These developments beg us to ask two questions: Why would one buy the eAssist-equipped Malibu Eco, which is more expensive by about $2,300 and more complex than the base model, when it offers no fuel economy advantage? Do improvements to General Motors' internal combustion engines make its eAssist mild-hybrid system a moot point? They're questions General Motors must carefully consider as it plans to spread the system to much of its vehicle lineup. Pam Fletcher, executive chief engineer for electrified vehicles, says GM is improving eAssist, according to Automotive News, and it will "place it strategically where it makes sense and where the customer benefit is there."
But as it stands, the Malibu beats fuel economy figures of the base 2014 Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry, as well as the base 2013 Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata (EPA hasn't tested 2014 Optimas and Sonatas yet) - no electric motor needed.