2024 Chevrolet Malibu Review

For the last couple of days I have been driving the Chevy Malibu as my rental car.   I last rented a Chevy Malibu back in 2018 and reviewed it.   The car hasn’t fundamentally changed since 2018, but has gone through a facelift and some minor updates.   It is scheduled to go out of production in November.    The Malibu in its various generations has been in production since 1964, and more than 10 million have been sold.    It will not be replaced.   The demise of the Malibu means that Corvette is the last car in the Chevrolet line up.

Despite its storied nameplate, the Malibu won’t be missed by many.   It’s not a very good car.

2024 Chevrolet Malibu ReviewThis trip has exposed its shortcomings far more than last time I rented one.    Last time, my driving was far more local.   This time I will have done around 500 miles by the time I hand the keys back.   This involved a lot of interstate driving.   In most states, Americans don’t really go for draconian enforcement of reasonable speeds, so the traffic flows much faster.    At 85mph (130km/h) this car is terrible.

The engine is willing enough, and even has more to give if required to get around another car.   The issue is NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness).   Generally newer cars do a decent job of this overall.   However this car does not.   I question if there is any sound deadening at all in the vehicle.   I’m travelling with two co-workers and it is hard to maintain a conversation at regular interstate speeds.    This isn’t so much wind noise as noise and vibration coming from the wheels & tyres up into the car.   The ride is also terrible and you feel every expansion joint and crack in the road.   The tires are from Firestone, so are not a brand I have not heard of.   They are not light truck tyres either.

The sound system is no help here.   I’ve driven cars with two tiny speakers that sound better.   There is just strange sound coming out of strange places in the car.    It felt so tinny and grating, that I could only listen to it by going into the settings and turning the treble down while boosting bass and mid range.   That didn’t make it sound good, but at least it was no longer grating.

On the plus side, the infotainment system is so simple that I was able to connect my phone in seconds and play music.   I’ve rented cars with the apple car play system and it just complains about Siri and never works.

Power and fuel economy are adequate, although the engine is coarse if pushed.   Apparently its equipped with a CVT, but its set up to feel more like a regular automatic transmission.   It mostly does, and while it goes not bogged down at low speeds like a lot of CVTs, its not inspiring either.    Comfort is also adequate, and the boot is quite large.   Turning circle is only average.

The 2024 model is equipped with a very strange collision warning system.   There is an alarm and light on the dashboard that goes off when the car wants to warn you of an impending collision.   However, it warns at the most inopportune time.   I was almost rear ended the first time it went off, and I stood on the brakes thinking there was a major issue.   This feature makes the car less safe.

I assume the main buyer of this car has been fleet buyers.  I can’t imagine anyone getting excited by it.   The drab colour of the one I rented is pretty appropriate.

Rating 2/5.

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