The Best Midsize Chevrolet Cars

The Chevrolet Malibu is the sole midsize Chevrolet car on the market—and it holds its place decently amongst the competition.
Written by Claire Beaney
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If you're looking for a midsize Chevrolet car, your sole option right now is the Chevrolet Malibu. The Malibu has a low starting price, a spacious cabin, and good reliability, but it falls short in other areas thanks to its outdated cabin and underpowered base engine.
Midsize cars don't have a great reputation for being visually or mechanically pleasing, and Chevy appears to agree—production of all but one of its midsize cars has been halted, with the 2022 Chevy Malibu being the last of its kind. So there must be a reason the Malibu is the sole survivor, right?
We'll go over everything you need to know about the Malibu, including how well it performs and what features it has, and compare it to the competition so you can decide if it's the right midsize car for you.
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2022 Chevrolet Malibu

The subcompact
Chevrolet Spark
is ideal for small-car enthusiasts who want to maximize affordability. If you need a bit more space, though, the Malibu is the midsize Chevrolet car for you.
The Chevrolet Malibu, the brand's sole offering in the midsize car segment for the 2022 model year, may turn out to be Chevy’s final midsize car ever. Chevrolet, like a number of other automakers, has shifted production from four-door sedans in favor of SUVs and pickups.
The Malibu offers a comfortable ride, a powerful engine option, good fuel economy, a roomy cabin, and a user-friendly infotainment system. Let’s take a closer look!

Pricing

The base price for the 2022 Chevrolet Malibu is $24,495 MSRP, which is about average for a midsize sedan. Even the top-of-the-line Malibu Premier, which boasts the most powerful engine of the lineup, costs a maximum of $34,595 MSRP

Performance

How well the Malibu performs depends a lot on the trim you choose.
The standard Malibu is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 163 hp and connected to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) driving the front wheels. Although it is turbocharged, the standard engine provides acceptable power at best. It can get the Malibu around town or down the freeway, but not very quickly.
The top-tier Premier trim's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The Premier also has a nine-speed automatic transmission that can push what is actually a good suspension and deliver some freeway performance. This contributes to the Malibu Premier's adequate 0-60 time of 5.8 seconds

Fuel economy

When shopping for a sedan, the trim level and powertrain you choose will have a significant impact on the vehicle's fuel economy. The standard Malibu with the smaller engine gets up to 29 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, for a combined mpg of 32—which is about average for a midsize car. If you opt for the better engine, though, the Malibu's combined mileage drops to just 26 mpg, with ratings of 22 city/33 highway mpg.

Interior and tech

The Malibu's interior isn't the most luxurious or quietest on the market, but it is comfortable and ergonomic. The cabin's passenger space and amenities are competitive, though rear passengers will find slightly less legroom than in some competitors' offerings. The Malibu has plenty of storage space all around, and its trunk is large enough to accommodate everything you'd need for a weekend getaway.
Every Chevy Malibu comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that comes loaded with features. The system features a six-speaker sound system, AM/FM radio, Bluetooth for two devices, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, and Wi-Fi.

Safety and reliability

Although the Chevy Malibu is available with all of the high-tech features found in most modern midsize cars, none of them are standard—they are, unfortunately, only offered through purchasable Driver Confidence packages. With those packages, you can add on adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure mitigation, and/or rear parking sensors.
Nonetheless, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the 2022 Chevrolet Malibu the highest rating of Good in all five crash tests conducted by the organization. The Malibu also received a four-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), with four stars in the side crash and rollover tests and five stars in the frontal crash test.
The Malibu has above-average reliability scores, with RepairPal awarding the 2022 Chevy Malibu a 4.0/5.0 rating for reliability. J.D. Power agrees, rating the 2022 Malibu an 85/100!

Trim levels

Chevrolet offers the 2022 Malibu in four trim levels: LS, RS, LT and Premier. The base LS has plenty of tech features, including a six-speaker stereo, a USB port, and a Wi-Fi hotspot, while the RS trim offers a sportier look thanks to a black grille and badging, and dual exhaust outlets.
The most variety is seen on the Malibu's most popular trim level, the LT, but the Premier is the best choice if you want a fully loaded Malibu. It has a more powerful engine, a nine-speaker Bose stereo, wireless device charging, leather upholstery, and a sunroof.

Competitors

So how does the 2022 Malibu midsize sedan measure up to the competition? The table below compares Malibu with three leading competitors in the midsize sedan class.
Model
MSRP range
Base powertrain
Fuel economy
Safety ratings
Reliability ratings
$24,495 to $34,595
160-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder w/CVT transmission and FWD
22-29 mpg city/33-36 mpg hwy
4 stars (NHTSA), Good rating (IIHS)
4.0/5.0 (RepairPal), 85/100 (J.D. Power)
$25,845 to $36,270
203-hp four-cylinder w/eight-speed automatic transmission and standard FWD
22-28 mpg city/32-39 mpg hwy
5 stars (NHTSA), Top Safety Pick+ (IIHS)
4.0/5.0 (RepairPal), 84/100 (J.D. Power)
$26,520 to $38,450
192-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder w/CVT and standard FWD
22-30 mpg city/32-38 mpg hwy
5 stars (NHTSA), Top Safety Pick+ (IIHS)
4.5/5.0 (RepairPal), 83/100 (J.D. Power)
$24,500 to $34,400
191-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder w/eight-speed automatic transmission and standard FWD
23-28 mpg city/33-38 mpg hwy
5 stars (NHTSA), Top Safety Pick (IIHS)
4.0/5.0 (RepairPal), 82/100 (J.D. Power)
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FAQs

In some cases, yes! The Chevrolet Impala, one of the brand’s most popular cars, was considered a midsize car for generations 8 and 9 (model years 2000-2005 and 2006-2016, respectively). The Impala was discontinued in 2020.
Yes—but as of writing, just one is currently in production! And the Chevrolet Malibu is actually the only midsize sedan made by a traditional domestic automaker. Other Chevrolet SUVs include the subcompact Chevrolet Trailblazer and Chevrolet Trax and the compact Chevrolet Equinox.
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