When you are looking for a small-range sedan, you need to get somewhere quickly and inexpensively, and may even need to take a few kids with you. Slightly larger than a commuter car, these mid-size options offer decent gas mileage, a reasonable price-point and some feature upgrades that you might expect from larger and more expensive vehicles.
The Chrysler 200 and the Chevrolet Malibu are both top picks for their class due to their solid fuel efficiency, their zippy cornering and acceleration and their solid safety ratings. While prices are remarkably similar at less than $1,000 difference for the base price of each vehicle, the automatic features of the Chrysler 200 will put it ahead of the Malibu on several different fronts.
The Chrysler 200 overall feels more refined with details such as automatic front air conditioning versus manual on the Malibu, and the leather/chrome gearshift knob and trim, which is plastic and rubber on the Malibu. Small details such as a lighted glovebox and front and rear map lights and illuminated vanity mirrors add class to the Chrysler, while the Malibu continues to be solid but unexciting when it comes to the interior. Even the 8-way driver’s seat controls on the Chrysler outstrip the Malibu’s 2-way power seats and the heated seat options on the Chrysler are nice as well.
When you consider the safety features, the Malibu steps ahead of the Chrysler for the inclusion of OnStar Directions and Connections, a feature that provides a significant number of details such as remote horn and lights, navigation, roadside assistance, hands-free calling and stolen vehicle tracking which the Chrysler just lacks. Both vehicles offer low tire pressure warnings standard, which will help keep you safe on the road.
While the city fuel economy is relatively similar, the highway economy for the 200 is significantly worse than the Malibu, which boasts a 33 mpg and a 26 mpg combined economy versus the Chrysler’s 24 mpg. A similarly-sized fuel tank means that both vehicles will have you going to the pump relatively often with the 16.4 and 16.9 gallon tanks being on the small side.
If you are looking for a cost-effective and affordable to drive mid-size option, either of these two vehicles has something to offer for the consumer.