True growth: The 2016 Chevy Malibu is larger, lighter, greener, and techier than ever

As far as family sedans go, the current Chevrolet Malibu lingers in the middle of the pack. It’s a good car, sure, but not a great one. It’s appealing to some, but not enough to make the Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry, or Honda Accord nervous. For 2016, that may be changing.

General Motors is reportedly targeting 250,000 annual sales for the car’s next-generation, which is over 60,000 more than the brand delivered in 2014. Why so confident, GM?

Well, the short answer is efficiency. The new Malibu, despite being nearly four inches longer than its predecessor, shaves off nearly 300 pounds for 2016. An all-new hybrid powertrain will boost the four-door’s economy rating as well, with a Volt-sourced electric drive unit assisting a 1.8-liter four-banger to a rating of 45 mpg combined. Total output for the hybrid is 182 horsepower.

The standard engine, a 1.5-liter turbo, is greener than the 2015 model’s 2.5-liter with an estimated rating of 27 mpg city and 37 mpg highway. With 160 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque, it’s noticeably less powerful than the old mill’s 196 hp and 191 lb-ft., but the vehicle’s slimmer frame should make up for some of that. A 2.0-liter turbo with 250 hp and 258 lb-ft is also available with an eight-speed auto, returning numbers of 22 mpg city and 32 mpg highway.

As we reported last month, the Malibu will be offered with a ‘Teen Driver’ monitoring system on most trim levels.

Giving parents an inside look at the driving habits of their offspring, Teen Driver allows them to review distance driven, maximum speed reached, over-speed warnings issued, and events where stability control or anti-lock brakes were engaged.

Chevrolet Malibu

The styling has been tweaked as well, with a narrower front fascia that gives off a more mature, stern look. There are new contour lines running down the sides too, which give the car a bit more aesthetic personality.

The grown-up treatment continues inside, as the array of buttons from the 2015 car has been replaced with a sleeker ‘MyLink’ touchscreen layout. Wireless smartphone charging is also available on certain trims.

The 2016 Malibu goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Cars

Mercedes wants to turn your car into a comfortable shopping mall on wheels

Mercedes-Benz designed its MBUX infotainment system with e-commerce in mind. Motorists can upgrade compatible cars via an over-the-air software updating system, but the brand wants to take this technology to the next level.
Product Review

Who needs a Range Rover? BMW’s X7 has better tech and just as much luxury

The 2019 BMW X7 is the German automaker’s long-overdue entry into the full-size luxury SUV segment. Packing three rows of seats and plenty of tech, can the new BMW take on Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover?
Cars

Bentley’s 542-horsepower Continental GT V8 is the best kind of downsizing

The Bentley Continental GT V8 has fewer cylinders than its W12 sibling, but Bentley expects it to offer better gas mileage and more agile handling. The V8's top speed of 198 mph is also pretty darn fast.
Cars

2020 Cadillac CT5 luxury sedan gets turbocharged power, chiseled looks

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 replaces the CTS in the General Motors luxury brand's lineup. Cadillac will unveil the CT5 at the 2019 New York Auto Show in April. Until then, it's keeping most details under wraps.
Product Review

The Nissan Rogue is smart, handsome, and practical. What’s not to love?

Year after year, Nissan’s Rogue compact crossover is a consistent best-seller, outpacing Honda’s CR-V, and even Toyota’s mighty RAV4. We looked for the reasons why people love the 2019 Nissan Rogue, and found them.
Emerging Tech

Racing to catch a flight? Robot valet at French airport will park your car

Hate searching for parking at the airport when you need to catch a plane? Startup Stanley Robotics recently unveiled a new outdoor automated robotic valet system. Here's how it works.
Cars

Nvidia’s new simulator brings virtual learning to autonomous vehicle developers

Nvidia introduced a simulator for testing autonomous vehicle technologies. Drive Constellation is a cloud-based platform technology vendors can use to validate systems efficiently, safely, and much faster than with vehicles on real roads.
Cars

Tesla wirelessly gives the Model 3 a 5-percent increase in power

Tesla again showed the potential of its innovative over-the-air software updating system by making the Model 3 five percent more powerful via a firmware update. The Performance model gained 23 horsepower.
Cars

Fiat wants to transform the cheeky 500 city car into an urban Tesla

Fiat is finally preparing a new 500. Scheduled to make its debut in early 2020, the retro-chic city car will go electric in part to comply with looming emissions regulations.
Cars

Say goodbye to Uber for good: Here's how to cut ties with the ridesharing service

If you thought that deleting the Uber app would also delete your account, think again. You'll have to deactivate your account, then wait 30 days in order to do so. Here, we outlined how to delete your Uber account once and for all.
Cars

FWD vs. RWD vs. AWD: How the wheels that turn change the way you drive

Let's face it, you've likely heard front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive mentioned before in some context or another. But what do these terms mean, especially in terms of performance? We’ve got the answers.
Cars

Shift it yourself: How to drive stick in a manual transmission car

Driving a manual transmission car might seem intimidating at first, but it's not as difficult as you might think. Knowing how to operate this type of gearbox will serve you well. Here's everything you need to know to learn how to drive…
Cars

Waymo boosts robo-taxi plans with new service center in Arizona

Waymo has announced plans for a facility in Phoenix, Arizona, that will help to service, maintain, and grow its fleet of autonomous Waymo One cars. The vehicles operate as part of the company's robo-taxi ridesharing service.
Cars

Vivint’s Car Guard keeps tabs on your vehicle when you’re not in it

A simple plug-in that you can place in just about any vehicle, Vivint's new Car Guard will automatically detect if your car is bumped, towed, or stolen and will alert you about it.