Childre Nissan Compares 2017 Nissan Maxima VS 2017 Chevrolet Malibu Near Warner Robins, GA

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2017 Nissan Maxima

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VS

2017 Chevrolet Malibu

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Maxima 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.

The Maxima Platinum has a standard Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Malibu only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The Maxima Platinum’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 Maxima and the Malibu have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Maxima is safer than the Chevrolet Malibu:

 

Maxima

Malibu

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

23%

23%

Neck Stress

212 lbs.

937 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Maxima is safer than the Chevrolet Malibu:

 

Maxima

Malibu

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Maxima its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2017, a rating granted to only 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Malibu is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2017.

Warranty Comparison

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

Engine Comparison

The Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 140 more horsepower (300 vs. 160) and 77 lbs.-ft. more torque (261 vs. 184) than the Malibu’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 50 more horsepower (300 vs. 250) and 1 lbs.-ft. more torque (261 vs. 260) than the Malibu Premier’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Maxima is faster than the Chevrolet Malibu:

 

Maxima

Malibu 1.5

Malibu Premier

Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

8.5 sec

6.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

16.5 sec

14.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.5 MPH

84.6 MPH

96.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Maxima has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Malibu 1.5 Turbo’s standard fuel tank (18 vs. 13 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Maxima has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Malibu 2.0 Turbo’s optional fuel tank (18 vs. 15.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Maxima’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Malibu:

 

Maxima

Malibu

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

12.13 inches

11.3 inches

The Maxima’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Malibu are solid, not vented.

The Maxima stops shorter than the Malibu:

 

Maxima

Malibu

 

70 to 0 MPH

168 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Maxima has larger tires than the Malibu (245/45R18 vs. 205/60R16).

The Maxima’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 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 Maxima has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Malibu L/LS.

The Maxima has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Malibu doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Maxima offers an optional full size spare tire so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare isn’t available on the Malibu, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which has mileage and speed limitations, or roadside assistance and a tow-truck.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Maxima 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 Maxima 3.5 SR handles at .86 G’s, while the Malibu LT pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Maxima 3.5 SR executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Malibu LT (26.6 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 27.4 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Maxima SL/SR/Platinum 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.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Maxima has .3 inches more front headroom, 3 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more front hip room and .1 inches more rear hip room than the Malibu.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Maxima easier. The Maxima’s trunk lift-over height is 28.8 inches, while the Malibu’s liftover is 30.5 inches.

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Maxima’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The Malibu’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Maxima 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 Maxima. The Malibu doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Maxima’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 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 front windows are left down on the Maxima the driver can raise them using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Malibu can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Maxima 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 Maxima’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 Maxima Platinum’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 Maxima’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Malibu’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

A manual rear sunshade is standard in the Maxima Platinum to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Malibu doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The Maxima Platinum has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Malibu offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Maxima 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.

Both the Maxima and the Malibu offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Maxima has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Malibu L/LS doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Maxima, 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 Maxima is less expensive to operate than the Malibu because typical repairs cost much less on the Maxima than the Malibu, including $223 less for a water pump, $131 less for front brake pads, $51 less for fuel injection, $57 less for a fuel pump and $150 less for front struts.

Recommendations Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Maxima first among large cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Malibu isn’t in the top three in its category.

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