Automotive Men's Lifestyle Tech

Would You Drive a Hybrid? I Did, Here’s What I think…

If you’re serious about fuel economy, but are tired of half-hearted efforts of the motor industry to make an EPA-friendly car, Chevy may have something special up their sleeves just for you. The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid sees sophistication, value, and fuel economy come together in an enlightened way, with superior ride quality and tons of value added extras as standard.

As the test subject pulled into my driveway, the first thing I realized was how masculine the new Malibu Hybrid looks (it’s really attractive); I guess somewhere in my mind I was expecting a quiet and reserved ride from something so safe and fuel-efficient. Boy was I wrong. It turns out the Malibu Hybrid is a lot of fun, and blew any expectations or reservations aside.

Coming in at EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of around 49 mpg in the city, and 43 mpg on the highway; a combined 46 mpg, I can see why fans are loving the Malibu. Hybrids are no longer an emboldened vision of what the future may hold, but a practical and reliable option for anyone in the driver’s seat.

The Malibu Hybrid uses a lot of the same technology as the Chevy Volt (it’s essentially a Volt without the plug), however, unlike the Bolt, the Malibu Hybrid is set to maximize fuel economy from a running engine, not stretch the electric range. What that means is you get more bang for your buck, all thanks to an advantageous outlook on fuel efficiency.

It’s also part of the Chevy Driver Confidence Package that bundles Front Automatic and Pedestrian Braking (at city speeds), intelligent headlights, Front and Rear Park Assist, Side Blind-Zone and Lane-Change Alerts, Forward Collision Alert, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert; other notable features include Onstar with 4G LTE service, and a built-in WiFi hotspot.

While the Malibu Hybrid started life on the upswing of the Volt’s innovation, the Malibu sets itself apart in other ways too; and for that, I am glad. For example, the aerodynamics have been improved (such as the lower and upper grille shutters that reduce the ride height and airflow). It’s these mechanical changes that give such an uncompromising reduction in fuel consumption.

I Test Drive the Chevy Malibu Hybrid

I decided to take the Malibu deep into coastal California, and right off the bat I loved how the ride felt. If you’re like me and appreciate a ‘real car’ and are worried a hybrid won’t give you that same thrill, think again. Chevy have created a car that is fun to play with yet somehow doesn’t make you feel guilty about getting in and just driving for the sheer fun of it.

After a few hours in the driver’s seat, getting to know the Malibu, I decided to head out toward Lake Arrowhead, which if you have been to California, you will know has some amazing roads to get to it. The Malibu handled the corners like a pro, and made me completely forget about it being a hybrid (as if being fuel efficient would make it somehow less of a car).

One feature that I love, aside from saving money at the gas pump, is the auto lane assist, which helps keep the car in perfect alignment with the road. This might not be everyone’s first choice of feature to have on-tap, but let me tell you, if you live in the city, or you are taking those wide bends like I was, it’s a great peace of mind to know the car is looking after you.

For new drivers, the Malibu also offers a new perspective; a standard feature on most trim levels supports safe driving habits by muting the audio of any device paired with the vehicle when front seat occupants aren’t wearing their safety belts. Teen drivers receive audible and visual warnings if they get too excited on the gas pedal.

Overall, the Malibu is a strong contender in the hybrid market. It’s competitively price, coming in at around $28,750, and offers a ton of features as standard. If fuel economy is important to you then obviously, this is a great car to consider, but I also think it holds a lot of value as a second car, a first car, or a long-distance economy car.

To find out more about the Chevy Malibu Hybrid, please visit their website, or visit your local Chevy dealer to arrange a test drive. You won’t regret it!