Cars

How Reliable Is the Chevy Malibu?

The 2020 Chevy Malibu is one of the most affordable midsize cars on the market. Reviews have focused on the Malibu’s comfortable ride, sleek exterior, and well-tuned suspension.

These reviews haven’t focused on the 2020 Malibu’s reliability. Because the car is a new model, there isn’t enough data to judge its reliability. However, by looking at data from the last few model years, we can see that there have been problems with reliability in the past.

How to check reliability on a 2020 Chevy Malibu

Because the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu has been released to the public for less than a year, most vehicles are in good shape. Since reliability issues often occur several years after purchase, it is hard to know how reliable the 2020 Malibu will be. 

However, we can get an idea from looking at the reliability of the past few model years. The Malibu last went through a major redesign in 2016. Since then, there have only been slight modifications. As a result, by examining the reliability of models from 2016 to the present, we can get an idea of the reliability of the 2020 Malibu.

Consumer Reports reliability rankings for the Chevy Malibu

One way of checking the reliability is by looking at Consumer Reports’ reliability rankings. Consumer Reports has some of the most comprehensive data on a car’s reliability. 

Each year, Consumer Reports sends detailed questionnaires to their members about any vehicles they may own. These questionnaires cover 17 different trouble spots and ask their members to report any problems they had with the vehicle over the last 12 months. In 2019, they received reports from members on over 420,000 vehicles.

Cars are ranked on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. Cars ranked two or one have problems seen on at least of three percent or more of vehicles surveyed. When there are problems with major mechanical components of the Malibu, Consumer Reports adjusts their reliability rankings to take them into account.

Based on the past few years, Consumer Reports gives the 2020 Malibu an expected reliability rating of two out of five. This ranking is consistent with the last few years, where the 2016 and 2018 models both have a ranking of one out of five and the 2017 model has a ranking of two out of five. 

Consumer Reports explains that these rankings don’t mean that every car will suffer from these problems, but that a higher percentage of vehicles will need repairs. 

The poor ranking for the last few years comes from several different problems. In 2016, the most complaints came from major problems with the fuel system. In 2017, problems arose with several transmission components. Finally in 2018, there was criticism about the Malibu’s drive system and over 177,276 vehicles were recalled for software problems that kept the vehicle from accelerating.

Edmunds.com customer reviews

Customer reviews from Edmunds.com show similar problems with the Chevy Malibu. In the 2018 model, car owners commented on a variety of mechanical problems.

One owner said that she needed to bring her Malibu for mechanical issues and acceleration problems within five months of purchase. Several other owners mentioned that the vehicle would not accelerate or take several seconds to start accelerating.

2017 reviews listed similar problems. One reviewer complained that he had to take the car to his mechanic eleven times in twelve months. Another said they took it six times for repairs in the first two years of owning the car.

By looking at the Consumer Reports reliability rankings and customer reviews from Edmunds.com, we can see that there is a good chance that the 2020 Malibu may have reliability issues over its lifespan. While this isn’t the only factor to consider when buying a new car, it definitely is something all car buyers should consider when shopping for a 2020 Malibu.