The Chevrolet Malibu has experienced a variety of highs and lows over the years, with some models being praised for their reliability and performance while others faced numerous issues.
Throughout this article, we will discuss the best and worst Chevy Malibu years, providing valuable insight for those considering purchasing this popular midsize sedan.
Table of Contents
The Best Chevy Malibu Year
The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu stands out as the best year for this popular midsize sedan. This model marked the end of the 8th generation and delivered excellent performance and reliability for its class.
The 2015 Malibu boasts a comfortable and spacious interior, a smooth and fuel-efficient engine, and an array of safety features that collectively contribute to its top ranking.
Under the hood, the 2015 Malibu comes with a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivering 196 horsepower, providing ample power for daily driving needs. Additionally, it features a six-speed automatic transmission, ensuring smooth gear shifts and a pleasant driving experience.
For those seeking a bit more performance, an optional 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 259 horsepower is available.
When it comes to fuel efficiency, the 2015 Malibu offers an EPA-estimated 25 miles per gallon in the city and 36 miles per gallon on the highway. These numbers are quite competitive for its class, further solidifying this model year as a top choice.
Safety is a priority for Chevrolet, and the 2015 Malibu is no exception.
It received a 5-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as well as high scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Standard safety features include:
- a rear view camera,
- 10 airbags,
- and electronic stability control.
Optional safety features, such as forward collision alert and lane departure warning, were also available, enhancing the overall safety package.
Overall, the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu offers a blend of performance, comfort, safety, and reliability that makes it stand out as the best year for this midsize sedan. This model sets a high standard for its successors, ensuring that the Chevrolet Malibu remains a popular choice in the automotive market.
The 2nd Best Chevy Malibu Year
The 2022 Chevrolet Malibu stands out as the second-best year for the model.
This sedan delivered a well-rounded driving experience with its reliable performance, comfortable interior, and advanced safety features.
The powerful engines, combined with excellent fuel efficiency, made this model a top choice for consumers.
One notable characteristic of the 2022 Malibu is its spacious cabin, which offers ample legroom and headroom for passengers. High-quality materials and soft-touch surfaces contribute to the overall comfort of the interior.
Additionally, the infotainment system comes equipped with user-friendly features, such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, enhancing the driving experience.
In terms of safety, the 2022 Chevy Malibu comes with a range of standard and optional features, including:
- forward collision warning,
- lane keep assist,
- adaptive cruise control,
- and automated emergency braking.
These driver assistance technologies helped this model earn top marks in various safety categories.
The 2022 Chevrolet Malibu also offers two engine options: a fuel-efficient 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 and a more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4.
With smooth shifting and responsive handling, this sedan provides an enjoyable driving experience for both city and highway driving.
Other Good Years for the Chevy Malibu
While we have previously discussed the best and worst years for the Chevy Malibu, there are a few additional years that are also noteworthy for their performance, reliability, and positive owner reviews.
In this section, we will highlight a few of these standout years:
- 2003: This year marked a significant improvement in terms of build quality and interior design. The 2003 Malibu also featured a more powerful V6 engine with improved fuel efficiency, making it a popular choice among drivers seeking a midsize sedan with performance and style.
- 2011: The 2011 model represented a major redesign for the Malibu, offering improved fuel economy, updated styling, and a more spacious and comfortable interior. Many owners praised the 2011 Malibu for its attractive design and smooth, quiet ride.
- 2012: The 2012 Malibu continued to build on the success of the previous year’s redesign, adding a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine option and further enhancing its reputation for a quiet cabin and comfortable ride. Reliability ratings for this year were also noteworthy, with owners reporting few significant problems.
- 2017: Another standout year, the 2017 Malibu benefited from a complete redesign that included a sleek, modern exterior, improved fuel efficiency, and advanced technology and safety features. Many owners appreciated the user-friendly infotainment system and spacious, comfortable interior.
- 2018: The 2018 Malibu maintained the successful redesign from the previous year and made several minor adjustments to improve driver experience. The Malibu received high marks for its combination of performance, efficiency, and overall value in the midsize sedan segment.
These years should not be overlooked when considering a reliable and well-performing Chevrolet Malibu.
Their positive attributes contribute to the legacy of this iconic midsize sedan, offering owners excellent value and satisfaction.
The Worst Chevy Malibu Year
Among the various Chevy Malibu model years, 2010 bears the unfortunate distinction of being the most problematic.
This year’s model faced significant challenges, specifically with its engine and transmission systems. These issues led to costly repairs and inconvenience for the owners.
One of the primary concerns with the 2010 Chevy Malibu was its transmission.
Known to fail abruptly at around 90,000 miles, this problem had many drivers facing unexpected repair costs.
Some even reported having to replace the transmission more than once over the vehicle’s lifetime, with an average repair cost of roughly $3,000.
Engine problems were another area where the 2010 Malibu faltered. Owners encountered various difficulties, such as power loss or stalling, leaving many frustrated and searching for a solution. As a close runner-up, the 2002 Malibu model also experienced issues, most notably with its passlock system and leakage problems.
Other Chevy Malibu models have had their share of problems too, such as electrical, brake, and steering troubles.
However, it is essential to remember that, like any vehicle, each Malibu model year has its unique characteristics, and not all will encounter these issues.
Other Bad Years for the Chevy Malibu
While there are many years with great designs and excellent features for the Chevy Malibu, some years stand out as less than ideal.
Check our list of the most seen problems across the Maliby models.
Below is a list of additional years that have garnered less favorable reviews:
- 2004: This year faced issues with steering problems and caused some owners to spend on expensive repairs.
- 2006: The 2006 model experienced electrical system malfunctions, including issues with the power steering.
- 2010: Known for its transmission problems, the 2010 Chevy Malibu sometimes required costly repairs for its gearbox failing under 100,000 miles.
- 2013: This year faced a higher number of issues, with some cars needing engine repairs or experiencing electrical problems with the audio system.
- 2016: With a redesigned model, the 2016 Malibu was reported to have issues with the engine stalling and various minor system malfunctions.
It is worth mentioning that despite these shortcomings, many owners of these Chevy Malibu years had positive experiences with their vehicles.
The importance of proper maintenance and car care should not be overlooked.
Years with the Most Recalls
The Chevrolet Malibu has seen numerous recalls over its production years. Identifying and understanding the years with the most recalls can help potential buyers make informed decisions about their choice of vehicle.
Based on the information provided from various sources, the model years that experienced significant recalls include:
|2010||Transmission problems, resulting in early gearbox failure at less than 100,000 miles.|
|2011||Transmission issues similar to the 2010 model, along with additional recalls for electrical and power steering concerns.|
|2013||Multiple recalls for issues like defective brakes, airbags, and fuel system components.|
|2016||Several recalls addressing airbags, seatbelt, and electronic stability control problems.|
These recalls demonstrate the importance of considering vehicle history when purchasing a used Chevrolet Malibu.
While some years performed better in terms of recalls, it is essential to account for other factors like consumer feedback and overall reliability.
Keep in mind that prompt resolution of recall issues can contribute to enhanced vehicle safety and performance.
Common Chevy Malibu Problems to Look For
One issue that spans across various model years for the Chevy Malibu is reduced engine power, often leading to the vehicle decelerating or stalling.
This problem has been reported for the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 models.
Transmission problems are another area of concern, particularly for the 2010 and 2011 models.
In these cases, the majority of complaints related to transmission failure.
Aside from engine and transmission issues, some model years are prone to other common problems. Below is a list of several issues organized according to the model years they are most observed:
- 2010: Engine problems, electrical issues, brake troubles, and steering faults
- 2002: Passlock and leakage issues
- 2013: Poor acceleration and water leaks
- 2016: “Shift to Park” warning message, check engine light, and power loss
Being aware of these common Chevy Malibu problems can greatly help potential buyers determine the best model year for their needs and make an informed decision when choosing a vehicle.
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We recommend staying away from the 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2016 models. Engine problems are the most common issues that appear when there's something wrong with the Chevy Malibu. This trouble can cause expensive repairs most drivers can't afford regularly.What is the most common problem on a 2017 Chevy Malibu? ›
The most common issue as complained by the owners is the occasional loss of power with a “Reduced engine power” warning on the dashboard. Most of the owners also notice knocking when this happens. Problems range from turbo fails to loss of compression from the piston.Do 2017 Chevy Malibus have transmission problems? ›
2017 Chevy Malibu Transmission Problems
It's uncommon, but leaks could also select there's an issue with your transmission hose. One of the most daily signs is when your transmission shifts gears but the result of those shifts are delayed.
General Motors put 2,108 2022-2023 Chevrolet Malibu cars under recall because the front impact bar may be defective, and fail to trigger the crash sensors that deploy safety features during a collision, according to an NHTSA report.What is the best year of a Chevy Malibu? ›
We generally suggest buying newer models as opposed to older ones, and given you're open to buying one brand new; we'd say the best years for a used Chevy Malibu include 2020 and newer models.What year Malibu is being recalled? ›
Chevrolet has issued a recall order for about 2,100 Malibu sedans from the model years 2022 and 2023 that may have a rare and dangerous defect that could make them unsafe in a crash.Do Chevy Malibus have engine problems? ›
Chevy Malibu, Buick LaCrosse, and Buick Regal owners have complained about rough idling, hard starts, and inordinately low power output from their cars, along with issues related to delayed responses while accelerating and decelerating.Are Chevy Malibus 2017 good cars? ›
The 2017 Chevrolet Malibu is an excellent choice in the midsize car class. In fact, the Malibu won our 2017 Best Midsize Car for Families award, thanks to its combination of available family-friendly features, generous passenger and cargo space, and favorable reviews from professional critics.What problems does the 18 Chevy Malibu have? ›
GM is aware of the 2018 Chevy Malibu issues regarding the auto-stop function. As mentioned above, GM issued a recall (NHTSA Campaign Number: 20V668000) involving a problem with missing start-stop accumulator bolts that can cause a loss of propulsion and even increase the risk of fire.What problems with 2017 Chevy Malibu? ›
Key Points. The 2017 Chevrolet Malibu's leading problem has to do with loss of engine power owing to fidgety computer control modules. “Shift to Park” message may pop on at random, draining batteries overnight. The 2017 Malibu's most concerning recall has to do with a potential fracture in the fuel pump flange.
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain 2016-2018 Chevrolet Malibu vehicles. During servicing, a Passenger Presence System (PPS) may have been installed that was not correctly calibrated to the vehicle's seat type.How long should a 2017 Chevy Malibu last? ›
How many miles will a Chevy Malibu last? These cars are estimated to last anywhere from 100,000 to 150,000 miles.What is the recall on the Chevy Malibu engine? ›
Summary: General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain 2018 Chevrolet Malibu vehicles equipped with 1.5L turbo engines. An error in the Engine Control Module (ECM) software may result in the fuel injectors being disabled. Tip: Recalls don't affect every vehicle of the same year, make and model.What Chevy models are being recalled? ›
Make and model years:
- CHEVROLET 4500HD 2017-2020.
- CHEVROLET 4500XD 2017-2020.
- CHEVROLET 5500HD 2017-2020.
- CHEVROLET 5500XD 2020.
The 2023 Chevrolet Malibu has a predicted reliability score of 85 out of 100. A J.D. Power predicted reliability score of 91-100 is considered the Best, 81-90 is Great, 70-80 is Average, and 0-69 is Fair and considered below average.What is the top of the line Chevy Malibu? ›
The 2022 Chevy Malibu Premier features a powerful 250-horsepower turbocharged engine with luxury appointments such as leather seat trim, ambient interior lighting, and a premium Bose® sound system.What's better Impala or Malibu? ›
If you are looking for a car with a bigger passenger and cargo capacity, the Impala will be the one you go to. However, if you are looking for something with a little better fuel efficiency the Malibu should be your choice. The Malibu is also the cheaper option, but the Impala has more power and performance.What year was the Malibu discontinued? ›
With the discontinuation of the compact Cruze in March 2019, the full-size Impala in March 2020 and the subcompact Sonic in October 2020, the Malibu is currently the only sedan offered by Chevrolet in the U.S. It will be discontinued at the end of the 2025 model year.What is the oldest car to be recalled? ›
And the oldest recorded recall in the US was in the early 1900's by Ford. Henry Ford stuffed the seats of his first Model T's with Spanish moss, which prompted the first automotive recall when little bugs called red bugs or chiggers started crawling out and biting drivers on the rear ends.What was the problem with Chevy Malibu? ›
Passlock sensor issues are a common complaint across several Chevrolet Malibu model years (1997-2016). In most cases, the passlock sensors in the ignition lock cylinder of the affected Malibus are prone to failure. A no-start condition may develop when this happens.
If this happens, there is no need to panic, as your Malibu will still be able to run. You just need to get it to a mechanic as soon as possible. The engine power reduction message is something that all Malibu owners have reported. It isn't a major flaw with the make or model, so no recall has ever been done or will.What is the recall on the Chevy Malibu transmission? ›
2018 Chevrolet Malibu Recall
The start/stop accumulator endcap may have missing bolts. Action Need To Fix It: GM will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the start-stop transmission accumulator and replace it if any bolts are missing, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 14, 2020.
Complete Transmission Failure
Unfortunately, many 2010 Malibu owners have gone through this around the 98,000-mile mark as reported on CarComplaints.com, and the average repair cost is $3,142. A few owners revealed the issue that led to the demise of their transmission: a broken wave plate.
About Timing Belt Replacement
Newer models use timing belts made of polyurethane and Kevlar for long life and durability. They can go as long as 100,000 miles although it's always a good idea to change it before then.
Its the small things that will cost money . The engine will be good for 200,000 miles trans till 150-180. Its the electrics /computers , sensors, switches that will act up and make it uneconomical to keep . If you live in the North of coarse rust /corrosion will be your enemy.What generation is a 2017 Chevy Malibu? ›
2016 - Present Chevy Malibu (9th Generation)
All models in this generation are front-wheel-drive.
The 2022 Malibu has over a 500-mile driving range on just one full tank. There are a couple of available engines with their own gas mileage ratings for the available models buyers could pick from. The base 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder has a fuel efficiency of 29 city MPG, 36 highway MPG, for 32mpg combined.What year did the Malibu get a CVT? ›
The biggest change is for the Malibus with the base 1.5-liter engine. Last year's 6-speed automatic has been replaced with a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT).Why is my Chevy Malibu shaking when accelerating? ›
Any unusual shaking or vibrating forces coming from the engine is cause for concern. It could be something as simple as old spark plugs producing an uneven power delivery, it could be something serious like worn or broken engine mounts, or it could be even more serious in the case of internal engine damage.What is the problem with the 1.5 Turbo Chevy Malibu? ›
Chevrolet Malibu Common Problems
GM is aware of a pre-ignition issue with the Malibu's 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, which could result in misfires, piston damage, and low compression. Reprogramming the engine control module (ECM) can remedy this problem if it is caught early.
CHEVROLET LIMITED POWERTRAIN WARRANTY (2016 AND 2017)
Every 2016 and newer Chevy passenger car, light-duty truck, SUV and crossover comes with a 5-year/60,000-mile (whichever comes first) transferable Limited Powertrain Warranty.
Why Your Chevy Malibu Says 'Shift to Park' Some Chevy Malibu vehicles may display a “shift to park” message on the instrument panel due to a malfunction in the transmission shift cable adjuster. This can cause the transmission to not be in the gear indicated on the gear shift lever.Does the 2017 Chevy Malibu have an anti theft device? ›
Standard features across the entire Malibu line include remote keyless entry, power, programmable door locks, a 6-speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity for phones, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, OnStar navigation with a 6-month subscription, an anti-theft system, keyless start and a hill-start ...Do Chevy recalls expire? ›
Do Car Recalls Expire? There is no expiration date for car recalls.How much is it to rebuilt a 2017 Chevy Malibu transmission? ›
The average cost for Chevrolet Malibu Transmission Rebuild is $3199.What is the newest Chevy recall? ›
As a result, GM will be conducting a recall of Bolt EVs (2017-2022) and Bolt EUVs (2022) to address the risk of battery fires in these vehicles.Does a 2017 Chevy Malibu have a timing belt? ›
Newer models use timing belts made of polyurethane and Kevlar for long life and durability. They can go as long as 100,000 miles although it's always a good idea to change it before then.What is the class action lawsuit on the Chevy Malibu? ›
If you drive a 2016-2018 Chevy Malibu, you could be at risk for serious injury. A class action lawsuit was filed against General Motors, alleging that the electronic throttle controls and/or accelerator pedal position sensors are defective, causing the cars to lose power while driving abruptly.Who has the most engine recalls? ›
- Ford Motor Co.
- Volkswagen Group of America.
- Daimler Trucks North America (medium-and heavy-duty commercial truck maker)
- Forest River (recreational and commercial vehicle maker)
- Mercedes-Benz USA.
- General Motors.
- Kia America. No. of recalls: 24. Vehicles affected: 1,458,962.
Mind you, this latest rumor comes after previous reports of the Malibu being discontinued in 2024. GM Authority claims to have an inside source stating a new generation is slated for 2025, possibly riding on a modified version of its current platform.
Get Ready for the End of the Malibu
It has undergone several upgrades and debuted many new looks. Chevy drivers will miss the Malibu if it is discontinued in the near future. For now, though, we know that it will be available for at least one more model year in 2023.
Tesla has been identified as the most recalled car brand. A study by iSeeCars revealed that Tesla cars like Model 3, Model Y, Model S and ModeX are the top four most recalled car models.Which Chevy has transmission problems? ›
Allegedly, Chevy Silverado 1500 models from 2015 to 2019 have transmission problems that make the trucks dangerous to drive and never received an effective solution.Is there a recall on Chevy transmissions? ›
INDIANA – GM has issued a product recall for certain units of the 2023 Chevy Traverse due to the installation of the incorrect transmission sun gear. Vehicles built with the incorrect transmission sun gear can have the driver-side half-shaft disengage from the transmission.What is the difference between the 1.5 and 2.0 Malibu? ›
The turbocharged 2.0L I4 LTG gasoline engine is rated at 250 horsepower at 5,300 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm, while the turbocharged 1.5L I4 LFV gasoline engine is rated at 160 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 184 pound-feet of torque at 2,500 rpm.What cars compare to the Chevy Malibu? ›
the Competition. We would put the 2021 Chevy Malibu up against the midsize sedan of any other carmaker on the planet. With great gas mileage and a low sticker price, the Malibu stands out amongst other vehicles such as the Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, and Honda Accord.Why is the Chevy Malibu so popular? ›
Chevrolet's Malibu stands out among midsized sedans for its comfortable ride and quiet, spacious cabin. Handling is respectable, too. But it soldiers on mostly unchanged while many rivals have been redesigned. Two turbo four-cylinder engines are offered.Are used Chevy Malibus reliable? ›
Websites like RepairPal and J.D. Power both agree that the Chevy Malibu model can last much longer than owners may expect, if they take proper care of it. RepairPal gave this model a reliability rating of four out of five, and J.D. Power gave the 2021 edition an estimated reliability score of 89 out of 100.Are old Chevy Malibus reliable? ›
While the Chevrolet Malibu is a reliable car, there are a few common issues that owners should be aware of. These issues include: Transmission problems: Some Malibu models have experienced transmission issues, including rough shifting and delayed acceleration.Can a Chevy Malibu last 300 000 miles? ›
Joining the High Mileage Club
Malibu drivers have hit 200k, 300k miles with the same engine and transmission with careful driving. The car will experience wear and tear, no matter what. It's basically just a bunch of clanging steel and aluminum, and that's not going to last forever.
Is the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu a Good Used Car? The Malibu is a great option if you're shopping for a used midsize car . The Malibu rates well for projected reliability and is available with a long list of advanced safety features. It also impresses with its roomy interior, smooth ride, and refined engine performance.Which is better Chevy Impala or Malibu? ›
If you are looking for a car with a bigger passenger and cargo capacity, the Impala will be the one you go to. However, if you are looking for something with a little better fuel efficiency the Malibu should be your choice. The Malibu is also the cheaper option, but the Impala has more power and performance.How many miles will a Chevy Malibu last? ›
Its the small things that will cost money . The engine will be good for 200,000 miles trans till 150-180. Its the electrics /computers , sensors, switches that will act up and make it uneconomical to keep . If you live in the North of coarse rust /corrosion will be your enemy.How good of a car is a Chevy Malibu? ›
The 2023 Chevrolet Malibu has a predicted reliability score of 85 out of 100. A J.D. Power predicted reliability score of 91-100 is considered the Best, 81-90 is Great, 70-80 is Average, and 0-69 is Fair and considered below average.What is the oldest Chevy Malibu? ›
One of the oldest nameplates in the auto industry, the Chevrolet Malibu first appeared in 1964. Several generations followed until 1983, when the Malibu went on hiatus until 1997.What car has the best longevity? ›
The highest mileage car on record is Irv Gordon's 1966 Volvo P1800S, with over 3 million miles. There were even two electric cars in the study. The Tesla Model S has a potential lifespan of 133,998 miles and the Nissan Leaf 98,081.Is the Chevy Malibu good for long distance driving? ›
If you're searching for a fantastic family sedan, you'll love the 2022 Chevy Malibu. This spectacular vehicle offers a spacious interior, excellent engine power, and driver-assistance technology, and it's the perfect choice for a long-distance road trip, sporting events, and commuting.How long does a full tank of gas last in a Chevy Malibu? ›
How Far Can the Chevrolet Malibu Go On a Tank of Gas? The 2022 Chevrolet Malibu has a driving range of over 500 miles with just one full tank of gas. There are a couple of available engines with different fuel mileages for the four different trim levels buyers can pick from.Is a 2017 Chevy Malibu worth it? ›
The 2017 Chevrolet Malibu is an excellent choice in the midsize car class. In fact, the Malibu won our 2017 Best Midsize Car for Families award, thanks to its combination of available family-friendly features, generous passenger and cargo space, and favorable reviews from professional critics.Is a 2017 Chevy Malibu a reliable car? ›
The 2017 Chevy Malibu is a reliable car
28 times a year, which is better than the industry average of . 4 times a year. Overall, according to Repair Pal's standards, the Malibu has above-average reliability compared to other vehicles in its class, ranking in the top 10 for midsize cars in reliability.
The most common problem reported by 2016 Chevrolet Malibu owners involves a sudden loss of power while driving at highway speeds, but the car has also been involved in 10 recalls.