2020 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid vs. 2019 Mazda 6

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 Mazda 6 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Compared to metal, the Malibu Hybrid’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda 6 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Malibu Hybrid and the Mazda 6 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, 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 Mazda 6:

Malibu Hybrid

Mazda 6

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

23%

23%

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

38%

53%

Neck Compression

62 lbs.

107 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

173/196 lbs.

335/150 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 Mazda 6:

Malibu Hybrid

Mazda 6

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

239 G’s

256 G’s

Hip Force

212 lbs.

437 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

14 inches

HIC

235

271

Spine Acceleration

29 G’s

36 G’s

Hip Force

488 lbs.

671 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 Mazda 6’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 5 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Mazda 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 Mazda 6’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

The Mazda 6’s redline is at 6300 to 6500 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 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

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 Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 44 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine

The Malibu Hybrid’s 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 189 lbs.-ft. more torque (375 vs. 186) than the Mazda 6’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Malibu Hybrid’s 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 65 lbs.-ft. more torque (375 vs. 310) than the Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is faster than the Mazda 6 4 cyl.:

Malibu

Mazda6

Zero to 30 MPH

3 sec

3.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

9.2 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5 sec

5.5 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

17.2 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Malibu Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Mazda 6 with its standard engine (49 city/43 hwy vs. 26 city/35 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Malibu Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Malibu Hybrid’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 Mazda 6 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 Mazda 6 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The Malibu Hybrid stops shorter than the Mazda 6:

Malibu Hybrid

Mazda 6

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

The Malibu Hybrid handles at .84 G’s, while the Mazda 6 Signature pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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 Mazda 6 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Malibu Hybrid is quieter than the Mazda 6 Grand Touring:

Malibu Hybrid

6

At idle

38 dB

42 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

80 dB

Passenger Space

The Malibu Hybrid has 3.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Mazda 6 (102.9 vs. 99.7).

The Malibu Hybrid has .7 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front hip room, 2.6 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Mazda 6.

Towing

The Malibu Hybrid has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Mazda 6 has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The Malibu Hybrid has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Mazda 6 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

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 Mazda 6 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Malibu Hybrid and the Mazda 6 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Malibu Hybrid is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Mazda 6 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

Consumer Reports rated the Malibu Hybrid’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Mazda 6’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

The Malibu Hybrid’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Mazda only offers heated mirrors on the Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature.

Both the Malibu Hybrid and the Mazda 6 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 Mazda 6 doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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

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