2020 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid vs. 2019 Toyota Mirai

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 Mirai 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 Mirai doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Malibu Hybrid and the Mirai have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Malibu Hybrid the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 157 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Mirai has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Malibu Hybrid’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Mirai’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

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

The Malibu Hybrid’s 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 31 more horsepower (182 vs. 151) and 128 lbs.-ft. more torque (375 vs. 247) than the Mirai’s electric motor.

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

Malibu

Mirai

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

9.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

20.2 sec

34.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

17.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90 MPH

80 MPH

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 Mirai doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Malibu

Mirai

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

11.6 inches

The Malibu Hybrid stops much shorter than the Mirai:

Malibu

Mirai

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

194 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

127 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Malibu Hybrid has larger tires than the Mirai (225/55R17 vs. 215/55R17).

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Toyota Mirai has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Malibu Hybrid has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Malibu Hybrid flat and controlled during cornering. The Mirai’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Malibu Hybrid’s wheelbase is 1.9 inches longer than on the Mirai (111.4 inches vs. 109.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Malibu Hybrid is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than on the Mirai.

The Malibu Hybrid handles at .83 G’s, while the Mirai pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Malibu Hybrid executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the Mirai (27.5 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 700 pounds less than the Toyota Mirai.

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 Mirai doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Malibu Hybrid a Mid-size car, while the Mirai is rated a Subcompact.

The Malibu Hybrid has standard seating for 5 passengers; the Mirai can only carry 4.

The Malibu Hybrid has 17.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Mirai (102.9 vs. 85.7).

The Malibu Hybrid has .6 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front hip room, 4.2 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 8 inches more rear legroom, 1 inch more rear hip room and 3.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Mirai.

Cargo Capacity

The Malibu Hybrid’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Mirai doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Towing

The Malibu Hybrid has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Mirai 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 Mirai doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The power windows standard on both the Malibu Hybrid and the Mirai 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 Mirai prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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

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