Two bits of news today you may not have know about: there is a Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, and also, the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is dead.
Pour one out for the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid! Even if you didn’t know it existed until right now, which is entirely fair.
The news of its premature (?) demise comes to us from our friends at Green Car Reports, which got confirmation from General Motors that 2019 is the last model year for the electric-assisted Malibu. This part won’t be a surprise to anyone: cause of death is said to be low demand.
The hybrid Malibu had a two-motor drive unit inspired by the Chevrolet Volt paired with a 1.5 kWh lithium ion battery pack. It got a very good combined 46 MPG, much better than the regular Malibu’s combined 26 MPG. In the end, that wasn’t enough to keep it from being a casualty of the sedanocalypse.
In truth, we don’t think about the Chevrolet Malibu all that much. The current one was launched to a great fanfare in 2016 and was touted as General Motors finally, finally coming to the table with something that could compete on the same level as the Camry and Accord and even the Hyundai Sonata.
I’ve driven the current one (not the hybrid, as I did not know that existed.) It’s not a bad car, not at all. In some ways it’s probably the best modern midsize Chevrolet-branded sedan ever that didn’t have a V8 and rear-wheel drive.
But it never took off, ending up an early victim of the industrywide buyer shift to trucks, crossovers and SUVs. Nearly all four-doors have suffered as a result, but the American brands took it harder than anyone. It is why, in part, Ford stopped making sedans and small cars entirely.
And as Autoblog notes, with the death of the Volt this means there are fully zero hybrid cars in Chevy’s lineup. I have found that a bit shortsighted, especially if gas prices start creeping up again, but let’s be honest: even $10 a gallon fuel probably wouldn’t have saved something as low-key as the Malibu Hybrid. I doubt GM even bothered to market it very hard.
It might make a good cheap fuel-sipping used car one day, or a half-decent rental. But that’s probably gonna be about it.