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SAFETY | 10 out of 10
Five stars overall; five stars for frontal and side impacts, four stars rollover
Top Safety Pick; 'marginal,' small overlap frontal impact
The range-topping LTZ trim level...includes lane depart warning and collision avoidance
In its maiden year on the market, the newest Chevy Malibu has already earned the best safety scores possible.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the Malibu an overall rating of five stars, including sub-ratings of five stars for front-impact and side-impact protection, and a four-star rating for rollover resistance. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) likewise has lauded the Malibu, giving it "good" scores in all tests including roof strength, which lands it a Top Safety Pick award; although in the newest small overlap frontal test, the Malibu only achieves 'marginal.'
All Malibu sedans come with extensive standard safety features, including 10 airbags--among them, rear-seat side and front-seat knee airbags. Stability and traction control are also standard, as are active headrests and anti-lock brakes with tire-pressure monitors.
The Malibu also comes with OnStar hardware and six months of service that includes automatic-crash notifications and remote door unlocking.
On the tech front, Bluetooth comes on all versions, and a rearview camera and rear parking sensors are standard on Eco, LT and LTZ models. A safety package on those three trim lines adds forward-collision alerts and lane-departure warnings.
Visibility from the Malibu's driver seat is good, even with its low-slung driving position, but its side rearview mirrors are somewhat small.
The Malibu earns knockout scores from both sets of crash tests, and has almost everything we like to see as standard equipment.