It’s no secret that sedans have dipped in popularity in recent times. Today, it seems like SUVs and crossover vehicles are taking over the roadways everywhere, and even the latest electric vehicles seem to prefer a crossover body style.
While the dwindling sales numbers of sedan vehicles paint a grim picture of the future of these cars, top manufacturers, such as Chevy and Ford, seem hopeful that car buyers will be excited about the sedan body style again. This may explain why these manufacturers are still rolling out sedans from their production lines, eager to win over new and old fans alike.
In this post, we compare two of the latest offerings from these manufacturers, namely, the 2023 Chevrolet Malibu and the 2023 Ford Fusion.
Overview of the 2023 Chevrolet Malibu and Ford Fusion
The 2023 edition of the Chevrolet Malibu is a midsize sedan that provides a smooth and gentle ride, a generous cabin space, and a user-friendly infotainment system. This installment of the Malibu has also undergone new upgrades from the previous year, most notably the addition of new safety and driver assistance features.
Meanwhile, the Ford Fusion has received more prominent upgrades to its exterior, with the most significant change being the new wagon-style body reminiscent of the Subaru Outback.
Let’s take an in-depth look at some essential design and performance differences between these two flagship cars.
The Malibu has experienced some notable changes, particularly regarding its color palette. For instance, several popular color options have been removed for this edition, including Cherry Red, previously available for the LT, RS, and Premier trims, and Northsky Blue Metallic, which was available for LT and Premier trim levels.
Chevrolet has replaced these exterior paint colors for the 2023 Malibu with Radiant Red, which is available for RS, 1LT, and the newly introduced 2LT trim levels. Sterling Gray and Riverside Blue are other new paint colors available on all trim levels. Several other exterior styling features have also been deleted across the trim lineup of this edition of the Malibu, including bright sill plates and heated side mirrors with LED turn signals.
The color palette of the 2023 Ford Fusion has also seen several significant changes. This Fusion edition comes in eight color options: Iconic Silver, Agate Black, Oxford White, Velocity Blue, Rapid Red, Alto Blue, Magnetic Metallic, and Platinum White. Other notable exterior features available on this edition of the Fusion include full LED headlights, taillights, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Engine and Performance
For the 2023 Malibu model, Chevy decided to use the 1.5-liter 163-horsepower engine, which was previously available on the 2022 version. This essentially means that the 2.0-liter 250-horsepower engine has been discontinued and will no longer be available on this sedan. The current engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission to complete the drivetrain.
While Ford is yet to release official details of the powertrain on the 2023 Fusion, it’s widely speculated that all-wheel drive will be available on this sedan. Rumor also says that the wagon will feature hybrid and plug-in-hybrid powertrain options. If we’re to go with these suspicions, then it’s likely that this powertrain setup will be similar to that found on the compact Escape crossover. This would mean a 2.5-liter engine that’s paired with two electric motors.
Interior and Comfort
The 2023 Malibu offers decent cabin space that comfortably seats five passengers. Both rows provide good cushioning and support for extra comfort during long drives. While the front row has good head and leg room, the back row isn’t so spacious and might feel cramped for taller passengers.
The Malibu has also undergone several changes to its interior that are worth taking note of. For instance, heated and leather seats are no longer available in this edition. However, each trim level of this iconic sedan now comes with an 8-inch infotainment touch screen that is highly intuitive. Other notable features that come standard across the lineup include a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and a USB port.
Although the interior styling and cabin space of the 2023 Ford Fusion is yet to be revealed, we expect to see a styling similar to that of other Ford vehicles, such as the Explorer and the Mustang Mach-E. Going by the styling of these models, some of the interior features we’re likely to see on the Fusion include a vertically oriented center screen and a digital gauge cluster. There’s also a good chance that the 2023 Fusion will have a similar cargo space to the Subaru Outback.
Safety and Driver Assistance Features
Each trim level of the 2023 Chevrolet Malibu comes with a host of standard safety and driver assistance features, including automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, automatic high-beam headlights, and lane departure warning with lane-keep assist. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is also available, depending on the trim level.
Although Ford is yet to announce the driver assistance features that will be available on the 2023 Fusion, some of the techs we expect to see include blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, and automated emergency braking. It’s also speculated that the Fusion might feature Ford’s BlueCruise hands-free highway driving mode. In terms of safety features, we expect that the Fusion will have standard lane departure warning with lane-keep assist and standard automatic emergency braking.
With the announcement of the Chevrolet Malibu and Ford Fusion, 2023 is set to be a comeback year for the sedan style. While most automakers have largely moved away from the sedan vehicle to focus on the ever-growing market for SUVs and crossover vehicles, General Motors and Ford are gearing up for what might be the biggest sedan showdown in recent years.
If you’re interested in the 2023 Chevrolet Malibu, check out our inventory of new vehicles to see what we have available. You can also apply for financing at Huffines Chevrolet Lewisville, and we’ll help you get the best deal on your auto purchase.