Although buyers across the U.S. are beginning to favor SUVs, the fuel efficiency and improved driving dynamics of midsize cars make them well worth your consideration. But while these vehicles have many perks, some of them — like the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu — fall just a bit short. In fact, the Malibu ranks dead last on Kelley Blue Book’s list of 2020’s best midsize cars. So what exactly are its pros and cons — and which midsize cars should you consider instead?
Where the 2020 Chevrolet Malibu falls short
KBB is quick to point out that while the Chevy Malibu did manage to make it onto the list of best midsize cars, its crash-test performance isn’t ideal. The NHTSA gives the Malibu’s rear seat just three stars in the combined side barrier and pole tests.
Additionally, the Malibu only received a rating of 3.9 stars from KBB consumers. While it does have some benefits, it falls short in a number of key areas. It has no all-wheel-drive option, and many advanced driver-assist features that come standard on its rivals — such as adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking — are only available on the more expensive Chevy Malibu trims.
KBB also notes that this vehicle doesn’t have the best resale value, trailing far behind competitors such as the Honda Accord and Subaru Legacy. Given that it lacks a number of standard features and isn’t notably affordable to begin with, the Malibu has little to make up for its low resale value.
Does the Chevy Malibu have any redeeming qualities?
Related: How Reliable Is the Chevy Malibu?
Although the Chevrolet Malibu has quite a few flaws, it still managed to make the KBB list of 2020’s best midsize cars — so what exactly does it get right?
Firstly, the Malibu’s sleek design is attractive and easily identifiable as a Chevy, making it a nice option for anyone who particularly likes this automaker. While it does have large 19-inch wheels, this vehicle actually has a decent suspension that makes for a smooth, pleasant ride, even on bumpy roads.
KBB also praises the spacious interior of the Malibu, describing it as “attractive and modern.” It has an intuitive infotainment system, sturdy materials, and comfortable seats. And while it may not have the same standard features as many of its competitors, the base model is by no means sparse – its features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a rear-vision camera.
Other vehicles to consider
However, despite the upsides of the Chevy Malibu, there are other similarly priced vehicles that don’t come with a laundry list of flaws. The Subaru Legacy, for example, ranks significantly higher than the Malibu on KBB’s list. With a starting price of $22,745 (compared to the Malibu’s $22,095), the Legacy doesn’t cost significantly more. It also holds its value much better than the Malibu, offers all-wheel drive, and provides maximum crash protection — essentially, it does everything the Malibu doesn’t.
With a marginally higher starting price of $22,995, the Volkswagen Passat is another decent option with a higher rating than the Chevy Malibu. KBB praises the comfort levels and performance of this vehicle, describing it as “a full-size car at a midsize price.”
While midsize cars may be smaller than some of the popular SUV alternatives, they do offer quite a few benefits. Their secure, private cargo spaces and low centers of gravity make midsize cars an excellent option if you don’t need the extra room offered by an SUV. However, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want before you make your choice — and unfortunately, the 2020 Chevy Malibu doesn’t quite deliver.