Jones Ford Buckeye Compares 2013 Ford Fusion VS 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Near Avondale, AZ

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2013 Ford Fusion

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2013 Chevrolet Malibu

Safety Comparison

The Fusion offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Malibu doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Fusion (except S) offers optional parking sensors to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Malibu doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The Fusion SE/Hybrid/Titanium’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Malibu doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Fusion SE/Hybrid/Titanium’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Malibu doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Fusion SE/Hybrid/Titanium’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Malibu doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Fusion and the Malibu 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, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Ford Fusion is safer than the Malibu:



Overall Evaluation






Head Neck Evaluation



Peak Head Forces



Steering Column Movement Rearward

3 cm

5 cm

Chest Evaluation



Max Chest Compression

14 cm

18 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L



Lower Leg Evaluation



Tibia index R/L



Tibia forces R/L

1.3/.5 kN

2.8/1.2 kN

For its top level performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal, side, rear impact, and roof-crush crash tests, and an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Fusion its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus,” a rating only granted to 14 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Malibu is only a standard “Top Pick.”

Warranty Comparison

The Fusion’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Malibu’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability Comparison

The Fusion has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Malibu doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 13th.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Fusion 1.6 ECOBoost is faster than the Chevrolet Malibu 4 cyl.:



Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

8.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

16.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.6 MPH

85.3 MPH

As tested in Consumer Reports the Ford Fusion Hybrid is faster than the Malibu Eco:



Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

8.6 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.4 sec

5.5 sec

Quarter Mile

16.5 sec

16.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.7 MPH

85.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Fusion Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Malibu Eco (47 city/47 hwy vs. 25 city/37 hwy).

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




1.6 turbo 4 cyl./Manual

25 city/37 hwy


2.5 4 cyl./Auto

22 city/34 hwy

22 city/34 hwy

1.6 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

23 city/36 hwy


2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

22 city/33 hwy

21 city/30 hwy


2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

22 city/31 hwy


To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Fusion uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Malibu with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Fusion has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Malibu doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Fusion stops shorter than the Malibu:



60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Fusion Titanium’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Malibu LTZ’s optional 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Fusion’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Malibu doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Fusion’s wheelbase is 4.4 inches longer than on the Malibu (112.2 inches vs. 107.8 inches).

The Fusion SE handles at .87 G’s, while the Malibu Eco pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Fusion Titanium executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Malibu Eco (27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Fusion Hybrid uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Malibu doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Fusion SE is quieter than the Malibu Eco (40 vs. 43 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Fusion has 2.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Malibu (102.8 vs. 100.3).

The Fusion has .2 inches more front headroom, 2.2 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom and 1.5 inches more rear legroom than the Malibu.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Fusion easier. The Fusion’s trunk lift-over height is 25 inches, while the Malibu’s liftover is 29.8 inches.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Fusion. The Malibu doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Fusion’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Malibu’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. The Malibu’s optional rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left down on the Fusion the driver can raise them all using the keyless remote; on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the Malibu can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Fusion SE/Hybrid/Titanium’s exterior keypad. The Malibu doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its OnStar ® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Fusion’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Malibu’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Fusion SE/Hybrid/Titanium’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Fusion SE/Hybrid/Titanium detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Malibu doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Fusion offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Malibu offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Fusion and the Malibu offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Fusion SE/Titanium has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Malibu doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Fusion SE/Hybrid/Titanium offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Malibu doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Fusion SE/Hybrid/Titanium’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Malibu doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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