2018 Chevy Malibu & Cruze Head-to-Head

Chevy’s been on a roll lately, consistently producing improved cars, trucks, and SUVs, including its Malibu and Cruze sedans. Indiana car buyers searching for a new sedan may find themselves torn between Chevy’s 2018 Malibu or Cruze when visiting their local Chevy dealer.

2018 Chevy Malibu

Both cars offer exceptional features and reliability, so the decision will largely come down to which vehicle best suits consumers’ lifestyles and individual needs. When comparing the Malibu and the Cruze, keep these important distinctions in mind:

  • Size: The most visible difference between the Malibu and the Cruze is size. The Malibu is a mid-size sedan, while the Cruze is a compact car. The Malibu’s larger size allows it to offer increased leg and headroom, as well as more cargo room. However, a hatchback version of the Cruze offers more cargo area flexibility.

The Cruze is adequate for daily commuters and small families, while the Malibu may be more appropriate for families with older children who need more space.

  • Performance: Equipped with their standard engines, the Malibu and Cruze are about even in power. Malibu buyers can upgrade to a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder at the Premier trim level that provides superior passing power. The Cruze offers a turbodiesel engine option, but the power provided by this variation doesn’t match the upgraded Malibu.

The Cruze does outshine the Malibu in terms of fuel economy, however. The standard Cruze engine delivers 29 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. By comparison, the Malibu gets 27 mpg in urban driving and 36 mpg on the highway. Equipped with the turbodiesel option, the Cruze gets 30 mpg in the city and 52 mpg on the highway.

  • Ride Quality: Both the Cruze and the Malibu offer pretty smooth rides, but the larger size of the Malibu helps it better dampen some of the shocks of the road, as it has a longer wheelbase and overall length.
  • Features: The Cruze comes with some cool standard features that drivers will enjoy, including a rearview camera and Chevy’s Teen Driver assist program. The Teen Driver program allows parents to set parameters on their children’s driving. The Cruze also comes standard with Chevy’s MyLink Infotainment system, which has won acclaim for its graphic quality and ease of use. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard, as well as Wi-Fi hotspot and Bluetooth capability.

The Malibu actually has fewer standard features than the Cruze, and you have to upgrade from the base level trim to get many features that come standard on the Cruze.

Local Chevy dealer

  • Price: Your typical Cruze will run between $16,975 for a base level car and $25,865 for upper trim levels. The Malibu is more expensive, setting consumers back $21,680 for an entry-level vehicle and $30,975 for a fully-equipped model. Budget-conscious buyers can get an excellent car for a great price with the Cruze, but growing families may find the Malibu’s size a good investment.

If you’re interested in a Cruze or Malibu, Spencer Chevrolet dealers at Community Chevy can help you find the sedan that’s right for you. An established member of the local business community, Community Chevy is dedicated to helping friends and neighbors get the best value from their car-buying dollar. Stop by to browse or test drive a Chevy today.