I went from a 2012 Malibu LT to a 2016 Malibu LT with the leather and convenience package. I shopped for over a year before making decision. If you buy it with regular rebates and discounts you will be disappointed on the resale value. I bought mine at end of model year and the 20% sale was going on plus the dealer was $1500 under invoice so I am very happy with what I paid (MSRP 28300, paid $19200).
The overall designed is pretty good. I do not like the plastic pattern in it but that's about it. I love the exterior and interior styling. I got it in charcoal. Very sleek looking and get many comments on it.
The power is great for the 1.5 turbo, 4 cyl. engine. I have no issues passing on the highway or keeping up with everyone else. I do mostly highway driving and average 34 mpg. When we took it from Wisconsin to Nashville last week we did even better, averaging 38mpg.
The Malibu has plenty of room it. I can fit all of my niece and nephews in the back, car seats and all, and they don't have any personal space issues. The trunk has more than enough space in it.
I was worried how it would handle in the snow this winter but didn't have an issue. Even on the worst roads, she got around great.
Overall you get a lot of bang for your buck. It is a great car for someone looking for something sporty, good on gas, easy on the wallet, and have space for friends and luggage.