With gasoline prices hovering deep in to $3 territory, sales of smaller cars have risen sharply with many Americans considering downsizing to a smaller more fuel efficient car. Many like the sounds of a hybrid. But beware, not all hybrids are bred equally.
The 2013 Chevy Malibu comes standard as a hybrid for the time being, but for a hybrid, stops short with only 25mpg city, 37mpg highway. Don't most full hybrids get better city mileage than highway? Some- the Prius, being a full hybrid has such economy. That's because a full hybrid generates power from the constant stop and go of a city. On the fueleconomy.gov website, it calls both vehicles "hybrid vehicle". Is that fair?
To find the answer, let's see what else is out there: one of the Malibu's biggest competitors is the Hyundai Sonata, which according to fueleconomy.gov gets 24mpg city, 37 highway. So this Malibu "hybrid" achieves just one mpg better than the non-hybrid Sonata. You'd save $50 per year with the Malibu vs. standard Sonata according to fueleconomy.gov. What's more is that the Malibu costs over $5,000 more than the Sonata, coming in at just over $25,000. With that difference in price, you'd have to own the Malibu for 100 years to make up the difference.
But what's this? The Sonata also has a hybrid version. Comparing the Malibu hybrid e-assist to the Sonata, the Sonata wins, getting 8mpg city/highway better than the Malibu. Perhaps the funniest part is that the Sonata hybrid costs just a few hundred more than the Malibu hybrid.
GM- you're making a good attempt, but let's get on the train! You need to have a similar product, similar miles per gallon, at a similar price, and this just isn't cutting it.
Beware of marketing on vehicles- always remember to compare mileage ratings of a select vehicle to others in its class. Unless you own your vehicles for 100 years.