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2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Review

The fuel-efficient 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid has a spacious interior, user-friendly features, and solid performance, but its oddly shaped trunk keeps this Chevy in the middle of the competitive midsize car class. Additionally, many rivals have better predicted reliability ratings.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent gas mileage
  • Spacious seats
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Battery pack restricts trunk pass-through opening
  • Predicted reliability rating below average for class




Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 8.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Overview

Is the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid a Good Used Car?

Yes, the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is a good used midsize car. It’s one of the most fuel-efficient models in the class. We review the nonhybrid Malibu separately.

The 2018 Malibu Hybrid has many positive traits:

  • Higher fuel economy estimates than most rivals
  • Comfortable ride
  • Roomy seats
  • Intuitive infotainment systems with lots of high-tech features
  • Smooth regenerative brakes

It also has a few drawbacks:

  • Lower predicted reliability rating than most rivals
  • Battery pack restricts trunk pass-through opening
  • Not as fun to drive as some competitors
Why You Can Trust Us

Our Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 24 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid?

We currently do not have pricing information for the 2018 Malibu Hybrid. However, you can view listings of the nonhybrid 2018 Malibu for sale on our site.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Cost to Own?

The 2018 Malibu Hybrid’s five-year costs for fuel, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be around $21,100, or $4,220 per year. That’s a little above average for a midsize car.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Malibu Hybrid?

The price of a 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid starts at $22,220. The 2019 model has a new exterior look, and an 8-inch touch screen replaces the 7-inch display in older models. You can likely save money by shopping for a similar 2018 model instead.

Read about the new Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid »

The 2018 Malibu Hybrid is part of the sedan’s first generation. There have been no major changes to the car since its debut in 2016. Consider a 2016 or 2017 Malibu Hybrid instead. They’re nearly identical to the 2018 model and likely cost a lot less.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Malibu Hybrid »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid?

J.D. Power gives the 2018 Chevy Malibu Hybrid a predicted reliability rating of three out of five. That's about average for the industry as a whole, but it’s below average for the class.

Read more about Malibu Hybrid reliability »

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Recalls

At the time of writing, there are three recalls for the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid:

  • Rear brake caliper pistons may have insufficient coating
  • Passenger Presence System may incorrectly suppress air bags
  • Fuel pump flange weld may fracture

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid safety recalls »

Which Used Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid has just one trim. It comes well-equipped, but you may have to hunt for a model that includes your favorite features. If you want more advanced safety features, find a Malibu Hybrid with the Driver Confidence package. The Convenience and Technology package includes a larger touch screen and extra connectivity features, like two additional USB ports and wireless device charging. The Leather package has leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable passenger seat, and a Bose audio system.

Standard features in the Malibu Hybrid include the MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, OnStar with 4G LTE, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Bluetooth, a USB port, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, proximity keyless entry, and push-button start are also standard.

See 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid trims and specs »

What Does Chevrolet's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Chevrolet offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Chevy extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles. These vehicles also get a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty after the three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Chevrolet CPO vehicles must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read Chevy’s warranty page carefully.

Chevrolet has one of the better CPO programs among affordable carmakers. Hyundai, Buick, and Kia are better, according to our analysis.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Malibu Hybrid?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2018 Malibu the highest rating of Good in five crash tests. It received the second-lowest rating of Marginal in the passenger-side small front overlap evaluation. Properly equipped models earned the top rating of Superior for front crash prevention; all other models received the second-best rating of Advanced. In headlight testing, the Malibu received the worst rating of Poor for forward visibility.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Malibu an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. It earned five stars in frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover evaluation.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • automatic high-beam headlights
  • 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
  • lane keep assist

See Malibu Hybrid safety scores »

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid or 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid?

The 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid lands just behind its top-ranking nonhybrid counterpart in our midsize car rankings. It beats the Chevy in predicted reliability, and it also has class-leading fuel economy. When it comes to performance, the Camry Hybrid offers sportier dynamics than the Malibu Hybrid while maintaining a comfortable ride. Inside, the cabin features upscale materials and roomy seats. The Toyota comes with more standard features and has a larger trunk than its competitors. The Camry Hybrid is the superior car.

Which Is Better: 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid or 2018 Chevrolet Malibu?

The biggest difference between the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu and its hybrid cousin is fuel economy. You’re likely to pay more upfront for the hybrid variant, but its annual fuel costs are about $500 less. The Malibu Hybrid also has lower five-year projected ownership costs. However, the hybrid model has less trunk space because of its battery pack. Your decision will come down to how much you prioritize fuel economy.

Compare the Malibu Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, and Malibu »

2018 Malibu Hybrid Performance

How Does the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Drive?

The Malibu Hybrid is powered by a four-cylinder engine and two electric motors that work together to create a decent amount of power and fairly quick acceleration. A few rivals have more athletic handling than the Malibu Hybrid, but it’s still more agile than most cars in the class. The brakes earn praise for their smoothness, which isn't a given – most hybrid vehicles’ regenerative brakes are criticized for being overly sensitive.

  • Powertrain: 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors with a combined 182 horsepower
  • Drivetrain: front-wheel drive
  • Transmission: six-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Malibu Hybrid gets better fuel economy than other midsize hybrid cars except the 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid and 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid.

  • 49/43 mpg city/highway

We review the nonhybrid Malibu separately.

Read more about Malibu Hybrid performance »

2018 Malibu Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Malibu Hybrid Seat?

The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid seats five people in two rows. The front seats are supportive and have plenty of room, even for taller occupants. The rear seats aren’t the roomiest in the segment, but they can comfortably accommodate most people. Additionally, the large doors make it easy to get in and out of the sedan. The cabin is attractive and made of mostly quality materials, but there are a few hard plastic surfaces.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth upholstery
  • eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat

Available seating features:

  • leather upholstery
  • six-way power-adjustable front passenger seat
  • heated and ventilated front seats
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid?

The 2018 Malibu has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this system the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use because the lower anchors are set deep in the seats and require a lot of force when attaching car-seat straps.

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Features

Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system is a pleasure to use. It has plenty of standard connectivity features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which some rivals don’t offer. The system has user-friendly menus and responds quickly to inputs.

  • Standard infotainment features: Bluetooth, a USB port, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, and the MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, OnStar with 4G LTE, and a Wi-Fi hot spot
  • Available infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, wireless device charging, a nine-speaker Bose premium audio system, and two extra USB ports
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, and proximity keyless entry
  • Other available features: auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 120-volt household-style power outlet, and remote start

See 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid specs »

Read more about Malibu Hybrid interior »

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Dimensions

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Cargo Space

The Malibu Hybrid has 11.6 cubic feet of trunk space, which is about average for a midsize hybrid but is below average for the broader midsize car class. The rear seats fold down for additional storage space, but the battery pack partially obscures the pass-through opening, limiting its usefulness. Rivals like the 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid provide more space by positioning the battery under the rear seats rather than beneath the trunk.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Length and Weight
  • Length: 16 feet, 2 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,366 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Built?

Chevrolet built the 2018 Malibu Hybrid in Kansas.

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