Chevrolet's powertrain warranty covers the Malibu 40,000 miles longer than Toyota covers the Camry. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Camry ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
There are almost 4 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Malibu's warranty.
Both the Malibu and Camry have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Malibu has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Camry's child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can't know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
The power windows standard on both the Malibu and the Camry have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Malibu is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Camry prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The Malibu offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The Camry doesn't offer a collision warning system.
The Malibu's optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Camry doesn't offer a lane departure warning system.
Brakes and Stopping
The Malibu stops much shorter than the Camry:
Tires and Wheels
For better traction, the Malibu has larger tires than the Camry (225/55R17 vs. 205/65R16).
The Malibu's tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Camry L/LE/Hybrid's standard 65 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Malibu offers optional 19 inch wheels. The Camry's largest wheels are only 18 inches.
Suspension and Handling
The Malibu's front to rear weight distribution is more even (59.2% to 40.8%) than the Camry's (61.2% to 38.8%). This gives the Malibu more stable handling and braking.
The Malibu Eco handles at .85 G's, while the Camry SE pulls only .82 G's of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
The front grille of the Malibu offers available electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Camry doesn't offer active grille shutters.
As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Malibu Eco is quieter than the Camry SE (64 vs. 69 dB).
The Malibu has a larger trunk than the Camry (16.3 vs. 15.4 cubic feet). The Malibu ECO has a larger trunk than the Camry Hybrid (13.2 vs. 13.1 cubic feet).
The Malibu's standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Camry Hybrid's standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can't share the rear seat.
The Malibu offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The driver can also remotely turn on the heater or air conditioner. The Camry doesn't offer a remote starting system.
When two different drivers share the Malibu, the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver's seat position and outside mirror angle. The Camry doesn't offer a memory system.
The Malibu's standard front and rear power windows all open with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Camry's passenger windows don't open automatically. The Malibu's optional front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches.
The Malibu's standard power locks allow the driver or passenger to lock or unlock all the doors at a touch without leaning over, or reaching to the back seat. The Camry L doesn't offer power locks.
The Malibu's variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Camry L's standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.
The Malibu has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The automatic headlight on/off feature is not available on the Camry L.
The Malibu has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won't have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Camry XLE/Hybrid.