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2015 Chevrolet Malibu Review

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu finishes in the top third of our affordable midsize car rankings. This sedan has excellent safety and reliable ratings, though some rivals have roomier back seats and are more engaging to drive.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent safety and reliability ratings
  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Powerful engines provide brisk acceleration
  • Large trunk


  • Poor back-seat legroom
  • Uninspiring handling


New for 2015

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





Critics' Rating: 7.6
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Chevrolet Malibu Overview

Is the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu a Good Used Car?

Yes, the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu is a good used car. It is one of the top midsize cars in terms of safety and 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 sedans, and some class rivals are more athletic.

Why You Can Trust Us

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

We’ve analyzed 43 Malibu reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability ratings and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

How Much Is the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu?

There are more than 2,200 listings for the 2015 Malibu on our site, with prices ranging between $11,000 and $18,000. At $14,500, its average list price is less than those of most 2015 midsize cars. For example, the average price of a 2015 Toyota Camry is almost $17,000. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, trim, mileage, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu Cost to Own?

Over the course of five years, the average driver will pay around $23,600 to repair, maintain, fuel, and insure a 2015 Malibu. These estimated costs are similar to rivals like the 2015 Hyundai Sonata and 2015 Nissan Altima.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Malibu?

Prices for the 2019 Chevy Malibu start at around $22,000. That's below average for a new midsize car, but it's still about $7,500 more than the average used 2015 Malibu. Another option is to consider buying a 2017 or 2018 Malibu, which are nearly identical to a new Malibu but likely less expensive.

Read about the new Chevrolet Malibu »

There are no new midsize cars available that cost about the same as a used 2015 Malibu.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Chevrolet Malibu Is Best?

The 2015 Malibu marked the end of a short generation that launched for 2013. The 2016 redesign resulted in a car that was longer and lighter, had more standard and optional features, and was available as a hybrid. The average price of a 2016 Malibu is about $1,200 more than the average 2015 model, but with most professional reviewers saying the newer car is better, it may be a better investment for used car shoppers.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Malibu »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu?

The 2015 Malibu has a superb reliability rating of five out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Malibu reliability »

2015 Chevrolet Malibu Recalls

As of this writing, three recalls have been issued for the 2015 Chevy Malibu. The largest recall applies to models with a sunroof, which may automatically close accidentally. Additional recalls address potential problems with the vehicle key coming out of the ignition and a faulty side air bag.

See more information on Chevrolet Malibu safety recalls »

Which Used Chevrolet Malibu Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu is available in three main trim levels: LS, LT, and LTZ. The latter two also break down into sub-trims (1LT, 2LT, 3LT, 1LZ, and 2LZ).

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 top-of-the-line

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.

See 2015 Chevrolet Malibu trims and specs »

What Does Chevrolet's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Chevrolet offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Chevy extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles. These vehicles also get a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty after the three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Chevrolet CPO vehicles must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read Chevy’s warranty page carefully.

Chevrolet has one of the better CPO programs among affordable carmakers. Hyundai, Buick, and Kia are better, according to our analysis.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Malibu?

The 2015 Malibu aced every Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash test and received a Top Safety Pick designation. It earned a five out of five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The 2015 Malibu does not come standard with any active safety features. A rearview camera, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and lane departure warning are available.

See Malibu safety scores »

2015 Chevrolet Malibu Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Chevrolet Malibu or 2015 Nissan Altima

The 2015 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. 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 safety and reliability ratings 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 2015 Mazda6 is no exception. It's exceptionally agile for a sedan and feels planted around turns. 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. However, the Mazda6's safety and reliability ratings are lower than 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 »

2015 Malibu Performance

How Does the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu Drive?

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

There are two engine choices for the 2015 Malibu: the fuel-efficient base engine and a peppy turbocharged option. The standard powertrain – a 196-horsepower four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission – provides 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 keeps pace with most V6-powered midsize cars.

Does the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base Malibu engine delivers an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, which is a typical fuel economy rating for a midsize car. Though the optional turbocharged engine is smaller, it isn't as fuel-efficient, with ratings of 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway.

Read more about Malibu performance »

2015 Malibu Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Malibu Seat?

The Chevrolet Malibu is a five-seat sedan with an attractive, quiet interior. The front seats are comfortable, but the rear seats don't have enough legroom for most adults. Cloth upholstery is standard, as is a power height adjustment for the front seats. Some Malibus may come with seating upgrades such as leather upholstery and eight-way power-adjustable, heated front seats.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu?

The Chevy Malibu has two full sets of LATCH anchors on the rear outboard seats. Additionally, the middle seat has a tether anchor, one lower anchor, and can borrow a lower anchor from the adjacent seat. Its lower anchors are mounted deep in the seat cushions, but the Malibu's hardware is otherwise decent. It earns a second-place Acceptable rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for its ease of use.

2015 Chevrolet Malibu Features

Standard features in the Malibu include Bluetooth phone connectivity, a six-speaker audio system, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and cruise control. The standard OnStar RemoteLink app includes a remote start function (an additional subscription may be required). Available features include a sunroof, navigation, satellite radio, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, proximity keyless entry, 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.

See 2015 Chevrolet Malibu specs »

Read more about Malibu interior »

2015 Chevrolet Malibu Dimensions

Chevrolet Malibu Cargo Space

The Malibu has a 16.3-cubic-foot trunk, which is one of the largest trunks in the class. The 2015 Hyundai Sonata is one of the few cars with an equivalent amount of cargo room.

2015 Malibu Length and Weight

The Malibu stretches almost 16 feet from bumper to bumper. Its curb weight ranges from 3,393 to 3,660 pounds, depending on the trim level.

Where Was the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu Built?

Chevrolet built the 2015 Malibu in Kansas and Michigan.

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