It’s been a tough few months if you’re a fan of Chevrolet passenger cars. Besides the continuing Camaro woes, the brand just canceled its cheapest car, the Spark. And now there’s some more bad news coming from the Chevrolet Malibu corner. If you wanted to order Chevrolet’s last sedan this year, you’re out of luck.
You just missed your chance to order a new 2022 Chevrolet Malibu
Note, we said ‘order,’ not ‘buy,’ because the 2022 Chevrolet Malibu is still heading to US dealers. And once they arrive, you can buy them like any other car. However, while Malibu production is still going, the 2022-model-year order books are closed, MotorTrend reports. Thus, your only 2022 Malibu choices are what’s in stock at dealers.
This isn’t the first time in recent memory that Chevrolet curtailed Malibu production. The sedan production line ground to a halt in 2021 due to the chip shortages that swept the auto industry. However, while GM isn’t out of the microchip woods, the supply chain is slowly recovering. So, why halt 2022 Malibu orders?
Officially, Chevrolet says it “’received enough orders to fulfill the  model year,’” MT says. Fair enough, but the 2022 model year isn’t over yet—traditionally, the changeover happens in the summer and/or fall. Chevrolet could be working on some Malibu updates, though for reasons we’ll get into shortly, such tweaks likely won’t be drastic. Alternatively, GM could be sacrificing some models’ production runs to avoid the same situation Tesla recently found itself in, i.e., running out of parts.
Regardless, the 2022 Malibu order books are closed. As for the 2023 ones, well, it’s complicated.
The Chevrolet Malibu isn’t discontinued yet, but it’s not long for this world
As of this writing, Chevrolet hasn’t canceled the Malibu like it did the Spark, Impala, and Sonic. However, the writing’s on the wall for the brand’s sole remaining sedan.
For one, much like the Camaro, the Malibu isn’t selling well. Chevrolet sold 39,376 Malibus in 2021, roughly two-thirds less than it did in 2020, MT reports. Keep in mind, when Chevy launched the current-gen Malibu in 2016, it sold 227,881 examples. Also, MT suspects many of those 2021 sales came from fleet orders.
Secondly, Chevrolet doesn’t appear to have any concrete plans for another Malibu generation. In 2019, Automotive News mused that the 10th-gen sedan was coming in 2023, perhaps as an EV. Now, though, while AN claims a new Chevy electric sedan should arrive in 2025, that’s also when it says the Malibu will die. Furthermore, AN says that “no significant updates are expected for the Malibu” in the meantime.
So, if Chevy is working on some Malibu updates, they likely won’t be big ones. Also, the upcoming four-door electric Chevrolet is likely the Camaro successor. No wonder 2022 Malibu orders are closed—the sedan’s on its deathbed.
Is Chevy’s only sedan worth buying?
While the Malibu’s poor sales are likely tied somewhat to SUV, truck, and crossover popularity, they also might stem from its relative mediocrity.
No, the Chevrolet Malibu isn’t the worst sedan on sale today, or the most disappointing. It is reasonably priced, though, and MT appreciates its exterior styling. Plus, sitting in the 2022 Malibu RS on display at the Chicago Auto Show demonstrated how roomy its interior is.
However, non-Premier models’ 160-hp engines feel underpowered and their CVTs buzz at highway speeds. Also, while spacious, the RS’s interior is rather bland, and the seats aren’t particularly supportive. And though its infotainment is simple to use, overall, the Malibu has dated tech. It’s not particularly reliable, either.
Unless you had your heart set on the 2022 Malibu, it turns out you’re not missing much. But maybe 2023 will be different.
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