Chevrolet continues to expand its hybrid and electric-vehicle lineup in 2016 with the introduction of the next-generation Malibu Hybrid. This isn’t the first hybrid-electric outing for Chevy’s midsize family sedan, but this time around the Malibu Hybrid borrows some efficiency tricks from the range-extended electric Chevrolet Volt. Chevy says the all-new Malibu Hybrid will be good for over 45 combined mpg when it hits the streets in the spring of 2016. It provides a technological punch to the Malibu’s 2016 styling refresh, as Chevy works hard to elevate the Malibu’s profile against the high-tech Ford Fusion and Honda Accord.

The Malibu spent the 1990s becoming known as a forgettable rental car, but the refinement of the all-new 2013 model went a long way toward making it more respectable. Many of its competitors have undergone flashy updates in the meantime, though, so the conservative sheet metal wasn’t going to cut it. That’s been addressed with an inside-and-out upgrade for 2016.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid.

  • 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    182
  • Displacement:
    1.8 L
  • 0-60 time:
    10 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    28500
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
- image 624570
"The 2016 Malibu Hybrid gains some visual distinction from the Impala and SS sedans without losing its essential “Chevy”-ness."

Slicked-back and aerodynamic, the 2016 Malibu Hybrid gains some visual distinction from the Impala and SS sedans without losing its essential “Chevy”-ness. Chevrolet’s stylists have pulled this off by giving it more similarity to the Volt, which also emphasizes green leanings. The dramatically sloped backlight and curved C-pillar are reminiscent of the popular coupe-sedans from Europe, like the Audi A7 and Mercedes CLS-Class. Of course, the Malibu is operating in a much lower price bracket, which makes the sleek look somewhat unusual. Generous sculpting around the horizontally split grille and flanks helps to distinguish the front quarter view as well. The Malibu carries its visual weight toward the rear of the car, like a muscle car, giving it a sporty look. The Malibu Hybrid is distinguished mainly by badging. Amid the very handsome styling upgrade it’s easy to miss the fact that the Malibu’s wheelbase has been stretched 3.6 inches.

Interior

"The new Malibu Hybrid reinforces its family sedan leanings with new options like the Teen Driver system."

The Malibu’s updated interior is a dramatic departure from previous models. Softly rounded edges and soft-touch materials abound, and the center console has a deep cutout that gives the center stack a floating appearance. This is a strong, upscale look for the Malibu. Chevrolet has applied its own version of the careful color-toning and shading that Buick uses to great effect, and the available faux wood trim doesn’t look out of place. On the center stack, the infotainment and HVAC functions are clearly separated for ease of use. The standard reverse camera projects onto a high-mounted eight-inch touchscreen display. The longer wheelbase translates to more rear-seat room, of course. In addition to being roomier, the cabin is also airier, thanks to a lower cowl and bright satin-metal trim. The new Malibu Hybrid reinforces its family sedan leanings with new options like the Teen Driver system. When Teen Driver is activated, a teenager’s key fob will automatically tell the Malibu to assist in attentive driving — for instance, it will mute the radio until the seatbelts are fastened. The system can also let parents check up on “black box” information like maximum speed attained, distance driven and whether any of the active safety features like the Pedestrian Assist, Lane Departure Warning or Forward Collision Alert were triggered.

Drivetrain

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 623678
"Chevrolet is also debuting an exhaust gas heat recovery (EGHR) system on the 2016 Malibu Hybrid."

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt provided power electronics and a modified drive unit for the Malibu Hybrid, which is powered by a new 1.8 liter, direct-injection four-cylinder engine. The two-motor drive unit is used as assist to the gasoline engine, resulting in a total of 182 available horsepower. It’s powered by an 80-cell 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The new Malibu Hybrid will be a two-mode hybrid, capable of running on pure electricity up to 55 mph. Chevrolet predicts combined mileage of 45 mpg but final figures are not yet available.

Chevrolet is also debuting an exhaust gas heat recovery (EGHR) system on the 2016 Malibu Hybrid. EGHR repurposes the engine’s exhaust heat to speed engine warm-up, bringing the powerplant to maximum efficient operating temperature quickly. This improves fuel economy, and has the added benefit of reducing the time it takes for the heater to blow warm air.

Drivetrain Specifications

A blended regenerative braking system is also borrowed from the Volt, improving the battery’s charging efficiency. The redesigned Malibu has gone on a diet, and base models are almost 300 pounds lighter, but in the Hybrid, much of this improvement will be offset by the battery pack.

Type direct-injection 1.8L 4-cylinder engine mated to a two-motor drive unit
Output 182 HP
Battery 80-cell, 1.5 kWh lithium-ion

Prices

Pricing for the 2016 Malibu Hybrid hasn’t been released yet.

Competition

Honda Accord Hybrid

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
- image 515249

The Honda Accord Hybrid is the current champ in the hybrid family sedan segment, with the highest fuel economy (50/45) and arguably the most refined driving manners. The Accord Hybrid shares the Accord lineup’s high-luxury ride and confident road feel. It’s also one of the more expensive cars in the segment, starting at just over $30,000. Read our full review here.

Ford Fusion Hybrid

2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
- image 512556

Ford’s Fusion, along with the Mazda6, is the sporty member of the family sedan segment. European-influenced styling and handling give the Fusion an edge that the more sedate members of the class — including the Malibu — don’t match, making it the go-to for enthusiasts. Fuel economy’s ranked at 44/41, and it starts at $27,400. Read our full review here.

Toyota Camry Hybrid

2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
- image 508697

The Camry has been the 800-pound gorilla of the U.S. car market for many years now, but Toyota leaves the high efficiency to the Prius. With a larger 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine and 200 horsepower, the Camry Hybrid puts more emphasis on driving like a V6-equipped car than on fuel economy. It’s still good for 43/39 over the road however, and it’s less expensive than the Accord. The Camry’s reputation for being boring to drive is well-founded. Read our full review here.

Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid

2012 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
- image 433295

The dark-horse Jetta Hybrid is smaller and more nimble than the big-three offerings in the family sedan class. It’s also more expensive, with prices starting at $32,490. The Jetta Hybrid sets itself apart by being one of the most fun to drive. It’s more nimble than the Fusion, and its sparse German-sensible interior is a contrast to the plusher competitors. It’s a genuine Volkswagen-sporty experience, but it still returns 42/48 mpg. Read our full review here.

Conclusion

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
- image 624569

The new Malibu has definitely stepped up its game big-time. The styling is considerably less forgettable, and the technological improvements help to raise this long-time wallflower’s curbside appeal tremendously. Chevrolet has also ditched the mild-hybrid approach that caused previous electrically assisted cars to falter when going up against economy champions. It’s unlikely to win over any diehard GM haters, but the 2016 Malibu Hybrid’s definitely worth a look.

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Press Release

The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, which uses technology from the Chevrolet Volt, will offer a General Motors-estimated 48 mpg city, 45 mpg highway – and 47 mpg combined, unsurpassed in the segment, GM President Dan Ammann announced today.

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
- image 624569

Ammann made the announcement at an International Motoring Press Association breakfast before the 2016 Malibu was to be unveiled at the New York International Auto Show.

“Fuel efficiency is important to our customers, especially in the midsize segment and with an estimated 48 mpg city rating, the Malibu Hybrid delivers,” Ammann said.

An all-new direct-injection 1.8L 4-cylinder engine mated to a two-motor drive unit slightly modified from the 2016 Chevrolet Volt drive unit powers the Malibu Hybrid. The drive unit provides additional power to assist the engine during acceleration, for 182 horsepower (136 kW) of total system power.

An 80-cell, 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides electric power to the Hybrid system. The advanced lithium-ion based chemistry can power the Malibu hybrid at up to 55 miles per hour on electricity alone. The gasoline-powered engine will automatically come on at higher speeds and high loads when necessary to provide additional power.

Besides the Volt drive unit, the Malibu Hybrid also shares power electronics and a blended regenerative braking system, which provides maximum kinetic energy recovery during braking to be stored into the battery system to help maintain charge.

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 623678

The Malibu Hybrid will be manufactured in Kansas City, Kansas, at the Fairfax Assembly plant from globally sourced parts. It is due in Chevrolet dealer showrooms in spring 2016.

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