Continuing to ride the wave of its success as the 2008 North American Car of the Year, the midsize Chevrolet Malibu sedan offers minimal changes for 2009. Powered by a 169-hp four-cylinder engine delivering 160 lb-ft of torque paired to a four-speed automatic transmission, the front-wheel-drive Malibu also offers a 3.6L V6 engine with 252 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic with manual shift control. Inside, the five-passenger interior combines a quiet ride along with numerous comfort items and conveniences, including a premium audio system with standard XM satellite radio. EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy for the four-cylinder, while the V6 earns a 17/26 mpg rating. Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid specifications, however, list 26 mpg city/34 mpg hwy, thanks to a gas-electric configuration featuring a small electric motor that starts the 2.4L four-cylinder gasoline engine and adds a small boost of power under high-load conditions; the gas engine generates 164 hp, rising to 169 hp when assisted by the electric motor. Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes, traction control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags.