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Are you looking for a mid-size sedan that is loaded with all the best tech features available on today’s market? If you answered yes, then you should take a look at the new 2020 Chevy Malibu. This five-seater is ideal for singles, couples, and even some small families. It’s practical, fuel-efficient, and comfortable. It can work as a commuter car or for simply going about daily life. With a trunk that offers 15.7 cubic feet of storage space, there is ample room for luggage, groceries, and other pieces of cargo that need to travel with you.
To put things into perspective, last year’s 2019 version was the highest-ranked midsize model in initial quality by J.D. Power. This means that the folks who purchased 2019 Malibu models were still happy with their decision 90 days after closing the deal. No buyer’s remorse here!
So what makes this sedan so special? Could it be the sleek, sophisticated styling, or the sporty dual exhaust tips? Is it the slew of advanced safety features and various trim options? Most likely, it’s a combination of all of the above. Let’s dive deeper into the performance specs, interior tech gadgets, and exterior design elements of this gorgeous ride.
The entry-level 2020 Chevy Malibu is the L trim level. Though it’s the base model, it features everything needed to get you to and from your destination with safety and comfort.
The L trim includes a zippy 1.5L turbocharged engine that offers 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. A continuously variable transmission comes standard on this engine, and helps with the overall fuel economy. Malibu drivers can anticipate up to 36 miles per gallon on the highway, and 29 miles per gallon in the city.
Inside, the L trim offers everything drivers need to be comfortable through a variety of commutes, including air conditioning, and an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen. This system offers Bluetooth audio streaming, as well as connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Controls for these systems are mounted on the steering wheel for safety and convenience. The L trim also offers cruise control and a rear vision camera.
As for safety features, the L trim includes OnStar capabilities, as well as ten airbags, a tire pressure monitoring system, child security locks in the rear seats, and Chevy’s StabiliTrak traction control system. The Driver Information Center keeps the driver aware of vehicle information and warnings. Power door locks and windows come standard, too.
The 2020 Chevy Malibu LS trim offers a combination of all of the basic necessities, a few extra bonus comforts, and the ability to choose from a variety of optional packages that will help drivers customize their experience.
The LS features a standard 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with continuously variable transmission, which helps add to Malibu’s impressive fuel economy of 29 miles per gallon in the city and 36 miles per gallon on the highway.
There are multiple safety features onboard the LS, including a rear vision camera and a tire pressure monitoring system. Ten airbags are standard, as well. Drivers will also find a system called Teen Driver. Teen Driver technology allows parents to monitor and set controls for more inexperienced drivers, promoting safe driving behavior early on. This is also great if you ever need to lend your vehicle to a friend or other family member.
Inside the cabin, drivers can enjoy the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and features Bluetooth streaming audio. The LS includes lighted visor mirrors for the front seats and an acoustically-engineered windshield that reduces unwanted noise.
Additional packages, including Convenience Packages I and II, are available, which can add a remote start kit, a tablet holder, all-weather floor mats, and cargo net.
The 2020 Chevy Malibu RS trim package includes a great number of features that add to the comfort of your commute. Style is also a major factor for the RS, with unique exterior features that give it a sporty look no matter where you drive.
Under the hood is a sporty 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that exceeds fuel expectations with a generous 29 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway. While it still offers plenty of power, at 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, the continuously variable transmission assists with keeping power where it’s needed when it’s needed.
Inside, the conveniences continue with a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot and an 8-inch diagonal touchscreen infotainment system. Connected to the 6-speaker audio system, this technology is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob round out the luxurious feel.
Those looking to customize the experience can choose from one of the many optional packages that can be added to the RS. Convenience Package I includes a remote start kit (also available individually), and cargo net. Convenience Package II includes a universal tablet holder, all-weather floor mats, and the cargo net.
The Interior Protection Package includes all-weather floor mats and a cargo protection liner. The Jet Black appearance package includes blacked-out Chevy bowtie badges and a grille, along with a rear spoiler. Weather Protection I and II packages include all weather floor mats, cargo mats, and front and rear splash guards.
The LT trim of the 2020 Chevy Malibu is the second-highest trim level, and as such, it offers plenty of comforts and conveniences, along with a stunning exterior.
Those who have a long commute will appreciate the ample gas mileage from the 1.5L turbocharged engine and continuously variable transmission. With 29 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway, drivers will appreciate the fuel savings. The engine delivers 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, giving drivers the power they need to navigate life’s daily drive.
Inside the LT, the luxuries continue with heated front seats that feature power lumbar support. The dual zone climate control feature allows comfortable temperatures for front and rear seat passengers. The 8-inch color touchscreen infotainment system features compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. LED daytime running lamps and tail lamps also come standard on this trim level, as well.
The LT also offers many customizable packages. The Appearance Package updates the outside to include gloss black mirror caps with a dark chrome grille edge and sport pedal kit. The Midnight Edition is another glossy exterior upgrade, featuring the specialize Mosaic Black Metallic exterior color and Jet Black interior, black bowtie emblems in both front and rear, the black Malibu customized badge, a blacked-out dark chrome-surround grille, with 19” black aluminum wheels and all season tires.
The Driver Confidence LT package combines the I and II package with rear park assist, lane change alert, side blind zone alert, and rear cross traffic alarms. They also include automatic high beams, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and forward-traveling warnings that monitor following distance, possible collisions, and provide automatic emergency braking as necessary. The Weather Protection Package helps guard against mud and moisture with all-weather floor mats, a cargo mat, and front and rear splash guards.
The Premier trim is the top offering for the 2020 Chevy Malibu, filled with loads of luxury, comfort, and convenience.
While the other trim levels of Malibu feature a capable 1.5L engine, the Premier trim includes a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. This engine offers 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft and is paired with a nine-speed transmission. Overall, this engine receives 22 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway; this engine will have a combined rating of 26 MPG.
Drivers can keep tabs on vehicle information, safety alerts, and more with the 8-inch color driver information center. There’s also an 8-inch high definition touchscreen infotainment system, which connects with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Drivers can enjoy the 8-way power-adjustable seats and the Bose Premium audio system during their commute, along with the heated steering wheel and automatically dimming rearview mirrors.
The Premier trim may be well-appointed, but drivers who crave more can choose one of the optional packages to enhance their experience. The Driver Confidence Package includes rear park assist, a cross traffic alert for safety while traveling in reverse, and lane change alert with a blind zone alarm.
The Driver Confidence II Package offers automatic IntelliBeam headlamps, automatic braking when a pedestrian is detected in front of the vehicle, as well as emergency braking in the event of a potential collision, which pairs with a forward collision alert and a following distance indicator. The Enhanced Driver Confidence Package includes the features of both of these packages, with a few extra offerings, such as adaptive cruise control and automatic parking assist.
Let’s be honest. Sedans are not well-known for having a vast array of engine options. That’s one of the things that makes the 2020 Chevy Malibu special. You can choose between two engines!
First is the turbocharged 1.5L 4-cylinder engine that uses direct injection, continuously variable valve timing, and stop/stop technology to generate 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. This powertrain gets about 32 mpg combined (29 city/36 highway), which is quite good for a non-hybrid car. It’s equipped with FWD and also features traction and electronic stability control for optimized handling around turns.
As for the other option, you can choose a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder engine that utilizes direct injection, variable valve timing technology, and a dual overhead cam design to pump out 250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Mated with a 9-speed automatic transmission and FWD, this spry powertrain has a fuel economy set at 26 mpg combined (22 city/32 highway).
One of the things that sedans are known for is being available in multiple unique trims to suit your specific needs. However, most competing cars only come in three or four trims. On the other hand, the new Malibu is offered in five! It goes without saying that the higher trim level you choose, the better features you will get.
The standard model is called the L, and it includes a manually-adjustable driver’s seat. You can maneuver the chair to suit your height, adding comfort to your driving experience. The Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System is also included. This is displayed on an 8-inch touchscreen monitor and operates with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. That means that you can make calls hands-free and listen to your favorite music via seamless audio streaming. The sound pumping through the 6-speaker stereo will have you singing along all the way to your destination. If you are in a hurry in the mornings, keyless open and start makes it easy to get in and go. If you have a long drive ahead, simply set your desired speed with cruise control and relax.
If you are searching for a sedan for your teenager, the LS is a great choice. It features the built-in safety system known as Teen Driver. If the seatbelt is not fastened, the audio will not work. It also provides you with a report card to see how well your child’s driving habits are. If you see something is lacking, you can adjust your training methods accordingly. The LS also features vanity mirrors positioned on the visors, an acoustic laminated windshield to reduce cabin noise, and a compass. You can also view the outside temperature via the display screen.
Want to step things up a notch? Opt for the RS version. Many of the upgrades are to the exterior, which we will cover shortly. However, this model comes with its very own 4G LTE Wifi hotspot. You can stay connected with your favorite apps everywhere you go. The driver’s seat also gets an upgrade by becoming power-adjustable. Leather wrappings on the shift knob and steering wheel add a touch of sophistication and elegance to the cabin as well.
Next, we have the luxurious LT trim. This model adds a heating feature to the cloth seats and dual-zone climate control. Both of these functions are great for the winter months. Another handy feature to take advantage of during the winter is remote start. You can preset your temperature preference and start the vehicle remotely. It will be warmed up and ready to welcome you with open arms by the time you go outside. Additional reading lights have also been added for the rear passengers to read or draw during long rides.
Lastly, the top-tier Premier model adds a bunch of nifty features. It’s the cream-of-the-crop, so a 9-speaker Bose stereo system is a must. It also comes with a wireless charging pad to prevent clutter in the cabin. A 120-V power outlet is included as well as a USB port, and navigation system. The steering wheel is heated to keep your digits toasty, and the HD rearview camera provides you with a clear view of what’s behind your vehicle. This can help immensely with avoiding fender benders or running over a kid’s bicycle.
Advanced safety features vary depending on the trim level you choose. Your new Malibu may include forward collision alert that detects imminent front-end impacts and alerts you to the potential threat. Lane change alert with side blind zone alert lets you know when another vehicle is traveling in your blind spot. This will keep you from changing lanes and causing an accident. Using radar and sensors to adjust your speed according to the flow of traffic, adaptive cruise control is quite handy during rush hour. You don’t have to switch between the brake and gas pedals continuously; the Malibu will manage this adjustment for you. Simply program the distance you want to keep between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Rear cross-traffic alert will notify you if another vehicle is crossing behind your vehicle from the left or right. Warning signals will appear on the dash, and an audible alert will sound. Intelligent headlamps detect oncoming traffic and switch from high beams to regular instantly. Lastly, another feature your Malibu may be equipped with is pedestrian braking. Cincinnati has a lot of foot traffic. Sometimes, people are too busy looking at their phones to look for cars. That’s where this safety system comes in handy. It will detect pedestrians crossing in front of your driving path. If you do not react, it can even apply the brakes to come to a complete stop.
As with the interior features, the exterior design elements vary depending on the trim. We will cover some of the major changes seen throughout each level.
First, the base L rides on 16-inch aluminum wheels and features daytime running lights, halogen headlamps, and power-adjustable mirrors. It even comes with a handy spare wheel in case of a flat. The LS is exactly the same except for one detail. It comes with the noise-reducing windshield that we mentioned before. Cruising on larger 18-inch aluminum wheels, the RS model features body-colored mirrors and a chrome grille with black accents. This gives a more aggressive look to the face of the vehicle. A sporty rear spoiler has been fitted to the tail, and special badging has been strategically placed to signify that this model is a special edition.
Stepping up to the LT gets you 17-inch aluminum wheels and heated side mirrors. The daytime running lamps have been upgraded to LED bulbs, and a sunroof becomes an option. Finally, the Premier model comes with the largest 19-inch aluminum wheels, a dual-pane power sunroof, chrome door handles with body-colored inserts, and silver front sill plates. Turn signal indicators have also been added to the mirrors.
Paint colors for the new Chevy Malibu include Summit White, Mosaic Black Metallic, Silver Ice Metallic, Black Cherry Metallic, Shadow Gray Metallic, and Cajun Red Tintcoat.