The most important decision a Malibu buyer makes is the trim level. In addition to determining which features are included, the trim level dictates which of two turbocharged four-cylinder engines will provide power.
The sole engine for L, LS, and LT trim levels is a turbocharged Ecotec 1.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, and includes start/stop technology for enhanced efficiency. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, it’s estimated at an impressive 36 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in city driving (30 mpg combined). This engine is installed in most Malibu trim levels.
Standard in Premier trim is a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder that generates 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. With its new nine-speed automatic transmission, fuel economy is estimated at a decidedly less-frugal 22-mpg city/33-mpg highway (26 mpg combined).
The entry-level model comes with air conditioning, remote keyless entry, keyless start, power mirrors, power locks, cruise control, six-speaker audio, steering-wheel controls, tilt/telescopic steering column, and 16-inch steel wheels.
The LS adds features such as Chevrolet MyLink radio with a 7-inch touchscreen, OnStar 4G LTE with wi-fi hotspot, a rearview camera, automatic headlights, Bluetooth audio, a compass, and 16-inch aluminum wheels. The Teen Driver feature is new for 2017, as is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility.