Compared: 2023 Toyota Camry vs. 2023 Chevrolet Malibu
One of these midsize sedans rules the segment with options galore, while the other languishes with limited choice.
Toyota | Chevrolet
Though SUVs seem to get all the attention these days, there are still a few modern, competent, and economical midsize sedans out there to choose from. Two long-standing options on the market are the Toyota Camry and Chevrolet Malibu. While the Toyota outsold the Chevy by more than eight to one last year, the Malibu still has a couple of things going for it. Let's take a look at how these industry stalwarts compare.
Camry Has More Trims and Costs More Than the Malibu
Pricing for the 2023 Chevrolet Malibu starts at around $26,000 and rises to about $37,000 if you select every option. In preparation for the model's expected phaseout next year, Chevrolet has done away with the lineup's hybrid and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, leaving just one powertrain: a 163-hp turbo 1.5-liter four-cylinder. It sends torque exclusively to the front wheels.
The Camry comes in just a little higher, with a base price of about $27,000. For that money, buyers get a 203-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder, which they can pair with all-wheel drive for $1,400 more. Toyota offers a 208-hp hybrid powertrain, starting at about $29,000, and a 3.5-liter V6, putting out 301 horsepower. The cheapest way to get the latter is in the sporty $34,000 TRD model. Toyota fits that engine in more comfort-oriented trims as well. A fully loaded Camry XSE V6 — the most expensive model you can buy — comes in just under $40,000.
Camry Edges Out the Malibu in Features
While these two midsizers provide many of the same features, the 2023 Toyota Camry has the edge in this category. Dual-zone automatic climate control and adaptive cruise come standard on the Camry, whereas Chevrolet reserves those things for upper trims of the Malibu.
Toyota offers a 9.0-inch infotainment screen, which bests the 2023 Chevrolet Malibu’s standard and optional screens by one inch, and only the Camry has an available head-up display. Moreover, the sporty Camry TRD comes with a unique suspension tune and bigger-than-base front brakes — two upgrades no Malibu has. On the other hand, the Chevy has a leg up in smartphone mirroring, providing wireless operation of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity across the board; the Camry, meanwhile, requires a cable for both.
Malibu Is No Match for the Camry's Fuel Economy
In its base four-cylinder, front-drive form, the 2023 Toyota Camry returns a decent 32 mpg. Add all-wheel drive and you're looking at 29 mpg. The V6-powered TRD is the worst performer of the lineup, seeing 25 mpg, whereas the hybrid model tops the range in efficiency, with about 52 mpg. Keep in mind that the Camry's figures vary slightly by trim level; the better-equipped models presumably weigh more, resulting in a slight drop in fuel economy.
Chevrolet offers no match for the efficiency of Toyota Camry Hybrid, nor does it have a thirsty performance-oriented option to compete with the V6 Camry. Every 2023 Chevrolet Malibu returns 30 mpg, falling a little behind the Camry.
All vehicle pricing includes MSRP plus destination charges (set at the time of publication), and will be rounded to the nearest thousand.