The Chevy Malibu Is Trending in the Right Direction in 2023
It’s been rumored as of late the Chevy Malibu is destined for the chopping block, though that hasn’t yet panned out, with the bowtie brand offering the model at least through the 2024 model year. Chevrolet hasn’t given any credence to the rumors its last remaining sedan is singing its swan song, and even if the Malibu is destined to be discontinued, the automaker might want to reconsider its stance given the recent rise in popularity of the model among buyers.
Chevy Malibu sales are growing in 2023
Sedans are no longer the de-facto choice for families or commuters amid the rise in popularity across all SUV segments, but Chevy’s sole sedan is striking a chord among buyers, according to sales data from GoodCarBadCar.
Chevy sold 33,280 Malibu models in the third quarter of this year, up from 21,631 models sold in Q3 of 2022 – an increase of 53.8 percent. It stands to reason that better supply could be a major factor in the Malibu’s increased sales, but it remains an impressive increase, nonetheless.
The Malibu’s rising popularity is more notable when its sales are compared to some of its rivals. Though models like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry are still garnering far more buyers than the Malibu, those models and other midsize sedans aren’t matching the sales increases of the Chevy.
For example, Camry sales were down 16 percent in Q3 versus last year. The Malibu outsold the Nissan Altima in the third quarter by about 4,000 units, even with the Altima’s Q3 sales slightly up this year. Meanwhile, annual sales of the Hyundai Sonata are off the pace by about 10 percent for 2023, slightly worse than a six-percent drop for the Kia K5. Subaru has sold about 22,000 Legacy models through October, a 19-percent increase over the first 10 months of 2022.
The Honda Accord sales are booming, but its 37-percent increase in Q3 sales is still below the Malibu’s quarterly sales jump from 2022 figures.
What is drawing buyers to the Malibu?
The Chevy Malibu’s sales successes recently aren’t a result of a radical update. The model hasn’t been significantly overhauled since 2019 and is certainly more aged than many of its counterparts.
However, the Malibu does have a set of strengths, and at the dealership, that starts with its price. The 2024 Malibu starts at $26,195 with destination, making it among the most affordable midsize sedans available. Some buyers may also appreciate the Malibu’s simplistic lineup. It’s available in four trims, but all are powered by the same 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder developing 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque.
Of course, some could appreciate the simplistic layout of the Malibu’s interior, and it wears attractive bodywork that could appeal to shoppers who want less exterior flash than, say, the Kia K5 or Hyundai Sonata.
It remains to be seen if the Malibu will live on even with its recent rise in popularity among car shoppers, but its recent sales certainly make a case for Chevrolet sticking with its last sedan even as the automaker eyes its electric future and continues its focus on SUVs.