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2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 1/2/2019 U.S. News & World Report
a car parked on the side of a building: 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid© General Motors 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

The 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid ranks near the middle of our midsize car rankings because it has a small trunk and some low-grade interior materials. Its positives include peppy acceleration and balanced handling.


The 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is ranked:

Is the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid a Good Car?

The Chevy Malibu Hybrid is a good car, but lots of other midsize cars – hybrid or not – are just a little better. Its electric-motor hybrid powertrain delivers smooth and strong acceleration. The cabin has sufficient seating space and an easy-to-use infotainment system. The Malibu Hybrid's fuel economy numbers are right in line with other top performers in the segment, but its hybrid battery takes up a lot of trunk space.

Should I Buy the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid?

The Malibu Hybrid’s high starting price will probably be the sticking point when you’re deciding if you should buy this Chevy. There's no doubt that it's a good car, but there are other compelling midsize hybrid choices that are better and/or less expensive. The highly ranked Toyota Camry Hybrid costs almost exactly what the Malibu does, but it boasts a lot of space, a fun drive, and fuel economy in excess of 50 mpg. The Honda Accord Hybrid is significantly cheaper than the Malibu, and it's a more well-rounded car.

Should I Buy a New or Used Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid?

The 2019 Malibu Hybrid is part of a generation that began with the 2016 model year. Notable changes for this latest model include an exterior design refresh and a newly standard 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system. A 7-inch screen was standard in prior model years, and the larger display was optional.

If these changes don’t matter to you, you may be better served by shopping for a used Malibu Hybrid. The car didn't undergo any major changes until this year, so most used models are very similar. Shopping for a used Malibu Hybrid will also likely save you thousands of dollars off the cost of a new car.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 and 2018 Malibu Hybrid reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used cars.

We Did the Research for You: 16 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 16 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid reviews – along with fuel economy estimates, performance specs, and more – to help you decide if the 2019 Malibu Hybrid is the right new car for you. This 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2016 through 2019 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Cost?

The 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid starts at $28,070. That's one of the higher prices among midsize cars, but other hybrids and alternative-fuel cars in the class are similarly expensive. The Toyota Camry Hybrid retails for $28,150, while the Honda Accord Hybrid is a lot cheaper at $25,320.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great deals at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid or Toyota Camry Hybrid?

The Toyota Camry Hybrid is a top-ranked choice among all midsize cars, hybrid or not. It boasts dynamic overall performance, with potent engine power and agile, yet easygoing, handling. The Camry Hybrid's fuel economy tops out at 51 mpg in the city and 53 mpg on the highway, which are better numbers than the Malibu Hybrid's already high estimates. These two hybrids have comparable base prices, but the Toyota is a better value with its load of standard driver assistance and active safety technologies. You'll also get a spacious back seat and a larger trunk with the Camry Hybrid. This matchup is a no-brainer – go with the Toyota.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid or Honda Accord Hybrid?

The Honda Accord Hybrid ranks similarly to the Malibu Hybrid, but with distinct strengths and weaknesses. The Accord Hybrid has a huge trunk and lots of seating room, and it starts at thousands of dollars less than the Malibu Hybrid. That money also gets you a long list of standard advanced safety features, which cost extra to get in the Malibu Hybrid. The Chevy has the edge in performance, with its spry acceleration and balanced handling. The Honda is a little underwhelming in both those areas. Choosing between these rivals might come down to your personal preference, but you can likely save lots of money by going with the Accord Hybrid.

Malibu Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the Malibu Hybrid Seat?

The Chevy Malibu Hybrid 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, though headroom is nothing to brag about.

Malibu Hybrid and Car Seats

There are two sets of back-seat LATCH connections in the Malibu Hybrid, and a third dedicated tether anchor for the middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system its second-lowest rating of Marginal for overall ease of use. The lower anchors are set deep in the seat, and it takes some force to attach the car-seat straps.

Malibu Hybrid Interior Quality

This Chevy might feel out of place in the swanky California city that shares its name. Interior quality is only so-so, with some plastic pieces that look and feel cheap. Those are more prominent in the second row, while other surfaces throughout the cabin are of a more acceptable grade. The Malibu Hybrid has a solid build quality and feels well put together.

Malibu Hybrid Cargo Space

You'll get just 11.6 cubic feet of trunk space in the Malibu Hybrid. That is among the lowest values for a midsize car. 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.

By comparison, the Toyota Camry Hybrid has 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space, while the Honda Accord Hybrid serves up 16.7 cubic feet. Those are also the same figures that you'll get in the nonhybrid versions of both those cars, while the nonhybrid Chevy Malibu has 15.8 cubic feet of trunk space.

Malibu Hybrid Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The 2019 Malibu Hybrid comes standard with the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system. An 8-inch touch screen is newly standard for this model year, and it features large virtual buttons that make operation a breeze. The system responds to and processes your inputs quickly. A variety of other physical buttons and knobs for climate and temperature functions sit below the touch screen.

The infotainment system includes standard niceties like satellite radio, a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot, and smartphone integration through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Malibu Hybrid Performance

Malibu Hybrid Engine: Swift From a Stop

The 2019 Chevy Malibu Hybrid's powertrain consists of a four-cylinder engine, two electric motors, and an automatic transmission. 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 (not in a good way) and unrefined in certain situations. These include merging or passing at high speeds, or going up steep hills.

Malibu Hybrid Gas Mileage: Almost Nifty Fifty

The Malibu Hybrid is one of the most fuel-efficient hybrids you can buy. It gets an EPA-estimated 49 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway. However, the Malibu Hybrid's primary rivals earn similarly high fuel economy numbers. The Toyota Camry Hybrid gets up to 51/53 mpg city/highway, while the Honda Accord Hybrid gets 48 mpg city and highway.

Malibu Hybrid Ride and Handling: Well-Rounded

This Chevy maintains a nice mix of composure and athleticism when it comes to its driving dynamics. Ride quality is good over most surfaces, and the car soaks up a lot of imperfections on the road. The Malibu Hybrid isn't the most fun to drive car in the class, but it impresses with responsive steering. The regenerative brakes aren’t grabby, but instead they feel like a traditional setup.

Malibu Hybrid Reliability

Is the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Reliable?

As of this writing, the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid doesn't have a predicted reliability rating. from J.D. Power.

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Warranty

Chevrolet covers the Malibu Hybrid with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Hybrid components are backed by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty.

Malibu Hybrid Safety

Malibu Hybrid Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid five out of five stars in the frontal crash test and four stars in the rollover test.

Malibu Hybrid Safety Features

The Chevy Malibu Hybrid comes standard with a rearview camera and the Teen Driver feature, which allows you to set limits such as speed and audio volume for secondary drivers. Optional driver assistance and active safety technology features include rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, automatic high-beam assist, a following distance indicator, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking.

Which Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Model Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Chevrolet Malibu only comes in one trim. Standard infotainment features are plenty, with a new 8-inch touch screen, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. There are also a handful of packages available. One bundle features leather seats, another has remote start and heated seats, and there are two packages that contain advanced safety features.

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

The 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid starts at $28,070. Standard features include cloth upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key entry, push-button start, an 8-inch digital driver information display, a rearview camera, and the Teen Driver monitoring function. The standard infotainment system features an 8-inch touch screen, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.

You can get a package of leather seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob for $1,590. The Convenience and Technology package costs $895 and includes heated front seats, remote start, and LED taillights. For $545, the Driver Confidence package adds rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. The $550 Driver Confidence II package comes with automatic high beams, a following distance indicator, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking. A dual-pane sunroof is optional for $1,050.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

The Final Call

The 2019 Chevrolet Malibu is a fuel-efficient hybrid that sacrifices little when it comes to performance, but it doesn't really stand out in a competitive class. Buying a Malibu Hybrid would be a smart choice, but so would shopping for a rival like the Toyota Camry Hybrid or Honda Accord Hybrid.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

Read the full 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid review on U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.


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