The Chevrolet Malibu delivers much substance beyond its shapely styling, from the quiet cabin and generous backseat to the comfortable ride and undaunting controls. And with the hybrid version, the Malibu delivers best-in-class fuel economy based on our tests.

We bought a hybrid model to supplement our Malibu LT test findings and discovered that it achieves 41 mpg overall—a dozen more mpg than the 1.5-liter, turbo four-cylinder in most other Malibus. With a light touch on the throttle, the hybrid can cover some ground on just electric power. On the highway, the hybrid returned an impressive 49 mpg. And thanks to its immediate electric torque, the Hybrid also has slightly quicker acceleration than the previously tested conventional Malibu.

Similar to the regular Malibu, the Malibu Hybrid proved secure and forgiving on our track. But it posted a respectable speed through our avoidance maneuver–even bettering that of its nonhybrid sibling. In fact, the Hybrid proved slightly more balanced when cornering on our test track, probably because of the weight of the hybrid battery in the back. (Learn about how Consumer Reports tests cars.)

The Malibu Hybrid proves every bit as comfortable of a ride as the Toyota Camry, but it trails the luxurylike plushness of the Subaru Legacy. The Chevy absorbs bumps very well and remains composed.

2017 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid interior

The interior is uncluttered and has straightforward controls labeled with large fonts. The infotainment system is one of the easiest to use through either the touch-screen or steering-wheel controls and an instrument cluster. It’s also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The swooping exterior design has functionality drawbacks, mostly resulting in compromised rearward visibility and awkward cabin accessibility. More upright competitors such as the Honda Accord, Subaru Legacy, and Toyota Camry offer better visibility and require less contorting when getting in and out.

The hybrid comes with the features of the midtrim LT Malibu, including 17-inch alloy wheels, plus it adds automatic climate control and an electronic parking brake as standard.

Universally, our testers find that the base cloth seats are not very supportive; this is a case where we'd spring and pay more for the more comfortable leather seats. We recommend the optional Leather package for $2,140, which includes the more comfortable seats plus forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring–safety features we like.

Pricing starts at $28,750, but there are incentives that can considerably reduce the price of this efficient hybrid.

Read our complete Chevrolet Malibu and Malibu Hybrid road test and see how it compares against its other midsized sedan hybrid peers. 

2017 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

HIGHS: Looks expensive, roomy rear seat, hybrid gets 41 mpg
LOWS: Visibility, access, driving position
POWERTRAIN: 1.8L hybrid four-cylinder engine; front-wheel drive
FUEL: 41 mpg
PRICE AS TESTED: $30,735 

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