2020 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid vs. 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2020 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

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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 Corolla Hybrid doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Malibu Hybrid’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Corolla Hybrid doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Malibu Hybrid’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Corolla Hybrid doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Malibu Hybrid and the Corolla 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.

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 Corolla Hybrid has not been tested, yet.


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


The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Corolla 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.


The Malibu Hybrid’s 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 61 more horsepower (182 vs. 121) and 269 lbs.-ft. more torque (375 vs. 106) than the Corolla Hybrid’s 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Malibu Hybrid has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Corolla Hybrid (13 vs. 11.4 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 Corolla Hybrid doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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



Front Rotors

11.8 inches

10.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

10.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Malibu Hybrid has larger tires than the Corolla 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 Corolla Hybrid’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Malibu Hybrid has standard 17-inch wheels. Only 15-inch wheels are available on the Corolla 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 Corolla Hybrid (111.4 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Malibu Hybrid is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than on the Corolla Hybrid.


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 Corolla Hybrid 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 Corolla Hybrid is rated a Compact.

The Malibu Hybrid has 14.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Corolla Hybrid (102.9 vs. 88.6).

The Malibu Hybrid has .8 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front hip room, 3.7 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 3.3 inches more rear legroom, 9.5 inches more rear hip room and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Corolla Hybrid.


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


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 Corolla 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 Corolla Hybrid does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Malibu Hybrid’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Corolla Hybrid doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

The Malibu Hybrid has standard heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the Corolla 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 Corolla Hybrid doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Malibu Hybrid’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Corolla Hybrid doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

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

The Malibu Hybrid’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Corolla Hybrid’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

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

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