Assuming that gasoline prices do not stay at their historic low prices (with inflation factored in) cars and especially fuel-efficient mid-size cars, will continue to be a hugely important part of the industry. Chevy says its new Malibu will be larger, more in line wit the Accord, and more fuel efficient. The vehicle also looks fantastic and is sort of along the lines of the new Chrysler 200.
Coupled with the new mainstream Malibu, Chevy is updating the Malibu hybrid. GM says the Malibu hybrid could approach 48 MPG. That would make it a standout in the segment now dominated sales-wise by the Toyota Camry. Mid-size hybrids need to offer value and a conventional feel, instead of just the top fuel economy possible, as Honda is now learning the hard way.
Chevy says the new Malibu hybrid will use a two-motor system adapted form the Volt along with a 1.8-liter gasoline engine. This is great news. The new Volt strikes a great balance of real-world usefulness and green credibility. The more GM can spread the drivetrain components around the family, the lower its costs should be per unit.
Anyone who has been watching this industry for a while knows that Chevy always says of the Malibu when updated, "this time we will be competitive." This time it needs to be true.
2016 Chevrolet Malibu and Malibu Hybrid