$13,684 - $20,406

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 7.8

The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu draws mixed reviews about its interior. Some critics think the cabin is attractive and uses high-quality materials; others argue that, while higher trims feature upscale interiors, the lower trims use low-grade materials and look somewhat cheap. They note that the front seats are comfortable and the rear seats are roomy. Critics praise the infotainment system for its user-friendly touch screen, although some wish it were more responsive. The Malibu has above-average trunk space for the class.

  • "Besides high quality materials, attractive instrumentation, user-friendly controls, and enhanced connectivity (Chevy's MyLink telematics and 4G LTE WiFi), other significant upgrades include a lower cowl and hood, improving the driver's forward sightlines." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The interior trim was high-grade cloth, let down a little by dashtop plastics with a bit too much gloss." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Up front, the dash is a complicated sculpture built up from a multitude of pieces with different textures and colors, including a kind of futuristic faux wood with pinstriping. The cabin isn't ugly or cheap, but it is busy, with panel part-lines everywhere." -- Car and Driver
  • "Storage for personal items is adequate, though not class-leading. Same goes for the interior materials, which are upgraded from the previous Malibu but not always convincing. Nonetheless, the dashboard's curvaceous new look lends an upscale vibe that should help earn consideration from nonbrand loyalists." -- Edmunds
  • "Inside, I'm not fully sold on this base-level interior. Higher-spec Malibus have quite nice interiors, but our Malibu 1LT leaves much to be desired from a materials standpoint. My main complaint is with the cloth trim on the dash that wraps around the center stack. Other Malibus are finished with nice leather trim here. Our Malibu 1LT's cloth trim, though, screams 1995 Lumina." -- Motor Trend

Seating

The 2016 Malibu seats five and comes standard with cloth upholstery. Leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, heated and ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel are available. Reviewers report that the front seats are comfortable, and they say the rear seats offer ample legroom and can comfortably fit a pair of adults. Automotive writers praise the sprawling forward view, although some note that blind-spot visibility is compromised.

  • "Chevy says the hood and dashboard have been lowered to enhance visibility, and we can confirm that the view out the front is expansive. On the flip side, the rakish, coupelike rear roof line makes it unusually difficult to check your blind spot before changing lanes, so the optional blind-spot monitor is a particularly valuable addition." -- Edmunds
  • "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." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The back-seat passengers benefit the most from the extra inches, with ample real estate to sit comfortably." -- Car and Driver
  • "Where the cabin really shines is in the backseat. It's much roomier; something the previous gen's competitors handily beat it on. Rear legroom increased by 1.3 inches and that extra bit matters. It now has almost as much rear legroom as the Accord and Camry and more than the Hyundai Sonata. Two adults will be comfy in back, and the Malibu easily accommodates two child-safety seats. Ample space and easy-to-access lower Latch anchors add a measure of family-friendliness to the sedan." -- Cars.com

Interior Features

Standard features in the Malibu include push-button start and a six-speaker audio system. Available features include a power sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, dual USB ports, satellite radio, wireless smartphone charging, a rearview camera, front pedestrian alert, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, front and rear parking sensors, automatic park assist, blind zone alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, voice recognition, Bluetooth audio streaming, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. OnStar with 4G LTE and a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot is also available.

The infotainment system’s touch screen features large, user-friendly buttons and is intuitive, according to test drivers, although some say that it has slow response times. Critics praise the touch screen's mimicry of a smartphone screen and appreciate the available Wi-Fi capability. They add that the climate controls are simple and easily reachable.

See 2016 Chevrolet Malibu specs »

  • "Tech was a shortcoming of the previous Malibu, but now it's leapfrogging some of its competition." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "While the audio system includes a volume knob, almost everything else is controlled through the touchscreen, mostly with large, easy-to-use virtual buttons that fall readily to hand. Climate controls - which are likewise easy to reach - consist of rotary temperature and fan-speed knobs along with individual mode buttons." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The touch-sensitive screen doesn't respond to touch as quickly as a traditional touch-screen, but its responsiveness was better than that of the previous model. I found the screen's placement high on the dash an aid to visibility, but some editors object to its upward tilt. There's no learning curve to using the audio and nav functions, and large Home and Back buttons add menu clarity when using the system. Gratefully, climate functionality hasn't been integrated; separate controls live below the screen." -- Cars.com
  • "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. Additionally, the Malibu is the only mid-size sedan that can take advantage of the available OnStar 4G LTE system for high speed Wi-Fi connectivity." -- Left Lane News

Cargo

The 2016 Malibu has 15.8 cubic feet of trunk space, which is above average for the class. Split-folding rear seats are standard. Auto journalists say the trunk is spacious, but some note that it has a high liftover height and that sliding longer items into the trunk with the rear seatbacks folded is challenging because the seats don't fold entirely flat.

  • "Other practical conveniences include trunk releases for the rear folding seats, but thanks to the sexy, hiked-up styling, the Malibu's bumper is a high hurdle to clear when loading the trunk itself." -- Car and Driver
  • "The trunk is wide at the rear, but sickle-type lid hinges dip a bit into the load area. Upper-line vehicles forfeit a spare tire to a sealing kit and pump, and that leaves a fair amount of 'unofficial' storage space beneath the floor. Folding the rear seat backs leaves a 2-stage 4-inch step up from the cargo floor, which means sliding long items forward poses a challenge." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The new Malibu's trunk is shallow but long and otherwise spacious." -- Motor Trend

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