Top Safety Pick

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited

midsize car / 4-door sedan

Award applies only to vehicles with optional front crash prevention and available only to fleets

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited 4-door sedan

Crashworthiness

Rating overview
Small overlap front: driver-side
Moderate overlap front
Side
Roof strength
Head restraints & seats

Crash avoidance & mitigation

Headlights (varies by trim/option)
Front crash prevention
Optional system
Basic

Child seat anchors

LATCH ease of use

Key

  • G
    Good
  • A
    Acceptable
  • M
    Marginal
  • P
    Poor
  • Superior
  • Advanced
  • Basic

Some ratings use a scale of Poor to Good. Others range from Basic to Superior.

Small overlap front: driver-side

Rating applies to 2016 models

Tested vehicle: 2014 Chevrolet Malibu 1LT 4-door

The Chevrolet Malibu was redesigned for the 2013 model year. Beginning with 2014 models, the front structure and door sill were modified to improve occupant protection in small overlap frontal crashes.

For the 2016 model year only, the Malibu was renamed the Malibu Limited and sold when new only to fleets. The Malibu Limited shares no ratings with the redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Malibu.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Hip/thigh
Lower leg/foot
Driver restraints and dummy kinematics

Action shot taken during the small overlap frontal crash test.

The dummy's position in relation to the door frame, steering wheel, and instrument panel after the crash test indicates that the driver's survival space was maintained very well.

The frontal and side curtain airbags worked well together to keep the head from coming close to any stiff structure or outside objects that could cause injury.

Intrusion into the driver's space was minimal, and risk of injuries to the dummy's legs and feet was low.

Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID CEN1412
Lower occupant compartment
Lower hinge pillar max (cm) 8
Footrest (cm) 9
Left toepan (cm) 4
Brake pedal (cm) 3
Parking brake (cm)
Rocker panel lateral average (cm) 2
Upper occupant compartment
Steering column 2
Upper hinge pillar max (cm) 5
Upper dash (cm) 6
Lower instrument panel (cm) 6

Driver injury measures

Test ID CEN1412
Head
HIC-15 112
Peak gs at hard contact no contact
Neck
Tension (kN) 1.0
Extension bending moment (Nm) 11
Maximum Nij 0.16
Chest maximum compression (mm) 19
Femur (kN)
Left 1.2
Right 0.0
Knee displacement (mm)
Left 1
Right 0
Knee-thigh-hip injury risk (%)
Left 0
Right 0
Maximum tibia index
Left 0.58
Right 0.43
Tibia axial force (kN)
Left 2.9
Right 0.7
Foot acceleration (g)
Left 110
Right 51

How the driver-side small overlap front test is conducted

Moderate overlap front

Rating applies to 2016 models

Tested vehicle: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco 4-door

The Chevrolet Malibu was redesigned for the 2013 model year. For the 2016 model year only, the Malibu was renamed the Malibu Limited and sold when new only to fleets. The Malibu Limited shares no ratings with the redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Malibu.

Moderate overlap frontal ratings are assigned by the Institute based on a test conducted by General Motors as part of frontal crash test verification.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Leg/foot, left
Leg/foot, right
Driver restraints and dummy kinematics
Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID VTF1114
Footwell intrusion
Footrest (cm) 3
Left (cm) 5
Center (cm) 6
Right (cm) 5
Brake pedal (cm) 2
Instrument panel rearward movement
Left (cm) 0
Right (cm) 0
Steering column movement
Upward (cm) 0
Rearward (cm) -6
A-pillar rearward movement (cm) 1

Driver injury measures

Test ID VTF1114
Head
HIC-15 327
Peak gs at hard contact no contact
Neck
Tension (kN) 0.8
Extension bending moment (Nm) 25
Maximum Nij 0.26
Chest maximum compression (mm) 26
Legs
Femur force - left (kN) 0.5
Femur force - right (kN) 0.9
Knee displacement - left (mm) 1
Knee displacement - right (mm) 1
Maximum tibia index - left 0.33
Maximum tibia index - right 0.31
Tibia axial force - left (kN) 2.2
Tibia axial force - right (kN) 2.6
Foot acceleration (g)
Left 51
Right 58

How the moderate overlap front test is conducted

Side

Rating applies to 2016 models

Tested vehicle: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco 4-door with standard front and rear head curtain airbags and standard front seat-mounted torso airbags

The Chevrolet Malibu was redesigned for the 2013 model year. Initially, only the Eco model (a hybrid with a gasoline engine and an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery) was available in the new design. Other Malibu models with conventional powertrains were introduced later, when side torso airbags for rear seat occupants were made standard (they had been optional earlier). All Malibu models built after July 2012 have the standard rear side torso airbags. (Information about when a specific vehicle was manufactured is on the certification label typically affixed to the car on the driver door or adjacent B-pillar.)

Two side tests of the Malibu Eco were initially conducted, one by the Institute and one by General Motors as part of side crash test verification. Neither car had the optional rear side torso airbags. A third test, this time of a Malibu LTZ with the standard rear side torso airbags, was then conducted by General Motors. Rear seat dummy torso injury measures improved for the third car, but each of the three tests produced good injury ratings for the rear seat dummies. Therefore, the ratings below are based on all three tests. Photos and videos are provided for the Institute test car.

For the 2016 model year only, the Malibu was renamed the Malibu Limited and sold when new only to fleets. The Malibu Limited shares no ratings with the redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Malibu.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Driver head protection
Rear passenger injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Rear passenger head protection

View of the vehicle and barrier just after the Institute's crash test.

View of the vehicle after the crash with doors removed, showing the side airbags and damage to the occupant compartment.

Smeared greasepaint shows where the driver dummy's head was protected from being hit by hard structures by the side curtain airbag in the Institute's test.

Smeared greasepaint shows where the rear passenger dummy’s head was protected by the side airbag.

Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID VTS1116 CES1205 VTS1204
B-pillar to longitudinal centerline of driver's seat (cm) -15.5 -16.5 -18.0
Negative numbers indicate the amount by which the crush stopped short of the seat centerline.

Driver injury measures

Test ID VTS1116 CES1205 VTS1204
Head HIC-15 440 310 390
Neck
Tension (kN) 1.4 1.3 1.2
Compression (kN) 0.2 0.2 0.2
Shoulder
Lateral deflection (mm) 50 40 43
Lateral force (kN) 1.6 1.6 1.8
Torso
Maximum deflection (mm) 41 44 45
Average deflection (mm) 36 35 40
Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 4.21 3.65 5.24
Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.66 0.68 0.79
Pelvis
Iliac force (kN) 2.2 1.8 1.2
Acetabulum force (kN) 3.3 2.1 2.7
Combined force (kN) 4.9 3.5 3.7
Left femur
L-M force (kN) 1.0 0.9 0.7
L-M moment (Nm) 31 58 22
A-P moment (Nm) 126 -33 99

Passenger injury measures

Test ID VTS1116 CES1205 VTS1204
Head HIC-15 330 310 140
Neck
Tension (kN) 0.4 0.2 0.2
Compression (kN) 0.6 0.8 0.7
Shoulder
Lateral deflection (mm) 44 32 13
Lateral force (kN) 1.6 1.1 0.8
Torso
Maximum deflection (mm) 41 30 20
Average deflection (mm) 32 23 16
Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 3.64 3.48 2.39
Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.64 0.32 0.18
Pelvis
Iliac force (kN) 0.4 0.2 0.2
Acetabulum force (kN) 2.1 1.8 1.7
Combined force (kN) 2.4 1.9 1.9
Left femur
L-M force (kN) 0.7 0.4 0.5
L-M moment (Nm) 18 128 50
A-P moment (Nm) 68 -92 98

How the side crash test is conducted

Roof strength

Rating applies to 2016 models

Tested vehicle: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco 4-door

Overall evaluation
Curb weight 3,583 lbs
Peak force 18,721 lbs
Strength-to-weight ratio 5.22

How the roof strength test is conducted

Head restraints & seats

Rating applies to 2016 models

Seat type: Manual power cloth seat

Overall evaluation
Dynamic rating
Seat/head restraint geometry
Technical measurements for this test
Seat type Manual power cloth seat
Geometry
Backset (mm) 26
Distance below top of head (mm) 9
Seat design parameters
Pass/fail Pass
Max T1 acceleration (g) 12.3
Head contact time (ms) 56
Force rating 1
Neck forces
Max neck shear force (N) 0
Max neck tension (N) 300

How the head restraint & seat test is conducted

Headlights

Ratings are given for 2 different headlight variations available on this vehicle.

Trim level(s)

  • LT trim
  • LTZ trim
Low-beam headlight type Halogen projector
High-beam headlight type Halogen reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
High-beam assist? No
Overall rating
Distance at which headlights provide at least 5 lux illumination:
car-simpler car-simpler car-simpler car-simpler car-simpler 0 ft 100 ft 200 ft 300 ft 400 ft 500 ft 600 ft Low beams Optimal low-beam illumination High beams Optimal high-beam illumination

Low beams
On the straightaway, visibility was inadequate on both sides of the road. On curves, visibility was inadequate in all 4 tests.

The low beams never exceeded glare limits.

High beams
On the straightaway, visibility was good on the right side of the road and fair on the left side. On curves, visibility was inadequate in all 4 tests.

Technical measurements for this test
Trim level(s)
  • LT trim
  • LTZ trim
Low-beam headlight type Halogen projector
High-beam headlight type Halogen reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
High-beam assist? No
Overall rating
Applies to 2016 models
LOW BEAMS Average minimum useful
illumination distance (5 lux)
Amount glare
exceeded threshold
Straightaway right edge 74.7 m None
Straightaway left edge 32.8 m None
250m radius right curve, right edge 42.2 m None
250m radius left curve, left edge 35.1 m None
150m radius right curve, right edge 38.5 m None
150m radius left curve, left edge 32.2 m None
HIGH BEAMS Average minimum useful
illumination distance (5 lux)
Straightaway right edge 147.3 m
Straightaway left edge 131.1 m
250m radius right curve, right edge 60.8 m
250m radius left curve, left edge 62.7 m
150m radius right curve, right edge 47.0 m
150m radius left curve, left edge 47.9 m

Trim level(s)

  • LS trim
Low-beam headlight type Halogen reflector
High-beam headlight type Halogen reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
High-beam assist? No
Overall rating
Distance at which headlights provide at least 5 lux illumination:
car-simpler car-simpler car-simpler car-simpler car-simpler 0 ft 100 ft 200 ft 300 ft 400 ft 500 ft 600 ft Low beams Optimal low-beam illumination High beams Optimal high-beam illumination

Low beams
On the straightaway, visibility was inadequate on both sides of the road. On curves, visibility was inadequate in all 4 tests.

The low beams never exceeded glare limits.

High beams
On the straightaway, visibility was good on the left side of the road and fair on the right side. On curves, visibility was inadequate in all 4 tests.

Technical measurements for this test
Trim level(s)
  • LS trim
Low-beam headlight type Halogen reflector
High-beam headlight type Halogen reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
High-beam assist? No
Overall rating
Applies to 2016 models
LOW BEAMS Average minimum useful
illumination distance (5 lux)
Amount glare
exceeded threshold
Straightaway right edge 66.3 m None
Straightaway left edge 33.7 m None
250m radius right curve, right edge 44.9 m None
250m radius left curve, left edge 36.5 m None
150m radius right curve, right edge 38.3 m None
150m radius left curve, left edge 32.8 m None
HIGH BEAMS Average minimum useful
illumination distance (5 lux)
Straightaway right edge 140.9 m
Straightaway left edge 144.7 m
250m radius right curve, right edge 58.5 m
250m radius left curve, left edge 59.9 m
150m radius right curve, right edge 44.3 m
150m radius left curve, left edge 46.3 m

How headlights are evaluated

Front crash prevention

System details

  • Optional Forward Collision Alert

Package name

  • Optional Advanced Safety Package

Applies to 2016 models

Overall evaluation

  • This system meets the requirements for forward collision warning.
  • Autobrake not available.
Basic
Basic
with optional equipment

How front crash prevention is evaluated

Child seat anchors

Applies to 2016 models

Overall evaluation
Vehicle trim 1LT
Seat type leather

This vehicle has 2 rear seating positions with complete child seat attachment (LATCH) hardware.

It has 1 additional seating position with a tether anchor, a single lower anchor and the ability to borrow the second anchor from another position.

Note: When anchors are borrowed, they aren't available to use in their designated positions.

1 2 3
G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor
Seating positions that rely on borrowed lower anchors or have only a tether anchor available are not rated.
thether anchor symbol
Tether anchor
lower anchor symbol
Lower anchors
shared lower achors symbol
Lower anchor(s) can be borrowed from adjacent positions(s)
No hardware available

Details by seating position

1
Tether anchor
easy-to-find location
no other hardware could be confused for anchor
Lower anchors
too deep in seat
not too much force needed to attach
easy to maneuver around anchors
2
Tether anchor
easy-to-find location
no other hardware could be confused for anchor
Lower anchors
1 dedicated anchor and 1 that can be borrowed from seat 3
too deep in seat
not too much force needed to attach
easy to maneuver around anchors
3
Tether anchor
easy-to-find location
no other hardware could be confused for anchor
Lower anchors
too deep in seat
not too much force needed to attach
easy to maneuver around anchors
Technical measurements for this test

Seat position 21

3

Lower anchor A
Open access rated No
Depth (cm) 2-4
Force (lbs) 15
Clearance angle (degrees) 61
Lower anchor B
Open access rated No
Depth (cm) 2-4
Force (lbs) 14
Clearance angle (degrees) 60
Tether anchor
Location Rear deck
Confusing hardware present No
Has contrasting label
within 3 inches of tether anchor
No

Seat position 22

2

Lower anchor A
Lower latch is shared for this seat position
Lower anchor B
Open access rated No
Depth (cm) 4-6
Force (lbs) 14
Clearance angle (degrees) 61
Tether anchor
Location Rear deck
Confusing hardware present No
Has contrasting label
within 3 inches of tether anchor
No

Seat position 23

1

Lower anchor A
Open access rated No
Depth (cm) 4-6
Force (lbs) 17
Clearance angle (degrees) 74
Lower anchor B
Open access rated No
Depth (cm) N/A
Force (lbs) 11
Clearance angle (degrees) 74
Tether anchor
Location Rear deck
Confusing hardware present No
Has contrasting label
within 3 inches of tether anchor
No

How child seat anchors are evaluated