The magic behind the impressive fuel economy emanates from the wizardry of two electric motors situated underhood. This pair of clean-energy units produces a combined 182 horsepower and gets their juice from a 80-cell, 1.5 kW battery. Along with their main task of lending a hand to the 1.8-liter, 122-horsepower gas engine, the electric motors can also work solo. Chevy claims they're able to power the Malibu Hybrid up to speeds of 55 mph, though there's no mention of how far the 'Bu can go on just electricity. Like many hybrids, the standard regenerative braking system helps maintain battery charge via kinetic energy recovery. Stomp on the brakes, and the electric motors spin backwards, slowing down the car while also producing the electrical energy that'll be fed into the batteries.
As befitting a car with hybrid power, the interior doesn't leave buyers wanting for technology. The no-charge infotainment unit is a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality that also includes SiriusXM radio and a USB port. Parents of newly licensed teenagers will be happy to know that GM's Teen Driver feature, which gives parents the right to set the car's performance parameters and review driving habits after they get the keys back, is standard fare in every Malibu Hybrid. And when those teens aren't frustrated at the fact they can't try their hand at a zero-to-60 mph run or explore the thrill of triple-digit speeds in mom and dad's new Malibu, they'll appreciate the wi-fi hotspot that's also standard.
The 2018 Malibu Hybrid starts at $28,795 (including the $875 destination charge). Because the Hybrid itself is a trim level of the standard Malibu, there are no sub trims. All Malibu Hybrids come with dual-zone climate control, a six-speaker sound system, Bluetooth, an eight-way power driver seat, power adjustable and heated outside mirrors, a 60/40-split folding rear bench seat, and 17-inch wheels.
Of the available options, the Driver Confidence Package ($1,245) is the most notable. It adds a host of active safety features that include low-speed automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, lane keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, front and rear park assist, automatic high-beam headlights.
The Convenience and Technology Package ($995) bequeaths the Malibu with an eight-inch touchscreen, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 120-volt power outlet, wireless charging, a driver-information system, remote start, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. For fans of fine hides, the Leather Package ($2,140) includes, well, leather, as well as a power passenger seat, heated front seats, and a Bose nine-speaker sound system. Navigation is also available to those who splurge for both the Leather and Convenience and Technology Packages.
While the 2018 Malibu Hybrid is already well equipped for its sub-$30,000 base price, there's no reason to pass on the potentially life-saving safety features included with the Driver Confidence Package. We'd also recommend the Convenience and Technology Package, as most buyers will appreciate the additional creature comforts that it adds.
Get your price on a Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid »