The Chevrolet Malibu has been selected as the 2020 Fleet Car of the Year by readers of Automotive Fleet magazine.
While many major OEMs are pulling back on their investment in sedans, General Motors is still putting support behind the Malibu. This segment is still critical for fleets that primarily utilize sedans in their operations.
The Malibu has been recognized with this award previously, with last time the sedan being honored in 2016.
“We’re honored that Chevrolet Malibu is Automotive Fleet’s 2020 Fleet Car of the Year,” said Ed Peper, U.S. Vice President, GM Fleet. “We know that fleet managers and drivers alike appreciate Malibu’s combination of style, comfort, performance and efficiency. It’s simply a great sedan that they’re proud to have in their fleets and in their driveways.”
Under the Hood
The Malibu, which is in its ninth generation, is available in five trims – including L, LS, RS, LT, and Premier.
It is available in two powertrains: a 1.5L Turbo four-cylinder engine - available on the L up to the LT trim - and a 2.0L Turbo four-cylinder engine on the Premier trim.
While the SUV/crossover segment continues to gain dominance in the commercial fleet market, the Malibu delivers solid EPA-rated fuel economy that gives the sedan an edge over most compact SUVs.
When equipped with the 1.5L four-cylinder with a continuous variable transmission (CVT), the Malibu returns 29 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway and gets 160 hp with 184 lb.-ft. of torque.
Meanwhile, the 2.0L four-cylinder gets 250 hp with 260 lb.-ft. of torque.
Tech & Safety at the Forefront
For the 2019-MY, the sedan received a mid-cycle refresh, which included several changes to the overall appearance for the Malibu, and the introduction of the Chevrolet Infotainment System 3 for most trim levels.
This replaced the vehicle’s previous touchscreen with a new eight-inch diagonal color touchscreen, and features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, as well as 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi.
The Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus with HD screen was also added to the Premier trim and features cloud connected personalization for select infotainment and vehicle settings, and additional voice recognition features.
Also standard across the trim levels is OnStar and Chevrolet Connected Services capability, which includes standard connectivity with features designed to help improve driving behaviors and better maintain and manage vehicle health.
The Malibu is also available with a variety of advanced driver-assistance technologies. These safety features includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, lane change alert with side blind zone alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, rear park assist, and more.
The Chevrolet Malibu also received a four-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the 2020 and 2021 model-years. It also features 10 airbags across all trim levels.
“GM has many customers who still are looking for passenger cars for their fleets. And while other manufacturers have decided to exit the passenger car market, GM Fleet continues to offer the impressive Malibu sedan to our fleet customers,” said Kevin Daniels, fleet product manager – cars, EVs, small crossovers. “Malibu is a car that doesn’t compromise. It provides efficiency and safety that fleet managers need and comfort and performance that drivers love.”
Improving over the years
Other highlights to the current generation of the Chevrolet Malibu includes an expanded wheelbase over the previous iterations, which is almost four inches longer.
This, along with the 1.3 inches of extra legroom, help contribute to the Malibu’s improved interior space in its current generation.
The curb weight of the all-new Malibu is almost 300 pounds lighter, due to the increased use of high-strength steel, aluminum, and the changed vehicle architecture, according to General Motors.
It features a trunk cargo volume of 15.7 cu.-ft., and includes 60/40 split-folding rear seats.