2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid vs. 2019 Toyota Prius

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Malibu Hybrid are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Prius doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Compared to metal, the Malibu Hybrid’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Toyota Prius has a metal gas tank.

Both the Malibu Hybrid and the Prius have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is safer than the Toyota Prius:

 

Malibu Hybrid

Prius

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

173

244

Neck Injury Risk

23%

30%

Neck Compression

29 lbs.

42 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

186/153 lbs.

290/353 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

38%

53%

Leg Forces (l/r)

173/196 lbs.

203/179 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is safer than the Toyota Prius:

 

Malibu Hybrid

Prius

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

180

182

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

2 Stars

HIC

235

288

Spine Acceleration

29 G’s

48 G’s

Hip Force

488 lbs.

1213 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The Malibu Hybrid’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Prius’ (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 2 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Malibu Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Prius’ engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Malibu Hybrid’s standard 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 61 more horsepower (182 vs. 121) and 270 lbs.-ft. more torque (375 vs. 105) than the Prius’ 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is faster than the Toyota Prius:

 

Malibu Hybrid

Prius

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

10.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

20.2 sec

31.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

17.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90 MPH

79 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Malibu Hybrid has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Prius AWD-e’s standard fuel tank (13 vs. 10.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Malibu Hybrid has 1.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Prius FWD’s standard fuel tank (13 vs. 11.3 gallons).

The Malibu Hybrid has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Prius doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Malibu Hybrid’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Prius:

 

Malibu Hybrid

Prius

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

10 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

10.2 inches

The Malibu Hybrid stops shorter than the Prius:

 

Malibu Hybrid

Prius

 

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Malibu Hybrid has larger tires than the Prius (225/55R17 vs. 195/65R15). The Malibu Hybrid’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Prius (225/55R17 vs. 215/45R17).

The Malibu Hybrid’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Prius’ standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Malibu Hybrid has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Prius.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Malibu Hybrid’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the Prius (111.4 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Malibu Hybrid is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Prius.

The Malibu Hybrid’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.4% to 41.6%) than the Prius’ (61.2% to 38.8%). This gives the Malibu Hybrid more stable handling and braking.

The Malibu Hybrid handles at .84 G’s, while the Prius pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Malibu Hybrid executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Prius L Eco (27.5 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Malibu Hybrid is quieter than the Prius (71 vs. 72 dB).

Passenger Space

The Malibu Hybrid has 9.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Prius (102.9 vs. 93.1).

The Malibu Hybrid has .7 inches more front hip room, 3.5 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 4.7 inches more rear legroom, 1.5 inches more rear hip room and 4.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Prius.

Towing

The Malibu Hybrid has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Prius has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Malibu Hybrid offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Prius doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Malibu Hybrid’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Prius has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Malibu Hybrid and the Prius have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Malibu Hybrid is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Prius prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

Consumer Reports rated the Malibu Hybrid’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Prius’ headlights, which were rated “Good.”

The Malibu Hybrid has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Prius has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE/Limited.

The Malibu Hybrid’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Prius doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Malibu Hybrid and the Prius offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Malibu Hybrid has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Prius doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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