Prius

Malibu

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

147 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

The Prius Prime 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 Prius Prime’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (55.5% to 44.5%) than the Malibu Hybrid’s (58.4% to 41.6%). This gives the Prius Prime more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Prius Prime’s turning circle is 3.6 feet tighter than the Malibu Hybrid’s (33.4 feet vs. 37 feet).

Chassis

The Prius Prime is 11.3 inches shorter than the Malibu Hybrid, making the Prius Prime easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Prius Prime Limited is quieter than the Malibu Hybrid:

Prius

Malibu

At idle

27 dB

38 dB

Full-Throttle

71 dB

75 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

The Prius Prime has .3 inches more front headroom and 1.7 inches more front legroom than the Malibu Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

The Prius Prime has a larger cargo volume than the Malibu (19.8 vs. 11.6 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Prius Prime easier. The Prius Prime’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the Malibu Hybrid’s liftover is 30.5 inches.

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Prius Prime’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Malibu Hybrid’s useful trunk space.

Ergonomics

The Prius Prime Limited has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Prius Prime’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Malibu Hybrid’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

The Prius Prime has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Prius Prime Limited’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. 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 Prius Prime’s headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Malibu Hybrid’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Prius Prime has a standard Dynamic Radar 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Prius Prime XLE/Limited has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Prius Prime Limited’s Intelligent Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Malibu Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

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

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

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