Chevy wants to maintain solid quality and reliability rankings racked up by the current Malibu, which was launched in spring 2012 and will stay on sale until the redesign arrives by year end.
J.D. Power named the Malibu its highest-rated midsize sedan in both its initial-quality study and three-year reliability study in 2014.
Still, the Malibu has been a sales disappointment. Deliveries have fallen every year since 2012, to 188,519 Malibus last year, when it was the only midsize car among the top eight in volume to record a sales decline.
Chevy will unveil the 2016 Malibu at the New York auto show on April 1. It's expected to show the next-generation Spark minicar the next day.