Fleet Focus – 2016 Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet’s redesign of the 2016 Malibu focused on creating a driver experience that harmoniously blends performance and safety. The abundant changes both internally and externally were instantly noticed and appreciated. The combination of bold styling, a refined and ergonomically friendly interior, and advanced technology will help to make the all-new Malibu a strong player in the midsize sedan market.
As you approach the 2016 Malibu it’s hard to not be enticed by the aggressive lines that deliver a sporty look to this 4-door people mover. The addition of LED’s and hooded headlights give the front-end a slightly menacing look that beckons you to get behind the wheel and forget all about this being a family-friendly sedan.
Once behind said wheel, which is heated on the Premier trim level, the comfort of the perforated leather seats deliver a true luxury-vehicle feel. Extended side supports, reminiscent of those found in sports cars, comfortably embrace and hold you in place while accelerating and cornering.
The redesigned cabin is highlighted by a new center stack that contains fewer knobs and buttons, as numerous commands are now available on the seven-inch color touchscreen. Climate controls make up the majority of these buttons, and while it’s an advanced system, it’s still simple to use and works well. All audio, navigation, phone, and weather information is accessed through the now-standard touch screen, though steering wheel controls also enable to you utilize these features. Cleverly placed accent lighting along the doors and dashboard bring a level of style and sophistication to the interior not present in previous years.
Chevy equipped the Premier with a 2.0L Turbo and an 8-speed transmission that shifts seamlessly. Although the 2.0L is noticeably more powerful than the 1.5L that comes standard on lower trims, both offer plenty of low and midrange torque to get the Malibu up and moving. The 2016 model has slightly less power than the 2015, but the lighter weight and new transmission certainly make up for the lower power output. These updates also increased the overall fuel economy to 22/33(up from 21/30 on the 2015). The upgraded suspension and longer wheelbase make for a smooth and quiet ride no matter what road surface you’re traversing.
Valuable safety options are abundant and include such features as lane keep assist with departure warning, adaptive cruise control, front pedestrian alert, and a front-end collision warning system with a customizable distance indicator. A rearview camera is standard starting at the LS trim and the new Teen Driver feature can be added to enable parents to monitor their teen’s driving habits.
As Chevrolet continues to work through redesigns of their other model offerings, they’d be wise to take note of the successful updates made to the Malibu. Based on our experience with the vehicle, the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu looks to be a competitive option in the ever-popular midsize family sedan market, with the ability to cater to both executive and every-day fleet drivers alike.