DETROIT — General Motors estimates that the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, scheduled to arrive at dealerships in spring of 2016, will have a combined city/highway fuel economy rating "exceeding 45 mpg."
Non-hybrid Malibu models will begin arriving at Chevrolet dealers in the fourth quarter of this year.
The next-generation Malibu Hybrid will feature a new direct-injection 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a two-motor electric drive system derived from the 2016 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. Chevrolet says the system totals 182 horsepower.
According to Chevrolet, electric power alone will take the Malibu Hybrid up to 55 mph. The gasoline engine kicks in at higher speeds or whenever additional power is needed due to high loads.
The new powertrain also features Chevrolet's first use of Exhaust Gas Heat Recovery technology, which uses exhaust heat to warm the engine and cabin and helps ensure consistent fuel economy in cold weather.
Another advancement shared with the Volt is a regenerative braking system, which uses kinetic energy generated during braking to help charge the Malibu's 80-cell, 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
Said Jesse Ortega, Chevrolet Malibu chief engineer, in a statement: "Besides leveraging innovation from the Chevrolet Volt, the Malibu Hybrid also has unique features that help improve aerodynamics, like upper and lower grille air shutters to improve airflow and a reduced ride height, all of which help reduce fuel consumption."
Edmunds says: Consumers in the market for a midsize hybrid sedan may want to consider the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, as long as they can wait a year for it.