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Car and Driver: Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Fuel Economy Tops Among Mid-Size Hybrids—For Now

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2016 Chevrolet Malibu hybrid cutaway

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The EPA has released its fuel-economy estimates for the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu hybrid, and the gas-electric mid-size sedan beats all comers. We await the Honda Accord hybrid‘s return to the lineup for 2017, but for now, the Chevy’s 47-mpg city/46-mpg highway ratings (46 mpg combined), places it above the hybrid versions of the Ford Fusion, Kia Optima, Toyota Camry, and even the smaller Volkswagen Jetta hybrid. The numbers also confirm Chevy’s in-house estimate.
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So what about that Honda Accord hybrid? The Honda, which is on hiatus for the 2016 model year, was rated for 50 mpg in the city, 45 mpg on the highway, and 47 mpg combined for the 2015 model year; we don’t expect those numbers to change much, if at all, when the Accord hybrid returns to the lineup next year with a new powertrain. That said, arguing the nuances between the Malibu hybrid’s 46 mpg combined rating and the 2015 Accord hybrid’s 47 mpg combined rating proves how far hybrid tech has come.

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Chevrolet was able to extract those mpg thanks to both the newest Malibu’s diet—the sedan is said to weigh roughly 300 pounds less than the previous-generation model—and a hybrid powertrain derived from the Volt’s. A 1.8-liter, direct-injection four-cylinder engine works with two electric motors and a 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack to drive the Malibu hybrid’s front wheels. Total system horsepower stands at 182, and the hybrid can motor up to 53 mph on electricity alone. When it goes on sale, the ’16 Malibu hybrid will start at $28,645, right in the thick of the mid-size hybrid market.

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