Between the four-cylinder and V-6 variants of the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu, the four-cylinder models are the obvious pick for those who want to make greener choices. While the V-6 Malibu, at 17 mpg city, 26 highway, isn't at all impressive, the four-cylinder model is quite good at 22/33—thanks, in part to the six-speed automatic, which has a tall top gear and is now standard across the line.
The Malibu is flex-fuel-capable, too. Just keep in mind that on E85 (85 percent ethanol), it's only rated at 15/23 mpg.
Relative to its class as a whole, the Malibu isn't one of the top achievers, though. Several models, such as the Hyundai Sonata, meet or exceed 35 mpg on the highway, and the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid are even better.
The four-cylinder version of the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu is quite efficient and green, considering its interior space and comfort.