Top Safety Pick

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited

midsize car / 4-door sedan

Award applies only to vehicles with optional front crash prevention and available only to fleets

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited 4-door sedan

Crashworthiness

Rating overview
Small overlap front: driver-side
Moderate overlap front
Side
Roof strength
Head restraints & seats

Crash avoidance & mitigation

Headlights (varies by trim/option)
Front crash prevention
Optional system
Basic

Child seat anchors

LATCH ease of use

Key

  • G
    Good
  • A
    Acceptable
  • M
    Marginal
  • P
    Poor
  • Superior
  • Advanced
  • Basic

Some ratings use a scale of Poor to Good. Others range from Basic to Superior.

Small overlap front: driver-side

Rating applies to 2016 models

Tested vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Malibu 1LT 4-door

The Chevrolet Malibu was redesigned for the 2013 model year. Beginning with 2014 models, the front structure and door sill were modified to improve occupant protection in small overlap frontal crashes.

For the 2016 model year only, the Malibu was renamed the Malibu Limited and sold when new only to fleets. The Malibu Limited shares no ratings with the redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Malibu.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Hip/thigh
Lower leg/foot
Restraints and dummy kinematics

Action shot taken during the small overlap frontal crash test.

The dummy's position in relation to the door frame, steering wheel, and instrument panel after the crash test indicates that the driver's survival space was maintained very well.

The frontal and side curtain airbags worked well together to keep the head from coming close to any stiff structure or outside objects that could cause injury.

Intrusion into the driver's space was minimal, and risk of injuries to the dummy's legs and feet was low.

Moderate overlap front

Rating applies to 2016 models

Tested vehicle: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco 4-door

The Chevrolet Malibu was redesigned for the 2013 model year. For the 2016 model year only, the Malibu was renamed the Malibu Limited and sold when new only to fleets. The Malibu Limited shares no ratings with the redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Malibu.

Moderate overlap frontal ratings are assigned by the Institute based on a test conducted by General Motors as part of frontal crash test verification.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Leg/foot, left
Leg/foot, right
Restraints and dummy kinematics

Side

Rating applies to 2016 models

Tested vehicle: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco 4-door with standard front and rear head curtain airbags and standard front seat-mounted torso airbags

The Chevrolet Malibu was redesigned for the 2013 model year. Initially, only the Eco model (a hybrid with a gasoline engine and an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery) was available in the new design. Other Malibu models with conventional powertrains were introduced later, when side torso airbags for rear seat occupants were made standard (they had been optional earlier). All Malibu models built after July 2012 have the standard rear side torso airbags. (Information about when a specific vehicle was manufactured is on the certification label typically affixed to the car on the driver door or adjacent B-pillar.)

Two tests of the Malibu Eco were initially conducted, one by the Institute and one by General Motors as part of side crash test verification. Neither car had the optional rear side torso airbags. A third test, this time of a Malibu LTZ with the standard rear side torso airbags, was then conducted by General Motors. Rear seat dummy torso injury measures improved for the third car, but each of the three tests produced good injury ratings for the rear seat dummies. Therefore, the ratings below are based on all three tests. Specifications and photos are provided for the Institute test car.

For the 2016 model year only, the Malibu was renamed the Malibu Limited and sold when new only to fleets. The Malibu Limited shares no ratings with the redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Malibu.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Head protection
Rear passenger injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Head protection

View of the vehicle and barrier just after the Institute's crash test.

View of the vehicle after the crash with doors removed, showing the side airbags and damage to the occupant compartment.

Smeared greasepaint shows where the driver dummy's head was protected from being hit by hard structures by the side curtain airbag in the Institute's test.

Smeared greasepaint shows where the rear passenger dummy’s head was protected by the side airbag.

Roof strength

Rating applies to 2016 models

Tested vehicle: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco 4-door

Overall evaluation
Curb weight 3,583 lbs
Peak force 18,721 lbs
Strength-to-weight ratio 5.22

Head restraints & seats

Rating applies to 2016 models

Seat type: Manual power cloth seat

Overall evaluation
Dynamic rating
Seat/head restraint geometry

Front crash prevention

System details

  • Optional Forward Collision Alert

Package name

  • Optional Advanced Safety Package

Applies to 2016 models

Overall evaluation

  • This system meets the requirements for forward collision warning.
  • Autobrake not available.
Basic
Basic
with optional equipment

How front crash prevention is evaluated

Headlights

Ratings are given for 2 different headlight variations available on this vehicle.

Trim level(s)

  • LT trim
  • LTZ trim
Low-beam headlight type Halogen projector
High-beam headlight type Halogen reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
High-beam assist? No
Overall rating

Low beams
On the straightaway, visibility was inadequate on both sides of the road. On curves, visibility was inadequate in all 4 tests.

The low beams never exceeded glare limits.

High beams
On the straightaway, visibility was good on the right side of the road and fair on the left side. On curves, visibility was inadequate in all 4 tests.

Trim level(s)

  • LS trim
Low-beam headlight type Halogen reflector
High-beam headlight type Halogen reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
High-beam assist? No
Overall rating

Low beams
On the straightaway, visibility was inadequate on both sides of the road. On curves, visibility was inadequate in all 4 tests.

The low beams never exceeded glare limits.

High beams
On the straightaway, visibility was good on the left side of the road and fair on the right side. On curves, visibility was inadequate in all 4 tests.

How headlights are evaluated

Child seat anchors

Applies to 2016 models

Overall evaluation
Vehicle trim 1LT
Seat type leather

This vehicle has 2 rear seating positions with complete child seat attachment (LATCH) hardware.

It has 1 additional seating position with a tether anchor, a single lower anchor and the ability to borrow the second anchor from another position.

Note: When anchors are borrowed, they aren't available to use in their designated positions.

1 2 3
G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor
Seating positions that rely on borrowed lower anchors or have only a tether anchor available are not rated.
thether anchor symbol
Tether anchor
lower anchor symbol
Lower anchors
shared lower achors symbol
Lower anchor(s) can be borrowed from adjacent positions(s)
No hardware available

Details by seating position

1
Tether anchor
easy-to-find location
no other hardware could be confused for anchor
Lower anchors
too deep in seat
not too much force needed to attach
easy to maneuver around anchors
2
Tether anchor
easy-to-find location
no other hardware could be confused for anchor
Lower anchors
1 dedicated anchor and 1 that can be borrowed from seat 3
too deep in seat
not too much force needed to attach
easy to maneuver around anchors
3
Tether anchor
easy-to-find location
no other hardware could be confused for anchor
Lower anchors
too deep in seat
not too much force needed to attach
easy to maneuver around anchors

How child seat anchors are evaluated