2020 Toyota Camry vs. 2020 Chevrolet Malibu

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Camry have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Chevrolet Malibu doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Camry 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 Camry has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, 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 Camry TRD/XLE/XSE offers an optional Rear Cross Traffic Braking that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Malibu doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Camry XLE/XSE offers an optional Bird’s Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Malibu only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the Camry and the Malibu have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems 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 Toyota Camry is safer than the Chevrolet Malibu:

Camry

Malibu

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

140

173

Neck Injury Risk

20%

23%

Neck Stress

262 lbs.

937 lbs.

Neck Compression

13 lbs.

29 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

335

376

Neck Injury Risk

21%

38%

Neck Stress

136 lbs.

173 lbs.

Neck Compression

45 lbs.

62 lbs.

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

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 Toyota Camry is safer than the Chevrolet Malibu:

Camry

Malibu

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

134

180

Chest Movement

.7 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

136 G’s

239 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

289

460

Spine Acceleration

48 G’s

57 G’s

Hip Force

752 lbs.

809 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

164

235

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Camry its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 54 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Malibu was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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The Camry’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Malibu’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Camry for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota 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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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Camry’s reliability 36 points higher than the Malibu.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked fourth.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 23rd.

Engine

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The Camry has more powerful engines than the Malibu:

Horsepower

Torque

Camry 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

203 HP

184 lbs.-ft.

Camry XSE 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

206 HP

186 lbs.-ft.

Camry 3.5 DOHC V6

301 HP

267 lbs.-ft.

Malibu 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

160 HP

184 lbs.-ft.

Malibu Premier 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

250 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota Camry 4 cyl. is faster than the Chevrolet Malibu 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.:

Camry

Malibu

Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

8.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

16.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.2 MPH

84.6 MPH

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

For better stopping power the Camry’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Malibu:

Camry

Camry TRD

Malibu

Front Rotors

12 inches

12.9 inches

11.8 inches

The Camry stops shorter than the Malibu:

Camry

Malibu

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

133 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The Camry 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 Camry’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (59.5% to 40.5%) than the Malibu’s (61.6% to 38.4%). This gives the Camry more stable handling and braking.

The Camry SE handles at .88 G’s, while the Malibu LT pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Camry XSE executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Malibu LT (26.7 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.4 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

Chassis

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As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Camry SE is quieter than the Malibu LT (41 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space

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The Camry has .6 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front hip room, .5 inches more rear headroom and 1.3 inches more rear hip room than the Malibu.

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Camry easier. The Camry’s trunk lift-over height is 26.8 inches, while the Malibu’s liftover is 30.5 inches.

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

Servicing Ease

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The Camry 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 Camry XLE/XSE 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 Camry’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 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.

If the windows are left open on the Camry the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Malibu can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Camry has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Malibu doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Camry’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Malibu’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Camry’s headlights were rated “Good” to “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Malibu’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

Economic Advantages

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The Camry will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Camry will retain 46.06% to 50.35% of its original price after five years, while the Malibu only retains 36.49% to 48.23%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Camry is less expensive to operate than the Malibu because typical repairs cost much less on the Camry than the Malibu, including $36 less for a water pump, $277 less for a muffler and $65 less for front brake pads.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Camry will be $1043 to $2197 less than for the Chevrolet Malibu.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Camry, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Malibu isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Camry first among midsize cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Malibu isn’t in the top three.

The Toyota Camry outsold the Chevrolet Malibu by almost three to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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