2020 Chevrolet Malibu vs. 2019 Ford Taurus

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Malibu are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Taurus doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Malibu’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the front seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The Taurus doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Malibu LT/Premier offers optional Front Automatic Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Taurus offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The Chevrolet Malibu has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Taurus doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

Both the Malibu and the Taurus have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Chevrolet Malibu is safer than the Ford Taurus:

Malibu

Taurus

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

173

182

Neck Injury Risk

23%

31%

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Chevrolet Malibu is safer than the Taurus:

Malibu

Taurus

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

1 cm

4 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Tibia index R/L

.76/.43

1.19/.41

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Chevrolet Malibu is safer than the Ford Taurus:

Malibu

Taurus

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.2 inches

Hip Force

212 lbs.

337 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

18 inches

HIC

235

376

Spine Acceleration

29 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

488 lbs.

743 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Malibu the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 157 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Taurus was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The Malibu’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Taurus’ (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Malibu first among midsize cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Taurus isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

Engine

The Malibu Premier’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 254) than the Taurus’ standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Malibu Premier 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Ford Taurus V6:

Malibu

Taurus

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

96.2 MPH

95 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Malibu gets better fuel mileage than the Taurus:

MPG

Malibu

FWD

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

29 city/36 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/32 hwy

Taurus

FWD

3.5 DOHC V6

18 city/26 hwy

AWD

3.5 DOHC V6

17 city/24 hwy

SHO 3.5 turbo V6

16 city/24 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Malibu 1.5 Turbo’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Taurus doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Chevrolet Malibu higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Ford Taurus (3). This means the Malibu produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Taurus every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Malibu Premier, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Taurus.

The Malibu has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Taurus doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The Malibu stops shorter than the Taurus:

Malibu

Taurus

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

168 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

The Malibu’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Taurus Limited’s 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Malibu Premier handles at .88 G’s, while the Taurus SEL pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Malibu Premier executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Taurus SEL (26.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Malibu’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the Taurus SHO’s (37 feet vs. 39.4 feet). The Malibu’s turning circle is 2.5 feet tighter than the Taurus’ (37 feet vs. 39.5 feet).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Malibu may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 800 to 1100 pounds less than the Ford Taurus.

The Malibu is 8.7 inches shorter than the Taurus, making the Malibu easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Malibu LT is quieter than the Taurus SHO:

Malibu

Taurus

At idle

42 dB

47 dB

Full-Throttle

71 dB

73 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space

The Malibu has .1 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front shoulder room and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Taurus.

Towing

While the Taurus SHO is not recommended to tow, any Malibu can tow a minimum of 1000 pounds.

Ergonomics

The Malibu’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Taurus does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Malibu’s standard front and rear power windows all lower 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 Taurus’ passenger windows don’t open automatically.

Consumer Reports rated the Malibu’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Taurus’ headlights, which were rated “Fair” to “Good” (depending on model and options).

When the Malibu Premier is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Taurus’ mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Chevrolet Malibu Premier has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Taurus doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Malibu Premier has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Taurus doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Malibu owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Malibu will cost $500 less than the Taurus over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Malibu is less expensive to operate than the Taurus because it costs $200 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Malibu than the Taurus, including $83 less for a water pump, $113 less for a muffler, $490 less for a timing belt/chain and $268 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chevrolet Malibu will be $9835 to $11940 less than for the Ford Taurus.

Recommendations

The Chevrolet Malibu outsold the Ford Taurus by over four to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos