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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Volkswagen Arteon are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Chevrolet Malibu doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
The Arteon has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Malibu doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Arteon offers optional Maneuver Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Malibu doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The Arteon offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Malibu doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
The Arteon offers an optional Overhead View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Malibu only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.
Both the Arteon and the Malibu have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and available lane departure warning systems.
The Volkswagen Arteon weighs 432 to 728 pounds more than the Chevrolet Malibu. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
The Arteon comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The Malibu’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 3 years and 36,000 miles sooner.
The Arteon’s corrosion warranty is 4 years and unlimited miles longer than the Malibu’s (10/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).
The Volkswagen Arteon’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Malibu’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Volkswagen 7 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.
The Arteon’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 108 more horsepower (268 vs. 160) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 184) than the Malibu’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Arteon’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 18 more horsepower (268 vs. 250) than the Malibu Premier’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
The Arteon has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Malibu (17.4 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better stopping power the Arteon’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Malibu:
For better traction, the Arteon has larger tires than the Malibu (245/45R18 vs. 205/60R16).
The Arteon’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Malibu L/LS’ standard 60 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Arteon has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Malibu L/LS. The Arteon’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Malibu Premier.
The Arteon has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Malibu’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The Arteon has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Malibu doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Arteon a Large car, while the Malibu is rated a Mid-size.
The Arteon has a much larger trunk than the Malibu (27.2 vs. 15.7 cubic feet).
To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Arteon’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Malibu’s useful trunk space.
A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Arteon. The Malibu doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Arteon SEL Premium’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Malibu doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.
The Arteon uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Malibu uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
The Arteon’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Malibu’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. The Malibu LT/Premier’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.
The Arteon’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Malibu’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Arteon R-Line/SEL/SEL Premium has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Malibu doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The Arteon’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Chevrolet only offers heated mirrors on the Malibu LT/Premier.
The Arteon offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Malibu offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The Arteon has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Malibu LT/Premier.
Both the Arteon and the Malibu offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Arteon has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Malibu L/LS/RS doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
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