A year ago, we tested out the then all new 2017 Chevrolet Malibu and we loved it. We loved it because it was reliable, practical and affordable. Now, new for 2018, we have a “Sport” variant which comes with Chevrolet’s powerful 2.0T which adds a lot of oomph to its pace as well as neat body kits to add some jazz on its style.
2018 Chevrolet Malibu Sport Review
While the 2.5L naturally aspirated variant still goes head to head against the industry standard such as the Camry, Altima and the Accord. The Malibu Sport 2.0T goes against the likes of Camry’s new Grande Sport and Accord 2.0T. At 250Hp the Malibu Sport matches power with that of the Accord 2.0T but loses out on torque, albeit slightly from that of the Camry Grande. But numbers don’t tell the whole story as we found out from the Accord which was lower in Hp from Camry but did not feel that way. The same goes for our 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Sport. It feels fast, no, it is fast!! We loved the 2.0T it shares with the GMC Terrain Denali and that was fast as well though it was significantly heavier than the Malibu.
What stands out in the Malibu Sport over its competitors is that it has blind spot monitors and auto parallel parking. The Japanese trio don’t offer that. Connectivity is also covered with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with usb ports.
The Malibu Sport gets the all black treatment, which in this case start with a blacked out Chevy bowtie. All grills and chrome bits are blacked out. It gets a sport body kit which includes aggressive front spoilers along with rear diffusers and exhaust ports. Blacked out rims, rear spoiler, blacked out lettering and side mirrors. The ride feel remains the same as the 2.5L variant and that’s a good thing because the suspension of the Malibu has an uncanny way of smoothening out even the toughest bumps we face on our everyday drive.
In fact I would go as far as saying that the Malibu rides the smoothest in its category, which has its pluses and minuses. You must be wondering what could be the negatives, well it does loose out the dynamism of driving, it’s hard to push the Malibu beyond certain speeds and maintain a decorum of stability. But maybe that’s not the point of this Malibu.
Yes, it does carry a sport badge but it’s more of a trim line. And I will tell you that it works for me. The midsize sedan segment is one of the hotly contested segment out there. This is a segment which moves the middle class, the life-force of any economy. And it’s value that they want, they want value and reliability and comfort and looks. The Malibu Sport ticks all those boxes. At AED 99,600 as tested it’s significantly cheaper than the Camry Grande and The Accord and though the interior is not as well built as its Japanese counterparts, it compensates it by added features that are useful for daily use. Remote start, ventilated seats and the fact that the car will self-lock once you walk away from it are those must have features that just makes life that much easier.
The segment dictates that the car should be friendly and the Malibu Sport is that. It is friendly, all the buttons are where you would expect it to be, and there are no eccentricities like the lack of a gear shifter such as the new Accord. It is a car that welcomes you into a familiar room. A space that is well adjusted for your needs. Isin’t that what one would expect from their daily ride? We think so too. The upkeep of the Malibu is affordable as well. With service internals of 10k kms and costing AED 466 for (10k, 30k, 50k, 70k & 90k), AED 618 for (20k, 40k, 80k & 100k) and AED 753 at 60k it is one of the lowest in its price category.
Like the Terrain Denali the 2.0T is the star of the whole package. Tis utterly smooth 4 banger loves to rev up and build up power linearly despite it being turbocharged thus making daily drive comfortable. The 6 speed automatic is always at the right gear and on the power band while shifting preference is set to super smooth. I loved the regular Malibu and this one just gets better. Its formula is simple. Chevrolet has set itself to give more to its customers by improving those aspects of the car that would directly benefit its customers.
Price and Specs: 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Sport Review
|2018 Chevrolet Malibu Sport Review|
|Displacement||2.0L, Inline 4, turbocharged|
|Gearbox||6 Speed Automatic|
|Rated Output||250 Hp|
|Rated Torque||352 Nm|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||6.2 seconds claimed|
|Fuel Consumption||11.2L/100KMS Combined as tested|
|Price (AED)*||As tested AED 99,600|
|Price as tested (AED)*||118,360 with radar guided cruise control and navigation|
*Price is inclusive of 5% VAT
Images by Arnab Saha: 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Sport Review