In this analysis, we’ll be comparing the 2024 Chevy Malibu and the 2024 Toyota Camry midsize sedan models to determine which one aligns better with your driving preferences.
Amidst ongoing rumors about the fate of the Chevy Malibu, speculation arose that it might join the ranks of American sedans discontinued by their manufacturers. Nevertheless, the Malibu has managed to defy these expectations and remains in contention, pitted against the immensely popular Toyota Camry. With this in mind, let’s delve into a comparison of these two midsize sedans.
For the 2024 model year, the Toyota Camry presents two gasoline-only engines along with a hybrid variant, while the entire 2024 Chevrolet Malibu lineup is driven by the same powertrain.
The base gasoline engine in the Camry is an inline four-cylinder powerhouse, delivering a robust 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. In comparison, the Malibu’s 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder generates 160 hp and an identical 184 lb-ft of torque. This grants the base Camry a notable advantage of 43 horsepower, although torque figures remain consistent between the two models.
The Camry’s engine is paired with a conventional eight-speed automatic transmission, while the Chevy comes equipped with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
While neither powertrain boasts exceptional swiftness, Camry enthusiasts can opt for a more potent 301-horsepower V6, available in higher trim levels. Additionally, Toyota offers the option of all-wheel drive for the Camry, a feature not shared with the Malibu, which exclusively channels its power to the front wheels.
When it comes to passenger and cargo space, there’s not a significant difference between the two models.
For instance, the Chevy Malibu provides slightly more headroom with an inch measurement of 39.1 inches, whereas the Toyota Camry offers a tad more front legroom. The scenario remains comparable for rear passenger space, with neither model holding a distinct upper hand.
Cargo capacity is also closely matched. The Malibu’s trunk accommodates 15.7 cubic feet of cargo, which is 0.6 cubic feet more than what the Toyota Camry offers. Both models are equipped with a standard 60/40-split folding rear seat.
One might assume that the Chevrolet Malibu’s lower power output and utilization of a CVT would result in a fuel efficiency advantage, yet the Toyota Camry maintains the upper hand. According to EPA evaluations, the front-wheel drive Camry, equipped with the base engine, achieves a combined mpg rating of either 32 or 31, contingent upon the trim level. This outperforms the Malibu’s 30 combined mpg.
For Toyota Camry models with all-wheel drive, the combined mpg ratings are somewhat lower, ranging from 28 to 29, depending on the trim. However, individuals opting for an upgrade to a Camry Hybrid model can expect notably improved fuel economy.
In the realm of midsize sedans, the 2024 Chevy Malibu and Toyota Camry present budget-friendly options, yet the Chevy takes the lead in terms of pricing.
The Malibu enters the scene with a starting price of $26,195, including the destination charge. In comparison, the Camry holds a price tag of $27,515, resulting in the Malibu boasting a $1,320 advantage in affordability. Notably, even the Malibu’s mid-level RS trim remains a few hundred dollars more economical than the base Camry.
Both models share similar warranty offerings. Each provides a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty alongside a five-year/60,000-mile drivetrain warranty. However, Chevrolet goes a step further with five years/up to 60,000 miles of roadside assistance, while Toyota’s provision stands at two years/unlimited miles.
Against more contemporary midsize family sedans like the Honda Accord, Kia K5, or Hyundai Sonata, both the Chevy Malibu and Toyota Camry are revealing their age. Speculations suggest that both models might undergo a redesign for the 2025 model year.
In the interim, the Malibu remains a budget-friendly choice within its segment, offering a commendable array of standard features for its price point. The Chevrolet also provides a comfortable ride, generous accommodations, and satisfactory driving dynamics. However, its interior characterized by plastic components and its underwhelming powertrain hinder its overall appeal.
Meanwhile, the Camry persists in upholding Toyota’s renowned reputation for reliability, and it maintains a relatively comfortable ride and favorable value proposition. Nevertheless, it falls short in offering the same level of initial value as certain peers and lacks some of their elevated refinement.
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