With lawmakers in Washington setting their eyes on more stringent CAFE standards, Chevrolet is rolling its new 2013 Malibu Eco. The car promises fuel economy very much like that of other hybrids in its class without the extra cost associated with hybrid vehicles.
The new Malibu Eco will carry an MSRP of $25,995 when it lands in dealerships in Q1 2012 as a 2013 model — the MSRP includes the destination charge.
Chevy calls the Malibu Eco the most fuel-efficient Malibu ever and it is the first Chevy to get the GM eAssist battery electric/gas powertrain. This powertrain uses a 182hp gasoline engine, lithium-ion battery and an electric motor/generator unit. The car also features regenerative braking, electric assist, and uses start-stop functionality to improve fuel economy.
To help improve the efficiency the Malibu Eco uses underbody aerodynamic enhancements and shutters in the lower grill that close at higher speeds. The car also shed weight to improve efficient with an aluminum hood, aluminum rear bumper beam, and low mass carpeting and other light components. This helps the Eco come in at 130 pounds lighter than the normal Malibu.
The tech inside the car allows it to get fuel ratings estimated by GM to be 26mpg in city driving and 38 mpg on the highway.
That efficiency level allows the Malibu Eco to offer similar highway efficiency compared to other hybrid and diesel cars. The 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid for instance gets 36 mpg (hwy) and sells for $29,395. The 2012 Camry Hybrid gets 39 mpg (hwy) with a MSRP of $26,660, and the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid sells for $26,545 and gets 40 mpg (hwy).
However, the Malibu Eco gets trounced by the competition when it comes to city fuel economy. While the Malibu manages “only” 26mpg in the city, the Fusion Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, and Sonata Hybrid offer city ratings of 41mpg, 43mpg, and 35mpg respectively.
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