2020 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid vs. 2019 Mercedes A-Class

                        Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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                        In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Malibu Hybrid are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The A-Class doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

                        To help make backing safer, the Malibu Hybrid’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The A-Class doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

                        Both the Malibu Hybrid and the A-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

                        For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Malibu Hybrid the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 157 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A-Class has not been tested, yet.


                        Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Malibu Hybrid 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the A-Class. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the A-Class ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

                        The Malibu Hybrid’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the A-Class’ (6 vs. 5 years).

                        There are almost 8 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Malibu Hybrid’s warranty.


                        The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the A-Class’ engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

                        The A-Class’ redline is at 6500 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Malibu Hybrid has a 5000 RPM redline.

                        J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

                        J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.


                        The Malibu Hybrid’s 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 154 lbs.-ft. more torque (375 vs. 221) than the A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

                        Fuel Economy and Range

                        On the EPA test cycle the Malibu Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the A 220 FWD (49 city/43 hwy vs. 24 city/35 hwy).

                        Regenerative brakes improve the Malibu Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The A-Class doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

                        The Malibu Hybrid has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The A-Class doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.


                        The Malibu Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The A-Class doesn’t offer a CVT.

                        Tires and Wheels

                        For better traction, the Malibu Hybrid has larger tires than the A-Class (225/55R17 vs. 205/55R17).

                        Suspension and Handling

                        For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Malibu Hybrid’s wheelbase is 4 inches longer than on the A-Class (111.4 inches vs. 107.4 inches).

                        For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Malibu Hybrid is .9 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than on the A-Class.


                        The front grille of the Malibu Hybrid uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The A-Class doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

                        Passenger Space

                        Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Malibu Hybrid a Mid-size car, while the A-Class is rated a Compact.

                        The Malibu Hybrid has 9.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A-Class (102.9 vs. 93).

                        The Malibu Hybrid has 3.4 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 4.2 inches more rear legroom and 3.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the A-Class.

                        The front step up height for the Malibu Hybrid is 1.5 inches lower than the A-Class (13.5” vs. 15”). The Malibu Hybrid’s rear step up height is .9 inches lower than the A-Class’ (14.1” vs. 15”).

                        Cargo Capacity

                        The Malibu Hybrid has a much larger trunk than the A-Class (11.6 vs. 8.6 cubic feet).


                        The Malibu Hybrid’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The A-Class does not have an oil pressure gauge.

                        To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Malibu Hybrid has standard extendable sun visors. The A-Class doesn’t offer extendable visors.

                        © 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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