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The 2022 Chevrolet Malibu is the last sedan made by the brand and it soldiers on with a great top trim engine & a spacious interior.

What’s new for the 2022 Chevrolet Malibu?

Despite being half a decade old, the 2022 Chevrolet Malibu doesn’t get any major updates for 2022. The old L base model is no longer available and an electronic parking brake is now standard across the lineup.

2022 Chevrolet Malibu - chevrolet.com

2022 Chevrolet Malibu – chevrolet.com |  Shop 2022 Chevrolet Malibu on Carsforsale.com

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $24,395

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

FWD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

29 City / 36 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 5

The Breakdown

Unfussy interior layout

Outstanding 2.0L engine

Great cargo space

Sedate styling

Lackluster base drivetrain

No AWD

Chevy needs a Charger challenger

2022 Malibu Specs

Trims & Pricing

LS - $24,395
RS - $25,395
LT - $27,795
Premier - $34,495

2022 Chevrolet Malibu Powertrain

2022 Chevrolet Malibu - Cars Highlights on youtube.com
2022 Chevrolet Malibu - Cars Highlights on youtube.com

The Malibu is about as uninspiring to drive as it gets when powered by the base 1.5-liter engine and its 160 horsepower. To put that in perspective, the Honda Civic and the Mazda3 both come with almost identical power in base form despite being one size class below the Malibu. The one benefit of the powertrain is that it’s smooth and unobtrusive.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine proves that Chevy still knows how to make a quick Malibu and frankly, we feel like it should be the only engine in the lineup. It’s properly fun to put the pedal down and it should be considering it carries around 90 more horsepower than the 1.5-liter. The nine-speed automatic is great and more responsive than the continuous variable transmission. We also like the linear pedal feedback which is easy to modulate without much practice.

2022 Chevrolet Malibu Fuel Economy & MPG

2022 Chevrolet Malibu - chevrolet.com
2022 Chevrolet Malibu - chevrolet.com

When it comes to fuel efficiency, the 1.5-liter engine is a little disappointing again scoring just 32 mpg combined according to the EPA. That lags behind rivals. At the same time, the more powerful 2.0-liter engine is right on par with other brands as it scores 26 mpg combined.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

The inside of the Malibu feels mostly untouched since the current generation was released in 2016. Its interior lacks features offered by competing sedans, which is one reason it is not on our list of the best Chevrolet’s in 2021. At the same time, it is hard to find anything to complain about. The Malibu’s interior is a comfortable space and thanks to the simplistic unfussy interior, it’s easy to use right away.

Sightlines are good and the seating is above average as well. Chevrolet might not have made this a driver’s car but it’s great for long stretches on the highway thanks to a lot of sound deadening. The rear seats are a little tight but they’re also available as heated units which is special in the segment. We also like the cargo space which boasts more than 15 cubic feet in the trunk. The cabin itself has lots of small but useful storage spaces as well.

Entertainment & Technology

2022 Chevrolet Malibu - chevrolet.com
2022 Chevrolet Malibu - chevrolet.com

Much like the interior in a general sense, we’d describe the technology in the Malibu as simple and straightforward. Nobody is going to be confused or uncertain as to how the user interface functions. Chevrolet has built a nice system with quick responses and easy-to-understand menus. It’s also great to see Wi-Fi connectivity as standard. The nine-speaker premium audio system is a great add-on too. At the same time, we’re disappointed by the lack of tech that practically every other rival equips on even their base cars. That includes but isn’t limited to forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, and even adaptive cruise control.

Safety Features

The NHTSA gave the Malibu four stars in its crash tests. The IIHS didn’t honor the sedan with any awards either. For those looking for a safety-focused sedan, the Malibu struggles to be a car that we can suggest for those reasons as well as the lack of standard advanced safety features.

2022 Chevrolet Malibu Trims & Pricing

2022 Chevrolet Malibu LS - chevrolet.com
2022 Chevrolet Malibu LS - chevrolet.com

LS – $24,395

The 2022 Chevrolet Malibu starts out the LS with the same 160-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter engine that’s found in the RS and LT. It sends power to the front wheels only through a CVT. All-wheel drive is not available on the Malibu regardless of trim. The LS also gets an 8-inch infotainment system equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity and six speakers. It also has cruise control, automatic headlights, and 16-inch wheels. No advanced safety features come as standard on the Malibu though a package including lane-departure warning, forward collision mitigation, and automatic high beams as well as many other features can be had for just $1,095.

2022 Chevrolet Malibu RS - chevrolet.com
2022 Chevrolet Malibu RS - chevrolet.com

RS – $25,395

Consider the RS as the sporty version of the Malibu. It gets 18-inch wheels, dual exhaust, a rear spoiler, and a black grille to match its black badges. Inside the cabin, it gets a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.

2022 Chevrolet Malibu LT - chevrolet.com
2022 Chevrolet Malibu LT - chevrolet.com

LT – $27,795

The LT is the first pseudo-luxury trim in the Chevrolet Malibu with its rear passenger air vents, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, LED DRLs, and 17-inch wheels.

2022 Chevrolet Malibu Premier - chevrolet.com
2022 Chevrolet Malibu Premier - chevrolet.com

Premier – $34,495

Opt for the Premier trim level and you’ll get a 250-horsepower engine mated to a nine-speed automatic. It also comes with heated outboard rear seats, an upgraded infotainment system with integrated navigation and nine speakers. LED headlights, leather upholstery, a dual-pane sunroof, ambient interior lighting, and ventilated front seats round out the features. Even at this level, no safety features are standard and will require the buyer to add them as optional extras.

Warranties

Chevrolet offers the same three-year or 36,000-mile limited warranty and five-year or 60,000-mile powertrain warranty as most of its competitors. They also offer a single complimentary maintenance visit.

What we think

2022 Chevrolet Malibu - chevrolet.com

2022 Chevrolet Malibu – chevrolet.com |  Shop 2022 Chevrolet Malibu on Carsforsale.com

We said it last year and we’ll say it again. The Chevrolet Malibu needs a refresh in a big way as it lags behind the rest of the class in one way or another. We’d love to see Chevy make this car the rear-wheel-drive-based powerhouse it was originally. Until then, we’ll have to settle for what is an average sedan in today’s market.

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Stephen Rivers

Stephen Rivers is a car enthusiast who loves all things built with passion, extending to nearly all car cultures. After obtaining an occupational studies degree in sports medicine, Stephen turned his attention to sports cars. He was employed as an auto shop manager, spent time in auto sales, and worked as a software developer for a racing company, but Stephen began writing about cars over 10 years ago. When he's not in front of a computer screen, he's racing his own Bugeye Subaru WRX in as many autocross and rallycross competitions as he can.

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