Son's Automotive Group Compares 2018 Honda Accord Sedan VS 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Near Buford, GA

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2018 Honda Accord Sedan

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2018 Honda Accord Sedan

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2018 Chevrolet Malibu

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Honda Accord are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Chevrolet Malibu doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Accord deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Accord’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Malibu’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The Accord’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Malibu doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Accord and the Malibu have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the 2018 Accord the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 90 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Malibu was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Warranty Comparison

The Accord’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Malibu’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability Comparison

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 9 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine Comparison

The Accord’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 32 more horsepower (192 vs. 160) and 8 lbs.-ft. more torque (192 vs. 184) than the Malibu’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Accord’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 2 more horsepower (252 vs. 250) and 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 260) than the Malibu Premier’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Honda Accord 1.5T is faster than the Chevrolet Malibu 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):




Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

8.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

16.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.3 MPH

84.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Accord gets better fuel mileage than the Malibu:








30 city/38 hwy

27 city/36 hwy

1.5 Turbo 4 cyl./Auto


Sport/Touring 1.5T/Auto

29 city/35 hwy





23 city/34 hwy

22 city/32 hwy

2.0 Turbo 4 cyl./Auto


Sport/Touring 2.0T/Auto

22 city/32 hwy



To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda Accord uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Malibu Premier requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Accord 2.0T/Sport/Touring’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Malibu:


Accord 2.0T/Sport/Touring


Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11.8 inches

The Accord stops much shorter than the Malibu:





70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

109 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Accord has larger standard tires than the Malibu (225/50R17 vs. 205/60R16).

The Accord’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Malibu L/LS’ standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Accord has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Malibu L/LS.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Accord offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Malibu’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Accord has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Malibu doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Accord Touring handles at .89 G’s, while the Malibu LT pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Accord Sport executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Malibu LT (26.4 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 27.4 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Accord uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Malibu doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Accord Touring is quieter than the Malibu LT (40 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Accord a Large car, while the Malibu is rated a Mid-size.

The Accord has 2.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Malibu (105.6 vs. 102.9).

The Accord has .4 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, 1.2 inches more front hip room, 2.3 inches more rear legroom and 1.6 inches more rear hip room than the Malibu.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Accord has a larger trunk than the Malibu (16.7 vs. 15.8 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Accord easier. The Accord’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the Malibu’s liftover is 30.5 inches.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Accord offers cargo security. The Malibu’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Accord. The Malibu doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Accord Touring has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Malibu doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Accord’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Malibu’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. The Malibu LT/Premier’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Accord the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Malibu can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Accord has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Malibu doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Accord’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Malibu’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Accord Touring’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Accord’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Malibu’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

Both the Accord and the Malibu offer available heated front seats. The Accord Touring also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Malibu.

The Accord has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Malibu Premier.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Accord, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Chevrolet only offers wireless connectivity on the Malibu LS/LT/Premier.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Accord is less expensive to operate than the Malibu because it costs $207 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Accord than the Malibu, including $170 less for a water pump, $201 less for a muffler, $91 less for front brake pads and $209 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the Honda Accord, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Malibu isn't recommended.

The Accord was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” 2018 and for 22 of the last 24 years. The Malibu has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Accord 2.0T Sport was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The Malibu has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Accord as the 2018 North American Car of the Year. The Malibu has never been chosen.

The Honda Accord outsold the Chevrolet Malibu by 74% during 2017.

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