2020 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid vs. 2019 Ford Fusion Hybrid

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 Hybrid 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 Hybrid doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Malibu Hybrid and the Fusion Hybrid 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 Hybrid:

Malibu Hybrid

Fusion Hybrid

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

23%

28%

Leg Forces (l/r)

186/153 lbs.

167/333 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

38%

52%

Neck Stress

173 lbs.

197 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 Hybrid:

Malibu Hybrid

Fusion Hybrid

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

16 inches

HIC

235

268

Spine Acceleration

29 G’s

46 G’s

Hip Force

488 lbs.

597 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 Hybrid’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Fusion Hybrid’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 Motor Trend the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is faster than the Ford Fusion Hybrid:

Malibu

Fusion

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

8.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

16.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88.5 MPH

87.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Brakes and Stopping

The Malibu Hybrid stops shorter than the Fusion Hybrid:

Malibu

Fusion

60 to 0 MPH

135 feet

140 feet

Consumer Reports

Chassis

The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 pounds less than the Ford Fusion Hybrid.

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 Hybrid 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 Hybrid.

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

Towing

The Malibu Hybrid has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Fusion Hybrid 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 Hybrid has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

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

The Malibu Hybrid’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the Fusion Hybrid SEL/Titanium.

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 $255 to $2010 less than the Fusion Hybrid over a five-year period.

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

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