Next spring, there will be a new hybrid on the block. The 2016 Malibu hybrid LT will feature an all-new hybrid drivetrain based on the second generation Chevy Volt. Unfortunately, GM didn't go all the way and make the Malibu hybrid a plug-in, but it gets pretty good fuel economy for a regular hybrid of that size, with 48 MPG city, 45 MPG highway, and 47 MPG combined (these are GM's numbers, but the EPA official figures should be the same).
The Malibu Hybrid powertrain uses a new Ecotec 1.8-liter naturally-aspirated direct-injected engine that is optimized for hybrid operation. It produces 122 hp of power and 129 lb-ft (175 N·m) of torque. It is mated with a two-motor electric drive unit and an 80-cell, 1.5 kWh Li-ion battery (pictured below). Motor A (generating) delivers 55 kW, while motor B (motoring) delivers 76 kW.
Total drivetrain horsepower is 182 hp @ 5000 rpm and torque is 277 lb-ft (376 N·m) @ 4750 rpm.
Other standard equipment on the Malibu Hybrid includes 10 airbags, cruise control and push-button start with passive entry.
The 2016 Malibu Hybrid offers several new-to-Malibu safety technologies including Lane Keep Assist, Front Pedestrian Braking and Low Speed Front Automatic Braking. Also, "Teen Driver, available on all Malibu models, helps support safe driving habits by muting the audio or any device paired with the vehicle when front-seat occupants aren’t wearing their seat belts. It is also the first in-vehicle system in the industry that lets parents view information on how their teenagers drove the vehicle, which can be a teaching tool to reinforce safe driving habits."
Of course, to those of us who have been following greener cars for a long time, non-plug-in hybrids are old news, but if we look at the actual fleet of vehicles out there, something like the Malibu Hybrid LT would still be a pretty big improvement, partly because of the lower fuel consumption, but also because it is likely to be AT-PZEV and have much lower smog-forming tailpipe emissions. But if you don't really need a car, well, don't even look at this! Walk, bike, take transit! But I know that these options are not available everywhere (especially those in rural areas)... But if you need a larger sedan and can't afford to go fully electric with the Model S, this might be a good fit for your needs.