Large, comfortable cabin. Mid-size sedans are all about having spacious, usable cabins, and that’s exactly what the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu has. All its seats are comfortable and spacious while offering a good amount of support.

The rear seats are especially comfortable for the class, and they offer roughly 38 inches of rear legroom and 53.4 inches of hip room. That means three adults can fit in the back, which isn't always the case.

While the Malibu has loads of space, the interior design isn’t on par with what others in the segment have. Material quality isn’t good for the class, as numerous surfaces are covered in hard plastics and low-rent cloth. The control knobs and buttons aren’t much better, either. Opting for a dark color scheme results in a drab cabin.

At 15.7 cubic feet of space, the Malibu’s trunk is average for the segment. It does have a wide opening, which should make load and unloading cargo easier.

Well equipped throughout the lineup. Pricing for the Malibu starts at $22,970 including destination. At the price point, the Malibu comes well equipped with all sorts of features.

An 8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are all included with the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system. Other features include a six-speaker audio system and 16-inch aluminum wheels.

Things only get better as you move up the lineup. The RS trim brings a sportier experience, while the Premier carries features like wireless charging and a dual-pane sunroof.

Mediocre safety features and ratings. Chevrolet doesn’t offer any standard active safety features. It only comes with GM's OnStar system and a rear seat reminder to better peace of mind, but these aren't what today's drivers seek.

The available active safety features are reserved for the LT trim and above, where automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist are bundled into a $1,095 package, among other features. Furthermore, Chevy limits adaptive cruise control to the range-topping Premier trim.

Meanwhile, in testing by the NHTSA, the Malibu earned a four-star overall safety rating. Options like the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, and Mazda Mazda6 all received five-star overall ratings.

Chevy Malibu

Softness over sportiness. The Malibu has two engines, and while they’re both turbocharged, they emphasize smoothness over sportiness. The majority of the Malibu lineup comes with a 160-horsepower, 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. While the engine produces less than a lot of other base engines in mid-size sedans, it’s still sufficient for daily driving.

Once again, Chevrolet has kept its best option for the high-end Premier, which comes with a 250-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. With the more powerful engine, acceleration is much better and results in a capable cruiser.

Fuel economy is just as varied as performance. The base engine gets great fuel economy with a combined rating of 32 miles per gallon, according to the EPA. The available 2.0-liter engine isn’t nearly as efficient with a combined rating of 26 mpg.

Final thoughts. The 2020 Chevrolet Malibu will meet a lot of consumers’ needs with its well-equipped trims, comfortable ride, and spacious cabin. The base engine gets great fuel economy, too.

Up against competitors, the Malibu struggles to keep up when it comes to quality, safety, and performance. If Chevy could fix the interior, add more safety features as standard, and give one trim a sportier edge, it would fare much better against the competition.

The Accord is an overall better vehicle with more safety features, better fuel economy, better performance, and nicer materials. The Camry is more enjoyable to drive, comes with more safety features, has an available 301-hp V6, and has a more stylish cabin.

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