2020 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid vs. 2019 Lincoln MKZ

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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 MKZ 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 MKZ doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Malibu Hybrid and the MKZ 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, 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 Lincoln MKZ:

Malibu Hybrid



5 Stars

4 Stars



5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Leg Forces (l/r)

186/153 lbs.

167/333 lbs.



4 Stars

3 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



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 post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is safer than the Lincoln MKZ:

Malibu Hybrid


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

16 inches




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.


The Malibu Hybrid’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the MKZ’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are almost 4 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Lincoln dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Malibu Hybrid’s warranty.


The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the MKZ’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid and 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

The MKZ’s redline is at 6800 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Malibu Hybrid has a 5000 RPM redline.

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 Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 19th.


As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is faster than the Lincoln MKZ:

Malibu Hybrid

MKZ Hybrid

MKZ turbo 4 cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

9.4 sec

7.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

20.2 sec

25.3 sec

21.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

17.2 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90 MPH

83 MPH

88 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Malibu Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the MKZ Hybrid (49 city/43 hwy vs. 42 city/39 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid uses regular unleaded gasoline. The MKZ with the 3.0 turbo V6 engine requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Suspension and Handling

The Malibu Hybrid handles at .84 G’s, while the MKZ Hybrid pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Malibu Hybrid’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the MKZ’s (37 feet vs. 39 feet).


The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 850 pounds less than the Lincoln MKZ.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Malibu Hybrid is quieter than the MKZ AWD:



At idle

38 dB

44 dB


75 dB

75 dB

70 MPH Cruising

71 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

The Malibu Hybrid has 6.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MKZ (102.9 vs. 96.6).

The Malibu Hybrid has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 1.1 inches more rear legroom and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the MKZ.

The front step up height for the Malibu Hybrid is 2.5 inches lower than the MKZ (13.5” vs. 16”). The Malibu Hybrid’s rear step up height is 1.9 inches lower than the MKZ’s (14.1” vs. 16”).

Cargo Capacity

The Malibu Hybrid has a larger trunk than the MKZ Hybrid (11.6 vs. 11.1 cubic feet).


While the MKZ Hybrid is not recommended to tow, any Malibu Hybrid can tow a minimum of 1000 pounds.


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 MKZ does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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

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 $995 to $5835 less than the MKZ over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid will be $6914 to $23025 less than for the Lincoln MKZ.

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

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