The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid uses the same "mild hybrid" system as the Saturn Vue Green Line SUV, but in the Malibu it doesn't offer quite as much benefit. Consumer Reports saw a four-mile-per-gallon gain.
As with the Vue, the Malbu's hybrid system benefits from lower relative cost which makes it easier for cost-conscious buyers to save.
Consumer Reports tested 2008 model year cars. Engineering tweaks have boosted the fuel economy slightly for the 2009 model year. Meanwhile, General Motors has introduced a non-hybrid Malibu with a four-cylinder engine and six-speed transmission, boosting fuel economy for non-hybrid buyers as well.
NEXT: Winner: Nissan Altima Hybrid