If you're shopping for a midsize family car, you should know that the field of possibilities just got a little more crowded. That's because the folks at Chevrolet have decided to offer two different takes on their long-running Malibu sedan for the 2016 model year. The one getting all the headlines is the fully redesigned version, of course, which looks to challenge segment leaders head-on. But if value is more important to you than the latest innovations, there's also a carryover of the previous generation that's known as the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited.
The Malibu Limited loses some of last year's more appealing options, most notably the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. What's left is a pleasant enough family sedan with some real strengths, including a quiet interior, a comfortable ride and excellent crash test scores. There are also some downsides, however, including a lack of rear legroom by midsize-sedan standards. Moreover, EPA-estimated fuel economy numbers are lower than the norm for this class.
The 2016 Malibu Limited faces a long list of distinguished rivals. Both the upgraded 2016 Honda Accord and the 2016 Hyundai Sonata deliver better fuel economy along with a much more spacious rear seat. The 2016 Ford Fusion is another strong choice by virtue of its good looks, responsive handling and long list of advanced features. The well-equipped and roomy 2016 Nissan Altima also merits consideration, while the recently revamped 2016 Toyota Camry is yet another entrant that deserves a look. You'll likely be able to get a pretty good deal on a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited, but it may be worth paying a premium to get a little more.