2020 Volkswagen Arteon vs. 2020 Chevrolet Malibu

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/04/05

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 rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or 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, rearview cameras 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.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/04/05

The Arteon 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 Arteon’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Malibu’s (7/100,000 vs. 6/100,000).

Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Arteon for 2 years and 20,000 miles. Volkswagen 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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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.

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 Arteon’s reliability 27 points higher than the Malibu.

Engine

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The Arteon’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder 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-cylinder. The Arteon’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 18 more horsepower (268 vs. 250) than the Malibu Premier’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the Volkswagen Arteon is faster than the Chevrolet Malibu:

Arteon

Malibu 1.5

Malibu Premier

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

8 sec

6.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.4 sec

24.7 sec

15.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.4 sec

8.9 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

16.4 sec

14.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

85 MPH

97 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/04/05

The Arteon has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Malibu (17.4 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Arteon

Malibu

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.3 inches

The Arteon stops much shorter than the Malibu:

Arteon

Malibu

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

129 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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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. The Arteon’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 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.

Suspension and Handling

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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.

The Arteon SE 4Motion handles at .89 G’s, while the Malibu LT pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Arteon SEL Premium R-Line 4Motion executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Malibu LT (26.7 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.4 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Arteon a Large car, while the Malibu is rated a Mid-size.

Cargo Capacity

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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. The Malibu’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

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.

Towing

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The Arteon’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Malibu’s (4850 vs. 1000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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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.

Ergonomics

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The Arteon’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 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’s standard rear view mirror and optional 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 Arteon SEL Premium has standard massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Malibu.

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.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/04/05

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

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

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