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2015 Chevrolet Malibu Preview

What will change? Probably not much. Chevrolet-parent General Motors redesigned this midsize sedan for the 2013 model year. Then it freshened it for 2014 with slightly updated sheetmetal and other revisions designed to address the car’s most glaring shortcomings, including tight rear seating.

Why wait for the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu? To say that you have a 2015 Chevrolet Malibu rather than a 2014. Normally a car receives an exterior and interior freshening two to three model years after it is introduced or redesigned. GM invested big bucks to make these “mid-cycle” changes after just one model year. As such, any updates to the 2015 model will likely be limited to new paint colors and minor revisions to equipment availability.

Why buy a 2014 Chevrolet Malibu? Because you wanted to hold off on purchasing a 2013 Malibu after reading complaints about the car’s uninspired driving dynamics and subpar rear-seat room and comfort. The 2014 model boasts improved rear knee room, a redesigned center console for more small-items storage, revised suspension tuning that’s supposed to give a more balanced ride/handling combination, added safety equipment, and more torque for the car’s optional turbocharged engine. Purchasing a 2014 Malibu will also help you avoid the inevitable price increases that will accompany the 2015s.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

2015 Chevrolet Malibu Styling

Just one model year after its redesign, Chevrolet made some alterations to the 2014 Malibu’s exterior styling. We expect those revisions to carry over into 2015 with no additional changes. The car’s front fascia sports design cues from the 2014 Chevrolet Impala full-size sedan. The brand’s trademark “dual-port” grille is present on the Malibu, as are a set of four rear taillights inspired by the sporty Camaro.

2015 Chevrolet Malibu mechanical

The 2015 Malibu will again have front-wheel drive and likely reprise two engines. Standard on most variants will be a 196-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder that incorporates an engine stop/start system. This is designed to save fuel by shutting down the gasoline engine at a stop sign or traffic light and automatically restarting it when the driver’s foot releases the brake pedal. Available on some Malibu’s higher end trim levels is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 259 horsepower. All 2015 Malibus should retain a six-speed automatic transmission as standard.

2015 Chevrolet Malibu fuel economy

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu should see no change in its EPA estimated fuel-economy ratings over the 2014 model. Expect the 2.5-liter with the stop/start setup to rate 25/36/29 city/highway/combined and the 2.0-liter 21/30/24.

2015 Chevrolet Malibu features

Malibu should return in base LS, volume LT, and top-line LTZ trim levels. Expect Chevrolet to separate the LT into 1LT, 2LT, and 3LT variants while the LTZ will be sub-divided into 1LZ and 2LZ versions. Depending on which model you select, you’ll be able to choose from features such as dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry with pushbutton engine start, leather upholstery with heated front seats, rearview camera, and Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system with Bluetooth phone connectivity. Available safety features will include side blind-spot alert, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alert.

QUICK HITS: If you’re a Malibu owner with an Apple iPhone 4S or later with iOS 6 or 7, you’ll be able to use your car’s Siri digital assistant in Eyes Free mode to make voice-activated phone calls, play music in your iTunes library, listen to and compose text messages to anyone in your contacts list, and create appointments in your calendar. Eyes Free works in conjunction with Chevrolet’s MyLink touchscreen infotainment system.

2015 Chevrolet Malibu prices

Expect the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu to range in price from about $24,000-$32,000, including destination fee, depending upon which trim level you select. The LT variants will likely be the most popular with retail customers. Options will push sticker prices for these models to somewhere around $29,000-$32,000.

2015 Chevrolet Malibu competitors

Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry

Chevrolet Malibu Photo Gallery

About Ed Piotrowski

Ed Piotrowski has more than a decade of experience as a community and automotive journalist. As a former editor for Consumer Guide Automotive, he wrote new car news and reviews for the publication's magazine and website. He served as the lead editor of Consumer Guide's auto show coverage, managed its short- and long-term vehicle test fleet, and made regular appearances on a suburban Chicago radio station. He is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association where he served as the lodging logistics manager for the organization's annual Spring Collection road rally. Ed writes from Chicago's northwest suburbs.

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