2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Sedan

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 164 hp @ 6400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 26/34 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

  • The word "hybrid" may elicit environmental warm fuzzies, but the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid provides negligible "hybrid" benefits. It may cost a little less than other hybrid sedans, but you get a lot less in terms of fuel economy and performance.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Handsome styling inside and out, comfortable seats, good fit and finish, smooth ride, hushed cabin, high crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Electric motor provides negligible fuel economy and performance benefits, some low-grade cabin materials, no rear center armrest, lifeless steering.

  • What's New for 2009

    Other than a few tweaks that improve fuel economy slightly and the replacement of the 16-inch wheels with 17s, there are no changes for the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid.

Full 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Review

What's New for 2009

Other than a few tweaks that improve fuel economy slightly and the replacement of the 16-inch wheels with 17s, there are no changes for the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid.


The 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid manages to be both a success and a failure. As a midsize sedan, the Malibu is a success thanks to its handsome styling, solid driving dynamics and spacious, comfortable cabin. But the hybrid version is what's called a "mild" hybrid. And like a tofu burger or near-beer, it's simply not as good as the real thing.

To clarify, a full hybrid has the ability to run on electric power alone at speeds up to 25 mph or so. As such, it is able to get impressive fuel mileage, especially in stop-and-go traffic and city driving (the driving situations that are the worst for a gas engine's fuel efficiency). However, the Malibu hybrid's "mild" status means that its electric motor isn't really used for propelling the car on its own -- its primary purpose is starting the engine when it automatically shuts off to save fuel at traffic lights or other stopping situations.

Granted, the Malibu Hybrid's four-kilowatt electric motor/generator can actually move the car on its own up to a dizzying 3 mph, but that's essentially useless in terms of increasing fuel economy. To put it into perspective, the Camry Hybrid's 30-kilowatt unit can propel it up to 30 mph.

Furthermore, the Malibu Hybrid's performance isn't as good as real hybrids. When maximum power is called for, its electric motor assists the gas engine, but the added boost is minimal as it adds a mere 5 horsepower to the cause. That doesn't compare too favorably to the Toyota, whose muscular electric motor kicks in an additional 40 horses when needed. Another bummer is that the Malibu Hybrid's overall fuel economy rates just a few mpg better than the standard four-cylinder Malibu.

With a base price around $25,000, the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is only about $1,000 less expensive than the Camry Hybrid and Nissan Altima Hybrid (which shares the Toyota's hybrid technology), both of which are also cleaner in terms of emissions ratings. If price and the environment are priorities, the Toyota Prius remains the best bet, by being both cheaper and incredibly fuel efficient while offering an impressive amount of passenger and cargo space. It's also a tad quicker than the Malibu and offers more luxury features.

Despite how impressive the regular 2009 Chevy Malibu is, the Hybrid version leaves us cold. General Motors says that its full-fledged "two-mode" hybrid system will eventually make its way into the Malibu. It can't arrive fast enough.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is a midsize sedan available in one trim level. Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, cruise control, keyless entry, automatic climate control, a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, power height adjustment for the driver seat and a six-speaker stereo with CD/MP3 player, auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio.

The few available options include a six-way power driver seat and a sunroof.

Powertrains and Performance

The Malibu Hybrid features a small electric motor that starts the 164-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and adds a small boost of power under high-load conditions. Hybrids aren't expected to be quick, but with a 0-60-mph time of around 11 seconds, the Malibu is much slower than the Camry and Altima hybrids. Even the Prius is quicker.

Unlike other hybrid setups, the Malibu's offers full electric propulsion only up to about 3 mph, whereas the Altima and Camry hybrids can get up to almost 30 mph. Consequently, city gas mileage is only a bit better than the standard four-cylinder Malibu. EPA fuel economy ratings for this year's updated Hybrid model stand at 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined.


Standard safety features on the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid include antilock disc brakes, stability control, traction control and OnStar. Front-seat side and full-length side curtain airbags are also standard.

In government crash testing, the Malibu Hybrid scored five stars (the highest possible) in both frontal- and side-impact tests. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the (similar) non-hybrid four-cylinder Malibu scored the best rating of "Good" for both frontal-offset and side-impact protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

While its value as a hybrid is debatable, the Chevy Malibu scores big style points inside and out. The dual-cowl dash design is certainly eye-catching, while buyers have a pair of classy two-tone color schemes to choose from: gray/lighter gray and brown/tan. Although there's still some cheap plastic trim here and there, overall the Malibu is a vast improvement over past Chevy models and also better than its platform twin, the Saturn Aura hybrid.

Firmly supportive front seats make for comfortable 500-mile days behind the wheel, and the controls for the audio and climate control systems are simple to use. With its long wheelbase, the Malibu offers generous amounts of legroom for rear passengers, though the seat lacks a center armrest and the sloping roof line may impinge on headroom for tall folks. Unlike other hybrid sedans, the Malibu's trunk is not compromised by large battery packs, and it holds a maximum of 15.1 cubic feet of luggage.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid doesn't offer the regular model's level of sporty handling. Most people don't expect their hybrid to handle like a sport sedan, so bigger concerns are that the Malibu trails its rivals in terms of acceleration and braking. On the upside, the Malibu Hybrid provides the same comfortable, hushed ride as the non-hybrid version.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

New lelel of comfort

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)

We traded in our 1 year old 2009 Malibu LS for a 2009 Malibu Hybrid 4 months ago. After rebates we spent $3k and the government will be giving us $1550 back. What a steal. We love the car and our salesman. It gets about 37 mpg on a trip or about 6 mpg, on average better than our non hybrid Malibu did. This car has to be the most underrated and thus biggest bargain out there. They are giving them away. We did not loose 20% as we drove it off the show room floor. The Kelly "trade in" for the Hybrid is more than we paid for both Malibus combined. We didn't fully appreciate the car until we had driven it for a few months. We love the way it slows you down without touching the brakes.

Looks good so far

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)

My wife gets compliments all the time. People are surprised it is a Malibu (considering the previous old boxy style). The car looks great, could be a bit more peppy but gets the job done. We have had zero mechanical problems, Gas in this car seems to last for ever. We average around 30mpg in mixed city and highway driving (not bad for a mid size sedan). Sound system great, lots of little nooks to holds stuff, lots of trunk space, comes with XM, on- star is cooler than I thought with turn by turn GPS and the emailed mechanical reports. Overall, this car has a lot of cool features for the money, the coolest is the motor shuts off while stopped in traffic to save gas (why didn't I think that?)


by on
Vehicle: 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)

i bought a 09 malibu hybrid for new york taxicab couple months i like it and suddenly makes noise from engine had to change belt at 36000mile then front two wheel makes noise through bump ,and of course to change headlight bulb you've to take whole front bumper out which cost around $70-80 something happens its expensive to maintain so i would suggest buy regular not green not good gas mileage i wish it 26-34mpg

Mediocre hybrid

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)

We have a 2009 Malibu Hybrid as a fleet vehicle in the agency I work for. We've had it for approx 6 months and put 5000 miles on it. I am not impressed by it. The electric motor assist, frankly, is a useless gimmick. It does not provide electric-only power when you are tooling around a parking lot or in stop-and-go traffic. The total power output of the engine is lethargic and the vehicle has issues merging onto highways without going full-throttle, which is disappointing. We also have a 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid which outclasses it in almost every way possible. I suggest driving both before making a decision one way or the other. The Fusion is a couple thousand more but well worth it.

Check it out and you

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)

I'm presently enjoying 34-38mpg in a combo of highway and city and I have to say its hard to believe the mileage is better that in the subcompact car I previously owned. This car is just a little smaller than the impala and is a very comfortable ride on long trips. Its hard to believe its only a four cylinder because when you nail it the electric motor also kicks in and its got plenty of pep. I fell in love with the styling both interior and exterior- its really sharp! When I showed it to co-workers two of them actually purchased a straight malibu shortly after viewing and riding in mine. Chevy really detailed this car with some very classy styling and the 2- tone interior is sharp!

Great car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)

I write this review on May 27 2009. I bought the car on Mat 21 2009. The car had 113 miles and now has a little over 1100 miles. I am getting an avg of 32 mpg city/highway combined. I can easily get 34 mpg on I 40 at 70 mph. So far I love this car.

Talk About The 2009 Malibu Hybrid

2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Discussions See all Started By

My mistake. The Feds only bought 64% of the Malibu Hybrids. You can count on US buying all the excess Volts that get built....

What are the lease rates for the 2008 & 2009 Malibu over 24/36 months at 12,000 miles for August? Out of curiosity, what are the lease rates for the Malibu Hybrid 2008 & 2009 if it's offered ...

I have a 2009 Malibu and just had to replace my tires (and 2 bent rims, Dam steel hubs) and found that my Malibu LT has the rims and tires for a Malibu Hybrid. Now I’m not complaining much be...

Read more about the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Gas Mileage


  • 26
  • cty
  • 34
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Call us at 855-782-4711
Text us at ED411