Ah, Malibu. We know it well. Sandy beaches, palatial estates, celebrities galore and winding canyon roads. All of which begs the question: What on earth does the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu have to do with its namesake? Well, like many Malibu residents, Chevy‘s family sedan received some front-end enhancements last year. Otherwise, though, there’s not a whole lot of overlap. The Malibu gets the job done, but it tends to get lost in the shuffle versus its higher-profile rivals. That’s a shame, because when you get right down to it, the Malibu is a pretty nice car with few apparent weaknesses. One used to be the underwhelming Eco model’s “mild hybrid” powertrain — too mild, frankly, to justify the compromises in performance and trunk space — but Chevy has done away with the Eco for 2015, leaving just the satisfying base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or the strong turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder as your choices. Another shortcoming, literally, is the Malibu’s limited rear legroom, an unavoidable consequence of the car’s unusually compact wheelbase. But other than that, the Malibu has much to recommend it, including excellent crash-test scores, an upscale interior and a quiet, supple ride. Despite these and other merits, however, the Malibu is simply outdone by other midsize family sedans. The 2015 Nissan Altima, for example, is notable for delivering better fuel economy with both its base and optional engines. Same goes for the Honda Accord, which also offers a particularly spacious backseat. On the home front, the 2015 Ford Fusion impresses with its sharp handling, head-turning style and rich feature set. The overhauled 2015 Hyundai Sonata also merits close consideration, and there are others we could mention as well.