Although Chevrolet is making a few mechanical changes to the newly refreshed Malibu, we’ll see mostly cosmetic updates when the midsize sedan arrives this fall. The 2019 Chevrolet Malibu features a freshened exterior design, improved technology, and a new trim level.
The Malibu receives a larger, more prominent grille for the 2019 model year. Now, a chrome bar splits the grille into two pieces, unlike on the old model, which had a body-colored bar. The chrome piece spills into the headlights, which themselves are also redesigned. In the rear, you’ll notice new taillights and a new valence that pushes the exhaust outlets toward the corners to accentuate the car’s width. A new RS model brings along special styling cues such as a black grille, black bowtie emblem, rear spoiler, 18-inch machined wheels, and dual-exhaust outlet. Expect this model to go for around $25,000, placing it between the middling LS and LT trims.
An 8-inch touchscreen with Chevrolet’s latest infotainment software is standard across the Malibu lineup, and a new 8-inch driver information display is available on the top Premier model. This trim also now comes standard with heated outboard rear seats. New wheel designs, as well as interior and exterior colors, are offered in the range. On the RS model, there are black cloth seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter.
The Malibu retains its engine lineup for the new model year. A 1.5-liter turbo continues to make 163 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, but it’s now mated to a CVT instead of a six-speed automatic. Premier models soldier on with a nine-speed auto and 2.0-liter turbo-four churning out 250 hp and 260 lb-ft. And Chevrolet has no intention of getting rid of the hybrid. Its 1.8-liter four-cylinder hybrid system makes 182 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque.
With the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord completely redesigned for 2018, and an all-new 2019 Nissan Altima on the way, can these updates keep the Malibu competitive? We hope to get some seat time in the refreshed midsizer soon to find out.