2016 Chevrolet Sonic vs. 2016 Chevrolet Malibu

There are a lot of quality vehicles in the current Chevrolet lineup, and the 2016 Chevrolet Sonic and the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu remain two popular options for a variety of drivers in Florence and Cincinnati. With a wide range of exciting features like OnStar telematics, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, the Chevrolet MyLink touchscreen interface, and confident performance from fuel-efficient turbocharged engines, it’s no wonder why. The 2016 Chevrolet Sonic is a subcompact sedan or hatchback, though, while the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu is a redesigned midsize sedan. As such, they serve the needs of different groups. See how these vehicles compare to help you decide which is best for your own driving needs.

A Look at Both Sedans

2016 Chevy Sonic Front

2016 Chevrolet Sonic

  • MSRP from only $14,345
  • Up to 47.7 cubic feet of cargo space
  • Available hatchback setup
  • EPA-estimated 40 mpg highway and 29 mpg city
2016 Chevy Malibu Limited Front

2016 Chevrolet Malibu

  • Fully redesigned midsize sedan
  • 250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque
  • Spacious seating for five adults
  • Available leather upholstery

Performance and Fuel Economy

The base engine on the 2016 Chevrolet Sonic is a 1.8L inline-four mated to a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. It makes 138 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque, and EPA estimates reach 35 mpg highway and 26 mpg city. The available turbocharged 1.4L inline-four gets a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission and increases output to 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque while also boosting fuel economy up to an EPA-estimated 40 mpg highway and 29 mpg city.

The first three trims on the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu come with a turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engine standard with a six-speed automatic, which makes 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. EPA estimates with the base engine are strong for a midsize sedan at 37 mpg highway and 27 mpg city. The topmost trims get a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine that makes 250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, and saves fuel with an EPA-estimated 33 mpg highway and 22 mpg city.


The 2016 Chevrolet Sonic is a subcompact car that’s available as both a sedan and a hatchback. It provides seating for up to five passengers and a total interior volume of 105.2 cubic feet on the sedan, as well as a trunk measuring 14.9 cubic feet. Those dimensions increase with the hatchback, which has an interior volume of 109.6 cubic feet, 19.0 cubic feet dedicated for cargo, and a maximum cargo volume of 47.7 cubic feet.

The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu is a midsize sedan that has been redesigned with more room for rear seat passengers and total seating for up to five adults. Total interior volume approaches the full-size sedan segment at 118.7 cubic feet, while the trunk provides 15.8 cubic feet of cargo space.


Whether you choose the 2016 Chevrolet Sonic or the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, you’ll get a competitive price for the segment you choose.

  • Chevrolet Sonic: MSRP from $14,345
  • Chevrolet Malibu: MSRP from $21,625

Which Sedan Should You Choose?

If you’re looking for a small car that can get you around affordably and efficiently while also promising a lot of standard features for the price, the 2016 Chevrolet Sonic is probably the right option for your budget and lifestyle. It’s available in a hatchback setup that also provides significant cargo room when needed. In general, the Sonic has been a favorite among teen drivers, drivers on a budget, and those in need of a dependable second or third car.

The redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, on the other hand, is a popular choice for those needing a spacious and well-rounded family car. The redesign brings more fuel economy to the mix, as well as increased dimensions in the cabin. So if you need more room and power and are willing to pay more money, the Malibu is an excellent choice.

Test Drive Both Chevrolet Models at Tom Gill Chevrolet

When you’re ready to check out the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu and 2016 Chevrolet Sonic in person, make your way from anywhere in the Cincinnati area to Tom Gill Chevrolet, located at 7830 Commerce Dr. in Florence, KY. Our sales team is here to help you out, and you’re welcome to reach out to us during our regular sales hours.