|Reviewed By||Jim Pickering|
|Price as Tested||$34,680: 2.0-liter 250-hp turbo DOHC I4 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission, remote start, heated and ventilated seating, heated steering wheel, 9-speaker Bose stereo, Mylink audio w/navigation and Apple CarPlay, adaptive cruise, Driver Confidence Package II includes brake and parking assist, forward collision alert, following distance sensor, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, pedestrian detection and blind spot alert|
Turbo engine gives relatively sporty acceleration. Decent room inside, both front and rear. Huge trunk. Apple CarPlay is neat, and the hands-free texting is fantastic, if a little slow.
Fundamental ergonomic issues: why does the dash gauge cluster point at my stomach while the stereo interface points up at the roof? Steering wheel is oddly shaped at top and actually uncomfortable in the hand. Seat sides don’t recline in tandem (first left hinge, then right a half-second later), 8-speed auto is clunky on downshift, jerking the car when you slow to stop like you’re pumping the brakes. Folding-a-sheet-in-the-wind interior styling is an acquired taste. Teen Driver Report Card system, which will tattle on your kids for being bad behind the wheel, is perfect for helicopter parents but useless if you actually trust your kids.
GM’s done a good job of embracing the future with their product lines, but their history is alive and well underneath, too. This Malibu’s 8-speed auto, small turbo engine, and numerous safety and tech features really do show a solid effort toward building a car for tomorrow, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of yesterday’s GM when I was behind the wheel of this ’16 — the yesterday that brought you rental-fleet quality Malibus you’d rather forget. Is this car a solid modern effort at a competitive midsize sedan? Sure. But I’d do a little more research on the competition before throwing down $35k to own one — and I’m a die-hard GM guy.
|Fun to Drive|
|Fun to Look at|
For more about this car, please visit the manufacturer's website.