2020 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid vs. 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2020 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

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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 Ioniq 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 Ioniq Hybrid doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Malibu Hybrid and the Ioniq 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and rearview cameras.

Warranty

There are almost 4 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Hyundai 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 Ioniq 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 Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Malibu Hybrid’s 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 43 more horsepower (182 vs. 139) and 180 lbs.-ft. more torque (375 vs. 195) than the Ioniq Hybrid’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is faster than the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid:

Malibu

Ioniq

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

9.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88.5 MPH

80.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Malibu Hybrid has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Ioniq Hybrid (13 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 Ioniq Hybrid doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The Malibu Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Ioniq Hybrid doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Malibu

Ioniq

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

10.3 inches

The Malibu Hybrid stops shorter than the Ioniq Hybrid:

Malibu

Ioniq

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

135 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

153 feet

160 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Malibu Hybrid has larger tires than the Ioniq Hybrid (225/55R17 vs. 195/65R15).

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 Ioniq Hybrid’s 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 Ioniq Hybrid.

Suspension and Handling

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

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Malibu Hybrid is 1.4 inches wider in the front and .7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Ioniq Hybrid.

The Malibu Hybrid’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.4% to 41.6%) than the Ioniq Hybrid’s (59.9% to 40.1%). This gives the Malibu Hybrid more stable handling and braking.

The Malibu Hybrid handles at .83 G’s, while the Ioniq Hybrid SEL pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Malibu Hybrid executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Ioniq Hybrid SEL (27.5 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Malibu Hybrid has 6.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Ioniq Hybrid (102.9 vs. 96.2).

The Malibu Hybrid has .3 inches more front hip room, 2.4 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 2.4 inches more rear legroom, .5 inches more rear hip room and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Ioniq Hybrid.

Towing

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

Ergonomics

The Malibu Hybrid has a standard 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 Ioniq Hybrid 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 Ioniq Hybrid does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Malibu Hybrid’s front and rear power windows all lower 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 Ioniq Hybrid’s standard power windows’ passenger windows don’t open automatically. The Ioniq Hybrid Limited’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to lower them fully.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Malibu Hybrid detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Ioniq Hybrid doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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

On extremely cold winter days, the Malibu Hybrid’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Ioniq Hybrid doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the Malibu Hybrid and the Ioniq Hybrid 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 Ioniq Hybrid doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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

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