The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu approved that GM could body a midsize ancestors auto to claiming the articulation leaders head-on. With its glassy exterior, ample cabin, adequate ride and fuel-efficient drive trains, the Malibu has become Chevrolet's acknowledged car.
Chevrolet additionally sells a amalgam adaptation of the Malibu — appropriately called the Malibu Amalgam — which is the archetypal I tested. It's altered from added midsize auto hybrids, like the Toyota Camry Amalgam and Ford Fusion Hybrid, in that it uses a beneath circuitous mild-hybrid system, and it undercuts both of those models' abject prices. (See a side-by-side allegory of these three models here.)
However, the Malibu Amalgam doesn't accomplish the absorbing burghal ammunition abridgement estimates of the Camry and Fusion hybrids, which get 33 and 41 mpg, respectively. The Malibu Amalgam is rated at 26/34 mpg city/highway, which doesn't attending all that appropriate aback you can shop for a gas-only Malibu that gets 22/33 mpg. Acceptable Power, Under whelming Transmission
The affection of the Malibu Amalgam is its 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which is commutual with an electric motor that can action added ability aback necessary. Clashing the Camry Amalgam and Milan Hybrid, the electric motor abandoned can't actuate the Malibu Hybrid; it's alone an alternator/starter absorbed to the agent by agency of a belt. The Malibu Amalgam won't boost you aback in your bench aback accelerating — its amalgam drive alternation makes 164 application — but it has no agitation befitting up with cartage if you're not against to acute adamantine on the gas pedal at times. There's article not absolutely right, however, with the automated transmission's about-face quality. The unrefined attributes is alone abstract aback compared with models like the Camry Amalgam and Mercury Milan Hybrid, which use continuously capricious automated transmissions that do a accomplished job transmitting ability calmly to the wheels.
During the advance of a 35-mile drive that took me on highways, burghal anchorage and burghal streets, the Malibu Amalgam averaged as aerial as 30 mpg in abiding artery traffic. Not so with the Malibu Hybrid, which was averaging 26 mpg at the end of my trip. That's appropriate in band with its burghal gas breadth estimate, but conspicuously beneath than its amalgam competitors.
The Malibu Hybrid's adorning braking arrangement deserves acclaim for its good, close pedal feel. It's actual accessible to ascendancy braking acknowledgment and abstain hasty stops.
Ride & Handling
One of the Malibu's more acceptable qualities is its ride comfort, and that hasn't been absent in the hybrid. The Malibu Hybrid's berth is quiet, decidedly at college speeds. Those things aside, the Malibu Amalgam has a adequate active position and ample brazier seats that action acceptable thigh support. The seats are accomplished in cloth, and the driver's bench can accept alternative ability adjustments (the basal beanbag is powered, while backrest and lumbar adjustments abide manual).
There's appropriate allowance in the backseat for adults. Cargo
The Malibu Hybrid's block is hardly abate than the approved model's — 13.3 cubic anxiety against 15.1 — because allotment of the amplitude is taken by the amalgam system's high-voltage array pack. The array is ellipsoidal in appearance and runs forth the advanced allotment of the trunk, but clashing the Fusion Amalgam and Milan Hybrid, which lose the folding aback seats of their gas-only siblings, the Malibu Amalgam retains a 60/40-split folding backseat. Amalgam Economics
Though the Malibu Hybrid's gas breadth estimates are lower than those of competitors like the Camry and Fusion hybrids, gas breadth is alone allotment of the banking blueprint if you're aggravating to adjudge amid the best affordable and the amalgam adaptation of a car.