2020 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid vs. 2019 Ford Fusion Energi

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 Fusion Energi doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Malibu Hybrid’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the front seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The Fusion Energi doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Malibu Hybrid and the Fusion Energi have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras 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 Ford Fusion Energi:

Malibu Hybrid

Fusion Energi

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

23%

26%

Neck Compression

29 lbs.

38 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

186/153 lbs.

208/329 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 Ford Fusion Energi:

Malibu

Fusion

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.3 inches

Abdominal Force

239 G’s

353 G’s

Hip Force

212 lbs.

285 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

17 inches

HIC

235

236

Spine Acceleration

29 G’s

50 G’s

Hip Force

488 lbs.

768 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 Fusion Energi’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Fusion Energi’s 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’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

Engine

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is faster than the Ford Fusion Energi:

Malibu

Fusion

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

8.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

20.2 sec

23 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

16.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90 MPH

86 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Malibu Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Fusion Energi running its gasoline engine (49 city/43 hwy vs. 43 city/41 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping

The Malibu Hybrid stops much shorter than the Fusion Energi:

Malibu

Fusion

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

The Malibu Hybrid handles at .84 G’s, while the Fusion Energi Titanium pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 pounds less than the Ford Fusion Energi.

The front grille of the Malibu Hybrid uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Fusion Energi doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Malibu Hybrid has .7 inches more front shoulder room and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Fusion Energi.

The front step up height for the Malibu Hybrid is 2.3 inches lower than the Fusion Energi (13.5” vs. 15.8”). The Malibu Hybrid’s rear step up height is 1.2 inches lower than the Fusion Energi’s (14.1” vs. 15.25”).

Cargo Capacity

The Malibu Hybrid has a much larger trunk than the Fusion Energi (11.6 vs. 8.2 cubic feet).

Towing

The Malibu Hybrid has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Fusion Energi has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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 Fusion Energi has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Malibu Hybrid owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Malibu Hybrid will cost $1250 to $2335 less than the Fusion Energi over a five-year period.

The Malibu Hybrid will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Malibu Hybrid will retain 39.68% of its original price after five years, while the Fusion Energi only retains 29.57% to 31.02%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid will be $5593 to $12885 less than for the Ford Fusion Energi.

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

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