The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu ECO hybrid is an interesting car in the world of mid-size family sedans. Unlike other popular hybrids, it doesn’t have a full-sized electric motor that takes over when the car starts. Instead, it uses eAssist technology and a smaller 15-horsepower electric motor to boost fuel efficiency without boosting the price tag.
The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu hybrid comes with a ton of safety features, including numerous airbags and OnStar navigation and assistance. Its infotainment system also comes with a large 7” LCD screen to allow both driver and passenger to access information at a glance without taking attention off the road.
Changes for 2012
This is a new model for 2012, so the biggest change is actually the Malibu ECO model’s eAssist engine with its 38 MPG fuel economy.
What We Like
While the Malibu ECO doesn’t have quite the fuel economy that some other hybrids do, it comes close, and it doesn’t have the same steep price that so many hybrids come with. It also has plenty of power and torque, and it has a very plush suspension, just like the regular Malibu models.
What Concerns Us
While eAssist technology is exciting and does improve gas mileage a good bit, we’re concerned that this model won’t be in production very long, as the technology to produce hybrids becomes more and more affordable. For the moment, getting your 2012 Chevrolet Malibu hybrid serviced won’t be a problem, but it could be in a few years.
The 2012 Malibu hybrid is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a 15-horsepower electric motor assist, and it is rated at 29 MPG in the city and 38 MPG on the highway. Several trim options are available, but the engine package is the same for all of these.
There have been no major recalls specifically for Malibu hybrids, but there has been a recall on some 2012 Malibu models to replace front driver and passenger seatbelts.
Most owners have found little to complain about the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu hybrid model, but some have reported that some models tend to overheat easily even when they are brand new. This can be dealt with by visiting a Chevrolet dealership, though, and it’s not a problem for most models.