Read Amy Skogstrom’s comments on driving the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid.
The first thing I noticed driving the hybrid Malibu is that you can actually hear the engine turn over when you turn the ignition key. One of the things I always found eerie about our Four Seasons Camry hybrid is that, when you hit the ignition, you’re greeted by silence. In the Camry, the only hint that the car is running is that the dashboard lights up. I prefer the Malibu, in that it mimics the behavior of a traditional car.
Like the Camry, the Malibu isn’t exactly subtle when the power switches from electric to gas and vice versa. At a stop, the engine sort of chugs before turning off, and there’s a noticeable roughness when you’re moving and switch back to gas. I’m happy to see that there’s no video screen like in the Camry that constantly shows you your fuel economy – highly annoying in the Lexus LS600hL I drove recently.
All in all, the Malibu is a perfectly nice family sedan. It won’t get the enthusiast’s juices flowing, but then again, that’s not the point of this car.