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Although SUVs have become popular as family vehicles, there is something about a classic, midsize sedan that still makes it one of our favorite options for small or midsize families. SUVs are great and offer a tremendous amount of space inside, but they can also be quite large and really take over your life. But a midsize sedan such as the 2021 Chevy Malibu not only gives you room for up to five passengers and ample trunk space but is also sleek and sophisticated. The modern Malibu has really established itself as a dominant presence in the market and is a model we recommend to customers just about every day.
One of the things we really love about the 2021 Malibu is that it has five different trims for you to choose from, so you can get just the right balance of features and options. Whether your focus is on keeping your budget small, or you want all of the latest tech features and safety systems, there is a Malibu that will meet your needs. Most of these trims feature a standard 1.5L Turbo engine that offers a great combination of performance and excellent fuel economy. If you want even more power, however, then there is an available 2.0L Turbo engine that takes the Malibu’s performance to the next level.
As a midsize option, the 2021 Chevy Malibu is an excellent choice for avoiding the potentially overwhelming size of even a small SUV while still getting a luxurious and roomy interior. Just in the trunk alone, you get up to 15.7 cu.ft. of cargo capacity, which lets you really load it up with everything you need to take with you. With excellent interior comfort options, the Malibu is a fantastic choice for your daily routine, running errands, and taking long road trips.
It does not matter if you are looking at a sports car, a heavy-duty truck, large SUV, or midsize sedan – the engine is always important. At the very least, you want to choose a model with a good engine that gives you performance and fuel economy that meet your needs. The 2021 Chevy Malibu has two different engines for you to choose from, so you can focus on either optimal fuel efficiency or greater power.
The standard engine in the Malibu is a 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that offers up to 160 hp and up to 184 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with a continuously variable transmission that makes it easy to drive, offers a smooth overall experience, and maximizes fuel economy as much as possible. With this engine, you get an estimated 29 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway.
While the standard engine is provided on the majority of trims for the 2021 Chevy Malibu, if you choose the highest Premier trim, then you get a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that delivers up to 250 hp and up to 260 lb-ft of torque. As you can see, this is significantly more power, and it is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission to offer an incredibly rewarding drive. With this increased performance, you get slightly lower fuel efficiency, though it still gets an estimated 22 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway.
Although certainly not as large as something like an SUV, the 2021 Chevy Malibu is a midsize sedan, so it has a lot more interior space than you might expect. There is comfortable, safe seating for up to five passengers. In the front, you get nearly 40 inches of headroom and more than 41 inches of legroom. Rear-seat passengers can have more than 37 inches of headroom and almost 39 inches of legroom – plus the trunk offers up to 15.7 cu.ft. of cargo space.
Comfort and luxury features, as well as technology, will depend on the trim you look at, though available options include heated and ventilated, leather-appointed front seats. An 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and 6-way power-adjustable front passenger seat are available, as is power driver lumbar controls and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat that gives you plenty of interior cargo space options. Front and rear carpeted floors are standard, as are steering-wheel-mounted controls, along with keyless open and start.
There are five different trim levels available for the 2021 Chevy Malibu, which means you can get just the right combination of features and options for what you need. The standard L trim includes 16-inch aluminum wheels, remote keyless entry, and an 8-inch infotainment display with a 6-speaker sound system. Single-zone manual climate control, a driver information center, and manually-adjustable front seats are all standard. If you go up to the LS trim, then you get a compass and outside temperature display in the driver cluster, as well as active noise cancellation and support for wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto systems.
With the RS trim, even more luxury and impressive technology become standard. The RS features 18-inch aluminum wheels, as well as chrome details inside and out. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power-adjustable driver’s seat, and cruise control are also standard for the RS.
The LT trim takes things even further, with LED daytime running lamps, outside heated and power-adjustable mirrors, and heated cloth front seats along with dual-zone automatic climate control. Two unique color packages are available for the LT trim. First is the all-new Sport Edition, which features front and rear black bowtie emblems, a blacked-out grille, 19-inch black-painted aluminum wheels, and a jet-black interior. Then there is the Midnight Edition, which has the same features along with a unique Mosaic black metallic exterior color.
Finally, the Premier trim includes a more powerful engine, along with 19-inch aluminum wheels and bright sill plates. The Premier also features a Bose premium 9-speaker sound system, wireless charging pad, and an enhanced 8-inch digital driver information center with a multi-color, reconfigurable display. You also get a heated steering wheel, power-adjustable driver and front-passenger seats, and a power tilt-sliding sunroof with the Premier.
If you ignore everything else about a vehicle, the one thing you should absolutely look at is the kinds of safety features it has to offer. Nothing is more important than your safety when on the road, and while a computer system cannot replace careful, responsible driving, it can certainly help you out. The 2021 Chevy Malibu has a number of excellent standard and available safety features, though some of these depend on which trim level you look at.
Standard safety features on the Malibu include StabiliTrak electronic stability and traction control, along with daytime running lamps and a comprehensive airbag system with 10 airbags. The Malibu also includes an electronic grade braking system that makes it easier to maintain a steady speed when going downhill without constantly riding the brakes, as well as a standard rear vision camera. A rear-seat reminder, trunk latch, and tire pressure monitoring system are also all standard features.
Looking at the highest trim of the Chevy Malibu, the Premier, you get a lot more as an HD rear vision camera and the Teen Driver safety system with Buckle to Drive – this requires that you have the driver seat belt fastened to shift out of park – are all standard. Additional available safety features include adaptive cruise control, an automatic parking assist system, and a rear cross traffic alert. You can also get a lane change alert with a side blind zone alert, lane keep assist with a lane departure warning, and a forward collision alert with enhanced automatic emergency braking, all as part of the same Enhanced Driver Confidence Package.
Having all of these great safety features together in a single package makes it easy to upgrade for the level of safety you want in your vehicle. Best of all, this package – or one like it – is available on just about every trim. So even if you do not need the latest tech features or enhanced luxury, you can still get an incredibly safe car.