Photo by Mike Antich.

Photo by Mike Antich.

I had an opportunity to test drive the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu with the all-new 1.5L Ecotec turbocharged engine. My test drive examined the Malibu from the perspective of both a fleet manager and a company driver.

From a fleet manager’s perspective, the Malibu offers a very attractive total cost of ownership package for commercial fleets. It includes a competitive acquisition price, improved fuel economy, and the projected residual advantage of being an all-new model. Another reason for the good fuel-economy numbers come from the start/stop feature, which cannot be defeated or shut off. The EPA mileage for the 1.5L standard turbo engine is 27 mpg city, 37 mpg highway, and 31 mpg combined.

From a driver’s perspective, the Malibu provides a very comfortable and ergonomic environment conducive to being a functional mobile office. Employees who drive an average of 20,000 miles a year, will appreciate the Malibu’s roomy interior, supportive seats, smooth ride, and responsive handling in both urban and freeway driving conditions. The Malibu’s attractive exterior appearance also offers employees what I call “driveway appeal.” Don’t underestimate the ability to influence selector choices by the desire of employees to have an attractive looking car parked in their home driveway. The all-new Malibu is longer, with a lower hood and cowl, which gives it sleeker looking proportions.

Photo by Mike Antich.

Photo by Mike Antich.

There are four key factors that contribute to the Malibu’s appeal.

First, the wheelbase of the all-new model is almost four inches longer. This added wheelbase length helps provide better in-cabin comfort and functionality. Rear seat passengers now have 1.3 inches more legroom than the prior model.

Second, the curb weight of the all-new Malibu is almost 300 pounds lighter, due to the increased use of high-strength steel, aluminum, and smart engineering in the design of the all-new architecture. The reduced weight made it possible to power the Malibu with smaller-displacement engines without the feeling of a significant loss of power. The turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder with 160 hp and a 6-speed automatic transmission is the standard powertrain.

Third, the 2016 Malibu offers the technology needed to keep drivers productive. The all-new 2016 model offers OnStar 4G LTE in-vehicle connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the ability to turn the car into a Wi-Fi hotspot, all of which will be welcomed by tech-savvy company drivers.

If personal use is allowed for an employee’s children, an all-new Teen Driver feature allows parents to restrict certain vehicle functions to support safer driving and to view their kids’ driving statistics, such as maximum speed and warning alerts.

Fourth, the Malibu offers a host of available active safety features, such as:

  • Front Pedestrian Alert that can apply automatic last-second braking.
  • New Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning.
  • Side Blind Zone Alert with Lane Change Alert.
  • New Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator.
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
  • Front and Rear Park Assist.
  • Intellibeam, which automatically switches the headlamps to high beam for better road illumination and improved visibility.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Automatic Braking.
  • Automatic Parking Assist.

In addition, the 2016 Malibu offers 10 standard air bags.

In summary, the 2016 Malibu offers company drivers with enhanced functionality in an ergonomic driving package, while, at the same time, providing fleet managers with a corporate asset that delivers a competitive total cost of ownership.

 Related Photos: Chevrolet's 2016 Malibu

About the author
Mike Antich

Mike Antich

Former Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike Antich covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Global Fleet of Hal in 2022. He also won the Industry Icon Award, presented jointly by the IARA and NAAA industry associations.

View Bio