscreen, which looks like an iPad slipped neatly into its own slot, rather than perched awkwardly atop the dash like other infotainment screens. The lower-end unit has a 7-inch diagonal with merely adequate graphics, while the available 8-inch screen … offers tablet-like colors and clarity. We like the intuitive menu structure, quick response times, and notable cool features such as mobile 4G Wi-Fi and full smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It's unfortunate, however, that the screen can become unreadable due to reflections and fingerprints." -- Edmunds
  • "Plugging in your iPhone 5 through 6s and the Malibu's eight-inch screen mimics the appearance of your iPhone or iPad. An added bonus: In cars not equipped with navigation, plugging the phone will instantly convert the display into a fully functional nav system (via the phone's GPS system) that was every bit as effective as a Garmin or other factory offering."-- Left Lane News (2016)

Cargo

The Malibu Hybrid has 11.6 cubic feet of cargo space, which is just about average for the hybrids in the midsize car class. While the rear seats fold down to allow for storage of longer items, the battery blocks a lot of the usable open space.

  • Getting the Hybrid reduces trunk capacity to 11.6 cubic feet because the battery pack eats up its lower rear portion (imagine a small stage in the back of the trunk). This is typical for a hybrid sedan, though the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid does buck the trend." -- Edmunds
  • "Tucked just behind the rear seats, the Malibu's battery reduces trunk volume from 15.8 cubic feet to 11.6. And while the rear seats still fold, the battery mostly blocks the pass-through." -- Car and Driver (2016)
  • The 2016 Malibu is larger yet lighter. The hybrid weighs about 125 pounds more than a comparably equipped 1.5T. You don't notice the extra weight, but there is some space eaten out of the trunk by the battery. It's an irregular shape that mostly blocks the opening created by folding the rear seats, but there's still room to pass thinner objects like skis or lumber through." -- Autoblog (2016)

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