2012 Chrysler 200 vs. 2012 Chevrolet Malibu: Which One Should I Buy?

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.

Chevrolet Malibu 2012
2012 Chevrolet Malibu

Interior Design

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.

Safety Features

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.

Fuel Economy

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.


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Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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