The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu received a facelift from the previous model year to offer improved fuel efficiency on a lighter and longer frame. A new hybrid model is expected to offer a combined 47 mpg, GM announced at the New York International Auto Show.
The mid-size sedan sheds 300 pounds from its predecessor, and will also offer an expanded range of safety features.
While the gasoline model has been a steady fleet favorite, the hybrid powertrain may draw new interest with an estimated 48 mpg city, 45 mpg highway and 47 mpg combined. The powertrain is based on the 2016 Volt.
Both Malibu models are powered by a new direct-injected 1.8L 4-cylinder Ecotec engine. The Malibu Hybrid adds to a two-motor drive unit that's been slightly modified from the 2016 Volt drive unit. The hybrid model should produce 182 hp.
An 80-cell, 1.5 kilowatt-per-hour lithium-ion battery pack powers to the electric side of the hybrid system. The Malibu Hybrid can reach up to 55 miles per hour on electricity alone. The gasoline-powered engine kicks in at higher speeds and higher loads.
The next-gen Malibu offers an extended wheelbase that's four inches longer than the previous model. The exterior of the car is 2.3 inches longer in overall length to provide a sleeker shape. The styling was based off the 2014 Impala, with a dual-port grille, according to General Motors.
Other features for the vehicle include available segment-exclusive OnStar 4G LTE in-vehicle connectivity as well as available phone charging, 10 standard air bags with additional safety features available like Forward Collision Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Automatic Parking Assist.
The next-gen Malibu comes in four different trim levels: L, LS, LT and Premier trims. The 2016 Malibu will show up in dealerships during the fourth quarter of this year.
Commercial fleets added 7,381 Malibu cars in 2013, while government fleets added 831 units.