Chevy Announces Malibu Price, Will Release Eco Before Standard Model

General Motors announced this week that its forthcoming Chevy Malibu Eco will be priced to start at $25,995―including a $760 destination charge. The Malibu Eco will be rated 37 on the highway and 25 mpg in the city, for a combined EPA rating of about 29 mpg when it hits dealerships in the first quarter of next year.

Essentially an overhaul of the original Malibu hybrid―whose inexpensive but relatively ineffective mild hybrid system failed to catch on with consumers before it was discontinued in 2009―the Malibu Eco employs the same Belt Alternator Starter (BAS) concept, rebranded as eAssist. The difference is that this time around, GM’s second-generation BAS system will provide far more significant fuel savings at a comparatively small price premium.

To achieve that, eAssist, which first debuted on the Buick LaCrosse earlier this year, uses regenerative breaking to charge a 0.5-kWh lithium-ion battery. The new mild hybrid system will feature a more powerful electric motor, a 4-cylinder gas engine and a computer-controlled stop-start system.

Power numbers for the Malibu Eco put it at 182-horsepower, with the non-eAssist model coming in at 190-horsepower. Pricing for that model―which will come out later next year and was delayed because its 2.5-liter gas engine isn’t ready―has not yet been announced, though the 169-horsepower base 2012 Malibu started at just under $22,000. For 2013, the entire Malibu lineup will be getting a redesign, meaning that prices for the full range of models are likely to be updated.

The Malibu Eco could face some stiff competition on the price front from other fuel-saving mid-size sedans. For 2012, Toyota not only updated the 41-mpg Camry hybrid, it also cut its starting price to $25,900―more than $1,000 less than the 2011 model and nearly $100 cheaper than the Malibu Eco. If the two cars got similar fuel economy those prices would be extremely competitive. But since the Malibu Eco is a mild hybrid where the Camry is a full hybrid, the Malibu will likely be at least 10-mpg less efficient than the Camry when its final EPA ratings are released.

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  • hybridhybrid

    bad move GM. let me tell you what you should do. you should scrap all lines of future malibu, and sell just this malibu eco at the price of the current BASE malibu which is around $21-22k. give customer the options like navigation, body kit etc.

    if you want, you can add another line called malibu SS which feature a bigger engine, or a similar engine (cannot be an atkinson cycle engine) with a supercharger coupled with the hybrid system and charge it the same price as the brand new camry hybrid

    don’t forget, japanese and korean cars ARE NOT CHEAP CARS ANYMORE! (used to be in the distant past). so be competitive! this malibu will FAIL MISERABLY if the price is the same as the new camry hybrid!

  • van

    Toyota Camry Hybrid LE 43/39/41 $25,900

    Hyundai Sonata Hybrid 40/35/37 $25,795

    Kia Optima Hybrid 40/35/37 $26,500

    Ford Fusion Hybrid 41/36/39 $28,700

    Chevy Malibu Eco 26/30/38 $25,995

    So for only $95 dollars more, you get 17 MPG less in city, 9 MPG less combined, and 3 MPG less on the highway. Should sell like warm spit.

  • MrEnergyCzar

    I agree with hybridhybrid. This car must be sold for several thousand less than the new Camry Hybrid. The Camry will own this category.


  • hybridhybrid

    and not to mention the camry hybrid has 200 horsepower combined as opposed to 182 hp of the malibu eco. i’m not saying it is a big deal, but how can a car with better fuel efficiency and more power be cheaper/equal value?

    and what is with that lithium ion battery pack? it is just a “mild” hybrid with only 0.5 kWh battery pack, why use a more expensive battery pack when a cheaper NiMH will do just fine? to save space? lighter? i am pretty sure a 0.5 kWh NiMH will not sacrifice further space or increase any significant weight compared to a Li+ battery pack of similiar capacity (if we are talking about a 4 or 16 or even a 24 kWh battery pack then that will be a completely different story)

    so GM, another thing for you to learn is to swap the battery pack with a cheaper one that can function just as well and cut the price of the malibu eco.

    just when i am about to consider your malibu eco over other competition as my 2nd car, now i don’t even need to consider anymore (back to drawing board)

  • Just Sam

    It was a great attempt by the Chevrolet.

  • Collin Burnell

    Here’s what the Malibu has going for it:
    It’s a better looking car (the Camry is kinda bland).
    It’s All American (at least in perception).

    …ok, that’s all I got…

    I like what GM is doing with the Regal and LeCross. The Hybrid/CVT is a seperate option. It $2000 bucks. Nice and simple math. Both Buicks seem to be getting 29mpg’s real world. That’s not too bad. Both cars are very handsome. I wish they at least badged the eAssist Buicks though. A keen eye can spot the eAssist only wheels but we Hybrid buyers like to advertise. You have to admit GM has not ‘jumped on the bandwagon’. They are out there blazing a new trail.

  • Shines

    Playing the devil’s advocate here…
    I went on an auto trading site (you know which one I mean) and looked for 2012 Camry Hybrids. The cheapest was about
    $800 over the $25900 most were priced well over $30K. If Chevy offers discounts on this Malibu it should sell OK. I disagree with Collin – I think the 2012 Camry has very nice lines – is a good looking car. And for the past few years the Camry (not sure about the hybrid)has had more American content than Chevy or Ford (is more American believe it or not). Chevy has the Volt, so it is on a different bandwagon…

  • Alabama Hot Pocket

    The Malibu’s price needs to be lowered as it is too expensive.

  • freak000

    We bought a 2011 Kia Optima Turbo SX fully optiioned at $31000. Discounted we walked out the door at $29400. The Optima is fully loaded even has cooled seats. The EPA highway is 34 mpg and it has 274 hp. We are avg on the road 33.4 and combined 27.8 all at posted speed limits. The car is extremely well made with the feel and performance of a luxury vehicle. The dual sunroof, push button start and steering mounted paddle shifters are incredible for the price. My daughter will be checking out the new Hybrid and at $30k loaded after discounts its a steal.

  • JD

    There are 2 (two) Camry HV models now. The XLE and the, no options available, LE. The LE MSRP has bumped up from $25,900 to $26,600 over the past several weeks (I don’t know why). The XLE is $30K plus, with options. The LE, IMHO, needs no options as it gets 43/39 (EPA) mpg and has everything I want in a HV. The XLE is ~100lbs heavier and drops 1mpg in both categories. I bought the LE for $24K. I’m getting 52mpg avg and on some, mostly level ground trips, 60 plus mpg! I looked at the competitors and there wasn’t really any competition for me. Toyota won hands down. It has plenty of power with the 2.5L gas engine in combo with the electric track motor equals 200HP! More than my 1997 T100 with 196HP V6.
    This is the best car I’ve ever owned.

  • tapra1

    The Malibu Eco will be rated 38 on the highway and 26 mpg in the city, for an expected combined EPA rating of about 30 mpg when it hits dealerships in the first quarter of next yearVPS Hosting Reviews