The newly announced EPA-estimated figures are only a point off from Chevy's forecasts last year of 48 mpg city, 45 mpg highway, and 47 mpg combined. Among hybrid midsize sedans, the Malibu's closet competitors are the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid with 44 mpg combined and the Ford Fusion Hybrid with 42 mpg combined.
To achieve such impressive numbers over the competition, the Malibu Hybrid borrows the software, regenerative braking, and some electric components from the Volt. The sedan's powertrain pairs a 1.8-liter four-cylinder with two electric motors for a total output of 182 horsepower. The setup can get the four-door to 60 miles per hour in 7.8 seconds, and a 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery stores the energy. Prices start at $28,645, including destination.
During our Malibu Hybrid First Drive, we found that the powertrain had a smooth transition between running on gasoline and electricity. We also liked the regenerative braking system's tuning. The handling and suspension was very similar to the combustion Malibu. The only major issue was a loss of some trunk space because of the battery.
DETROIT – Offering a segment-best EPA-estimated 46-mpg combined fuel economy rating, the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is an efficient midsize sedan driving Chevrolet into the future with uncompromising comfort, connectivity and driving dynamics.
It leverages drive system components and software from the plug-in Chevrolet Volt to provide all-electric propulsion in some driving scenarios, along with power to assist the gas engine. Additional technologies contribute to EPA-estimated mileage ratings of 47 mpg city and 46 mpg highway. No other 2016 midsize sedan hybrid offers higher EPA-estimated city mileage.
"The Malibu Hybrid offers outstanding fuel efficiency and integrates the latest technology to give customers a world-class hybrid," said Steve Majoros, marketing director of Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers. "Combined with a number of available, leading safety and connectivity features, it's a great choice for those who want exceptional efficiency with Chevrolet's signature value."
The 2016 Malibu Hybrid starts at $28,645 (including destination charge) and is based on the LT trim. It shares many of its attributes with the entire Malibu lineup, which was redesigned for 2016 and features a longer wheelbase for greater comfort. It is also nearly 300 pounds lighter than its predecessor for improved driving feel and greater fuel economy.
Standard features include Chevrolet MyLink with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, for high-level connectivity, and access to select phone apps such as music, maps and others right from MyLink's 7-inch-diagonal color touch screen. (Data plan rates and privacy statements apply and require a compatible smartphone.)
Malibu Hybrid offers 10 standard airbags, a rear-vision camera, cruise control and push-button start with passive entry. Additional active safety features offered include Lane Keep Assist, Front Pedestrian Braking, Rear Vision Camera and Low Speed Automatic Braking.
Teen Driver is available and allows parents to automatically activate safety features and view their teenager's driving habits, while managing certain settings including speed warnings, radio volume limits and more, to help reinforce safe driving. It is the first system in the industry to allow parents to view how their teen drove the vehicle via the in-vehicle report card.
The 2016 Malibu Hybrid is driven by a new, direct-injected 1.8L engine mated to a two-motor drive unit. The drive unit is based on the one used in the 2016 Chevrolet Volt and provides additional power to assist the engine during acceleration, for 182 horsepower (136 kW) of total system power.
The engine also features Chevrolet's first application of Exhaust Gas Heat Recovery, or EGHR, technology, which uses exhaust heat to warm the engine and cabin. EGHR improves engine warm-up and helps offer consistent fuel economy performance in cold weather. Additional fuel economy benefits come from Exhaust Gas Recirculation, or EGR.
An 80-cell, 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides electric power to the hybrid system. It can power the Malibu Hybrid up to 53 miles per hour (85 km/h) on electricity alone. The gasoline-powered engine automatically comes on at higher speeds and high loads to provide additional power.
In addition to the drive unit, the Malibu Hybrid also shares the 2016 Volt's blended regenerative braking system, which provides maximum kinetic energy recovery during braking to be stored in the battery system to help maintain charge.
The Malibu Hybrid is built with globally sourced parts at the GM Fairfax Assembly facility in Kansas City, Kan., where GM invested $174 million for new tooling and technology to support production of the redesigned 2016 Malibu.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 countries and selling around 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.