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8.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.6
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.7
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Chevrolet Malibu Review

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu finishes in the top third of our affordable midsize car rankings. This sedan is safe and reliable, but there are a couple of knocks against the Malibu's performance and interior that keep it from the head of the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Powerful engines
  • Great trunk space
  • Excellent safety and reliability ratings

 

  • Poor back-seat legroom
  • Rivals offer a livelier drive

 

New for 2015

  • A Wi-Fi hot spot comes standard
  • Rear parking sensors and rear cross traffic alert became available

2015 Chevrolet Malibu Overview

Is the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu a Good Used Car?

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu is a good used car. It is one of the top midsize cars in terms of safety and predicted reliability ratings. It also has a large trunk, a user-friendly infotainment system, and powerful engine options. However, the Malibu's rear seat is smaller than those in many other midsize cars, and some class rivals are more athletic.

Used 2015 Chevrolet Malibu Performance and Interior

The Chevrolet Malibu comes standard with a 196-horsepower four-cylinder engine that's mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The base engine has plenty of power, and acceleration is quick. The Malibu doesn't offer a V6, but it is available with a 259-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder that will keep pace with most V6-powered midsize cars. However, the turbo-four gets worse gas mileage than the base engine. The base engine gets 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, which is typical for the class. The turbo-four's ratings are just 21/29 mpg city/highway.

Regardless of pavement quality, the Chevy Malibu delivers a cushioned ride. It can't match the adept handling of many other cars in the class, though. The Malibu's steering is vague, and the brake pedal is a bit spongy.

Read more about Malibu performance »

The Chevrolet Malibu is a five-seat sedan with an attractive and quiet interior. The front seats are comfortable, but the rear seats don't have enough legroom for most adult passengers. There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. This Chevy has a larger trunk than many other midsize cars, with more than 16 cubic feet of room.

Standard features in the Malibu include Bluetooth phone connectivity, a six-speaker audio system, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Available features include a sunroof, navigation, satellite radio, and Chevy's MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen. The MyLink system has an intuitive interface and includes useful technology like smartphone app integration. There are also physical controls for many audio and climate functions, so you don't always have to use the touch screen. However, the sheer number of knobs and buttons may confuse some drivers at first.

Read more about Malibu interior »

Used 2015 Chevrolet Malibu Prices

Prices for a used 2015 Chevy Malibu range from about $13,500 for a base LS trim to around $18,600 for the top-of-the-line LTZ. Keep in mind that used cars vary in price based on the vehicle's trim, condition, mileage, and location. Prices also change as demand increases or decreases.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 39 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews aren't based on our personal opinions. Instead, we look at the opinions of other professional reviewers – 39 in the case of this 2015 Chevrolet Malibu review – and combine them with crash test and reliability data, cost of ownership estimates, and more to give you a complete picture of each vehicle we rank.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs for a decade, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. You can count on us to deliver unbiased reviews because we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers. Additionally, all advertising on our site is handled by a third party.

How Reliable Is the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu?

J.D. Power and Associates gives the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu a predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five. That's an outstanding rating, and it's well above average for any vehicle (three is considered average). It's also higher than nearly every other midsize car's rating.

Read more about Malibu reliability »

How Safe Is the Malibu?

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu has a high safety score, and it does well in crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it a five-star overall rating, with a perfect five stars in all but the rollover test, where it received four stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it Good scores (the best possible) in all crash tests and named it a 2015 Top Safety Pick.

There are no standard active safety features in the 2015 Malibu. A rearview camera, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and lane departure warning are available.

See Malibu safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used Malibu?

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu was the final model year of a generation that began with the 2013 model. Chevy added more rear-seat legroom for the 2014 model year and new features like blind spot monitoring and smartphone integration. A few new standard and available features were added for 2015 as well, including a Wi-Fi hot spot and rear parking sensors. Though they're nice features, they aren't really necessities. You can get all of the important features in a 2014 model and likely pay less than you would for a 2015 model.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Malibu »

Which Used Chevrolet Malibu Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu is available in three trims: LS, LT, and LTZ. The base LS offers little beyond the standard features. The LT will appeal to many shoppers because it offers most of the tech features you can get in the Malibu. The LTZ is also worth a look. It features leather upholstery and is the only trim to offer many of the active safety features, such as forward collision alert and blind spot monitoring.

For additional peace of mind, consider a certified pre-owned Malibu. For all of its CPO vehicles, Chevy extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Chevrolet CPO vehicles must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read Chevy’s warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Chevrolet certified pre-owned program »

2015 Chevrolet Malibu and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2015 Chevrolet Malibu or 2015 Nissan Altima?

The Nissan Altima has an attractive interior with top-notch materials. It has many standard and available features, including an easy-to-use infotainment system. The Altima's sporty handling makes it more fun to drive than most affordable midsize cars, including its Chevrolet rival. The Altima also has some of the highest fuel economy ratings in the class. When it comes to safety and reliability, the Altima has pretty good ratings, though the Malibu's are better. These two place similarly in our midsize car rankings, but the Chevrolet's higher ratings in "typical" sedan categories (safety and reliability) make it a better buy for many shoppers.

Which Is Better: 2015 Chevrolet Malibu or 2015 Mazda6?

Mazda has a reputation for making fun-to-drive cars, and the Mazda6 is no exception. It's exceptionally agile for a sedan and feels planted around turns. With the automatic transmission, it also gets slightly better fuel economy estimates than the Malibu. The Mazda6's cabin is simple but upscale. Unlike its Chevrolet rival, the Mazda6 has an incredibly spacious back seat – one of the largest in the class. The Mazda6's safety and predicted reliability ratings are just below average, and its average sale price is similar to the Malibu's. If you're looking for the most enjoyable drive, take the Mazda. Otherwise, the Chevrolet is a better bet.

Compare the Malibu, Altima, and Mazda6 »

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