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2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid: 47 mpg starting at $28,645

The Chevy 2016 Malibu Hybrid is the first full-hybrid model to wear a Malibu badge, and its base price is slightly lower than the gasoline model. 

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    The Chevrolet logo is seen on the grill of a car at a dealership in Clearwater, Fla. Chevy's Malibu will be on sale as a hybrid for the first time in 2016.
    Chris O'Meara/AP/File
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The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid will start at $28,645 when it goes on sale this spring.

That price--which includes an $875 destination charge--is for the LT model, the sole trim level offered with the hybrid powertrain.

It means the hybrid will actually start slightly lower than the gasoline-only Malibu LT, which is priced from $29,495.

But both models represent a significant premium over the Malibu's lowest base price of $22,500.

Unveiled back in April at the 2015 New York Auto Show, the 2016 Malibu Hybrid is the first full-hybrid model to wear a Malibu badge.

It can drive entirely on electric power for a mile or so, and General Motors expects it to be rated at 47 mpg combined (48 mpg city, 45 mpg highway).

That's thanks to a powertrain largely lifted from the 2016 Chevy Volt.

The Malibu uses a modified Voltec drive system, but with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine in place of the Volt's 1.5-liter engine, and a much smaller, 1.5-kilowatt-hour, lithium-ion battery pack.

And of course, there's no charging port owners can use to recharge the battery pack from an external source.

There are a number of other efficiency-related changes from the gasoline-only version, including grille air shutters and a reduced ride height.

The hybrid Malibu also incorporates Chevy's first use of exhaust-gas heat recovery, which uses engine heat to help warm the cabin for faster warmup, more consistent fuel economy in cold weather, and greater overall efficiency.

Hybrids also get plenty of standard tech features, including the MyLink Radio system with 7.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a rearview camera.

The Malibu Hybrid competes with hybrid models of other mid-size sedans, including the Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, and Toyota Camry.

In addition to the hybrid, Chevy will offer 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains in the Malibu.

The smaller engine is rated at 31 mpg combined (27 mpg city, 37 mpg highway), while the larger engine gets 26 mpg combined (22 mpg city, 33 mpg highway).

All Malibu models will be built at the GM Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas. Sales start this spring.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best auto bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

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