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Consumers are hungry for new 2021 sedans. The equipment is expected to be better, performance capabilities more impressive, and styling more unique. The 2021 Chevy Malibu is one such midsize sedan with much anticipation.

But some of the critic sentiments are already coming out, and the Malibu may be falling short before it even lands on the showroom floor. It is a solid contender in the space, but this newest model may only be good enough to warrant consideration. And no one wants to feel “meh” about their new car, do they?

What’s new to report for the 2021 Chevy Malibu?

Consumers can expect the 2021 Chevy Malibu to look much like its 2020 predecessor, according to CarIndigo. There will continue to be five trim levels: L, LS, RS, LT, and the Premier. But new this year is a Sport appearance package and a new Cherry Red Tintcoat.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connection tech are now standard across all versions. And the Buckle to Drive safety feature that disallows the car to engage in drive if the seat belt isn’t fastened is now also standard across all trims.

What the Chevy Malibu continues to get right

The 2021 Chevy Malibu may not have much to brag about in the way of updates, but it still gets a few things right. The base engine, which is a 1.5-liter with CVT gets incredible fuel economy. Malibu buyers can achieve an impressive 36 mpg on the highway.

Also, the standard infotainment system is getting great reviews for its ease of use. Higher-level trims will bring some of the best driver assistance features and the option of a 250 horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine too. The 2021 Malibu styling is still handsome, and the ride will still be comfortable.

Where some say the Chevy Malibu falls short

Based on some of the reviews already being offered, the 2021 Chevy Malibu isn’t offering anything inspirational. For example, the base engine, which is notable for its fuel economy, is, to AutoTrader, “satisfactory at best.”

Others point out the disappointment of paying for higher-level trims to get those advanced driver aids that other sedans are offering as standard. Another minor setback is the Malibu is not offering an all-wheel drive version, a configuration that is showing up more and more in this midsize car segment. And there’s not a hybrid variation either.

A healthy selection of top-notch competitors

While the 2021 Chevy Malibu is expected to be a good car, some buyers may find better options and value among its competitors. Others in this space include the Honda Accord and the Kia K5. It may be hard to compete with the Toyota Camry or the Nissan Altima, especially if AWD is important.

Many of these cars offer a hybrid variation for increased fuel economy or a better roster of safety features and driver assistance aids as standard equipment. In a way, the Malibu is worth a look, but may not feel like it’s bringing its A-game.

Ultimately, the 2021 Chevy Malibu is definitely worth a look and even a test drive. But according to some of the critic sentiments so far, that’s about all it earns. There just isn’t much to write home about for the newest Malibu.

It’s good, but compared to others in the space, it can be viewed as a mediocre offering. You could be essentially buying a 2020 Malibu, considering the few upgrades to report. But in the end, Malibu enthusiasts will have plenty to love. As always, it’s a personal preference that will determine whether or not the bow tie sedan finds its way into your garage.


You Should Ignore the 2020 VW Passat and Chevrolet Malibu in the Midsize Class