2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

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MSRP: $27,920 - 27,920

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Review

The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid has a spacious interior, user-friendly features, and solid performance. An average predicted reliability rating, however, keeps this Chevy in the middle of the competitive midsize car class. 

8.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 8.1
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent gas mileage
  • Spacious seats
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • High starting price
  • Battery pack restricts trunk pass-through opening

Is the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid a Good Car?

The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is a good car. It delivers higher fuel economy numbers than many other hybrids, while still being relatively fun to drive. Both rows of seats offer lots of space, and there's a long list of standard features, including Chevy's easy-to-use infotainment system. Among the Malibu Hybrid's few shortcomings is a somewhat small trunk.

Should I Buy the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid?

Whether you're set on a hybrid or not, this Chevy should definitely be on your midsize car shopping list. It's one of the more expensive cars in the class, but rival hybrids have similar sticker prices, and the Malibu provides a lot of value.

Still, you'd be smart to check out some of the competition. The fully redesigned Toyota Camry Hybrid is a great all-around vehicle that enjoys a top-tier ranking. The Ford Fusion Hybrid is another option, and it costs a few thousand dollars less. 

Compare the Malibu Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, and Fusion Hybrid »

Should I Buy a New or Used Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid?

The current Malibu Hybrid dates back to 2016. There have been no major changes since it debuted, so if you're looking to save money and are open to driving a used car, you can likely get a similar 2016 or 2017 Malibu Hybrid for much less than a new 2018 model. 

If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page for current incentives and deals on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid »

We Did the Research for You: 23 Reviews Analyzed

For our 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid review, we researched dozens of professional evaluations, along with safety scores, reliability data, and fuel economy estimates, to help you make the best buying decision possible. This 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2016 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than a combined 75 years of experience in the automotive industry. To maintain objectivity, we don't accept incentives or expensive gifts from car companies, and an outside team handles the ads on our site.

How Much Does the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Cost?

The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid has a starting price of just under $28,000. That makes it one of the most expensive cars in the midsize class. It also costs slightly more than most other midsize hybrids.

Unlike many class rivals, however, the Malibu Hybrid only comes in one trim. It has plenty of standard features, and the price gap between the Malibu Hybrid and other midsize cars narrows once you factor in the costs of upgrading rivals to a comparable level – especially when comparing the Chevy to other hybrids.

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.

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid or Ford Fusion Hybrid?

The Ford Fusion Hybrid has athletic handling for a hybrid. That said, you need to push the pedal hard to get moving, which isn’t the case with the Malibu Hybrid. The Fusion also can't match the Malibu's great fuel economy. Both cars have two rows of spacious seats, but the Ford has a little more rear-seat legroom. The Fusion's interior quality is extremely nice for the class. Like the Malibu, it has user-friendly tech features. However, Chevy gives you amenities like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in the Malibu Hybrid as standard, while Ford makes them optional in the Fusion Hybrid. The Fusion Hybrid is more economical, however, with a starting price that’s about $2,500 less than the Malibu Hybrid. Both are fine options in this class, just not segment leaders.

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

Completely redesigned for 2018, the Toyota Camry Hybrid is among the best hybrids in the midsize car class. Not only does it top the Malibu in predicted reliability and offer the best fuel economy ratings in the class (over 50 mpg), but it also retains the gas-only Camry’s sporty performance and agile handling. Inside, the Camry Hybrid has an upscale cabin and roomy seats, though the Malibu's first row is slightly more comfortable. The Camry Hybrid offers more standard features than the Malibu Hybrid, and when it comes to trunk space, the Toyota is the clear winner. Overall, the Camry is a better value and choice.

Which is Better: Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid or Chevrolet Malibu?

Both versions of the Chevrolet Malibu rank highly in the midsize class. The key differences between the two are fuel economy and price. The Malibu Hybrid has a high price tag for the class at $27,875, but it would save you about $450 in fuel costs per year over a standard Malibu. The hybrid version comes equipped similar to a mid-range Malibu LT (MSRP $25,125), with amenities like satellite radio, a touch-screen infotainment system, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. The price difference between these two means you could make up the hybrid's higher cost in just about six years. Simply put, the Malibu Hybrid is a smarter buy if you were already considering a mid-range nonhybrid Malibu. Both cars offer commendable performance. Though you'll get better mileage with the hybrid version, it has a lot less trunk space. The hybrid's battery pack reduces the trunk to just 11.6 cubic feet of space compared to the standard Malibu's spacious 15.8 cubic feet.

Compare the Malibu Hybrid, Fusion Hybrid, and Camry Hybrid »

Malibu Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the Malibu Hybrid Seat?

Like virtually every midsize car, the Malibu Hybrid seats five people. Unlike some midsize cars, both rows have ample space – even for tall passengers. The seats are also fairly comfortable.

Malibu Hybrid and Car Seats

The Malibu Hybrid has full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and a tether anchor on the middle seat. The tether anchors are easy to find and identify, but the lower anchors are set a little deep in the seat and require a lot of force when attaching car-seat straps.

Malibu Hybrid Interior Quality

Climb inside the Malibu and you'll find a handsome cabin and a mix of mid- and high-grade surfaces that tilts in favor of the premium materials.

Malibu Hybrid Cargo Space

The Malibu Hybrid has 11.6 cubic feet of trunk space, which is enough room for several shopping bags or some carry-on luggage. The space is comparable to many other midsize hybrids, though the Toyota Camry Hybrid provides several more cubic feet of cargo room. The Malibu’s rear seatbacks fold down, but the battery partially obscures the opening, limiting its usefulness.

Malibu Hybrid Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the Malibu Hybrid include Bluetooth, satellite radio, and the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and OnStar with 4G LTE and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Available features include an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, wireless device charging, and a nine-speaker Bose premium audio system.

The MyLink system is easy to use and responds quickly to inputs. Most rivals do not come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto like the Malibu Hybrid, and some don't offer these features at all. For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

Malibu Hybrid Performance

Malibu Hybrid Engine: Quick Off the Line

The Malibu Hybrid has a four-cylinder engine and two electric motors that combine to produce 182 horsepower. That might not sound like a lot of power, but it's plenty to move this vehicle and deliver strong acceleration.

Malibu Hybrid Gas Mileage: Mpg You'll Love to See

Hybrids are known for their terrific fuel economy, but the Chevy Malibu Hybrid still stands out in this regard. It earns 49 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway, which is better than rivals like the Ford Fusion Hybrid (43/41 mpg city/highway) and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (38/43 mpg city/highway).

By driving the Malibu Hybrid over one of those competitors, you can save yourself $100 to $150 per year in fuel costs. You’ll save significantly more compared to a nonhybrid midsize car, like the regular Chevrolet Malibu. With the Malibu Hybrid, your annual savings could be between about $450 to $900 per year compared to the nonhybrid version, depending on which gas engine you get in the Chevrolet Malibu.

Malibu Hybrid Ride and Handling: Keeping Its Composure

This Chevrolet provides a decent amount of agility on winding roads and delivers a comfortable ride over most surfaces. While some hybrid cars have grabby regenerative braking systems, the Malibu Hybrid's brakes feel much like the brakes in most nonhybrid cars.

Read more about performance »

Malibu Hybrid Reliability

Is the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Reliable?

The 2018 Malibu Hybrid has a predicted reliability rating of three out five from J.D. Power, which is about average.

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Warranty

Chevrolet covers the Malibu Hybrid with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, and an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty for hybrid components. Those are typical warranty terms for midsize hybrid cars.

Read more about reliability »

Malibu Hybrid Safety

Malibu Hybrid Crash Test Results

The 2018 Chevy Malibu Hybrid earned five out of five stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It received five stars in the NHTSA's frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test. The Malibu Hybrid also aced all five crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 

Malibu Hybrid Safety Features

A rearview camera is the only standard driver assistance feature, but several others are available. These include automatic high beams, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, low-speed automatic emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and lane keep assist.

Read more about safety »

Which Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Model Is Right for Me?

If you like options, the Malibu Hybrid might disappoint you because it only comes in one trim. However, there are a few option packages you can add that provide extra features. You can also add several styling upgrades.

The Leather package ($2,140) includes heated front seats, a power-adjustable passenger seat, and a Bose audio system. The Driver Confidence package ($1,195) adds front and rear parking sensors, forward collision alert, blind spot monitoring, and more. The Convenience and Technology package ($895) includes wireless device charging, two additional USB ports, and an upgraded MyLink system with an 8-inch touch screen.

The Chevy Malibu Hybrid has a starting price of $27,875. This is a bit higher than some hybrid rivals’ base prices, and it's much more than what nonhybrid midsize cars cost. The Malibu Hybrid comes with many standard features, so you don't necessarily need any option packages. However, the Driver Confidence package adds a lot of bang for your buck; it provides plenty of active safety features for not a lot more money. The Convenience and Technology package is also worth considering because it gives you the larger touch screen and extra connectivity options.

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.

See 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is a good sedan, and its midpack finish in the competitive midsize car class backs that up. There are several reasons to like the Malibu Hybrid. It provides comfortable, spacious seats, plenty of tech features, and outstanding fuel economy. Still, there are other hybrids worth considering, such as the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid. But if you look around and still think this Chevy is for you, it's highly unlikely that you'll regret your decision.

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

  • "What buyers will get is a normal Malibu with the soul of a Volt, the space of a mid-size sedan, and nearly the fuel economy of the outgoing Prius. That's worth crowing about." -- Car and Driver (2016)
  • "Overall, the new hybrid Malibu impressed us. … Its real-world fuel economy is likely to live up to its EPA ratings, minus the effects of cold weather, and it's a good-looking, comfortable, and competent car. It's more refined than the Camry Hybrid, has higher EPA ratings than the Fusion Hybrid, and much smoother operation than the single-motor hybrid systems used in the latest Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima." -- Yahoo Autos (2016)
  • "If a Chevy Volt is like a hybrid that prefers its electric motor, then the new Malibu hybrid is like a Volt you never have to plug in. That's partly because you can't plug it in, but more because the Volt and the gas-electric Malibu share a lot of major components. Since we happen to like the newly refined Volt, that's good news for the larger family sedan." -- Autoblog (2016)
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