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2020 Chevy Malibu vs 2020 Ford Fusion – Albany, NY

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  • 2020 Chevy Malibu

    A white 2020 Chevy Malibu is angled left.

    Starting at

    $22,095

    2020 Ford Fusion

    A black 2020 Ford Fusion is angled right.

    Starting at

    $23,170

    250Max Horsepower (HP)245
    32 MPGFuel Economy (combined)27 MPG
    9-SpeedTransmission6-Speed

    The Chevy Malibu and Ford Fusion sedans are back for 2020 with neck-and-neck comparable features that will leave you scratching your head over which is the better buy. To provide an equal comparison of the 2020 Chevy Malibu vs 2020 Ford Fusion, we’ll be looking at the most popular styles of these two vehicles, both examples representing the second trim choice, one up from their line-ups base level option. 

    For the 2020 Chevy Malibu, that would be the LS 4-door sedan equipped with a 1.5 liter, 4-cylinder engine with a continuously variable transmission. Starting MSRP on this style is $23,220. It’s spacious interior and user-friendly infotainment system make the Malibu a solid choice for any 2020 car-buyer looking for a comfortable ride at a reasonable price. The base engine provides 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. If you need more power, you can upgrade to the Premier model, which dramatically ups the horsepower to 250 and the torque to 260 lb-ft using a 2.0-liter engine with a 9-speed transmission. However, the smaller engine in the LS trim naturally provides better gas mileage that’s definitely worth considering if you drive a lot.

    We’ll be stacking the Malibu LS up against the Fusion SE. This 4-door sedan comes with a 1.5 liter, 4-cylinder turbo engine, and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Its slightly higher starting MSRP of $24,500 comes with a 181 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. With more power comes a subsequent dip in fuel efficiency. In fact, looking at these two vehicles side-by-side, the Malibu LS has much better fuel efficiency than its Fusion SE competitor. But to best understand how these two sedans match up to each other, a more in-depth comparison is necessary. 

  • Fuel Economy

    A blue 2020 Chevy Malibu is driving past a bay at sunset after winning the 2020 Chevy Malibu vs 2020 Ford Fusion comparison.

    Most people, when buying a sedan, are looking for good gas mileage. Solid fuel economy can mean all the difference in both cost and time. Luckily, both the Chevy Malibu and the Ford Fusion are earth, money and time-saving sedans, one being a little better than the other. 

    MPG in the Malibu

    Chevy discontinued the Malibu’s hybrid options for 2020; however, the Malibu LS is better than most regular sedans when it comes to fuel efficiency. The Malibu LS offers 29 MPG in the city and 36 MPG for highway driving, bringing in a combined average of 32 MPG. If you have a long commute, the savings add up quickly. Not only is the Malibu less expensive to purchase than the Ford Fusion, but it will cost you less to keep the gas tank full as well, which we are about to see.

    Ford Fusion Fuel

    Ford uses automatic stop-start technology in an effort to help save gas; however, despite its Ecoboost engine, estimated ratings for city driving in the Fusion SE are 23 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway with a combined rating of 27 MPG. This is far less than the Malibu. In order to get optimal fuel efficiency, drivers will need to switch to the hybrid version, which starts at $28,000 and boasts up to 43 MPG in the city.

    So, unless you’re willing to pay an additional upfront cost for hybrid or plug-in hybrid versions of the Ford Fusion, fuel economy is not a strong point for this five-passenger sedan. Chevy drivers will save money on gas by betting on the Malibu’s engine instead. Drivers can also consider a slightly used 2019 Malibu hybrid for additional savings across the board.

  • Technology

    The cream and black dashboard of a 2020 Chevy Malibu is shown.

    Technology is an important consideration when looking for a new vehicle. With technology being constantly invented and made, the entertainment and general features of vehicles are becoming more and more advanced. With that said, some vehicles are taking better advantage of this technology, one of the best being the Chevy Malibu.

    Technology in the Malibu

    The Malibu LS comes equipped with an 8” diagonal color touchscreen with Chevrolet’s Infotainment 3 System and 4G LTE wifi hotspot capability. Connect up to seven devices and download games or stream movies on your next road trip. If you have an iPhone, you can use Apple CarPlay support. Any music on iTunes or apps on your phone are available to you in your vehicle. Similarly, Android users can enjoy the convenience of Android Auto with Google Maps for navigation and live traffic updates.

    In-vehicle apps for the Chevy Malibu include the Weather Channel, Spotify, Pandora, USA Today, and Fox Sports. Additionally, you can take advantage of the myChevrolet App and Marketplace, which lets you do things like locate a parking spot, gas station, or even book a hotel room. There are other standard features that make the Malibu a pleasure to drive, including keyless open and vehicle starter, child locks, and an illuminated trunk. Add an available garage door opener, rear side-window sunshades, and the remote starter kick to make life that much easier.

    Fusion Technology

    Some things to look forward to in the 2020 Ford Fusion include the FordPass Connect System with a 4G LTE wifi hotspot that connects up to ten devices. There are two 4.2-inch driver configurable LCD displays in the instrument cluster that are included as standard. Additionally, a navigation system is an optional add-on.

    Both the Malibu and Fusion offer standard features that are to be expected from a 2020 sedan, such as rear window defrosters, exterior temperature monitoring, and power doors and windows. But overall, it seems that Chevy goes the extra mile for technology-lovers looking to take full advantage of the perks of full technology integration with the purchase of a new vehicle.

  • Safety

    A black 2020 Chevy Malibu is parked in front of a lit up building at night near Albany, NY.

    Staying Safe in the Malibu LS

    The Malibu LS offers several standard safety features, including a rear vision camera, tire pressure monitoring system, cruise control, and Stabilitrak (an electronic stability control system with traction control). Stabilitrak uses brake assist technology to sense and enhance braking as needed. By automatically detecting wheel slippage, Stabilitrak enhances traction control by reducing engine power in slippery driving conditions.

    Chevy also includes its Teen Driver Program to give parents peace of mind when sharing their new Malibu with less experienced drivers in the family. This helpful safety feature gives you added control over your teen’s driving habits by limiting certain things, such as the radio volume. Check the in-vehicle report card to see whether your teen is adhering to safe driving practices when you’re not in the vehicle. The Malibu LS is also capable of connecting with Onstar and Chevrolet Connected Services, so you’re never left stranded on the side of the road.

    Safety in the Ford Fusion SE

    In the Ford Fusion SE, you’ll also find a tire pressure monitoring system and a standard rearview camera. However, cruise control is not included as standard. Ford has its own stability technology known as AdvanceTrac with Electronic Stability Control. This system monitors driving conditions and applies automatic brakes as needed, which can be really useful in poor weather or dirt roads. 

    An Even Competition

    It’s worth mentioning that the 2020 Ford Fusion has a slight edge in overall safety ratings based on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Fusion received a 5/5 star rating, while the Malibu got 4 out of 5 stars. For the front driver’s side collision testing, both the Fusion and Malibu received top marks. Similarly, child seat anchors on both vehicles received a Marginal rating due to their sub-optimal ease of use. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise for any parent, as it’s not uncommon to wrestle with car seat restraints when trying to latch it into your vehicle securely. Nonetheless, either sedan rates well overall for safety with no significant issues or deficiencies noted.

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