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A front driving view of the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu

2017 Toyota Camry vs. 2017 Chevrolet Malibu: Which Used Family Sedan Is Right for Your Budget?

Read about the 2017 Toyota Camry and the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu as they battle it out. Both priced between $15,000 and $20,000, it's a close contest, offering buyers a choice between Japanese and American-branded sedans with comparable amenities and safety, making it a tough decision.

Are you shopping for a used family sedan? If so, the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu and Toyota Camry are great choices. Both mid-size sedan models present a good value as new cars, but they are excellent values in the used market as well. Here is a comparison between them to help you decide.

2017 Toyota Camry vs. 2017 Chevrolet Malibu: Tech and infotainment

Although both sedans have plenty to offer, we’ll start with the tech and infotainment features in each. The 2017 Chevrolet Malibu is offered in four trim levels – L, LS, LT, and Premier. The base Malibu offers basic amenities like air conditioning, cruise control, and an AM/FM radio.

We suggest finding a Malibu LS trim, which adds more features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, USB ports, Bluetooth, and a seven-inch infotainment system. The Premier trim level mainly adds a stronger engine, more safety features, leather upholstery, and auto climate control.

The 2017 Toyota Camry is also available in four trim levels – LE, SE, XSE, and XLE. The base Camry offers basic features like a backup camera, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, Siri Eyes Free, USB ports, and a 6.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

The higher-level Camry SE and XSE add premium amenities like a leather interior, larger wheels, heated seats, and a larger display screen with navigation and a premium JBL sound system. The XLE and XSE trim also have added safety features.

Overall, the 2017 Toyota Camry offers more for the money regarding tech features. However, the Malibu still offers a good value proposition.

2017 Toyota Camry vs. 2017 Chevrolet Malibu: Safety

A front corner view of the 2017 Toyota Camry
2017 Toyota Camry | Toyota

Regarding safety features, the 2017 Toyota Camry has 10 airbags and traction and stability control. However, the higher trim levels unlock more safety in the form of blind-spot monitoring, radar cruise control, lane-departure warning, and pre-collision braking. In addition to having these features, the 2017 Camry was also awarded a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The 2017 Malibu has 10 airbags and stability control as well, but it also comes with OnStar, which automatically dials for help in an accident. The higher trim levels come equipped with driver-assist features like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning, forward collision alert, and a rear cross-traffic alert. Like the Camry, the Malibu also received a five-star safety rating.

Both cars are even regarding safety, so it’s the buyer’s choice in this category.

2017 Toyota Camry vs. 2017 Chevrolet Malibu: Power

2017 Toyota Camry V6 engine
2017 Toyota Camry V6 | Toyota

Both sedans have two different engines to choose from. The base 2017 Chevy Malibu is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The engine returns a respectable 36 mpg on the highway, but it’s a little weak, according to some critics.

The more powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter is the one to pick as it generates 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Thankfully, the Malibu’s highway mpg rating only drops to 33 with this engine.

The 2017 Toyota Camry, on the other hand, is powered by a naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine in its base form. That engine produces 178 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque and returns up to 33 mpg on the highway.

Like the Malibu, the Camry has a larger engine as well – but it’s not turbocharged. Instead, the Camry is available with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 268 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. That extra power comes with a hit to the car’s fuel economy as the highway mpg rating drops to 30.

2017 Toyota Camry vs. 2017 Chevrolet Malibu: Which used mid-size sedan is right for you?

A rear corner view of the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu
2017 Chevrolet Malibu | Chevrolet

Considering the 2017 Toyota Camry and Chevrolet Malibu both sell for around $15,000 to $20,000 nationwide in the current market, it’s a close call. Buyers can find many of the same amenities, safety features, and power in both sedans, so it mainly comes down to choosing between a Japanese and American-branded sedan.