2012 Chevrolet Malibu

MSRP $22,085 - $30,200 | Check Best Price

Ranked #5 in Midsize Sedans

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8.3

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2012 Chevrolet Malibu Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: June 17, 2021

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R. Madaan

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There have been no major changes made to the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu over the last year’s model. It still gets the two engine options. The base engine is not the most powerful and delivers low performance, while the bigger V6 is much more powerful and provides improved performance. The interior design is bland and does not generate any excitement. It does provide a considerable amount of spacing to all the passengers inside the cabin. 

The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu with the V6 engine is quite decent in terms of driving dynamics. The steering is responsive, and the suspension setup absorbs most of the shocks on uneven surfaces. Starting at a base price of $22,000 the top of the line trim with all the features can reach up to $34,000. The Chevrolet Malibu finds itself in competition with more powerful and capable sedans like the Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata.

See Detailed Review »

Pros

Powerful V6 engine

Comfortable ride quality

Great fuel economy

Cons

Low-quality interior materials

Limited rear-seat spacing

Limited standard features

What's New?

No major changes for the 2012 variant


2012 Chevrolet Malibu Consumer Reviews and Ratings

7.2

based on 154 ratings


7.2/10 Features
7.2/10 Interiors
7.3/10 Design
7.2/10 Safety
7.4/10 Reliability
7.3/10 Deal Value

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2012 Chevrolet Malibu Overall Reviews


LL

Lula

2012 Chevrolet Malibu

LT w/3LT 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

1

User Overall Rating

Posted On: June 17, 2021

Piece of junk

Pros - Comfortable, radio

Cons - Poor build quality, engine noise, paint quality

Bad decision I got it brand new back in 2012 here in California. I went with this car since it was cheaper compared to all other cars in the market and they had a lower interest EMI and the final cost I ended up paying was a little less than $10,000. I test drove this car and found it very smooth and I bought it home. Everything went well for the first few months and then the trouble started. First trouble: AC was gone. There was some hole in the AC unit through which the gas leaked and escaped. The dealership service center was kind enough to replace the parts and they brought it back to normal. Second: This car in general has this issue where it runs as if the wrong gear is set. The transmission has issues and the service centers and Chevrolet doesn't accept this.

1/10
Features
1/10
Interior
1/10
Design
1/10
Safety
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Deal Value
9/10
Dealer Review

DD

Debra

2012 Chevrolet Malibu

LS Fleet 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

1

User Overall Rating

Posted On: June 2, 2021

Not worth recommending

Pros - Sufficient features for price, easy to read-out gauges,

Cons - Feels underpowered on highways, frequent repairs needed, after 40-50k miles mileage drops to around 23mpg

High on maintenance My Malibu is good within the city, but feels underpowered when on highways, especially when you need to pass. The wheel bearing needs to be replaced at nearly 27,000 miles, two brake discs changed at nearly 33,500 miles, tires went bald at 39,000 miles, car paint scratched down easily after 2 years, and replaced the timing chain at around 56,000 miles. Now it barely averages 23mpg despite the fact that 80% of my driving is on highways. Shortly, it is not worth recommending. Frequent dealer visits have disturbed me, although I don't say the dealers are not nice.

3/10
Features
1/10
Interior
1/10
Design
1/10
Safety
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Deal Value
3/10
Dealer Review

LL

Lisa

2012 Chevrolet Malibu

LTZ w/1LZ 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

8

User Overall Rating

Posted On: May 28, 2021

Good choice Malibu

Pros - Maintenance costs, spacious interiors and trouble free driving

Cons - No place for issues

reaching a DECADE with no issues For the purpose of being our family vehicle,It scores 9/10. About 16,000 miles a year, i vist the dealership twice in a year for maintenance. The total cost out of pocket for these maintenance was $550. Honda would be a good choice that provides years of trouble free driving. Experience is all mine here being with it near to a decade. I love to keep this vehicle and push further for the next decade.

7/10
Features
8/10
Interior
7/10
Design
7/10
Safety
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Deal Value
7/10
Dealer Review

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Features

vehicle bio

base price

$22085

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

156 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

91 cu.in.

horsepower

170 hp @ 6200 rpm

torque

158 lb.-ft. @ 5200 rpm

transmission

6-speed shiftable automatic

dimensions

wheelbase

112.3 in.

length

191.8 in.

width

70.3 in.

height

57.1 in.

curb weight

3432 lbs.

ground clearance

6 in.

capacity

passenger volume

97.7 cu ft.

cargo volume

15.1 cu ft.

towing capacity

1000 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

9.3 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

16.8 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

22/26/33 mpg

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 100000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos

exterior
interior
Videos
2012 Chevrolet Malibu Exterior video
2012 Chevrolet Malibu Interior video
2012 Chevrolet Malibu Safety video
2012 Chevrolet Malibu Review video

Trims

LS $22,085 onwards

170 hp @ 6200 rpm | 2.4 L | Inline 4 | Flex-fuel (unleaded/e85)

  • Cloth Seat Trim
  • Driver Lumbar Support
  • Manual Front Air Conditioning
  • SiriusXM AM/FM/Satellite, Seek-Scan Radio

LT $23,470 onwards

169 hp @ 6400 rpm | 2.4 L | Inline 4 | regular unleaded

  • 18" Aluminum Wheels
  • Auxiliary audio jack
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Steering Wheel Mounted Audio Controls

LTZ $28,600 onwards

169 hp @ 6400 rpm | 2.4 L | Inline 4 | regular unleaded

  • Auto Dimming Rearview Mirrors
  • Automatic Climate Control
  • Fog Lamps
  • Sunroof
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Colors and Styles

2012 Chevrolet Malibu in Black Granite Metallic color 2012 Chevrolet Malibu in Crystal Red Tintcoat color 2012 Chevrolet Malibu in Gold Mist Metallic color 2012 Chevrolet Malibu in Imperial Blue Metallic color 2012 Chevrolet Malibu in Silver Ice Metallic color
Black Granite Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing And Features

9.0

Engine And Performance

7.5

Fuel Economy

7.0

Interior

9.0

Exterior

9.0

Safety

8.1

8.3

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

8.3

Overall Rating


The Chevrolet Malibu continues to be the big and trusted family sedan in the segment and continues its journey without much changes over the past years. Among a tight competition from newer and better sedans such as the Fusion, Accord, Camry, and Optima, the Malibu is still preferred by many owing to its smooth and refined powertrain, good fuel economy, and refined ride quality.


9.0/10
Pricing and Features

7.5/10
Engine and Performance

7.0/10
Fuel Economy

9.0/10
Interior

9.0/10
Exterior

8.1/10
Safety


2012 Chevrolet Malibu Pricing and Features

9.0/10

The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu is available in three trim options, namely LS, LT, and LTZ. The base LS variant is available at a price of around $22,000 and gets decent standard features. The LT trim is available at a price of $23,470 and gets alloy wheels along with power seat adjustment, remote ignition, and few more features. The top-of-line LTZ trim is available at a price of $28,600 and gets the best features as standard.

Trims

LS

LT

LTZ

MSRP

$22,085

$23,470

$28,600

Key Features

17-inch steel wheels

17-inch alloy wheels

18-inch alloy wheel 

 

automatic headlights

remote ignition

fog lamps

 

cloth upholstery

power driver seat adjustments

sunroof

 

keyless entry

heated front seats

eight-speaker Bose audio system

 

cruise control

Bluetooth 

heated outside mirrors

 

air-conditioning

remote ignition

automatic climate control

We Recommend

If we need to choose from the available options of Chevy Malibu, we would go for the top-of-the-line LTZ trim with the more powerful V6 engine option. The powerful V6 exponentially improves the overall performance while also providing great standard features like the sunroof, automatic climate control, 18-inch alloy wheels, and heated outside mirrors. The maxed-out V6 LTZ would cost you around $34,000.

2012 Chevrolet Malibu Engine and Performance

7.5/10

The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu is available in two engine options. The base engine is a 2.4-liter inline-4 cylinder that generates around 170 hp along with 158 lb-ft of torque. The second is a 3.6-liter V6 engine which is much more powerful and generates 252 hp along with 251 lb-ft of torque. Both the engines are mated with a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission and deliver the power to the front wheel as standard. The base engine setup is very slow on acceleration, with 0-60 mph reach in 9.3 seconds. Along with that, it takes 16.8 seconds to cover the quarter-mile distance. 

Model

Chevrolet Malibu 

Honda Accord 

Hyundai Sonata 

MSRP

$22,085

$21,480

$19,795

Engine

2.4-liter inline-4

2.4-liter inline-4

2.4-liter inline-4

Drivetrain

front-wheel drive

front-wheel drive

front-wheel drive

Transmission

6-speed shiftable automatic

5-speed Manual

6-speed Manual

Power

170 hp @ 6200 rpm

177 hp @ 6500 rpm

198 hp @ 6300 rpm

Torque

158 lb.-ft. @ 5200 rpm

161 lb.-ft. @ 4300 rpm

184 lb.-ft. @ 4250 rpm

0-60 mph (sec)

9.3

6.1

6.5

Quarter-mile (sec)

16.8

15.2

14.5

Top Speed (mph)

156

148

147

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata is the most powerful in this comparison with a power output of 198 hp, while the Honda Accord generates a maximum of 177 hp. The Honda Accord is the quickest in acceleration, with 0-60 mph reached in 6.1 seconds, while the Hyundai Sonata takes 6.5 seconds. The Chevy Malibu has the highest top speed of 156 mph, while the Accord and Sonata top out at 148 mph and 147 mph, respectively.

2012 Chevrolet Malibu Fuel Economy

7.0/10

The 2.4-liter engine is quite decent on fuel economy as well as the high-powered V6 engine. The base engine provides a mileage of 22 mpg in the city, which improves to 33 mpg on the highway. Thus we get a combined mileage of 26 mpg from the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The high-powered V6 engine provides a combined mileage of 20 mpg. It is equipped with a 16 gallon of fuel tank capacity that provides a maximum range of 528 miles. 

Model

Chevrolet Malibu 

Honda Accord 

Hyundai Sonata 

MPG (City)

22

23

24

MPG (Highway)

33

34

35

MPG (Combined)

26

27

28

Fuel Capacity (gal)

16 gal.

18.5 gal.

18.5 gal.

Range (City / Highway / Combined) (miles)

352/528/416

425.5/629/500

444/647/518

The Hyundai Sonata is the most efficient in this comparison with a combined mileage of 28 mpg, while the Honda Accord is just behind with a combined mileage of 27 mpg. Both the Accord and Sonata have a fuel tank capacity of 18.5 gallons, which results in a maximum range of 629 miles and 647 miles, respectively.

2012 Chevrolet Malibu Interior

9.0/10

The interior design of the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu is quite decent, but the entire feel of the cabin is underwhelming due to the use of cheap materials overall. The interior is well insulated to prevent the penetration of road noise into the cabin. The seats are comfortable and provide enough bolstering for a comfortable ride. Three adults at the rear is a squeeze, but two people can accommodate comfortably at the rear. The Malibu provides a decent cargo capacity of 15.1 cu.ft behind the rear seats, which can be improved by folding down the 60/40 split rear seats.

Model

Chevrolet Malibu 

Honda Accord 

Hyundai Sonata 

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

Front Row (Head / Shoulder / Leg) (in)

39.4/55.9/42.2

41.4/58.2/42.5

40/57.9/45.5

Rear Row (Head / Shoulder / Leg) (in)

37.2/53.9/37.9

38.5/56.4/37.2

37.8/56.7/34.6

Cargo Capacity (cu-ft)

15.1 cu.ft.

14.7 cu.ft.

16.4 cu.ft.

All the vehicles in comparison can accommodate up to 5 passengers inside their cabin. The Honda Accord provides the best spacing for both the passengers at the front and the rear. The Sonata has a better spacing than the Malibu and also provides the best cargo capacity of 16.4 cu.ft in comparison. The Honda Accord has the lowest cargo capacity of 14.7 cu.ft. Here is a list of interior features that are available with the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu:

  • Cloth/leather upholstery
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks
  • Power driver seat adjustments, heated front seats
  • Automatic climate control
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror

How is the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan’s infotainment system?

The infotainment system in the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu is not the best and gets only a few standard features. They include satellite radio, auxiliary audio jack, CD/MP3 stereo, USB audio jack, and Bluetooth connectivity. It gets a basic 6-speaker audio system which is decent in sound quality. There is no optional package available with the Malibu to get additional infotainment features. Here is a list of infotainment features that are available with the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu:

  • Satellite radio
  • Auxiliary audio jack
  • CD/MP3 stereo
  • USB audio jack 
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 6-speaker audio system

2012 Chevrolet Malibu Exterior

9.0/10

The exterior design of the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu is quite minimalist with its simple fine lines and decluttered front and rear fascia. The front split grille with huge automatic headlights on both ends make the Malibu follow the Chevy design language. It is the heaviest in comparison with a curb weight of 3,432 pounds. It has a length of 192 inches along with a longer wheelbase of 112 inches that provides slightly better legroom. Along with that, the Malibu has a decent ground clearance of 6 inches. 

Model

Chevrolet Malibu 

Honda Accord 

Hyundai Sonata 

Curb Weight (lbs)

3432 lbs.

3216 lbs.

3161 lbs.

Length (in)

192 in.

195 in.

190 in.

Width (in)

79 in.

73 in.

72 in.

Height (in)

57 in.

58 in.

58 in.

Ground Clearance (in)

6

6

6

Wheelbase (in)

112 in.

110 in.

110 in.

The Hyundai Sonata is the lightest in this comparison with a curb weight of 3,161 pounds, while the Honda Accord weighs 3,216 pounds. The Accord is the longest in length, while the rest all the dimensions are similar to the other vehicles in comparison. Thus they have a similar footprint on the road. Few standout exterior features of the sedan are-

  • 17-inch steel/alloy wheels
  • Automatic headlights
  • Body-color outside mirrors
  • Fog lamps
  • Heated outside mirrors
  • Sunroof
  • LED taillights

2012 Chevrolet Malibu Safety

8.1/10

There NHTSA has given the 2012 Chevrolet a 4-star rating out of 5 in its tests. The IIHS has also given it a ‘Good’ rating in all the test segments. The IIHS has also given it a Top Safety Pick award for the year 2012 in the midsize sedan segment. Thus the Malibu is capable of safeguarding the passengers in case of an accident. Along with all this, the Malibu is equipped with few safety features that improve the overall safety factor of the vehicle. Few salient safety features include-

  • Antilock disc brakes
  • Stability control
  • Traction control
  • Front-seat side-impact airbags
  • Side curtain airbags 
  • OnStar telematics system

2012 Chevrolet Malibu Final Verdict

The 2012 Chevy Malibu does not strike a chord with us with its base 2.4-liter engine. It is underpowered and slow on acceleration. But the bigger V6 engine provides greater power output and a much better overall performance. The interior is spacious, but the use of cheap materials overall the cabin makes it bland. The Malibu stands high on the safety rating, and that is one of the few things that it could bank on to make us choose this as our daily driver.

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Top User Reviews

1

User Overall Rating

Piece of junk

Bad decision

by Lula

1

User Overall Rating

Not worth recommending

High on maintenance

by Debra

8

User Overall Rating

Good choice Malibu

reaching a DECADE with no issues

by Lisa

7

User Overall Rating

Love my Malibu

Average at everything, excellent at nothing

by Joseph

1

User Overall Rating

The built quality

12 Malibu, not worth it

by Rosa S. Haley

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