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Six safe fuel savers

These days, you no longer have to choose between saving gas money and getting the ultimate in car safety. Here's a look at some cars that give you both.

1 of 6
Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
Overall mpg: 27, according to more stringent 2008 EPA testing regimen
Safety: All 5 stars in NHTSA testing

The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid - and every other Malibu for that matter - aced the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's front- and side-impact tests, earning top scores for protecting every occupant from every angle.

Electronic stability control is standard. Stability control is important because it helps keep the car under control during abrupt maneuvers, especially on slippery roads. Studies have shown that stability control could reduce fatal crashes by as much as one third.

The Malibu Hybrid is what is sometimes called a "mild hybrid." That means it can't drive under electric power alone, but the electric motor provides assistance during acceleration and it allows the gasoline engine to be shut off altogether whenever the car stops.

Braking and acceleration are smooth and predictable and the car's overall ride and handling qualities, like those of all Malibus, rival those of cars costing far more.

NEXT: Nissan Altima Hybrid
Last updated March 11 2008: 10:59 AM ET