Those who are coming to Jim Butler of St. Louis looking for sedans admittedly have a throng of options to choose from, and we have every reason to steer them towards what we feel their best choice is. There are some “very real headwinds”, as the folks at Autoblog write, facing the Malibu as crossover SUVs are dominating much of the landscape, and the fittest of sedans are forced to offer the best and most practical in features and sensibility to satisfy buyers. The RS Trim Level is where customers are really expressing their satisfaction, with its black grille, blacked-out bowtie badge, unique 18-inch alloy wheels, and dual-outlet exhaust take a firm and direct aim at competitors such as the Accord Sport and Passat R-Line.
The six-speed auto is left behind for a brand new CVT, and the engine remains a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four, sticking around as a very suitable option for this car’s particular notches in the size and weight department. Much larger upper and lower openings are filled with a distorted-diamond mesh, and improvements made to the low-beam lighting force some elements to move down nicely, with a bit less busy brightwork at hand. In the back, dual exhaust tips poke out from a heavily-revised lower fascia, replacing the tucked tips hidden behind the old Malibu’s bumper skin.
Knowledgeable writer Alex Kierstein laments that the car is not terribly heavy, so the 1.5-Liter works just fine here as the power source. The power handling itself, ride, and delivery feels able, firm, and exciting, well evoking a pleasantness that you’ll be eager to step into for your daily drive. The continuously variable transmission is destined to improve efficiency, and the damping easily smooths out smaller imperfections on the highway. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, and a Wi-Fi hotspot with embedded navigation are available on the higher trim levels.
The Infotainment 3 system improves upon last year’s design to make it even easier to use, and ample head, as well as legroom and 15.8 feet of cargo space in the trunk, are all great reasons to pick the Malibu as your next choice for a vehicle. Come to check out how space and added loads of new technology are prime assets of the new Malibu, and can shed 300 pounds from the car’s curb weight. The real heart and soul of the RS is the ways in which it ups the ante in sportiness, and provides extras like a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Rear vision backup camera now comes standard, and just like the 2018 Chevy Malibu, we absolutely expect next year’s version to receive a perfect safety rating from the NHTSA. This means that every time you hit the road, you and your family can expect class-leading protection, with the Driver Confidence II Package adding forward collision warning, and front pedestrian braking.