This year's Malibu models with the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine earn 27 mpg city, 37 highway, 31 combined, according to the EPA. Meanwhile those with the turbo 2.0-liter 4-cylinder earn 22/33/26 mpg.
There isn’t the variance in ratings across trim levels that you’ll see on some rival models. All models with the 1.5-liter come with engine stop-start, while those with the 2.0-liter do not.
The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, with its 1.5-kwh battery pack and a version of the Voltec system that was originally developed for the Chevy Volt, earns 47/46/46 mpg, according to the EPA.
While we haven’t yet driven the Malibu Hybrid on a long enough loop to make any pronouncements about its fuel economy, we have observed that one test car had produced an average, on city stop-and-go loops, of nearly 49 mpg over 25 miles.
In our own real-world driving, we observed essentially the same mileage from models with the 1.5-liter turbo as with the 2.0-liter turbo in somewhat rapid driving on a combination of mountainous and coastal two-lane roads and freeways. Both models returned trip-computer averages in the low 30s—although we’ll temper that with the advice that if you spend more time in slow-moving urban and suburban commuter traffic, you’re bound to do quite a bit better in the 1.5-liter than the 2.0-liter.