McCarthy Morse Chevrolet Blog

Chevrolet Sedan Comparison: Cruze vs. Malibu vs. Impala


Buying a new vehicle is always exciting, especially if you’re a first-time car buyer. However, this can be a time-intensive process as lots of research is done to find the best car that meets your unique needs. Oftentimes, several sources must be utilized to gather the necessary information to make an informed decision about which car to buy.

Not so fast! Here at McCarthy-Morse Chevrolet, our aim is to enhance your car-buying experience by providing all the information in one place. Below is a side-by-side comparison Chevrolet sedans that we currently have available. Read on to discover if you’re better suited for the Chevy Cruze, Impala, or Malibu.


2018 Chevrolet Cruze

The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze is ranked #7 in compact cars by U.S. News and has an overall score of 8.5.


The 2018 Cruze has five available sedan trims (as well as a hatchback model):

  • Cruze L: The base L trim has 15-inch steel wheels, Bluetooth, MyLink infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, a USB port, and a rearview camera.
  • Cruze LS: This adds a compass, a center console armrest and upgraded interior items.
  • Cruze LT: The LT trim has 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, LED daytime running lights, and 60/40 split-folding rear seats.
  • Cruze Diesel: Diesel-powered models come standard with heated front seats, keyless entry/start, and remote start. With the RS package comes a body kit, fog lights, a roof spoiler, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
  • Cruze Premier: This Premier trim comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, a heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, and a USB charging port for rear passengers.

Fuel Economy and Performance

There are two engine choices for the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze. The standard trim comes with a 153-horsepower engine and a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The diesel engine delivers 137 horsepower and a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission. You’ll get about 29 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway with the base four-cylinder. On the other hand, the diesel engine returns 30 mpg in the city and 52 mpg on the highway.


The NHTSA awarded the Chevrolet Cruze with a five-star overall safety rating. From the IIHS, the Chevrolet Cruze received a “Good rating” for the two crash tests.


2018 Chevrolet Impala

The 2018 Chevrolet Impala is ranked #6 in large cars by U.S. News with an overall score of 8.5 based on its performance, interior, safety, and reliability.


The Impala can comfortably seat five people and offers lots of leg room. It has a trunk size of roughly 19 cubic feet, one of the largest in its class. It has three available trim levels:

  • Impala LS: This base LS comes with the four-cylinder engine and offers standard features such as the MyLink infotainment system, satellite radio, a rearview camera,  keyless entry/start, cloth/leatherette upholstery, USB ports, a multi-information display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, Bluetooth, and an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat.
  • Impala LT: Additional packages offered in addition to standard LS features include the LT Entertainment package with an upgraded MyLink system, LT Leather package with leather seats, Sunroof and Spoiler package with a power sunroof and rear spoiler. In addition, the LT Driver Confidence package offers rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, and lane departure warning.
  • Impala Premier: The range-topping Impala sedan comes with a mighty V6 engine. In addition to the features in the LT, it offers the Premier Confidence package with adaptive cruise control, 20-inch wheels, and forward collision warning.

Fuel Economy and Performance

There are two engine choices for the 2018 Chevrolet Impala. The standard engine comes with a 197-horsepower four-cylinder engine while the upgraded V6 engine makes 305 horsepower.  Both the standard and V6 engines pair with a six-speed automatic transmission. The 4-cylinder engine returns 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway; the V6 engine rakes in 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.


The 2018 Impala received a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2018 Impala received the highest “Good” rating on four of five crash tests.


2018 Chevrolet Malibu

The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu is ranked #10 in midsize cars by U.S. News with an overall score of 8.3.


The 2018 Malibu has five available trims:

  • Malibu L: The base Malibu L offers 16-inch steel wheels, keyless entry and start, and a 3.5-inch instrument cluster display.
  • Malibu LS: This has 16-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, a USB port, MyLink infotainment system, as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration.
  • Malibu LT: This offers 17-inch alloy wheels, an eight-way power-operated driver’s seat, and LED daytime running lights.
  • Malibu hybrid: This trim has the same features as the LT trim with its own unique instrument cluster and dual-zone climate control.
  • Malibu Premier: This adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a large 8-inch touchscreen, a wireless charging pad, ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, and navigation.
  • Optional features on most Malibu models include a panoramic sunroof, 19-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, an electric parking brake and automatic parking assist.

Fuel Economy and Performance

There are three engine choices for the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu. The standard engine makes 163 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The V6 produces 250 horsepower and is matched with a nine-speed transmission. The Malibu Hybrid trim comes with an electric motor that has an output of 182 horsepower.

You’ll see returns of 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway with the base engine. Step up into the Malibu Premier and you’ll get 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. As the fuel-sipper of the Malibu lineup, the Malibu Hybrid brings home the bacon with 49 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway.


The 2018 Malibu received a perfect five-star overall rating from the NHTSA. The IIHS also awarded the Malibu the top rating of “Good” in all five test categories, resulting in an entry on the Top Safety Pick list.


Shop New Chevy Cars for Sale in Overland Park

Now that you know which Chevy sedan is best for you, it’s time to start shopping for a new car near Kansas City! At our Overland Park Chevy dealership, we have the Cruze, Malibu, and Impala available for sale and lease, so stop by anytime to check them out. We’ll also help you get approved for the best auto financing terms possible, so don’t delay.

Contact us at (913) 440-0099 to speak with a member of our McCarthy-Morse Chevrolet sales team.


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