$4,721 - $5,202

2009 Chevrolet Malibu Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu was new.


Interior: 8.4

The 2009 Malibu's cabin is built around a two-cockpit design theme that coddles the driver. Some writers say it isn't as kind to its rear passengers, noting that there is plenty of space, but the rear seats don't win the same praise as the front set. Heavy sound insulation lends a substantial feel to the interior, and many like the layout of controls. Still, some reviews say the Malibu's interior materials don't live up to what Honda and Toyota offer for a similar price.

  • "A total knock-out inside." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The interior is one of the best-looking, most comfortable, most ergonomically sensible in the business." -- Washington Post
  • "A dual-cowl dash design somewhat reminiscent of a 1960s Corvette highlights the cabin, while much-improved materials and build quality put this Malibu light-years ahead of prior models." -- Edmunds
  •  "The interior is quite nice, though opinions were split on the two-tone treatment." -- AutoWeek
  • "The interior design is...well executed -- a flowing instrument panel features gauges and controls that are easy to decipher and use. Most interior plastics have a rich graining and are soft to the touch." -- Car and Driver
  • "The Malibu's interior is not as gratifying as the Accord nor as grating as the Mazda6. Somewhere, how to say, in the middle." -- Los Angeles Times


Most reviewers find the 2009 Malibu's front seats comfortable and well-supported. Though the rear seat offers class-competitive space, it doesn't win the same praise for comfort.

  • "Seats are comfortable and the driver's includes standard height and lumbar adjustment. Aiding positioning is a standard tilt and telescopic steering wheel, though it may not rise high enough for some." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Although leather is optional, the base fabric seats feel expensive and look durable." -- Car and Driver
  • "The front bucket seats are somewhere between sumptuous and luscious in the way they look and the way they sit, very comfortable and supportive." -- New Car Test Drive

Interior Features

The 2009 Malibu's dashboard has an attractive design. Most find its controls simple to use and its feature list competitive. But some reviewers note cheap plastics and thin cushioning in places. The Malibu's interior is considered a vast improvement over past Malibus, but not yet the equal of the best interiors in the class. Also notable is the lack of a navigation system, even as an option - though Chevy says its OnStar turn-by-turn directions offer the same functionality.

  • "A lot of the touch surfaces still feel plastic-y -- the GM-issue window switches and wands -- but that's the price you pay for the price you pay." -- Los Angeles Times
  • "The paddle shifter took some getting used to, however. It's not nearly as intuitive as it is for other cars (a small thumb button for upshifts, large behind-the-wheel flanges for downshifts), but it works, even if the radio occasionally gets muted when you reach for a higher gear (the upshift button is located too near the steering-wheel-mounted radio controls)." -- AutoWeek
  • "Big knobs and buttons and an elegant design make operating audio and climate functions easy." -- New Car Test Drive


The Malibu's trunk is large and easy to access, besting many of its imported peers.

  • "Malibu shines here vs. top competitors. The trunklid opens to a large portal and is supported by strut-type hinges that don't dip into the cargo area. Also, the pass-through revealed by the standard split folding rear seat is much larger than in many rivals, and though the seatbacks don't fold flat, they have mar-resistant hard-rubber backs." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The deep center console's sliding cover opens to accommodate large items, there's a handy storage compartment atop the instrument panel and an available 'rear power center' provides a 110-volt AC power outlet." -- Kelley Blue Book

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