Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

8 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.5 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92 MPH

86 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Altima AWD’s standard fuel tank has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Malibu Hybrid (16 vs. 13 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Altima FWD’s standard fuel tank has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Malibu Hybrid (16.2 vs. 13 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Nissan Altima higher (7 out of 10) than the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid (5). This means the Altima produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Malibu Hybrid every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

The Altima stops shorter than the Malibu Hybrid:



70 to 0 MPH

172 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Altima SR/Platinum’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Malibu Hybrid (235/40R19 vs. 225/55R17).

The Altima SR/Platinum’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Malibu Hybrid’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Altima SR/Platinum has standard 19-inch wheels. The Malibu Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

The Altima has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Altima has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Malibu Hybrid; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The Altima has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Altima Platinum handles at .91 G’s, while the Malibu Hybrid pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Altima Platinum executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Malibu Hybrid (26.3 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 27.5 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Altima S’ turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Malibu Hybrid’s (36.1 feet vs. 37 feet).


The Altima SL/Platinum uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Altima Platinum is quieter than the Malibu Hybrid (70 vs. 71 dB).

Passenger Space

The Altima has .1 inches more front headroom, 2.3 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more front hip room and 1.1 inches more rear hip room than the Malibu Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

The Altima has a much larger trunk than the Malibu Hybrid (15.4 vs. 11.6 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Altima. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.


When two different drivers share the Altima Platinum, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Altima Platinum’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Altima SV/SL/Platinum’s front power windows both open or close with one touch of the switches. The Malibu Hybrid’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Altima the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Malibu Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Altima’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Malibu Hybrid’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Altima’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Malibu Hybrid’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Altima SV/SL/Platinum has a standard Intelligent Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.


Consumer Reports? recommends the Nissan Altima, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid isn't recommended.

The Altima was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2019. The Malibu Hybrid has never been an “All Star.”

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

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