Comparing Two Popular Sedans: The Chevy Malibu vs Chevy Impala

April 22nd, 2020 by

A red 2017 Chevy Impala, a popular used car for sale, is driving past a concrete wall in Cincinnati, OH.

Chevys are some of the most popular used cars for sale today. In fact, most experts rank the Chevy Malibu and Chevy Impala as some of the most trustworthy long-term investments drivers can make when pursuing used cars for sale. A previously owned Chevy is most likely still in the early prime of its life, and with Chevy’s overall dedication to safety and comfort of drivers and passengers alike, you won’t have to skimp on the features to get a great pre-owned vehicle.

Both the Malibu and Impala are highly-praised sedans within the Chevy lineup. The Malibu is on the midsized end of the range, and the Impala is a larger sedan. Both vehicles have the distinction of competing well with other sedans in their categories, full of features and options that allow them to shine over competitors in their classes. They’re also some of the most well-known names in the sedan niche, with Impala dating back to the 1950s, and Malibu having first been introduced in 1964. When it comes to choosing between the two, drivers might have a hard time deciding which option to choose. The 2017 versions of both models make an excellent starting point for comparing and contrasting these two very popular and reliable sedans.

Powerful Engine Options

You’d imagine that two sedans from the same manufacturer would have similar engineering or attributes, but Chevrolet offers a great deal of variety and diversity amongst its product line, and its two most popular sedans are no exception.

The 2017 Chevy Malibu

The 2017 Malibu was offered with three different engine options, depending on the trim level chosen. The base L, LS, and LT trims include a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine that provides 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. It doesn’t demand a large investment in fuel, either, which is a key buying point for an investment as big as a car. This engine has an EPA rating of 27 miles per gallon in the city and 36 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Premier trim level is the most luxurious of Malibu’s 2017 offerings and includes a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine, which offers 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The fuel economy is slightly less on this larger engine, with 22 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon highway on the highway, but still very reasonable for the class.

Chevy also offered the 2017 Malibu as a Hybrid. This model includes a 55kW motor and a 76kW motor, along with a 1.8-liter inline-4 engine. The result is 182 combined horsepower. The fuel economy on the Hybrid is truly impressive, though, with up to 49 miles per gallon in the city and 43 miles per gallon on the highway.

A white 2017 Chevy Malibu is driving through a city intersection.

The 2017 Chevy Impala

The 2017 Chevy Impala was offered in only three trims: the LS, LT, and Premier. While a Hybrid version was offered in previous years, it was removed from the lineup in 2017. The LS and LT models include a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine, which provides 197 horsepower and 191 lb-ft of torque. It also offers a very reasonable fuel economy for the class, with 22 miles per gallon in the city and 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Premier trim Impalas have been given a 3.6-liter V6 engine, which brings plenty of power with 305 horsepower and 264 lb-ft of torque. This engine has an EPA fuel economy rating of 18 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon on the highway. Though this engine is standard on the Premier models, it was made available to drivers as an option for the LS and LT trims; therefore, it is possible to find some used models with this upgraded engine.

Inside the Cabin

In recent years, Chevy has grown from a modest manufacturer to a driver-centric designer that engineers vehicles with comfort, safety, and all-around driveability in mind. As other manufacturers tinker with infotainment and automatic safety alerts, Chevrolet has risen to the challenge, adding standard features to their cars that once only appeared on the highest trim levels of luxury cars. The result is a vehicle that maintains its safety and relevance for a long time.

The 2017 Malibu is one such vehicle. Not only is the cabin surprisingly spacious for a mid-sized sedan, with plenty of headroom and a 15.8 cubic foot trunk with 60/40 split passthrough rear seats, but it comes equipped with all the features that make it ready to roll.

The L trim is very basic, with air conditioning, cruise control, and an AM/FM radio, which will likely make it one of the more low budget-friendly options. Heading to the next level, the LS model, drivers can enjoy the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, USB ports, and Bluetooth connectivity. Ten airbags, electronic stability control, OnStar, and a rearview camera are the basic safety offerings of this model.

The LT trim adds 17-inch wheels, heated outside mirrors, a power adjustable driver’s seat, and rear heat/cooling vents. The Hybrid echoes the LT trim, but it’s important to note that, due to the electric motors, the Hybrid does not offer the same amount of trunk space as its gasoline-powered brothers. The Premier trim, as implied by the name, offers all the luxury options, including the more powerful engine, 18-inch wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory settings, heated steering wheel, and dual-zone automatic climate control in the front seat.

The 2017 Chevy Impala may share the trim level names, but the features included are a bit more sophisticated. For example, the base LS trim includes a power adjustable driver’s seat, along with keyless entry, Bluetooth streaming, and USB/auxiliary ports. It rides high on 18-inch wheels, with automatic headlights, cruise control, and a 4.2-inch infotainment display.

The LT trim gets heated exterior mirrors, dual zone automatic climate control, power lumbar support for the driver and passenger, and an infotainment system. The infotainment system features an 8-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, along with voice control options, three total USB ports, SD slot, and HD radio.

The Impala’s Premier trim starts with the more powerful engine, and adds leather upholstery, xenon headlights, heated front seats, push button start, and a full host of safety features, including blind spot monitoring, a rearview camera, rear park assist, and navigation system.

Enticing Options

A silver 2017 Chevy Impala is parked in front of a grey building.

One area in which Chevy excels is allowing drivers to customize their rides with plenty of packages that group some of the most enticing and helpful available options together.

For example, drivers of the 2017 Malibu could add the Convenience and Technology package, adding remote start, 8-inch touchscreen upgrade, wireless device charging, and an automatically dimming rearview mirror. The Leather package adds the eponymous leather upholstery, but also heated and power adjustable front seats, and a nine-speaker Bose audio system. Additional safety features could be added, as well, including adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert, rear traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring. Automatic climate control and parking assist options could be added, as well. When you start looking for used cars for sale, keep an eye out for a model with those advanced features.

The 2017 Impala offerings also included a variety of optional packages. The Midnight Edition alters the appearance with 19-inch wheels, black grille, spoiler, and accents, and a black bow-tie Chevrolet badge. The LT trim offered a Leather package that is similar to that of the Malibu, as well as a Convenience package, which adds remote start and a rearview camera with parking sensors. The Technology package offers 19-inch wheels as well, along with a 120V outlet, an 11 speaker Bose system with a CD player, and ambient lighting, along with a wireless device charging pad. The Premier trim is available with automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, along with upgrading to 20-inch wheels.

Amongst both Malibus and Impalas, those shopping for used cars for sale may find plenty of alterations and options regardless of trim levels. Sunroofs could be added to any trim level of the Impala, and safety features such as parking sensors and cargo nets could be added to the Malibu even at the LS trim. The beauty of Chevy’s vehicle-by-design model is that the chances of two identical 2017 Malibus or Impalas appearing side-by-side are very slim. While features such as CD players aren’t quite as popular today as they were just a few years ago, the safety features available on both models are very popular with the current model year. Naturally, the options that were included at the time of the original purchase will impact the overall cost of the vehicle, even on the used car lot, but should prove a useful investment for a long time to come.

The 2017 Chevy Malibu and Chevy Impala remain some of the most popular used cars for sale today, due to their reliable nature and highly driveable design. While it seems that no two Malibu or Impala are alike, they remain solid sedan choices in the pre-owned market. The Impala is the larger vehicle, with a slight luxury advantage over the mid-sized Malibu, yet both have been praised for their value over the years. For those looking to invest in a car that is safe, technologically relevant, and budget-friendly, the Malibu and Impala are worth investigating.

Posted in Used Cars For Sale