Chevrolet has recently unveiled its 2016 Malibu Hybrid LT variant, and it will be available from coming spring. The base model is priced at $28,645, with an additional $875 as destination charge.
The Malibu is stiffer, lighter and quicker than its predecessor, and it even looks amazing as it feels to drive. This car is nothing like the old Malibu, for the fact that it’s completely redesigned from the ground. The earlier Malibu hybrid relied almost entirely on regenerative braking for charging its electric motor, but the system was pretty ineffective considering it fetched only 2-3 miles per gallon.
The company designed a vehicle with fuel economy in mind and promises to have developed an improved vehicle despite their previous unsuccessful attempt. 2016 Malibu is looking to fetch a fuel economy of 48 MPG, which will be a surprising comparison with the 3 MPG of the previous model.
“The Malibu leverages knowledge and technology directly from the second-generation Chevrolet Volt,” Steve Majoros, marketing director of Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers, said in a statement. He continued, “By leveraging technology, we are broadening our level of expertise and lessons learned to bring consumers a world-class hybrid.”
Under the hood, it packs a 1.5 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which churns 160 HP and 184 lb-ft. of peak torque. All the power is transferred to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox. Although the new Malibu is 2.3 inches longer, it is over 300 pounds lighter than the car it replaces. There is also an option for a bigger 2.0-liter engine, which is turbocharged as well, but churns a massive 250 HP and 258 lb-ft. of torque. It is accompanied by an 8-speed automatic gearbox powering the front wheels, which is extremely efficient and quick.
The 1.5-liter variant features a stop/start system to increase fuel efficiency, thereby reducing fuel consumption and eventually emissions. This feature, however, is not available for the 2.0 liter variant of the car.
Chevrolet uses the premium 1.5 kWh Li-Ion batteries, which uses more efficient prismatic cell packaging than any other batteries. The power management software has been programmed a bit differently, with the aim of fetching power more efficiently from the battery, rather than storing it for later use.
The car feels premium in comfort, with the suspensions absorbing bumps and smoothing rough road patches with the maneuver, only seen in luxury cars.
Chevrolet estimates a fuel economy of 27 mpg city, 37 mpg highway, and overall 31 mpg combined, from the 1.5-liter variant. While the 2.0-liter variant’s estimated economy of 22 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined. EPA is still to comment on the figures while we rely on Chevrolet’s words.