Chevy Malibu Vs. Mazda6:

By Justin Cupler | February 6th, 2019

Midsize sedans have the tough job of delicately balancing offering roominess, comfort, and fuel efficiency. Many models offer one or two of these, but only a few excel in all three. The 2019 Chevy Malibu and 2019 Mazda6 offer all three in gobs, but which one is the best buy for Midland area midsize car shoppers? Continue reading to find out.

Exterior

While midsize sedan’s aren’t always very stylish, the 2018 Mazda6 is not your average midsize sedan. It boasts the latest in the Mazda Kodo design language, giving it a sportier look than most others in its class. And once you move into the higher trims, this look turns more luxurious. This look is, however, polarizing to some, as certain buyers would prefer the toned-down look the 2019 Malibu features.

The 2018 Mazda6 may be cheaper than the Malibu, but it features some premium exterior equipment the Malibu does not. These features include 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, LED combination taillights, and more.

In terms of size, the Malibu is 193.8 inches long, 73 inches wide, and 57.6 inches high. This sedan rides on a 112.2-inch wheelbase. The 2019 Mazda6 is a bit smaller than the Malibu at 191.5 inches long, 72.4 inches wide, and 57.1 inches tall. Its wheelbase checks in at 111.4 inches.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Malibu

  • Traditional looks
  • Sleek, updated styling

Advantage: 2018 Mazda6

  • Stylish appearance
  • More standard features

Interior

Inside, the 2019 Malibu is stylish in a traditional sense. While some may not appreciate its simplicity, it fits the needs for a broad range of buyers. The Mazda6, however, boasts a more stylish cabin that includes available sport seats, suede and wood trim, and even Nappa leather upholstery.

In the tech area, the Malibu may come up short in some areas, but its standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay put it a notch above the Mazda6.

In terms of roominess, the 2019 Malibu’s front seats offer 40.1 inches of headroom, 45.3 inches of legroom, 58.5 inches of shoulder room, and 54.1 inches of hip room. The 2019 Mazda6’s front seats are tighter in every dimension with 38.4 inches of headroom, 42.2 inches of legroom, 55.9 inches of shoulder room, and 53.5 inches of hip room.

In its rear seats, the 2019 Chevy Malibu offers 37.5 inches of headroom, 38.1 inches of legroom, 57.1 inches of shoulder room, and 53.4 inches of hip room. The Mazda6 loses in headroom by 0.4 inches and shoulder room by 2 inches, but it has an extra 0.6 inches of legroom and 0.1 inches of headroom.

Trunk space matters big in the midsize segment. The 2019 Malibu offers a respectable 15.8 cubic feet, and the Mazda6 comes up short at 14.7 cubes.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Malibu

  • Simple, easy-to-appreciate cabin
  • Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Advantage: 2018 Mazda6

  • More premium features at the top end
  • Sportier cabin

Performance

At its base level, the Chevy Malibu comes with a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This power heads through a continuously variable transmission for an independently tested 8.3-second 0-to-60 sprint time.

The Mazda6 Sport and Touring come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. This pairs with a standard six-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed automatic to deliver a 7.9-second 0-to-60 sprint time.

The 2019 Chevy Malibu Premier comes standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a nine-speed automatic transmission to sprint the Malibu to 60 mph in an independently tested 5.7 seconds.

The 2018 Mazda6 Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature trims come with a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 227 to 250 horsepower — the higher output is only on 93-octane fuel — and 310 pound-feet of torque. This power flows through a six-speed automatic transmission and out to the front wheels for a 6.4-second 0-to-60 time.

Fuel economy can play a big role in choosing a midsize sedan, as many buyers have daily commutes to deal with. The 2019 Malibu’s base 1.5-liter engine delivers great economy at up to 29 mpg city, 36 highway, and 32 combined. The Malibu’s optional 2.0-liter engine delivers a respectable 22 mpg city, 32 highway, and 26 combined.

With its standard powertrain, the 2018 Mazda6 gets 24 mpg city, 33 highway, and 27 combined. Add the automatic transmission, and this setup gets 26 mpg city, 35 highway, and 29 combined. With its turbocharged engine, the Mazda6 gets 23 mpg city, 31 highway, and 26 combined.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Malibu

  • Quicker at the top end
  • Peaceful ride
  • Slight fuel-economy advantage

Advantage: 2018 Mazda6

  • More powerful base engine
  • Faster base model

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Chevy Malibu is available in five trim levels — L, LS, RS, LT, and Premier — and their starting prices range from $22,965 to $32,545.

The 2018 Mazda6 has five trims — Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature — and their starting prices range from $21,950 to $34,750.

2019 Chevy Malibu Key Features and Pricing by Trim

L: $22,965

  • 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Continuously variable transmission
  • Automatic stop/start
  • Four-wheel disc brakes
  • 16-inch steel wheels with covers
  • Black antenna
  • Daytime running lights
  • Auto-on/off halogen headlights
  • Power mirrors
  • Single-zone manual climate control
  • Chevrolet Infotainment 3
  • 8-inch color touchscreen
  • Six-speaker AM/FM audio system
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Cruise control
  • Power door locks
  • Monochromatic driver information center
  • Front and rear floor mats
  • Keyless open
  • Keyless ignition
  • OnStar
  • 12-volt power outlet
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Rear-seat reminder
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted control
  • Trunk cargo anchors
  • One-touch-down power windows
  • Rearview camera

LS: $23,995

  • All L features, plus
  • Acoustic front glass
  • 16-inch aluminum wheels
  • Compass
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi
  • Temperature display
  • Teen Driver

RS: $24,995

  • All LS features, plus
  • Dual stainless-steel exhaust with polished tips
  • Black front and rear bow tie emblems
  • Blacked-out grille
  • Rear spoiler
  • 18-inch Black-Chrome wheels
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel

LT: $27,340

  • All LS features, plus
  • Body-color antenna
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Heated mirrors
  • LED taillights
  • 17-inch wheels
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • SiriusXM
  • Remote vehicle ignition
  • Heated front seats
  • Rear seat vent
  • One-touch up/down power driver’s window

Premier: $32,545

  • All LT features, plus
  • 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Nine-speed automatic transmission
  • Dual stainless-steel exhaust with polished tips
  • Chrome door handles with body-color accents
  • LED headlights
  • Mirror-integrated turn signals
  • Bright sill plates
  • LED taillights
  • 18-inch aluminum wheels
  • 8-inch HD touchscreen
  • Nine-speaker Bose audio system
  • Smart-charging USB port
  • 8-inch driver-information system
  • Two-position driver’s seat memory
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • 120-volt rear power outlet
  • HD rearview camera
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Heated rear outboard seats
  • Six-way power passenger seat
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Trunk mat
  • Wireless charging pad

2018 Mazda6 Key Features and Pricing by Trim

Sport: $21,950

  • 2.5-liter SKYACTIV four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Four-wheel disc brakes
  • 17-inch Gun Metallic wheels
  • LED auto-leveling headlights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED combination taillights
  • Auto-off headlights
  • Variable-intermittent wipers
  • Body-color side-view mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • Dual exhaust with chrome tips
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Power windows with one-touch auto up and down
  • Power automatic door locks
  • Cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls
  • Electronic parking Brake
  • Remote keyless entry system with answer back” feature
  • Remote release for trunk, hood and fuel door
  • Push-button start
  • Driver and passenger-side covered visor vanity mirrors
  • Tilt-and-telescopic steering column
  • Two 12-volt power outlets
  • Rear seat heater ducts
  • Rear window defogger
  • Overhead console with sunglasses holder
  • Cloth sport seats
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shifter knob
  • Carpeted floor mats
  • 8-inch color touchscreen
  • Six-speaker AM/FM audio system
  • Bluetooth with audio streaming
  • HD Radio
  • Aha Internet radio
  • Pandora radio
  • Stitcher radio
  • USB audio input
  • Steering-wheel-mounted control
  • Hill-start assist
  • Rearview camera
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Low-speed automatic-emergency braking

Touring: $25,700

  • All Sport features, plus
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Auto-on/off headlights
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Power moonroof
  • Rear A/C vents
  • Leatherette upholstery
  • Six-way power driver’s seat
  • Advanced keyless entry
  • Heated front seats
  • Rear center armrest with two USB ports
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • High-beam control
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop and go
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Keyless ignition
  • Multi-information display in instrument cluster

Grand Touring: $29,200

  • All Touring features, plus
  • 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Paddle shifters
  • Auto-dimming driver’s side mirror
  • Heated mirrors
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • HomeLink universal home remote
  • Bose 11-speaker audio system
  • Navigation system
  • SiriusXM

Grand Touring Reserve: $31,700

  • All Grand Touring features, plus
  • 19-inch Brilliant Silver wheels
  • Rear lip spoiler
  • LED signature lighting
  • Front lower molding
  • Windshield wiper de-icer
  • Leather seating
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat
  • Six-way power passenger’s seat
  • Driver’s seat memory
  • Full-color active-driving display
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Heated rear seats
  • Adaptive headlights

Signature: $34,750

  • All Grand Touring Reserve features, plus
  • Gun Metal grille
  • Frameless rearview mirror
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel with unique stitching
  • LED overhead lighting
  • Door sash tape
  • Nappa leather seating
  • Black headliner
  • 7-inch LCD meter display
  • San Wood trim
  • Ultrasuede trim
  • 360-degree camera

Who Should Buy the 2019 Chevy Malibu?

The 2019 Malibu is perfect for buyers looking for something simple and unimposing. It also boasts a quicker 0-to-60 time at the top end for those with a heavier foot.

Who Should Buy the 2018 Mazda6?

The 2018 Mazda6 is great for buyers who need something more than just the typical midsize sedan. The Mazda6 may not have the top-end acceleration of the Malibu, but its zoom-zoom personality gives it more confidence in the corners. Plus, its higher luxury ceiling makes it a great option for the more discerning buyers,.

Take on the streets of Midland, Michigan in comfort and with great fuel economy in the 2019 Chevy Malibu? Head down to Garber Chevrolet Midland serving the Freeland and Midland areas to take the 2019 Chevy Malibu for a test drive. You won’t be disappointed. If you cannot make it in, you can also check out our online inventory to see if we have a Malibu in stock that suits your needs.