2020 Toyota Prius vs. 2020 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Prius 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Prius LE/XLE/Limited has standard Parking Support Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Prius offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Prius LE/XLE/Limited has standard Intelligent Clearance Sonar to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The Prius’ 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 Prius 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems 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 Toyota Prius is safer than the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid:

Prius

Malibu Hybrid

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

157

376

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.6 inches

Neck Stress

173 lbs.

173 lbs.

Neck Compression

46 lbs.

62 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, results indicate that the Toyota Prius is safer than the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid:

Prius

Malibu Hybrid

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

1 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

183 G’s

239 G’s

Hip Force

8 lbs.

212 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

269

460

Hip Force

484 lbs.

809 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Prius the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 101 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Malibu Hybrid was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Prius 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

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

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

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Prius’ reliability 60 points higher than the Malibu Hybrid.

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

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

On the EPA test cycle the Prius FWD CVT gets better fuel mileage than the Malibu Hybrid CVT (58 city/53 hwy vs. 49 city/43 hwy).

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Toyota Prius higher (7 out of 10) than the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid (5). This means the Prius produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Malibu Hybrid every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The Prius stops much shorter than the Malibu Hybrid:

Prius

Malibu Hybrid

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

149 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The Prius XLE/Limited’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Malibu Hybrid’s 55 series tires.

The Prius LE FWD has a standard 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

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The Prius has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Prius Limited handles at .90 G’s, while the Malibu Hybrid pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Prius Limited executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Malibu Hybrid (26.3 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.5 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Prius’ turning circle is 3.5 feet tighter than the Malibu Hybrid’s (33.5 feet vs. 37 feet). The Prius Limited/XLE FWD’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Malibu Hybrid’s (35.4 feet vs. 37 feet).

Chassis

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The Toyota Prius may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 350 pounds less than the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid.

The Prius is 1 foot, 2.2 inches shorter than the Malibu Hybrid, making the Prius easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Prius L Eco is quieter than the Malibu Hybrid:

Prius

Malibu Hybrid

At idle

26 dB

38 dB

Full-Throttle

71 dB

75 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The Prius has .3 inches more front headroom and .8 inches more front legroom than the Malibu Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Prius easier. The Prius’ trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the Malibu Hybrid’s liftover is 30.5 inches.

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Prius’ hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. The Malibu Hybrid’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

Ergonomics

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The Prius (except L/LE) offers an available heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Prius’ 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 Prius 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. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Malibu Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Prius has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Prius XLE/Limited’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Malibu Hybrid’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Prius has a standard rear wiper. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Prius’ headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Malibu Hybrid’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Prius (except L/LE) offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Prius 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Prius XLE/Limited has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Prius LE/XLE/Limited’s Intelligent Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The Prius will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Prius will retain 44.07% to 45.12% of its original price after five years, while the Malibu Hybrid only retains 36.53%.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Prius as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid isn't recommended.

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

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