2019 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell vs. 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Clarity Fuel Cell and the Malibu Hybrid 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 and rearview cameras.

The Honda Clarity Fuel Cell weighs 768 pounds more than the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.


The Clarity Fuel Cell’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Malibu Hybrid’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).


From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 8 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Clarity Fuel Cell gets better fuel mileage than the Malibu Hybrid (68 city/67 hwy MPGe vs. 49 city/43 hwy).

The Clarity Fuel Cell’s maximum driving range is 360 miles on pure hydrogen. The Malibu Hybrid has to run its internal combustion engine to move.

Brakes and Stopping

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




Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.3 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Clarity Fuel Cell has larger tires than the Malibu Hybrid (235/45R18 vs. 225/55R17).

The Clarity Fuel Cell’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Malibu Hybrid’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Clarity Fuel Cell has standard 18-inch wheels. Only 17-inch wheels are available on the Malibu Hybrid.


As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Clarity Fuel Cell is quieter than the Malibu Hybrid:




At idle

34 dB

38 dB


69 dB

75 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

The Clarity Fuel Cell has .7 inches more front legroom, 1.7 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, 2.2 inches more rear hip room and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Malibu Hybrid.


When two different drivers share the Clarity Fuel Cell, the memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer memory seats.

The Clarity Fuel Cell has a standard heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Clarity Fuel Cell’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Malibu Hybrid’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Clarity Fuel Cell the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Malibu Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Clarity Fuel Cell has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Clarity Fuel Cell’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Malibu Hybrid’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Clarity Fuel Cell has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Malibu Hybrid. The Clarity Fuel Cell also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Malibu Hybrid.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Clarity Fuel Cell has a standard Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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

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