2022 Chevrolet Malibu

2022 Chevrolet Malibu review: yup, it’s every bit as bland as you think it is

There is a lot that I really like about the 2022 Chevy Malibu. There’s also a lot that I don’t like. It’s basically the kind of car that I love to hate.

  • On one hand, it’s the perfect highway cruiser. It’s fairly quick in a straight line, it tracks dead straight, and the ride quality is good enough to satisfy grandpas everywhere (even the ones who complain about everything).
  • On the other hand, it’s easily the most soulless (and boring) car that I’ve driven in a very long time. I had no idea he was possible to make a car this bland – but Chevy succeeded magnificently.
2022 chevrolet malibu in beige
Scott behind the wheel of a 2022 chevrolet malibu
“WTF did I just do?!” Yup, whether I like it or not, this 2022 Chevrolet Malibu is going to be my rental car for the weekend.

My full review of the 2022 Chevrolet Malibu

Don’t give me wrong. The 2022 Malibu is a darn good car. As you read through this review, keep in mind that the only real criticism that I have about it is how stinkin’ bland it is. That’s it. It does everything that a somewhat affordable midsize sedan should do (and it does it fairly well).

Exterior styling and design

I might as well start with the worst thing first. It’s not that the Malibu is ugly. Hardly. The issue I have with the exterior styling is the fact that it’s very clear that the designers didn’t dare take any chances. It’s as if they were told to pen the most sterile car possible. They nailed it.

2022 chevrolet malibu exterior
I mean, it’s not terrible. It’s also not very spicy either.
2022 chevrolet malibu mirror spoiler decklid
Some details (such as the rear spoiler integrated into the trunk) look really nice. There are some nice design elements if you look hard enough!

I actually like the sloping roofline. The hard creases in the lower (and upper) body sections or nice. The tapered rear end results in an unfortunately narrow trunk opening, but it looks good IMHO.

2022 chevrolet malibu a sloping roofline
Sloping roofline for the win! A daring choice for such a bland sedan, but I’m sending a virtual fist bump to the design team for making it happen.

Remember when General Motors used to produce the worst looking cars on the planet? My old 1983 Pontiac 6000 was essentially the 1980s version of the 2022 Malibu. It’s nice to see that they’ve learned from past mistakes – and are actually making an effort to build decent looking cars these days.

2022 chevrolet malibu front grill
This actually looks good! The front grill has enough detail to it to qualify as “personality’ IMHO.
2022 chevrolet malibu headlights
Those are some sinister looking headlights. On a side note, how much you wanna bet that this is the first time that the word ‘sinister’ has ever been used in a Chevy Malibu review?
Exterior pictures of the 2022 Chevrolet Malibu in beige metallic

Interior styling and design

“Swoopy” was the word that came to mind as I opened the door and sat down inside of the 2022 Malibu for the first time. From the door cards to the dashboard, I’m talking aggressively swoopy. There’s not a straight line anywhere in the interior (which I find peculiar considering the Malibu is targeted towards an older demographic).

2022 Chevy Malibu interior
I know. If you can ignore the fact that every surface matches the exterior, it’s actually not a bad looking interior.
2022 chevrolet malibu infotainment system with Apple CarPlay
Yes, the infotainment system (and climate controls just blow it) look a little dated, but I’m willing to give them a pass for including Apple CarPlay. Thank you!
2022 chevrolet malibu interior door panel and dashboard design
And you thought I was joking with my ‘swoopy bits’ comment.
2022 chevrolet malibu gauge cluster
The gauge cluster is clear and precise. That Chevy logo tho.
2022 chevrolet malibu center consul
Despite having cupholders large enough to hold full size bottles of water with ease, even the center console is swoopy! I’m digging it like a ditch.
2022 chevrolet malibu rear seats
Because it would be criminal not to show what the rear seats look like in a review of a mainstream midsize sedan.
2022 chevrolet malibu interior pictures

I also quite like how durable the seat materials are. The car you see in these pictures had nearly 40,000 miles on it, and all interior surfaces (including the seats) had held up well.

2022 chevrolet malibu headrests
There aren’t even any grease spots on the headrests! Not bad with for a car with 40K on the clock.


The 2022 Malibu that I drove featured the 160 hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine. 160 hp may seem like not enough for a car this size, but I can assure you that it’s enough for normal driving. Spirited driving though? Yeah, you’ll want the bigger engine for that.

2022 Chevy Malibu EcoTech engine
Behold the mighty EcoTech 160 hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Come to think of it, ‘spunky’ is a better word than ‘mighty’ to describe this thing.
Scott driving a 2022 chevrolet malibu
Yours truly trying to decide between ‘mighty’ and ‘spunky’. I’m sticking with spunky.


The Malibu is a deceiving vehicle. Just by looking at it, it’s hard not to assume that the ride will be soft and squishy. Not only that, you might even assume that it won’t inspire a lot of confidence going around tight corners. And you’d be mostly right!

Driving a 2022 chevrolet malibu POV perspective
Waiting patiently for some corners to appear. I’ll be ready when I happens!

I say “mostly” because it goes around corners a lot better than most people expect. In my opinion, it’s the small-diameter steering wheel which helps to create the illusion of snappy and precise handling. I didn’t even notice how small it was until I drove it out of the parking lot for the first time, but it really helps to make the 2022 Malibu seem far more nimble than it really is.

2022 chevrolet malibu base model wheels and tires
Not gonna lie – the puny 16 inch wheels (and cheap tires) on this base model can be a bit of a mother****** in the twisties. Definitely tick the option box for the upgraded wheels and tires if you can.

Gas mileage

I put 157 miles on this car over the span of three days. I drove it on the freeway at high(ish)-speed, and I tinkered around town in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Through all of that, I managed a very respectable 22.5 MPG. That’s nothing short of impressive considering how much of a lead foot that I have.

Driving a 2022 chevrolet malibu into the sunset with the windows down
Cruising along at high speed with the windows down probably didn’t help the gas mileage any. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do in a desperate attempt to look cool.

Should you buy one?

Yeah, I guess it’s a pretty decent car if all you need is something reliable and basic. You’re not going make any statements with it. Heck – it’s very likely that no one will even notice you. It’s that inconspicuous.

2022 chevrolet malibu detailed pictures

Perhaps the best way to figure out if this car is for you or not to read my list of all the Chevy Malibu pros and cons. It’s brutally honest – and straight to the point.

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