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Chevrolet Malibu vs. Subaru Legacy

Compare repair costs, reliability, and owner reviews

Chevrolet Malibu

$518
Average Annual
Repair Cost

Subaru Legacy

$626
Average Annual
Repair Cost

Overall Reliability Rating

4
Excellent
The Chevrolet Malibu Reliability Rating is 4.0 out of 5.0, which ranks it 13th out of 24 for midsize cars. The average annual repair cost is $518 which means it has lower than average ownership costs. The severity of repairs is average, and major issues are less frequent than average, so major repairs are not common for the Malibu.
4
Excellent
The Subaru Legacy Reliability Rating is 4.0 out of 5.0, which ranks it 15th out of 24 for midsize cars. The average annual repair cost is $626 which means it has average ownership costs. The severity of repairs is low while frequency of those issues is average, so major issues are uncommon for the Legacy.
Cost
Average annual repairs total
$518
inexpensive
expensive
$626
inexpensive
expensive
Frequency
Average annual repair shop visits
0.34
not often
very often
0.41
not often
very often
Severity
Percentage of annual repairs that are urgent
12%
not urgent
urgent
8%
not urgent
urgent

Overall Car Ratings & Details

5 (4)
4 (28)
3 (27)
2 (25)
1 (5)
The Chevrolet Malibu ranks highest in exhaust and ranks lowest in suspension.
“This car is a pain.”
“This car is a pain.”
5 (4)
4 (16)
3 (6)
2 (3)
1 (1)
The Subaru Legacy ranks highest in heating and ranks lowest in engine.
“Struts are rubbing making noise when going over small dips or heaves in the road. Dealer says they all make noise in the cold. Bs. My 2002 subaru doesn't make any noise.”
“Struts are rubbing making noise when going over small dips or heaves in the road. Dealer says...”

Vehicle Comparison Rundown

The Chevrolet Malibu and the Subaru Legacy are two midsize, four-door sedans. The Malibu comes with front-wheel drive. The Legacy comes standard with all-wheel drive.

The Chevy Malibu’s standard engine has 160 horsepower, while Legacy’s standard engine comes with 175 horsepower. In terms of optional engines, the Malibu’s 250 horsepower trails Legacy’s 256 horsepower. Not a huge difference here.

When it comes to interior and trunk space for the Chevrolet Malibu and the Subaru Legacy, the tables are turned, though also by a small margin. The Malibu offers 102.9 cubic feet of passenger space, slightly more than Legacy’s 100.9 cubic feet. In the trunk, the Malibu narrowly leads with 15.8 cubic feet of space, a tad more than Legacy’s 15 cubic feet. Again, the difference is a small one.

Neither the Malibu nor the Legacy offers any advanced driver assistance features on the base models. But both offer them as options on other trim levels. This falls short of competing vehicles like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, which offer these safety features as standard equipment on every model.

Except for the Legacy’s standard all-wheel drive, the Malibu and the Legacy are very similar. Unless you live where all-wheel drive is a distinct advantage, such as in heavy snow, you should drive both of these vehicles and see which one you prefer.