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2017 Chevrolet Malibu Review

A high predicted reliability rating, a roomy cabin, and one of the best infotainment systems in the class help make the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu one of the top players in our midsize car rankings. Just note you’ll want to skip the base trim because of its limited standard features and low-rent materials.   

Pros & Cons

  • Intuitive infotainment features
  • High predicted reliability rating
  • Excellent gas mileage estimates
  • Roomy cabin
  • Minimal standard features
  • Low-quality materials in base model

New for 2017

  • New nine-speed automatic transmission available
  • 2LT trim discontinued




Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 7.9
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Chevrolet Malibu Overview

Is the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu a Good Used Car?

The 2017 Chevrolet Malibu is an excellent choice in the midsize car class. In fact, the Malibu won our 2017 Best Midsize Car for Families award, thanks to its combination of available family-friendly features, generous passenger and cargo space, and favorable reviews from professional critics. This sedan's standout qualities also include excellent fuel economy and an intuitive infotainment system. Better yet, all of this comes at a low average list price.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 23 Chevrolet Malibu reviews, as well as fuel economy estimates, reliability ratings, crash test results, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain impartial, we do not accept extravagant gifts from automakers, and an outside source handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu?

Based on 3,086 listings on our site for the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu, prices range from $14,800 to $23,000. The average list price is $16,900. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu Cost to Own?

The 2017 Chevrolet Malibu's estimated five-year costs for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs are about $23,210 – or $4,640 per year. These costs are about average for the class. For example, five-year costs for the 2017 Ford Fusion and the 2017 Hyundai Sonata are roughly $23,380 and $22,670, respectively.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Malibu?

The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu adds an available 360-degree camera, but other than that, there are few changes between this car and the 2017 model. You can save money by shopping for the nearly identical 2017 Malibu.

Read about the new Chevrolet Malibu »

You likely won't find a comparable 2018 midsize car that costs about the same as the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu. If you step down to the compact car class, however, there are a few similarly priced options. The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze has a generous list of standard features, excellent fuel economy, a spacious cabin, and a comfortable ride. Alternatively, the 2018 Ford Focus is incredibly fun to drive, with strong engines and agile handling. Just note that you'll have to sacrifice passenger and cargo space.

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Which Model Year of the Chevrolet Malibu Is Best?

The 2017 Chevrolet Malibu is part of a generation that debuted for the 2016 model year. The 2017 model dropped the 2LT trim level and replaced the Premier trim's eight-speed automatic transmission with a nine-speed automatic. You can save money and get a very similar car with a 2016 Malibu instead.

Compare the 2016 and 2017 Malibu »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu?

The 2017 Malibu received an above-average predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Malibu reliability »

2017 Chevrolet Malibu Recalls

As of this writing, the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu has one safety recall. The rear side air bag inflator may have insufficient welds, which could result in air bag debris getting into the cabin or the inflator failing to inflate during a crash. If this recall affects the used model you are interested in, make sure the issue has been fixed by a dealer before you buy. 

See more information on Chevrolet Malibu safety recalls »

Which Used Chevrolet Malibu Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Chevrolet Malibu comes in four trims: L, LS, LT, and Premier. The base L trim is short on features, so we recommend the LS trim. It has the base trim's features – including a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, and push-button start – and it adds a 7-inch touch screen infotainment system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a USB port, and a rearview camera. If you're searching for more convenience features, consider the top-of-the-line Chevrolet Malibu Premier trim. It adds features like heated and ventilated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and remote start.

See 2017 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.

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How Safe Is the Malibu?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu the highest rating of Good in five crash tests and the second-lowest rating of Marginal in the passenger-side crash test. The Malibu also earned a 2017 Top Safety Pick award and a Superior score for front crash prevention. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Malibu a perfect five-star overall rating, with five stars in the frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test.

The Malibu comes standard with Chevy's Rear Seat Reminder. This feature alerts you to check your rear seats for kids or pets before exiting your car. Some models come with a rearview camera, front and rear park assist, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision alert, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, pedestrian detection, forward automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, and the Teen Driver system, which allows parents to set speed and audio limits for younger drivers.

See Malibu safety scores »

2017 Chevrolet Malibu Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Chevrolet Malibu or 2017 Ford Fusion?

If you place a premium on performance, the 2017 Ford Fusion is a great choice in the midsize car class. The Ford's attributes include agile handling and several powerful turbocharged engines. The Fusion also boasts a nicer cabin than the Malibu. That said, the Chevrolet is a superior option. Not only does the Malibu have an above-average predicted reliability rating, it also has excellent fuel economy estimates and a low average list price.

Which Is Better: 2017 Chevrolet Malibu or 2017 Hyundai Sonata?

The highly ranked 2017 Hyundai Sonata is pretty similar to the Malibu. Both have good predicted reliability scores and mileage ratings, as well as comfortable rides. However, the Sonata has a longer list of standard features, which could make it easier to get the car you want without moving up a trim level. You'd need to buy a Malibu with a higher trim level to get a model that would be similarly equipped to the base Sonata. Additionally, the Hyundai has one of the largest trunks in the class. The Sonata is a slightly better car.

Compare the Malibu, Fusion, and Sonata »

2017 Malibu Performance

How Does the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu Drive?

A 160-horsepower, turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission powers the 2017 Chevy Malibu. This engine has enough power to serve as a daily driver, but if you are looking for livelier acceleration, try models with the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine instead. This 250-horsepower engine paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission is better at climbing hills and passing traffic on the highway. No matter the engine, the Malibu has a comfortable ride and fairly athletic handling.

Does the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu Get Good Gas Mileage?

The standard 2017 Chevy Malibu gets some of the highest fuel economy ratings in the class: 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. The estimates drop to 22/33 mpg city/highway with the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The 2017 Ford Fusion and the 2017 Hyundai Sonata deliver 21/32 mpg city/highway and 25/36 mpg city/highway, respectively.

Read more about Malibu performance »

2017 Malibu Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Malibu Seat?

The 2017 Chevy Malibu seats five people across two rows. Both rows are spacious, but the base model has a substantial amount of cheap plastics throughout the cabin. Cloth upholstery is standard, while some models feature leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu?

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu's rear outboard seats, plus an upper tether on the middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Malibu the second-lowest rating of Marginal for its ease of use. The lower anchors are buried too deep in the seats, and attaching straps to them requires too much force.

2017 Chevrolet Malibu Features

Standard features include a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, and push-button start. Some models also come with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a USB port, and a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system.

See 2017 Chevrolet Malibu specs »

Read more about Malibu interior »

2017 Chevrolet Malibu Dimensions

Chevrolet Malibu Cargo Space

The 2017 Chevrolet Malibu has 15.8 cubic feet of cargo space, which is an average amount of trunk space in the class. Keep in mind, however, that the Malibu has a high liftover height, and the trunk lid hinges take up some of the cargo space.

2017 Malibu Length and Weight

The 2017 Malibu is nearly 16.2 feet long, and its curb weight ranges from 3,100 to 3,300 pounds.

Where Was the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu Built?

The 2017 Chevrolet Malibu was built in Kansas.

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