I've had this car for almost two years now. It is a great quality car with only a few minor problems. The a/c fan has a ticking sound. (but I've had this problem with every GM car that I have owned). Some of the trim seems to be coming loose around the edges. Also, the hybrid batteries had to be replaced already, but it has an eight year warranty on hybrid parts. I will get anywhere between 25 mpg in the city to 36 mpg on the highway (all highway driving at 60 mph though) The car drives very smoothly and handles great. The acceleration leaves a lot to be desired though. I do wish the hybrid system was a full hybrid.
I just purchased the Malibu Hybrid this week. I love it. It is a mild hybrid, and it drives similar to the regular 4 cyl model. The differences are the engine turns off at a full stop, the engine instantly resumes when you lift your foot off the brake. The car uses regenerative braking and when you take your foot off the gas while cruising the car will slow and the batteries will charge. To coast without slowing down, just leave your foot lightly resting on the accelerator. There is a hump in the back of the trunk where the battery is. I am averaging over 30mpg, this is real good for a large sedan. This car drives like it should cost a lot more than the 22K I paid!
This car is terrible. It is poorly designed, unreliable, and awful to drive. There is no internal mechanisms to repair a moderately damaged tire: no donut, no jack, no wrench, no spare. The trunk space is minimal and sub-par at best. Good luck fitting anything in it- it requires the packing skills of an engineer. The car stalls upon starting and stopping, and the alert screen below the dash frequently displays false alarms of tire pressure, etc. If you're looking for a cheap car, even this is not worth the hassle. Buy a 1992 Camry, it is far likely to be better designed than this.
Just bought this hybrid slightly used. The first tank of combined city/highway driving came in at 29.7 mpg! Very comfortable and quiet car. Lots of features standard equipment, cant wait to take it on a long vacation. Exterior styling is beautiful, my friends are very impressed!