With customers increasingly choosing SUVs and trucks over sedans, some automakers have cut sedans out of their lineups. Ford, for example, is down to just one passenger car that isn’t a Mustang. And Ford isn’t the only US automaker paring down its sedan offerings. GM hasn’t always been the best brand shepard; not even Chevy is immune to potentially bad decisions. So, although the Camaro continues to loom large, does Chevrolet still offer a sedan?
Chevrolet’s current sedan lineup
As of this writing, Chevrolet offers three sedans. Soon, though, only one will be left.
Chevrolet previously offered several sedans: the compact Sonic, subcompact Cruze, the midsize Malibu, the larger Impala, and the PHEV Volt. However, following the closing and sale of GM’s Lordstown, Ohio plant—partly responsible for the UAW strikes—the Cruze was canceled after the 2019 model year. The Volt, too, was discontinued after 2019 MY, with Business Insider reported was directly due to rising customer demand for SUV.
In addition, although the 2020 Impala is still listed online, the large Chevrolet sedan is also officially canceled. Car and Driver reported that Impala production would cease in Q4 2019, although Forbes claimed the date was pushed back to January 2020. Regardless, the Impala is dead, leaving the Malibu and Sonic as the only Chevrolet sedans.
Chevrolet Malibu specs
The Malibu lineup is easily a match for the Fusion’s, though. The standard engine is a 160-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, with the Premier trim getting a 250-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. However, unlike the Ford, Chevrolet’s sedan is front-wheel drive only. But there is a hybrid Malibu, which Car and Driver reports can run up to 55 mph in electric-only mode.
The Chevy Malibu range goes from the base L model ($22,970) to the range-topping Premier ($34,195). The hybrid Malibu is treated as an LT model, one step below the Premier. However, Motor Trend reports that even the base L gets Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. But, to get advanced driver-assist features like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert requires stepping up to at least the LT model, and adding the $545 Driver Confidence package. The $1095 Driver Confidence II package adds automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and forward-collision warning.
Car and Driver reports that the Malibu’s interior is comfortable at all trims, although lower-level models are hampered by lack of features. But the Chevrolet sedan’s ride was rated as excellent. That’s partly why Kelley Blue Book put the Malibu on its ‘most comfortable cars under $30,000’ list.
Although the Malibu didn’t win Car and Driver’s last midsize sedan comparison, reviewers noted the Malibu was no longer an afterthought, but a serious alternative to cars like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. MT recommends the stronger 2.0-liter models, or the hybrid, which achieved 44 mpg in Car and Driver’s testing, the same as the Camry hybrid.
That being said, Consumer Reports found the Chevy Malibu’s reliability to be below-average and does not recommend the sedan.
Chevrolet Sonic specs
Now that the Ford Fiesta is dead, the Sonic isn’t just the only compact Chevrolet sedan, it’s the only compact sedan offered by Detroit. It’s also the only such hatchback. Perhaps that’s why the Sonic has seen recent sales growth.
It helps that the Sonic is an inexpensive new car. The cheapest version, the LS sedan, starts at $16,720. After that are the $18,620 LT and $20,720 Premier sedans. The hatchbacks are only available in LT and Premier trims. The only engine is a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 138 hp. That’s enough to let the small sedan keep up with the Honda Fit and Kia Rio in Car and Driver’s testing. However, although the Sonic achieved 31 mpg in Car and Driver’s tests, the Fit and Rio both saw over 40 mpg.
Inside, however, the Sonic does make up some ground. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard across the board, as is Bluetooth, and a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot. Car and Driver found the interior fairly spacious for a compact car and has a comfortable ride. In fact, at speed, the Sonic was as quiet as a Mercedes E-Class. However, the Honda Fit has more cargo space, and ADAS features like lane-departure and forward-collision warning are optional, and then only on the LT and Premier models.
MT ranked competitors like the Hyundai Accent, Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, and Kia Rio above the Chevy Sonic. And although CR reported the Sonic’s reliability as average, it did not receive a recommendation.
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