2020 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid vs. 2019 Toyota Camry 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 Camry Hybrid doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the Malibu Hybrid and the Camry Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear 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 and rearview cameras.

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 Toyota Camry Hybrid:

Malibu Hybrid

Camry Hybrid

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Leg Forces (l/r)

186/153 lbs.

432/527 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 Toyota Camry Hybrid:

Malibu Hybrid

Camry Hybrid

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

212 lbs.

296 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

14 inches

Spine Acceleration

29 G’s

35 G’s

Hip Force

488 lbs.

622 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 Camry Hybrid’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 2 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Toyota 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 Camry 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 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.

Engine

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is faster than the Toyota Camry Hybrid:

Malibu

Camry

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

7.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

16 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Brakes and Stopping

The Malibu Hybrid stops shorter than the Camry Hybrid:

Malibu

Camry

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

135 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Malibu Hybrid has larger tires than the Camry Hybrid (225/55R17 vs. 205/65R16).

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 Camry Hybrid’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Malibu Hybrid has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Camry Hybrid.

Suspension and Handling

The Malibu Hybrid handles at .83 G’s, while the Camry Hybrid LE pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Malibu Hybrid’s turning circle is .4 feet tighter than the Camry Hybrid LE’s (37 feet vs. 37.4 feet). The Malibu Hybrid’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Camry Hybrid SE/XLE’s (37 feet vs. 38 feet).

Passenger Space

The Malibu Hybrid has 3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Camry Hybrid (102.9 vs. 99.9).

The Malibu Hybrid has .8 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Camry Hybrid.

Towing

The Malibu Hybrid has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Camry Hybrid 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 Camry Hybrid 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 Camry Hybrid does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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

The Malibu Hybrid’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Toyota charges extra for heated mirrors on the Camry Hybrid.

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 Camry Hybrid doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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

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

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