One of the most affordable midsize sedans on the market nowadays is the Chevrolet Malibu. The price point alone makes it more popular than most others in its class, but the safety ratings don’t hurt either. However, popularity doesn’t always mean it’s the best choice. When you analyze its competitors, does the Malibu actually beat them all out? Consumer Reports says that it doesn’t, and they explain why you should skip Chevy’s product in favor of the Subaru Legacy – the better car.
Chevy Malibu vs. Subaru Legacy in reliability
When it comes to reliability, the Chevy Malibu struggles. The model was plagued with problems since the first year of production, and the automaker hasn’t really resolved a good number of them. The Malibu has dealt with issues such as the engine, fuel system, suspension, brakes, and even body integrity.
The transmission has dealt a few blows, but overall, Chevy’s been able to fix them and keep it going strong. Because of all those problems, Consumer Reports gave the Malibu a two-out-of-five rating in predicted reliability.
The Subaru Legacy has seen a few problems over the years, but there’s nothing too major. The Legacy dealt with minor engine issues, some body integrity problems, and even some in-car electronics issues. Subaru had a minor exhaust problem, but it resolved the problem quickly, dwindling complaints about it to almost none. The Legacy’s predicted reliability from Consumer Reports is a four out of five, which is much higher than the Malibu’s.
Comparing the Malibu and Legacy’s seat comfort and interiors
The Chevy Malibu has three-out-of-five ratings for both seating comfort and interior fit and finish. The interior’s quality is pretty cheap and isn’t as durable as some of its competitors, but that’s probably where they decided to cut back to offer a cheaper price. The seats are far from being comfortable, but if you choose the leather seats, you might improve that a little.
The question is, though, will the leather seats be worth the extra money you would have to pay to get them? When it comes to technology, the Chevy Malibu has some great features like automatic emergency braking, blind-spot alert, and forward-collision warning. But, the problem is, they come as options. If you want them, just pay more for an upgraded package.
The Subaru Legacy is almost the complete opposite when it comes to quality for the interior. All interior accessories are of superior grade and are durable enough to last for quite a few years. As far as seat comfort goes, the Legacy has above-average seating, which makes long drives pleasant for both front and rear passengers.
The Subaru Legacy’s technological pieces are plenty for a standard package. With them, you get forward collision, automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-departure warning. The only optional feature is the blind spot alert system.
The Chevy Malibu vs. Subaru Legacy: driving experience
The Chevy Malibu has a nice classic styling that will impress anyone. However, it’s because of the exterior looks that the Malibu fails. As Consumer Reports explains in their road test summary, the styling hinders your visibility when driving. Windshield pillars prove to be too wide, while the side windows are shorter than what you get with competitors.
This makes your line of outward vision limited, hence the need for driver assistance features. They also didn’t care for how you access the inside of the car, describing the gymnastics routine they had to perform just to get into the driver’s seat.
The Subaru Legacy has slimmer roof pillars and nice big side windows that don’t obstruct your view in any way. The rear window, however, has a bit of a limited view with the back shelf located behind the rear seats. Getting into the car wasn’t too bad, and the driver’s seat sits a little low. Shorter drivers can still see over the dash pretty well, though.
When it comes to the midsize sedan class, the Chevy Malibu is an affordable option, but with its low reliability ratings and the shortcuts they took in the interior quality, the price isn’t worth it. Consumer Reports says to skip it instead of wasting your hard-earned money. The Subaru Legacy may cost more money, but it offers much more than what you would get with the Malibu.