Kemna Automotive Group Compares 2018 Chevrolet Malibu VS 2018 Ford Fusion In IA

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2018 Chevrolet Malibu

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2018 Chevrolet Malibu

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2018 Ford Fusion

Safety Comparison

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Malibu are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Fusion doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Malibu’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the front seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The Fusion doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Malibu and the Fusion have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Chevrolet Malibu is safer than the Ford Fusion:





5 Stars

4 Stars




5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Leg Forces (l/r)

186/153 lbs.

167/333 lbs.




5 Stars

3 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

173 lbs.

197 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Chevrolet Malibu is safer than the Ford Fusion:





Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

16 inches




Spine Acceleration

29 G’s

46 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

The Malibu’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Fusion’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Chevrolet pays for scheduled maintenance on the Malibu for 2 years and 24,000 miles. Chevrolet will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Fusion.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 79 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 31st.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Chevrolet 3 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Motor Trend the Malibu Premier 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Ford Fusion turbo 4 cyl.:




Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

96.2 MPH

91.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Malibu gets better fuel mileage than the Fusion FWD:







4 cyl./Auto


21 city/32 hwy

2.5 4 cyl./Auto


1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

27 city/36 hwy

23 city/34 hwy

1.5 4 cyl./Auto


2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

22 city/32 hwy

21 city/31 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Malibu stops much shorter than the Fusion:





70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Malibu’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Fusion (245/45R18 vs. 235/50R17).

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Malibu Premier handles at .87 G’s, while the Fusion Sport AWD pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Malibu Premier executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Fusion SE (26.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 27.4 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Chevrolet Malibu may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 450 pounds less than the Ford Fusion.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Malibu has .7 inches more front shoulder room and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Fusion.

The front step up height for the Malibu is 2.3 inches lower than the Fusion (13.5” vs. 15.8”). The Malibu’s rear step up height is 1.2 inches lower than the Fusion’s (14.1” vs. 15.25”).

Ergonomics Comparison

The Malibu’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Fusion does not have an oil pressure gauge.

When the Malibu Premier is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Fusion’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Malibu owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Malibu will cost $2085 less than the Fusion over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Malibu is less expensive to operate than the Fusion because typical repairs cost much less on the Malibu than the Fusion, including $505 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chevrolet Malibu will be $438 to $5078 less than for the Ford Fusion.

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