2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe vs. 2020 Chevrolet Malibu

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe has standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically apply 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 2 Series Gran Coupe offers optional Active Park Distance Control 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 2 Series Gran Coupe has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Malibu doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe has standard Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Malibu doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Malibu doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the 2 Series Gran Coupe 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Malibu’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Malibu’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 2 Series Gran Coupe for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Chevrolet only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Malibu.

Reliability

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From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 8 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

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The 228i xDrive Gran Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 68 more horsepower (228 vs. 160) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 184) than the Malibu’s standard 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder. The M235i xDrive Gran Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 51 more horsepower (301 vs. 250) and 71 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 260) than the Malibu Premier’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Malibu doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Regardless of its engine, the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Chevrolet only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Malibu 1.5 Turbo.

Transmission

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Malibu doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Malibu are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 2 Series Gran Coupe has larger standard tires than the Malibu (224/40R18 vs. 205/60R16).

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’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. The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Malibu’s optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 2 Series Gran Coupe has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Malibu L/LS.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the 2 Series Gran Coupe can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Malibu doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Malibu’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe offers an optional 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 2 Series Gran Coupe 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.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.3% to 41.7%) than the Malibu’s (61.6% to 38.4%). This gives the 2 Series Gran Coupe more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe is 1 foot, 3.7 inches shorter than the Malibu, making the 2 Series Gran Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the 2 Series Gran Coupe. The Malibu doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Malibu doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe 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.

Ergonomics

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Malibu doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Malibu’s parking brake has to released manually.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s front power windows 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 power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. The Malibu LT/Premier’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the 2 Series Gran Coupe the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Malibu can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’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 2 Series Gran Coupe offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Malibu doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’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 2 Series Gran Coupe’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to 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 2 Series Gran Coupe 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 2 Series Gran Coupe and the Malibu offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the 2 Series Gran Coupe 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.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Malibu Premier’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

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