“Real people. Not actors.”
It’s the text that starts nearly every Chevrolet commercial these days. Notably one of those commercials involve an unbadged Chevrolet Malibu where people describe it as being an expensive car with Audi headlights. Is the car really that good?
We had a chance to drive the hybrid version of the Malibu home from an event with Chevrolet in Indianapolis, so we had the opportunity to see what was what on the highway. Long road trips, like with our review of the Silverado 1500 to the event, give you a chance to see how comfortable the car is. You get to see if there are faults that wouldn’t normally appear during a short trip across town. It’s a unique opportunity to get to know the vehicle.
So what’s there to like about it? Well, this midsize sedan was mostly fully-loaded. That means you had heated leather seats. Blind spot monitoring and lane keep assistance help make sure you avoid a crash. The MyLink infotainment supported Android Auto and Apple Car Play. There’s even a built-in 4GLTE hotspot to connect to the internet.
The thing missing from our hybrid was adaptive cruise control. The feature is, for some reason, not available on the hybrid version of the Malibu. Though, it’s available on the Driver Confidence II package on the 2.0L Premier. While it’s not a feature you need for the day-to-day, when you’re taking a long journey it’s a feature that’s really nice to have.
Being a hybrid, the Malibu delivers on fuel economy. During our nearly 300-mile trip home, the indicated fuel economy was 41.3 miles-per-gallon. For a midsize sedan cruising on the highway, that’s a pretty sold number.
On the highway road noise was acceptable but not as quiet as we’ve experience on some other midsize cars. Eco-friendly tires, while efficient, are usually louder than their normal-tire counterparts. We also found the headlights to be fairly poor in their illumination, something the IIHS also agrees with.
Overall the Malibu Hybrid, despite some flaws, is a decent highway companion. Though we’d make sure we drove the other hybrid competition from Toyota, Ford, and Honda before making a final purchase decision.