The midsize family sedan's biggest changes are up front. Starting with the grille, the overall shape is similar to the current model, though some angles seem to show a slightly wider lower section. The simple horizontal chrome slats in the grille are also gone, in favor of slats that dip in the middle. The headlights and fog lights have seen changes as well. The headlights seem to feature more chrome than the dark, smoked units of the current model, and they have a couple more elements. The fog lights are particularly different in that they aren't slim streaks of LED lights anymore. Now they're slightly more traditional, large quadrilateral shapes.
The last of the noteworthy design changes are at the back of the Malibu. Things are mostly the same back here, but the taillights are completely new. They have a more aggressive, geometric design for the elements, along with bright LEDs. They also appear more puffed up than then current model's lights, with the edges of the units protruding farther from the bodywork. Aside from the lights, the lower portion of the rear bumper has been tweaked a bit for the version with the 2.0-liter engine, as it now has wider exhaust outlets.
As with the last time we covered the updated Malibu, our spy photographer suggests the Malibu could get the diesel from the Cruze and Equinox. It's possible, especially since both vehicles share gas engines with the Malibu. However, since the Malibu Hybrid already offers impressive fuel economy numbers of 48 mpg city and 45 mpg highway, it might be difficult to differentiate and justify the diesel engine, which in the Cruze can manage 52 mpg on the highway, but 30 mpg in the city. We expect the updated Malibu to appear for the 2019 model year.