2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid vs. 2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Corolla Hybrid are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Corolla Hybrid has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The Corolla Hybrid’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Corolla Hybrid and the Malibu 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, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The Corolla Hybrid’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Malibu Hybrid’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Corolla Hybrid for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Chevrolet only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Malibu Hybrid.

Reliability

The Malibu Hybrid’s redline is at 5000 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Corolla Hybrid has a 4000 RPM redline.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Corolla Hybrid first among compact cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Malibu Hybrid isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked fourth.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 23rd.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Corolla Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Malibu Hybrid (53 city/52 hwy vs. 49 city/43 hwy).

Tires and Wheels

The Corolla Hybrid offers an optional space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Malibu Hybrid; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Corolla Hybrid’s turning circle is 2.9 feet tighter than the Malibu Hybrid’s (34.1 feet vs. 37 feet).

Chassis

The Toyota Corolla Hybrid may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 pounds less than the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid.

The Corolla Hybrid is 11.9 inches shorter than the Malibu Hybrid, making the Corolla Hybrid easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The Corolla Hybrid has a much larger trunk than the Malibu Hybrid (13.1 vs. 11.6 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Corolla Hybrid easier. The Corolla Hybrid’s trunk lift-over height is 25.5 inches, while the Malibu Hybrid’s liftover is 30.5 inches.

Ergonomics

The Corolla Hybrid’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Malibu Hybrid’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Corolla Hybrid the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Toyota service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Malibu Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Corolla Hybrid has a standard Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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

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