Chevrolet engineers are out testing a prototype for an updated Malibu.
And judging by the level of camouflage gear they’re using, a number of visual tweaks are pegged for the mid-size sedan. In particular, it appears the front fascia is sporting a new design for the daytime running lights.
The current Malibu, the nameplate’s ninth generation, was introduced in 2016, meaning this update likely represents a mid-cycle refresh.
The current range of engines should carry over, though there are rumors Chevy may add the 1.6-liter turbocharged diesel engine already found in the Cruze Diesel. In the Cruze, the unit is good for 136 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque.
2019 Chevrolet Malibu facelift spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
Chevy may also make its 9-speed automatic available with more powertrains. The fuel-efficient shifter was added in 2017, but only for the top-of-the-line 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4.
Look for the updated Malibu to be revealed in the first half of 2018, as a 2019 model.
Sedans are waning in popularity among mainstream makes, making competition in this segment that much tougher. The Malibu, despite being a staple in Chevy’s line-up, hasn’t escaped the decline.
Sales in the first six months of 2017 came in at 83,899 units, down about 30 percent on the same period a year ago. The picture is much bleaker for the Malibu’s big brother, the Impala, leading to claims the car might be axed. It sold just over 30,000 units in the first six months of 2017, down more than 40 percent on the period a year ago.