2016 Chevy Malibu 2LZ: offers efficiency, connectivity, safety

  • by Larry Lark Herald Special Sections Writer
  • Friday, March 25, 2016 8:01am

The Chevy Malibu is a survivor.

It’s been around for more than 50 years, and was completely re-imagined for the 2016 model year to boldly step foot into the future. Malibu is the quintessential midsize American-made sedan with more efficiency, connectivity and advanced safety features than ever.

It’s also larger and more fuel efficient.

My tester was the 2LZ model which was powered by a 2.0-liter, turbo DOHC four-cylinder engine mated to Chevy’s first eight-speed automatic transmission on a front-wheel drive vehicle. The engine generates a GM-estimated 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.

It will also be offered in L, LS, LT and Premier trims, as well as the Hybrid model.

“Midsize car customers tell us they want great fuel economy and connected technologies, wrapped in a gorgeous exterior,” said Jesse Ortega, Malibu’s chief engineer. “This is exactly what the 2016 Malibu was engineered to do.”

Malibu 2LZ features a longer wheelbase that delivers increased comfort for up to five adult passengers. It’s nearly 300 pounds lighter than its predecessor which helps it achieve a 33 mile per gallon, down the highway, EPA rating.

Creature comforts compete with the big boys and include adaptive cruise control, navigation, rear-vision camera, Bose premium audio system with nine speakers, heated and ventilated front leather seats, semi-automatic parking assist, front automatic braking, forward-collision alert, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, front pedestrian detection and more.

Malibu also includes remote start capability, keyless start, heated steering wheel, 10 air bags, steering wheel-mounted controls, 60/40 folding rear seat, dual-zone climate control and a generous trunk, large enough to accommodate full-size golf bags and push-carts simultaneously.

But what really makes the Malibu stand out from the crowd are its many connectivity features:

• Segment-exclusive OnStar 4G LTE in-vehicle connectivity with Wi-Fi and available wireless phone charging.

• Enhanced Chevrolet MyLink with phone integration capability from Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to display messages, music, maps and more on a seven-inch color display.

• Teen Driver feature that provides parents with their teenager’s driving “report card” to include distance driven, maximum speed, and stability control and anti-lock brake events.

• Dual rear-seat USB ports and a 110-volt power outlet are optional.

Malibu’s exterior benefits from slim, sweeping headlamps and a progressive take on the brand’s characteristic dual-port grille. Three body-side creases also add drama to the design and help distinguish the Malibu as a contemporary Chevy. Aluminum, 19-inch wheels command more attention.

The 2016 Malibu is built from globally sourced parts at GM’s Fairfax Assembly Plant, in Kansas City, Kansas. It includes a three-year, 36,000-mile, bumper-to-bumper warranty.


BASE PRICE: $30,920

AS TESTED: $34,285

Base price includes destination charge. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. Prices may vary at local dealerships.

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