2016 Chevy Malibu to start at $22,500

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

The redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan will start at $22,500 including destination, which General Motors Co. said is less than starting prices for several competitive vehicles and the 2015 Malibu.

Due in showrooms at the end of the year, the 2016 Malibu base L sedan will be priced cheaper than current starting prices for the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, GM said Thursday. The new Malibu is also $790 cheaper than the 2015 Malibu, which starts at $23,290.

“The 2016 Malibu is engineered and priced to give customers impressive value and technology that’s hard to compete with,” said Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet cars and crossovers, in a statement.

The next-generation Malibu sedan has a more sleek exterior, better fuel economy and roomier back seat than the previous model. The car sheds nearly 300 pounds and has a new architecture. It also adds a hybrid model that Chevy says will get better than 45 miles per gallon combined city/highway.

Midsize car sales have stalled amid low gas prices and as consumers are increasingly choosing crossovers, SUVs and trucks over sedans. Malibu sales for the year through August are down 2.5 percent to 130,095 compared to the same period in 2014.

The 2016 Malibu will be offered in five trims: L, LS, LT, hybrid and premier. Pricing on the hybrid will be announced closer to the start of its production in spring 2016, Chevrolet said. The hybrid will be available nationally, but a Chevy spokesman said distribution initially will be prioritized to markets where midsize hybrids sell well such as San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

The LS model starts at $23,995 and includes a Chevy MyLink radio with 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and a rear vision camera. The LT begins at $25,895.

The car comes standard with a new 1.5-liter Ecotec turbocharged engine with stop-start technology. Chevy says a 2-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder engine with eight-speed transmission is available on the LT and premier trims, beginning at $29,495 and $31,795, respectively.

The car will be built at GM’s Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kansas.

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