2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid comes with advanced technological features, a comfortable and roomy cabin which makes a great deal in the mid-size sedan offering. The hybrid variant shares its body and interiors with the standard malibu. The malibu has heavy rivals such as Ford Fusion, KIA Optima, Honda Accord, and Toyota Camry. Let us find out whether it can stack up against the competitors considering its higher price point than its rivals.
Trim levels, standard features, and options:
Unfortunately, the malibu hybrid has only one variant. It comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control, a backup camera, a 6-speaker infotainment system with an 8-in touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio, Bluetooth and OnStar with a Wi-Fi hot spot. Also standard are 17-in alloy wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, a power driver’s seat, steering wheel audio controls, keyless access, and start and 10 airbags.
The options include:
A remote starter, an 8-in navigation touchscreen, a wireless device charging system, forward-collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, a blind spot monitoring system, low-speed automatic braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, front and rear park assist, automatic high beams, a power sunroof, a navigation system, heated leather front seats, heated steering wheel, a power passenger seat and a 9-speaker Bose sound system.
The 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid features a 1.8-liter Inline 4 cylinder engine coupled to two electric motors, a 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery, and a CVT. Total system output is 182 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. EPA fuel economy ratings for the Malibu Hybrid at 49 mpg in the city and 43 mpg in the highway.
As with most hybrids, the two-motor setup delivers almost instantaneous acceleration, and the Malibu feels very quick off the line. However, the gas engine is loud and unrefined in certain situations. These include merging or passing at high speeds, or going up steep hills. The standard 1.5-liter engine feels just adequate. Those who prefer more punch can get the Premier model’s 2.0-liter engine. The Hybrid’s smooth acceleration makes it feel more like an electric vehicle than other hybrids. The malibu hybrid excels in acceleration while maintaining excellent fuel economy.
The base CVT automatic isn’t as refined as those in some competitors. And it exhibits a bit of rubber-band feeling and noticeable delays when the accelerator is pushed to the floor. The auto engine stop-start feature can also be annoying. The general seamless powertrain of the hybrid version, especially at city speeds is preferable.
The steering is low on feedback, and its initial turn-in is a bit rubbery, but the turning effort is consistent. It’s responsive enough to inspire confidence and can keep up with those who drive exuberantly.
The brake pedal action is smooth and predictable around town and it is a bit on the firm side. The car can stop from 60 mph in 113 feet — excellent for a car in this class. Confident hybrid brakes offer consistent and even pedal feel. Regenerative brakes in hybrids and electric cars usually have a tendency to feel strange, but these have what Chevrolet calls blended action. They feel pretty much identical to the brakes of a regular car, though they still gather energy that would otherwise have dissipated.
In crash testing carried out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu earned a perfect 5-star overall score. The nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Malibu the highest rating of Good in every crash test except the passenger-side small overlap front test, which earned a Marginal rating. The Malibu earned a Superior rating in the crash avoidance and mitigation category. While the Malibu Hybrid only offers basic safety features as standard equipment — including side-curtain airbags, antilock brakes, and a backup camera — optional safety items abound. The Malibu Hybrid boasts forward-collision warning with low-speed automatic braking, a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, front, and rear park assist, lane-keeping assist and automatic high beams.
The Malibu benefits from an uncluttered dashboard layout and simple, straightforward controls, though the plastics and design feel a bit dated. The front passenger room is on par with space in most other cars in the segment. The back seat lags behind more recently redesigned competitors. The sedan seats five people in relatively spacious accommodations. The front seats will keep you comfortable for long drives, and they offer plenty of support and adjustments for the driver to find a relaxing position. Outward visibility is also pretty good from the front seats. Second-row space is acceptable, with sufficient legroom for taller riders to stretch out, although it’s smaller than some competitors’ offerings. though the headroom is nothing to brag about. The sloping roofline makes that space feel more confining.
The excellent climate controls are placed within easy reach with good-size buttons and knobs. The MyLink screen’s high placement makes it easy to use. But the manual-shift button on top of the shifter needs a re-arrangement.
The quality is acceptable but far from class-leading. The hard plastics up front are at least textured. Those in back look cheap and can feel a bit scratchy in places. Other surfaces are covered in lightly padded cloth or faux leather, which feels sturdy and well put-together.
Trunk space is somewhat curtailed by having to accommodate the hybrid system’s battery pack. While a regular sedan can hold up to 15.8 cubic ft., this variant offers 11.8 cu ft. Though this is not exactly a deal-breaker, the extra annoyance is that this battery pack is still in the way, even with the rear seats folded down.
The hybrid battery pack eats up a lot of usable cargo room, and it blocks a good amount of the opening you create by folding down the rear seats. You can still pass long, skinny items through.
Despite its size and non-sporty positioning, the Malibu corners with more athleticism than some other family sedans. The all-season tires loudly howl when pushed, but the car remains composed and predictable. It’s confident in evasive maneuvers and even provides some fun for the driver.
The car possesses impressive control over choppy, undulating pavement and remains poised where some others might bound about or transmit sharp impacts. The driver is isolated from unpleasantness, but not from the driving experience. However, some may find the ride too firm
The thick roof pillars and high rear decklid obstruct outward visibility. The available beige dash top also causes distracting reflections. A rearview camera is now standard on all trims.
The 2019 Chevrolet Malibu is a fuel-efficient hybrid that sacrifices little in the way of performance, but it doesn’t really stand out compared to other hybrid and electric cars. Buyers may also want more trunk space or a nicer cabin than the Malibu Hybrid offers. It comes in one trim level, so that’s the one to go for. But adding a few luxury and safety features are welcomed always, as they’re surprisingly affordable and highly desirable.
- Spacious interior with lots of front-seat headroom
- Hybrid trim offers high efficiency and brisk acceleration
- Easy-to-use touchscreen interface
- Strong fuel economy
- Handsome sheet metal
- Well priced for the equipment
- Dull acceleration from the base 1.5-liter engine
- Limited outward visibility
- More hybrid trim levels would be nice
- Trunk space surprisingly reduced due to hybrid batteries
- Interior looks dated compared to rivals
- Wheelbase (in.): 111.4
- Length, Overall (in.): 194.2
- Width, Max w/o mirrors (in.): 73.0
- Height, Overall (in.): 5
- Sun/Moon Roof (Optional)
- Sun/Moonroof (Optional)
- Base Curb Weight (lbs.): 3366
- Passenger Capacity: 5
- Passenger Volume (cu. ft.): 102.9
- Front Head Room (in.): 39.1
- Front Leg Room (in.): 41.5
- Front Shoulder Room (in.): 58.5
- Front Hip Room (in.): 54.1
- Second Head Room (in.): 37.5
- Second Leg Room (in.): 38.1
- Second Shoulder Room (in.): 57.1
- Second Hip Room (in.): 53.4
- Trunk Volume (cu. ft.): 11.6
Engine & Performance:
- Front-Wheel Drive
- 4 Cylinder Engine
- Engine Type: Gas/Electric I4
- Horsepower (Net @ RPM): 122 @ 5000
- Torque (Net @ RPM): 129 @ 4750
- Transmission: Automatic
- Turning diameter: 37.0
- FUEL ECONOMY:
- EPA Fuel Economy Est – Hwy (MPG): 43
- EPA Fuel Economy Est – City (MPG): 49
- Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx (gal.): 13.0
- Suspension Type – Front: MacPherson Strut
- Suspension Type – Rear: Four-Link
- 4-wheel abs
- 4-wheel disc brakes
- Brake Assist
- Electronic Stability Control
- Daytime Running Lights
- Child Safety Locks
- Traction Control
- Blind Spot Monitor (Optional)
- Lane Departure Warning (Optional)
- Lane Keeping Assist (Optional)
- cross-traffic alert optional
- Onboard Hands-Free Communications System
- Wireless Cell Phone Hookup
CONVENIENCE AND COMFORT:
- Auxiliary Pwr Outlet
- Back-Up Camera
- Cruise Control
- Auto-Off Headlights
- Keyless Start
- Rear Parking Aid (Optional)
- Remote Engine Start (Optional)
- Adjustable Steering Wheel
- Steering Wheel Controls
- Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel (Optional)
- Heated Steering Wheel (Optional)
- Universal Garage Door Opener (Optional)
- Keyless Entry
- Power Door Locks
- Electrochromic rearview mirror (Optional)
- Heated Mirrors
- Power Mirrors
- Driver Vanity Mirror
- Driver Illuminated Vanity Mirror
- Passenger Vanity Mirror
- Passenger Illuminated Visor Mirror