Midsize sedans can be uninspiring if designed poorly. Most of the time, they all fall into a cookie-cutter template that leaves a lot to be desired. Enter the new 2017 Chevy Malibu in Albany, NY, which is the exact opposite of a bland and dispirited sedan. It has an exciting and great-looking design, coupled to versatile and exciting performance. That alone makes it appealing, especially since it looks like it’s meant more for fun than anything else. But, the plethora of safety features ensures that it’s also a wise choice for the family-man and woman.
Fun and spirited, but also laid back, safe, fuel-efficient, and family-friendly. How much more versatile can a sedan get?
When it comes to sedans, there are very few on the market right now that can match the style and quality of the 2017 Malibu. It sets itself apart from the other mid-size sedans in such a way that even after looking at it once, its aesthetics are ingrained on your brain.
It all starts with an angular front facia, and a hood that flows up to a windswept windshield. Aiding in the aerodynamic — and sleek-looking — design, Chevy decided to keep the roofline low, where the design will then taper off, and down the back-windshield. At this point, the trunk helps finish off the sleek design theme. Until it reaches the end of the trunk, where it’s slightly upturned. You might disagree, but upsetting the smooth flow of the design in the back was an excellent choice by Chevy. Why? Because, it creates contrast - a unique feature that isn’t found on most sedans. Ensuring that whether you’re looking at the eye-catching front-end, or the unique back-end with an upturned trunk-lid and wrap-around angular tail-lights, you know you’re in for something special.
As far as the rest of the vehicle goes, it’s layered by hard character lines and sweeping curves, adding on a little muscle to the otherwise flowing design. Again, creating a pleasing contrast.
If you want your 2017 Malibu to stand out even more, upgrading to the Premier trim with its LED headlights, taillights, and running lights will accomplish that mission.
For even more flair, you’ll also find some chrome exterior trim details, along with dual exhaust tips, which add an even sportier look to the Malibu’s already sporty design. 18-inch wheels are also found on the Premier package, meaning it will look slightly more aggressive than the base trim with the 16-inch wheels.
There are three different powertrains available, depending on which trim you prefer. The standard engine on the L, LS, and LT trims is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine; a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is found standard on the Premier; and on the Hybrid trim, expect to find a gasoline-electric system with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine.
For those just looking for a smooth and efficient ride, the 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine is for you. Generating 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, this powertrain gives the Malibu an EPA-rated 27 mpg city/36 mpg highway. Contributing to that stellar fuel-efficiency rating is an automatic engine stop/start system, which will shut down when idling for a certain period of time to help save gas, and then start up automatically when you’re ready to move. This engine option comes paired to a six-speed automatic transmission.
For those craving more power, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine should suit your fancy. This engine cranks out 250 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, and gets up to 22 mpg city/33 mpg highway. A new-for-this-year nine-speed automatic transmission is paired to this engine.
If you’re a fan of alternative fuel sources, the Hybrid model won’t disappoint you. With an overall output of 182 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft. of torque, you’ll be able to merge on the highway with confidence. Given that it actually gets more torque than the base engine, it shouldn’t be considered a weak engine just because it’s a hybrid. After all, this engine returns a total efficiency rating of 47 mpg city/46 mpg highway, which translates to a crazy amount of fuel savings.
While all of these engines are astounding on their own, it’s what they give the 2017 Malibu together that makes it an all-around great car. The versatility of having three different engines can’t be beat, and the new Malibu is one of the few sedans on the market to not only offer three different engines (one being a hybrid), but also have great performance across the board.
For 2017, Chevy has a lock on safety. With a suite of safety features that are meant to prevent, protect, and respond to collisions, the Malibu is a vehicle that’s got your back on the road.
With the ability to buy 11 preventive safety features for the Malibu alone, you might be lucky enough to never experience an accident ever again. Features like low speed forward automatic braking, lane keep assist, rear park assist, and a rear vision camera, all work in tandem to help prevent you from getting into a collision in the first place. All of these systems will either provide a visual or audible warning if a threat of collision is detected. That way, you’re able to take the action necessary to avoid it.
The Malibu has a comprehensive airbag sensing system that can deploy airbags from any direction, depending on where the impact of the collision happened. The airbags are optimized to their fullest potential to protect you. If that’s not enough peace of mind, just know that a high-strength steel safety cage has also got your back, not to mention the rest of you, and can absorb plenty of impact.
After a collision happens, you could be unconscious, slow-moving, or might just not be able to find your phone to call 911.
This is where an OnStar Advisor comes in, part of the subscription-based OnStar Guidance Plan. With this equipped, built-in sensors will notify the program if a collision occurs. Then, an Advisor will be contacted automatically. That advisor will ask if you’re alright, and if you respond that you are in need of assistance — or don’t respond after a short time — he or she will then send emergency personnel to your location via high-accuracy GPS tracking. That way, no time is wasted getting you and your passengers the help you need.