2012 Toyota Camry vs. 2012 Chevrolet Malibu: Which One Should I Buy?

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Mid-size sedans are the perfect family vehicle; offering just enough space for you and a few kids, but not so much that a small family will feel lost in them. This class of vehicles is slightly larger than a compact car, but not large enough to be classified as a full-size vehicle, either. They come from a variety of different manufacturers and are offered in myriad price ranges, but most are reasonably priced.

The Malibu represents GM’s best-executed products in the range, with smooth performance and a spacious cabin as well as a handsome silhouette. The Toyota Camry is one of the more conservative-looking mid-size sedans but it retains the Toyota comfort, value and frugality in this latest offering.

chevrolet malibu 2012
2012 Chevrolet Malibu

Design

Overall, the Toyota Camry is elegant yet straightforward, with a segment-leading 10 airbags, and Bluetooth connectivity is one of the tech toys included in all models. The Malibu boasts a surprisingly underplayed look with a smooth powertrain. However, the Camry has a few design flaws: the rear seatback doesn’t fold flat, and the front seats do not have a strong side support.

Fuel Economy

The fuel economy for the Malibu and the Camry are very comparable; with the Camry offering just a few more miles per gallon both in the city and on the interstate. The Camry’s fuel tank is one gallon larger; when combined with the better gas mileage you’ll get quite a ways further down the road before filling up with the Camry than with the Malibu.

Safety Ratings

When you start looking at safety ratings, that’s when you’re really going to see the Camry shine. There are only a few stars lost overall for the full list of crash test ratings, while the Malibu lost points on the frontal barrier crash rating for the passenger, side barrier and the side barrier rating for the driver. Both vehicles went down a star on the rollover rating. The Camry has an extra airbag, which can help protect passengers in the case of a wreck.

Extra Features

The Malibu has a few features standard that the Camry doesn’t even offer—things like the keyless entry and power seats on the Malibu LT. The Malibu also offers OnStar roadside assistance system, which is not offered on any version of the Camry.

Both mid-size vehicles are solid buys, with the Camry offering slightly higher crash test ratings and the Malibu providing better features.


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Attila

18 years of experience
573 reviews
Attila
18 years of experience
Volvo XC90 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Passaic, New Jersey
Excellent, knowledgeable, hands-on, and experienced mechanic. Polite, helpful, focused and answers any questions. Examines everything thoroughly and explains what he is doing and offers immediate insight. Great energy, hard-working and provides great support for pre-purchase inspection. I'm a professor and do my own research but wanted the added confidence of a good mechanic who could see and inspect every detail that mattered. This is the guy I want to be working with as far as cars are concerned. I'll be hiring him to do all my inspections, until I get my car. Then I'll hire him as the mechanic for my car. Then I'll repeat when its time for my daughter's car etc. When he found a problem, he showed me, and explained, and then had me test it out. Then he would show me the variations. At the same time, he was efficient. He did his job well and moved from task to task, and didn't linger over random discussion, and conscientiously moved from one inspection to the next in a timely manner. He was looking for everything that might be wrong and made a good remark when something was right and showed me what he meant. When we went for a test-drive he felt out the entire set of behaviors that should matter to a person interested in a good engine, in good performance, and in safety. At the end of the day, people who love their work do it extremely well. I would say Atilla represents that kind of person and he was a pleasure to work with.
Volvo XC70 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Plainfield, New Jersey
Attila was very throughrout with the inspection of the car and confirmed my suspicions about the breaks

Michael

15 years of experience
554 reviews
Michael
15 years of experience
Honda Odyssey - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Decatur, Georgia
Wonderful experience with Mike! He was punctual, thorough, and professional. Would definitely choose to work with him again!
Lincoln Mark V - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Alpharetta, Georgia
Mike was very professional . His inspection was detailed and to the point. I avoided a major headache. Thank You!

William

18 years of experience
45 reviews
William
18 years of experience
Toyota Tacoma - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Scottsdale, Arizona
Very detailed, honest and knowledgeable mechanic. Saved me from buying a lemon. Will be returning to Your Mechanic to hire William in the future.
Infiniti FX35 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Tempe, Arizona
William was excellent and really helpful as we were buying from away. We highly recommend him. Thanks

Jason

14 years of experience
130 reviews
Jason
14 years of experience
Toyota Corolla - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Jamaica, New York
I recommend Jason. I know little about cars and needed him to check out a car for me. Jason did a pre purchase car inspection for me. He explained what looked good and what looked to be of concern about the car. If it was a concern, he explained what needed to be done to get the car in good shape before the purchase. He had all the equipment to check out the car. I would book him again for any other services as he knows what he's doing and is friendly.
Kia Rio - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Brooklyn, New York
Jason did a thorough job inspecting a car I was considering buying and answered all my questions after the inspection

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