2015 vs. 2016 Chevy Malibu

2016 Chevy Malibu | Baierl Automotive | Wexford PA

 The Chevrolet Malibu for 2016 was completely redesigned. While its attractive new appearance is a noticeable difference from the previous year’s model, you may be thinking what else changed as compared to the predecessor. In order to assist you in finding out, we have developed a comparison detailing all of the main differences in the 2016 Chevy Malibu and the 2015 version.


Upon its exterior, changes between the 2015 model and the 2016 model are instantly obvious from initial glance. Plainly put, the 2015 model is bland as compared with the 2016 version, providing fairly simplistic, plain styling, as well as no big memorable or distinctive features. The 2016 Malibu is the opposite, as it touts a front end that is aggressive, has significant character lines down both of its sides and bold edges that have jagged creases. Even though many vehicle consumers were indifferent with the 2015’s design, the 2016 model is certain to inspire a love it or hate it response.


It is the same exact story on the interior, not surprisingly. As the 2015 Malibu provided a pretty bland, simplistic inside design, the 2016 model touts a bolder appearance and more aggressive shaping which helps to make it stand above the predecessor and rival versions. The 2016 Malibu even provides some very distinctive styling cues, like unique lines on its dashboard which almost appears as if they belong inside a sports car. The interior, of course, also grew in size, and the 2016 Malibu provides more space for rear and front occupants.


The 2015 and 2016 Malibu both offer 2 powertrains, yet things changed a bit underneath the hood. To be specific, as the 2015’s base engine was a 2.5L 196-hp four-cylinder, the 2016 offers a 160 horsepower 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder. While this means the 2016 provides less power than the 2015 model, fuel economy is up from 2015’s 25 mpg/city and 36 miles per gallon/freeway to 27 miles per gallon city/37 miles per gallon highway.

Drivers wanting more power may upgrade toward a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder -- carried over from the 2015 Malibu. Power’s down somewhat -- from 259 horsepower to 250 horsepower -- yet fuel economy was up, from 21 miles per gallon city/30 miles per gallon highway in 2015’s version to 22 miles per gallon city/33 miles per gallon highway in the 2016 model. This change is mainly because of an eight-speed automatic transmission, replacing 2015’s six-speed automatic.

Technology and Features

Even though the 2015 Malibu was not down on technology -- particularly compared with competitive mid-sized sedans -- the 2016 makes some big leaps forward. Forward collision warning is still offered, for instance, yet the 2016 model added an automatic brake feature. There is a Bose sound system that you could not get with the 2015 model.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay features within the infotainment center. Then there is the available self-parking program and adaptive cruise control, both of which will enhance its appeal as a luxury mid-sized sedan. As a matter of fact, you likely will find everything needed in the 2015 Malibu, yet the 2016 also provides more of what’s needed.

Driving Experience

Both the 2016 and 2015, on the road, provide some drawbacks and advantages. The main benefit of the 2015 included the standard 196 horsepower four-cylinder engine that was amongst the most powerful base level mid-sized sedan powertrains. The 2016 160 horsepower engine is amongst the least powerful, and it really shows. To be honest, we would rather have the additional 36 horsepower back rather than a barely visible fuel economy increase of 2 miles per gallon city/1 mile per gallon highway.

However, otherwise, it is the 2016 Malibu which mainly offers benefits over the 2015. The 2016 specifically boasts an improved ride which is smoother over the bumps, sharper handling, as well as quieter cabin which is more reserved from wind and road noise. While the 2015 was somewhat of an also-ran as far as driving experience was concerned, the 2016 is a lot nearer to the tip of the pile, although we still do not believe it is as good as some of its top competitors.

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This entry was posted in Baierl Automotive and tagged 2015 Chevy Malibu, 2016 Chevy Malibu, Baierl Automotive, Wexford PA on 04/17/2017 at 11:40 AM