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The Mirai’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
For enhanced safety, the front and rear (child comfort guides) seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Mirai 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.
The Mirai’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Mirai 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 Toyota Mirai weighs 709 pounds more than the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Mirai 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Chevrolet covers the Malibu Hybrid. Any repair needed on the motor, fuel cell, transmission, axles or joints is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Malibu Hybrid ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
The Mirai’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Malibu Hybrid’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).
Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Mirai for 3 years and 35000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Chevrolet only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Malibu Hybrid.
A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Mirai’s reliability 43 points higher than the Malibu Hybrid.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked fourth.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 23rd.
On the EPA test cycle the Mirai gets better fuel mileage than the Malibu Hybrid (67 city/67 hwy MPGe vs. 49 city/43 hwy).
As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Mirai is quieter than the Malibu Hybrid:
70 MPH Cruising
The Mirai has a much larger trunk than the Malibu Hybrid (12.8 vs. 11.6 cubic feet).
To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Mirai’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Malibu Hybrid’s useful trunk space.
With its sedan body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the Mirai offers cargo security. The Malibu Hybrid’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.
A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Mirai. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
The Mirai uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Malibu Hybrid uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
When two different drivers share the Mirai, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer a memory system.
The Mirai’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The Mirai’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.
On a hot day the Mirai’s driver can lower all the windows 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 Mirai 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 Mirai’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.
When the Mirai is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Malibu Hybrid’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
The Mirai has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Malibu Hybrid offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The Mirai has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Malibu Hybrid. The Mirai 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.
On extremely cold winter days, the Mirai’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Mirai has a standard Dynamic Radar 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.
Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2016 issue and they ranked the Toyota Mirai higher than the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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