Midsize cars are desirable because of their mileage, compact yet spacious size, and their attractive appearance. An ideal midsize car gets over 25 MPG in gas, has a stylish exterior, and plenty of tech and safety assets. If this is what drivers want in a midsize car, then the 2021 Chevy Malibu is a perfect fit. It offers each of these assets and much more, but before diving into all that, let’s take a look at how the Malibu made it this far.
The Chevy Malibu debuted in 1964, and it’s been going strong ever since. While it comes off as a family car, its performance level is outstanding, with the third generation landing 25 Nascar race wins. The progress doesn’t stop there, though. The seventh-generation won the North American Car of the Year in 2008, and the implementation of Teen Driver assets in 2015 made it a great option for parents and guardians alike.
Now in 2021, the Malibu is more innovative than ever. It comes with multiple driver assist features to promote safety, and its turbocharged engine provides drivers with excellent gas mileage both in the city and on the highway. This in-depth look at the 2021 Chevy Malibu will have most people dying to take it for a drive.
Exterior appearance really sets the mood for a vehicle. Luckily, Chevy knows this. The looks slightly vary by trim, and the 2021 Chevy Malibu comes in five different trims. These include the L, LS, RS, LT, and the Premier. Let’s take a look at the exterior trim by trim, starting at the base-level option. The L trim only comes in 2 colors, which are Silver Ice Metallic and Summit White. It has standard 16-inch aluminum wheels and optional deflectors for an extra 89 dollars. This is the most basic available trim. It doesn’t include any additional package options.
The LS trim comes in 5 optional colors, including Silver Ice Metallic and Summit White, alongside Mosaic Black Metallic, Shadow Gray Metallic, and Black Cherry Metallic. This model also comes with 16-inch aluminum wheels, but it has more add-on options than the L trim. These add-ons include a rear spoiler, front and rear splash guards, a dark chrome grille, body-colored power outside mirrors, an illuminated black bowtie emblem, or front and rear black bowtie emblems.
The RS trim comes with six exterior colors, which are the same as the LS’s colors with the additional Cherry Red Tintcoat premium option, which costs 495 dollars extra. This trim comes with larger 18-inch aluminum wheels and optional front and rear splash guards. All the other add-ons are not present on this trim. Its main aesthetic difference lies in its extra premium color option. Otherwise, the LS comes with more exterior add-ons.
The LT comes in seven exterior colors, all the same as before with the additional Northsky Blue Metallic option. Additionally, this is where the wheel variety comes into play. This trim comes with 17-inch aluminum wheels, but you can add either 18-inch machined aluminum wheels with Lunar Gray pockets, 19-inch black painted wheels, 19-inch black painted wheels with red hash marks, or just plain 19-inch aluminum wheels. You can also choose between two different sizes of all-season blackwall tires.
To top it all off, the LT comes in the Redline, Midnight, Sport, and Appearance package options as well, which include their own special customization options. These vary, but the Redline’s theme is based around red accents, the Midnight package offers a blacked-out aesthetic, and the Sport and Appearance packages offer their own unique features.
The Premier trim is the highest trim, and it also comes in the same seven exterior colors as the LT. It has standard 19-inch aluminum wheels and optional emblem and fender hash marks like the LS and LT trims have. Otherwise, the Premier’s benefits lie in its standard tech and interior features. Its exterior isn’t much different than the aforementioned trims.
The 2021 Malibu offers plenty of tech features that provide you with convenience and entertainment, along with added safety. First, let’s take a look at the entertainment options. Drivers get to enjoy the Chevrolet Infotainment system combined with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for every music, podcast, and entertainment need. The Malibu also comes with wireless charging, the Driver Information Center, and the myChevrolet App, which lets people control the car from afar.
Additionally, parents and guardians take comfort in the Teen Driver technology, which holds report data and allows guardians to set certain rules. For example, guardians can see how often their teen is using each feature, and they can also set limits to speed and music volume.
Now let’s look at some safety technology features on the 2021 Malibu. Starting with the first one, Forward Collision Alert helps keep drivers from riding bumpers and can prevent them from potentially rear-ending the vehicle ahead. Next up, we’ve got Lane Change and Blind Zone Alert. For those who spend a lot of time on the highway, this will provide a gentle reminder to center the car, preventing sideswiping. The Blind Zone Alert helps with this by letting occupants know when a vehicle is nearby but not visible in the mirrors. In relation to blind spots, Rear Park Assist helps drivers back up with ease by sending out alerts regarding unforeseen objects, pedestrians, or pets. Rear Cross Traffic Alert works similarly, using a rear vision camera to detect any cross traffic that may appear while backing up.
Front Pedestrian Braking will also help with these issues, but ahead rather than behind. It works when going below 50 miles per hour, but it’s less effective at night, so be sure to stay alert. Up next is Adaptive Cruise Control. This is like regular cruise control, but without the added headache of turning it on and off to match the flow of traffic. Adaptive Cruise Control takes care of this by automatically adjusting to the traffic’s flow. Automatic Emergency Braking ties into Front Pedestrian Braking and Adaptive Cruise Control, providing automatic braking with speeds under 50 mph. Between abundant entertainment and secure safety features, the 2021 Malibu is well equipped with technology.
Power is important to any driver, and affordable gas mileage is important as well. The cool thing about the 2021 Malibu’s performance is that driver’s get two engine options. These include a 1.5-liter turbo engine and an optional 2.0-liter turbo engine. The smaller engine can get up to 36 miles per gallon on the highway and 29 miles per gallon in the city. This is thanks to its Continuously Variable Valve Timing, Direct Injection, and Stop/Start technology. Direct Injection saves fuel some time by getting it to the combustion chamber without going through the more complex classic gasoline engine’s process. Additionally, with Stop/Start technology, your engine will automatically shut off at stops to save fuel. The smaller engine gets up to 160 horsepower at 184 lb-ft of torque.
The larger 2.0-liter engine can still get up to 33 miles per gallon on the highway and 22 in the city. Its 9-speed automatic transmission helps it produce 250 horsepower at 260 lb-ft of torque. This engine is standard on the highest Premier trim, and while its gas mileage isn’t as high, it does provide more power. Additionally, all Malibu trims come with standard electronic power steering with a 37-foot turning circle, creating a smoother driving experience.