Introduced in 2009, the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid was marketed as competition against the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid. Technically referred to as a mild hybrid, the key to the electrification of the Malibu Hybrid was a belted alternator starter. Using a special starter/generator system in the place of the alternator, the Malibu Hybrid’s technology would controllably shut off the engine when at a stop. Once the driver presses on the accelerator, the gasoline engine automatically restarted.
The hybrid system also provided power boost to the 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline allowing perky acceleration. Collectively output delivering output of 164 horsepower and 159 pound-foot of torque., the hybrid powerplant linked to the Malibu was paired with a four-speed automatic transmission With average city/highway fuel economy of 28 miles per gallon, the Malibu Hybrid achieved 2 miles per gallon better performance than the conventional four-cylinder version of the sedan.
Due to slow retail sales for the Malibu Hybrid, the 2010 model was largely relegated for fleet use. The standard features list for the 2010 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid was extensive including front and side airbags, anti-lock braking system, cruise control, driver power lumber support as well as a six-speaker stereo system.
While the five-passenger cabin of the Malibu sedan was unaffected by the gasoline/hybrid powertrain hardware, trunk space for the 2010 car decreased to 13.3 cubic feet (down by 1.8 cubic feet). The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid was discontinued altogether after the 2010 model year but remerged three years later. In 2013, the Chevrolet Malibu line-up once again included a mild hybrid model with the availability of eAssist technology.