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Malibu Eco gets good fuel economy and is cheaper than other midsized hybrids

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.

Source: GM

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RE: Depends what you need, but watch city MPG
By Reclaimer77 on 11/22/2011 1:43:51 PM , Rating: 1
That's the problem with the proposed insane CAFE requirements. They allow no compromise. This Malibu features a crazy list of technological innovation, and still doesn't even meet the future CAFE numbers. Because it's a mid-sized sedan that people would actually want to own, not a tiny econobox, it fails to hit the numbers.

Automakers will be forced to choose between cars people want, and those they're legally bound to provide or pay a penalty. Guess which one will win?

RE: Depends what you need, but watch city MPG
By idiot77 on 11/22/2011 2:00:15 PM , Rating: 1
The ones people want because they'll pay the penalty.

Oh... burn. I don't think that's the answer you wanted was it?

RE: Depends what you need, but watch city MPG
By Keeir on 11/22/2011 2:55:15 PM , Rating: 2
Or more accurately.

Automakers will continue to focus on models people want, but raise the prices to try to control market preference. Eventually cars that people want will also be much more profitable than the smaller cars people do not want, such that product choices and RD will be focused on these larger and more profitable automobiles at the expense of the smaller cars. Eventually the smaller offering will be such low quality you essentially have to give them away or lose money, but you have to keep pumping them out to keep selling your high profit items. Of course, a rapid shift in market prefernce could leave your company high and dry...

Oh wait, that already happened once. I give it ~5-10 years till the big American Cars companies are back at the same game.

Wish the Government would not force Automakers to determine customer preference. If we (the voters) feel that our preferences must be determined for us, maybe just have the Government out and out do it rather than created a convoluted scheme so we don't even see how we are paying significant costs and lowering the compeditiness of our domestic companies while giving our politicians a potential corruption point.

End point, niether outcome is really preferable

RE: Depends what you need, but watch city MPG
By twhittet on 11/22/11, Rating: 0
RE: Depends what you need, but watch city MPG
By Dorkyman on 11/23/2011 10:07:04 AM , Rating: 2
You guys are forgetting that there is an election coming up. Regime Change. CAFE will be rolled back or eliminated.

By Ringold on 11/23/2011 12:22:31 PM , Rating: 2
Depends on the outcome. The public elected a freshman Senator with no real-world experience at all to be president before, they may just re-elect him.

RE: Depends what you need, but watch city MPG
By cruisin3style on 11/23/2011 3:57:32 PM , Rating: 2
this is innovative tech for 2011, why can't 2025's innovative tech be far superior?

By Reclaimer77 on 11/23/2011 6:27:54 PM , Rating: 1
First of all, I want you to realize that I'm not accepting your premise that it's the Governments job to DECIDE vehicle technology or pick which one wins the market. Ok having said that...

The Prius went on sale in 1997. That's 14 years ago. Ironically enough, it will be 2025 14 years from today.

But think about it, in 14 years there have been practically NO advancements at all in vehicle fuel economy technology beyond hybrid technology. Notice I said "fuel economy", we're leaving EV cars out of this discussion.

So here you are telling me that in 14 more years, we're magically going to meet these numbers while not being forced into EV's are tiny death trap cars? Based on WHAT evidence?

By Samus on 11/25/2011 1:33:10 AM , Rating: 2
People can't always have what they want.

I like the McLaren 12C but the restrictions the US Government put on it will destroy its fuel economy and raise its price, so a 'practical' car becomes unpractical, both of which involve a huge economic investment.

But more realistically, the governments in most other industrialized countries regulate cars in such ways its impossible for most people to afford them, so most people settle for something they can afford, which usually gets great fuel economy (fuel efficient vehicles are less-taxed in many countries, making them very affordable.)

Our government should adobt such a technique. Don't punish the manufactures, punish the people who support their gas guzzlers.

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