The All-New 2016 Malibu

Completely redesigned from the ground up, the 2016 Malibu midsize sedan (VIN Z) boasts new styling, advanced safety technologies and a variety of connectivity features.


The new Malibu is available in L, LS, LT and Premier (Fig. 1) trim levels. A Hybrid model will be available later this spring.


F01 Malibu 1

Fig. 1


Although 300 pounds (136 kg) lighter than its predecessor, the Malibu’s wheelbase is four inches (102 mm) longer, creating more interior space. An important goal was to make the Malibu the most mass-efficient car in its class, with the mass savings spread throughout the vehicle. The increased use of aluminum in the vehicle, such as an aluminum hood that is 5.6 lbs. (2.5 kg) lighter than the current model’s aluminum hood and more aluminum chassis and suspension components, deliver weight savings. This provides a greater overall balance between a more responsive driving experience and efficient operation, resulting in increased fuel efficiency.


Turbocharged Engines


An all-new Ecotec 1.5L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine (RPO LFV) (Fig. 2) serves as the Malibu’s standard engine and is part of a new global family of small-displacement gas engines designed with greater power density to deliver performance and efficiency. It produces 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to the Hydra-Matic 6T40 6-speed automatic transmission (RPO MNH).


F02 1.5 engine

Fig. 2


The available 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine (RPO LTG) (Fig. 3) offers a higher degree of performance while maintaining efficiency, generating 250 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is paired with the Aisin AF50 8-speed automatic transmission (RPO MRC).


F03 2.0 engine

Fig. 3


TIP: Premium fuel is recommended with the 2.0L engine but not required. When towing, use only unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 89 or higher. Using gasoline with a lower octane rating while towing may damage the engine.


Both engines feature a DOHC design with continuously variable valve timing, high-pressure direct injection, coil-on-plug ignition and electronic throttle control.


Along with fuel-saving Stop/Start technology that temporarily turns off the 1.5L engine when the Malibu comes to a stop, the vehicle employs active grille shutters that enhance aerodynamics when cooling and A/C loads are relatively low and high levels of front-end airflow are not required. If greater airflow is needed, the grille system opens one or both shutters. The actuators are powered by an ignition circuit that is active when the key is in the Run position. The vehicle may have to be driven for up to 13 minutes at speeds greater than 25 mph (40 km/h) before a shutter begins to move. If low ambient temperature is detected, the shutters will remain in the closed position.


TIP: Vehicles with active grille shutters cannot be dinghy towed.


Preview: Hybrid Engine/Drive Unit


The upcoming Malibu Hybrid will deliver an exceptional level of fuel efficiency — an estimated 47 mpg combined — with an all-new powertrain that uses technology from the 2016 Volt. A direct-injection 1.8L 4-cylinder engine is mated to a two-motor drive unit (slightly modified from the Volt unit) to power the Malibu Hybrid. (Fig. 4) The drive unit provides additional power to assist the engine during acceleration for 182 horsepower of total system power.

F04 1.8 unit

Fig. 4


The Malibu Hybrid’s engine also will feature Chevrolet’s first application of Exhaust Gas Heat Recovery (EGHR) technology, which uses exhaust heat to warm the engine and cabin. EGHR improves engine warm-up and ensures consistent fuel economy performance in cold weather.


An 80-cell, 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack (Fig. 5) provides electric power to the hybrid system and can propel the Malibu Hybrid up to 55 miles per hour (89 km/h) on electricity alone. The gas-powered engine activates automatically at higher speeds and higher loads to provide more power.


The high voltage battery pack and drive unit will be on exchange when the model is introduced. Contact the Technical Assistance Center if any conditions are found with these systems.


F05 battery pack

Fig. 5


In addition to the drive unit, the Malibu Hybrid shares the Volt’s blended regenerative braking system, which provides maximum kinetic energy recovery during braking to help maintain the battery charge.




The Bosch ABS 9.0 brake system’s Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM) and Brake Pressure Modulator Valve are serviced separately. The modulator valve employs a four-circuit configuration to control hydraulic pressure to each wheel independently. Vehicle performance enhancement systems include ABS, Electronic Stability Control (RPO FX3), Hill Start Assist and Traction Control.


Safety Technologies


The safety features on the all-new Malibu are many. These features assist drivers on the road as well as when parking the vehicle. The available safety technologies include:

• Rear Vision Camera

• Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator

• Intelligent Brake Assist

• Forward Automatic Braking

• Front Pedestrian Braking

• Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning

• Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert

• Automatic Parking Assist

• Front and Rear Parking Assist

• Rear Cross Traffic Alert

• Adaptive Cruise Control

• IntelliBeam Headlamps

• Hill Start Assist



Chevrolet MyLink and Infotainment Options


The Chevrolet MyLink system is now standard on the LS, LT and Premier trims. The Malibu offers four different infotainment options with availability based on model and packages. (Fig. 6)


F06 Malibu 2

Fig. 6


New connectivity features that are available include:

• OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi

• Wireless phone charging

• Chevrolet MyLink with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility

• Teen Driver, which allows parents to view their kids’ driving statistics, such as maximum speed, warning alerts and more



The all-new Teen Driver feature — available with the 8-inch MyLink radio — allows parents to restrict certain vehicle functions, such as radio volume, to support safer driving. The system is activated based on the key used and gathers driving statistics, such as maximum speed, warning alerts, distance driven, overspeed warnings, Forward Collision Alerts, Forward Collision Avoidance Braking and Stability Control activations, viewable via a Report Card. (Fig. 7)


F07 Malibu 3

Fig. 7


When the vehicle is started with a registered key, the Driver Information Center (DIC) displays a message that Teen Driver is active.


Special Tools


The Aisin AF50-8 transmission special tools will be shipped to dealers in June 2016 after the warranty exchange period.


Chevrolet dealerships received special tools earlier this year for the Spark and Volt that are applicable to the 1.5L turbocharged engine (RPO LFV).


For additional information on the all-new 2016 Malibu, refer to Bulletin #15-NA-085.


– Thanks to Dallas Walton and Sherman Dixon



Bulletin Review – February 2015
New GM Accessories Information Center Website

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