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Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid



  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Question on the 2008 (in 2007) Malibu hybrid...I had a discussion with a co-worker yesterday about hybrids, and he mentioned talking to a Ford dealer about the Escape hybrid, and how with the added initial cost of the hybrid, plus the down-the-road battery replacement, it was very unlikely one would ever recoup the cost difference in gasoline savings (especially since the real-world MPG of the Escape apparently isn't matching the EPA figures in most cases).

    My impression of the GM hybrid (as in the Malibu, VUE, etc.) is that it's a different system, and I'm not so sure it's as reliant on battery packs as might be some other hybrids...any insight you can provide in that regard? I'm thinking perhaps the GM approach doesn't promise as much of a gas savings as "pure" hybrids might, but by the same token there might not be as much expense down the road either.
  • e2helpere2helper Posts: 1,002
    Very good question :) - If I see something I can post back I will.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    A national newspaper is looking to interview consumers who are interested in purchasing the Chevy Malibu Hybrid. Please send an e-mail to no later than Tuesday, August 15, 2006 by 2:30 PM PT/5:30 PM ET containing your daytime contact information.


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  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    I thought I'd posted this here earlier, but several weeks ago there was an interview posted about GM and hybrid vehicles, and they said there were four coming out this year, and the list included the 2008 Malibu hybrid. Still haven't been able to find definitive info on this (materials handed out at the Detroit auto show unveiling didn't mention a hybrid powertrain), other than it is assumed the drivetrain will be the same as the Aura hybrid.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Ran across that last night myself; seems to further support the theory of the hybrid coming online soon. I keep hearing it will be end of 2007/beginning of 2008 before the new Malibu hits the showrooms; I hope it's sooner instead of later. I've had trouble finding an Aura Green Line to test drive; either production is slow or they can't keep them on the lot. I'm planning to buy by this time next year, so I'm hoping there's plenty of inventory (hybrid and non) to choose from when the time comes.
  • Why would they bother with a hybrid for the 2 mpg savings...Typical GM philosophy...
    At least Chrysler is blindly putting faith in their powertrain warranty...should be good for bankruptcy by 2010
    The Malibu will still be a Malibu with GM's famed maintenance expense driving people to well made imports!
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    That Chrysler warranty is fine...assuming Chrysler is still around 5 years from now.

    The 2 MPG gain of the Malibu Hybrid doesn't sound like much, but it's about a 10% gain, at a price point that should be several thousands less than the Camry hybrid. I think it'll prove to be a good compromise until the Volt arrives.
  • GM's philosophy seems to be..."If you try hard, there's no end to the things you can't do!!!
    The Volt is based on technology that does not currently exist. The supposition that the mass population will want a plug in is not what is being exhibited by the buying public!
    Methinks they will screw up even this mild hybrid.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    To my knowledge the only technology that doesn't currently exist to make the Volt a reality is a more compact battery than what is currently available; there's no reason to think that won't be possible in the very near future. And I think the reason the buying public isn't clambering for a plug-in hybrid might be influenced by the fact that there are none readily available. Seems like the folks who once drove EV1s were pretty happy with those plug-in vehicles.

    Methinks a lot of folks will deride the Malibu/Aura hybrids because they don't get the gas mileage of a Camry hybrid...but you'll see the Malibu/Aura drivers sitting a little higher in their vehicles because they've got a few extra thou' in their back pockets that the Camry hybrid driver will never drive long enough to recoup the difference. Do the math and the Camry hybrid makes no sense. The Prius does, if you don't need much room.

    Obviously I haven't seen a Malibu in person, let alone driven one, so I hesitate to say it's the best compromise between Camry-size and Prius-efficiency and cost; but it's a step in the right direction (though I think the Volt setup will make it irrelevant once it hits the streets).

    I'm hoping to delay my next car purchase for a couple of years, but if I had to make a purchase next year the Malibu Hybrid would be the car I'd look at first, and compare everything else to.
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    I just read in Autoweek what the expected mileage is supposed to be.


    The hybrid version also goes on sale in November. It is rated at 32 mpg highway and 24 mpg city.

    Wait, I am confused. The current 4 cyl Malibu gets (according to Edmunds) 24 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. Does that mean that the hybrid will be less fuel efficient? Is that due to the change in EPA mileage reporting methodology?

    I like the Malibu, simple, understated, gets the job done, but those numbers are underwhelming.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    I think it's the "new math" the EPA is using.

    Here's the "new" figures for the 2008 Malibu (from
    2.4L 4-cylinder 24 city/32 highway (hybrid)
    2.4L 4-cylinder 22 city/30 highway

    The "new" figures for the 2007 Malibu are:
    2.2L 4-cylinder 21 city/31 highway.

    For comparison, the "old" EPA figures were 24 city/34 highway for the '07 4-cylinder.

    I also checked and they list the "old" numbers for the new Malibu hybrid as 28 city/35 highway. Considering my 2000 Impala was rated as 20 city/30 highway, and I've consistently run closer to those numbers than the "new" 17 city/27 highway, I'd think/hope I'd come in closer to the old numbers than the new on any car.

    Either way it looks like the Malibu hybrid's main advantage will be in increased city mileage improvements.
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    Thanks. I suspected that but wasn't sure. Still, the numbers don't strike me as a big reason to pay for the hybrid with its added complexity, particularly in view of what Toyota can do with that technology (I understand that it's a different system, but to a consumer ultimately what matters is the end result, not how they got there).
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    I think you can probably do the math on the Malibu hybrid versus the Camry hybrid and make a case for the fact that even though the Camry gets better mileage, it also costs more...and you'd have to drive the car for 150-200k miles to save enough money on gas to make it worthwhile (and that doesn't factor in the cost of battery replacement). With gas prices changing all the time (and who knows if the Malibu will actually sell at or near sticker) it's hard to really say at this point.

    On the other hand, the same argument works against the Malibu when you look at the Prius, which gets stellar gas mileage at roughly the same price as the 'bu hybrid. Not having compared the cars side-by-side I don't know if the Malibu is larger/nicer enough to compensate for the lower mileage or not. I also think the fact that the Prius has a unique look that identifies it as a hybrid works in its favor, since driving the Prius makes a statement (and plays a factor in some people choosing it). I honestly think Chevy should put fender skirts or something more distinguishing on the Malibu hybrid than just a few little badges (even if it were an optional thing), so that those who want to flaunt their hybrid status could do so.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    As someone pointed out in the regular Malibu board, you can now build an '08 Malibu (including the hybrid) at You can't do it on their primary "build and price" button, but you have to go to the "upcoming vehicles" '08 Malibu page and from there you can build one.

    From what I can tell your only option choices on the hybrid are exterior paint color, interior color (varies by exterior), and an engine block heater. I presume that might change down the road once they can gauge the demand for the car and/or production ramps up, but for now those are the options. So it looks like MSRP ranges from a low of $22,790 to a high of $22,960 (w/black paint + engine block heater).

    At least if you're interested in the Malibu hybrid all you have to do is pick the color you want, since they'll all be equipped the same. From the option list there are a few things I wouldn't mind having (power adjustable pedals, rear power outlet and sunshade), but nothing I can't live without.

    Building a similar base Saturn Aura hybrid with no options comes to $24,995...but you can add the power pedals and a few other things to the Aura hybrid that you can't to the Malibu (including leather seats and a sunroof). I'm sure I'll compare them both when the time comes, but with a lower MSRP and the ability to use what little GM Card points I've got on the Malibu, the Aura would have to be WAY better to swing my vote that direction.
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    I honestly think Chevy should put fender skirts or something more distinguishing on the Malibu hybrid than just a few little badges (even if it were an optional thing), so that those who want to flaunt their hybrid status could do so.

    Alas, those of us who live in cities with street curbs dislike superfluous decorations that impede function of the vehicle. I would hope that GM would rather concentrate on improving fuel efficiency than on fender skirts. :D

    While it has been said repeatedly that Prius "flaunts" its hybridness (new word? ;)), I think its design is superbly functional and eschews any unnecessary "form over function" visual gadgetry. This aspect of it may attract people more that its visual uniqueness.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Add fender skirts...and curb-feelers. :)
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    I thought fender skirts were the curb feelers. :surprise: ;)
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 8,018
    A article on the least efficient hybrids and the dreaded "hybrid premium" are the subject of today's Alternate Route entry, Boon or Bane?

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  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    Good article. Allow me to quote a fragment here:

    If my past driving habits continue, I'll be driving it about 10,000 miles per year and using roughly 303 gallons of gasoline. Had I purchased a Prius and was getting 50mpg, I could expect to use only 200 gallons over the course of a year, saving me 103 gallons of gas annually. Using $4/gallon gas prices to give me even more incentive to choose a hybrid, that's $412 per year still in my pocket. Price difference between the cars is $8500. You know the math. That's over 20 years to break even. And even the most loyal hybrid advocate doesn't expect that the hybrid battery pack won't have to be replaced in that length of time. Normal maintenance and wear and tear is going to be the same for both, so that's a wash.

    So other than to feel good about myself or tell people how much smarter I am than they are, where's my incentive to buy?

    Author is obviously missing the most important incentive that many people had in California - carpool lane sticker. Generous IRS deductions helped, too, but quite a few of those I talked to admitted that the carpool sticker was THE reason they bought the Prius.

    Frankly, battling the morning commute traffic in Silicon Valley, I have considered that myself. Since California is not giving the stickers right now, I will wait, but I have the feeling they will return, and then it is quite possible that I will give in just to be able to get to work in a reasonable time.

    Mind you, the whole concept of a carpool lane is a subject for another discussion, but I don't really want to start it here.
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