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Comparing 018 Chevy Malibu vs 2018 Kia Optima

Battle of The Hybrids: The 2018 Chevy Malibu vs 2018 Kia Optima

Hybrid vehicles are becoming not only popular among consumers but invaluable for our ever-adapting world. This has lead to many manufacturers developing their own hybrid models among their popular sedans. One of the most common debates among consumers is the 2018 Chevy Malibu vs 2018 Kia Optima. Both are excellent choices for a hybrid sedan as they offer efficiency, intuitive technology, and unique designs, but a decision must be made. Below we’ll put the hybrid models of these two sedans to the test in a four round battle!


Benefits of a Hybrid Vehicle

If you’re still on the fence about purchasing a hybrid vehicle, it might help to take a look at some of the benefits of owning either the 2018 Chevy Malibu or 2018 Kia Optima. So, here are a few advantages consumers enjoy when purchasing a hybrid.


Fuel Efficiency & Environmental Impact

One of the main reasons that drivers purchase a hybrid vehicle is for its fuel efficiency, as well as the fact that it is more environmentally friendly than other vehicles on the road. Overall, this offers drivers both peace of mind and extra savings at the gas pump. Drivers researching 2018 hybrid vehicles like the 2018 Chevy Malibu and 2018 Kia Optima will find MPG ratings into the high to mid 40’s.


Available Tax Credit

Depending on a few factors, you may be eligible for a federal tax credit just for having purchased a hybrid vehicle. In fact, some drivers can receive up $7,500 on their tax return. This is definitely a great incentive to purchase a hybrid car, especially since the tax credit and lowered expense of fuel can quickly add up to major savings.


Advanced Features

Hybrid vehicles typically come with more advanced features than the base model of the corresponding vehicle. This is true for both the 2018 Chevy Malibu and the 2018 Kia Optima, making either vehicle an excellent purchase in terms of value.


Round 1: Fuel Efficiency

As hybrid vehicles, both the 2018 Chevy Malibu and 2018 Kia Optima offer impressive fuel efficiencies however the City vs Highway economy vary significantly. Here is a quick break down of how these two hybrids compare when it comes to fuel economy:

2018 Chevy Malibu

City: 49 MPG

Highway: 43 MPG

Combined: 46 MPG


2018 Kia Optima

City: 39 MPG

Highway: 46 MPG

Combined: 42 MPG

As you can see, the 2018 Chevy Malibu wins by a landslide in terms of city MPGs giving it the overall win for combined MPG compared to the 2018 Kia Optima. The Optima does have a slight advantage when it comes to its efficiency on the highway, however it falls severely behind in the city. While both vehicles will truly make an excellent choice for an environmentally friendly and economic vehicle, the Malibu certainly has the edge.


Winner: 2018 Chevy Malibu!


Round 2: Interior

The interior of the 2018 Kia Optima was torn apart by critics upon its release, while the 2018 Chevy Malibu was immediately met with praise. But what’s so bad about the inside of the Kia Optima? Here are a few shortcomings noted by critics:

  • Lack of Support in Seating
  • Cheap Materials Used Throughout Interior
  • Odd/Empty Design Elements

Critics did appreciate the 6-way power adjustable driver’s seat that comes standard on the Optima, but overall were not very impressed with much else. Meanwhile, the interior of the 2018 Chevy Malibu has received remarkable praises for its interior features, including:

  • High-Quality Materials
  • Modern Design Elements
  • Standard 8-Way Power Adjustable Driver’s Seat
  • Supportive Seating, Even in Rear Seats
  • More Than Accommodating for Tall Passengers

Drivers in the market for a new sedan should be carefully evaluating the interior of the vehicles they are interested in. After all, you’re going to be spending quite a lot of time on the inside of whichever car you choose. And when it comes to the 2018 Chevy Malibu vs 2018 Kia Optima comparison, the Malibu comes out on top in this round.


Winner: 2018 Chevy Malibu!


Round 3: Exterior

This round of the 2018 Chevy Malibu vs 2018 Kia Optima comparison is a bit tricky, as ultimately how you rate the exterior appearance of these vehicles will come down to your personal preferences and aesthetics. However, there are distinct differences between the two than can be easily compared.

The 2018 Chevy Malibu has a classic design with a little bit of edge. This midsize sedan is sculpted with smooth aerodynamic lines, which seems to appeal to a wider variety audience of drivers. To match its classic design, the 2018 Chevy Malibu is available in a variety of subdued yet engaging color options including:

  • Blue Velvet Metallic
  • Mosaic Black Metallic
  • Cajun Red Tintcoat
  • Iridescent Pearl Tricoat
  • Nightfall Gray Metallic
  • Silver Ice Metallic

Where the 2018 Chevy Malibu is classic, the 2018 Kia Optima is modern. The exterior of the 2018 Kia Optima features a distinct take on a sedan grille, while the hood and body of the car sport interesting bold lines. As far as color options go, the 2018 Kia Optima offers many of the basic automotive color options drivers would expect including:

  • Aurora Black
  • Horizon Blue
  • Remington Red
  • Sparkling Silver
  • Granite Brown

Determining the winner of the 2018 Chevy Malibu vs 2018 Kia Optima battle of the exterior is a difficult choice with each competitor having such great options. This decision will ultimately come down to whether you’re looking for a classic and sleek design or a modern and bold design. And so, we must call this match a draw.


Winner: Tie!


Round 4: Entertainment

Both the 2018 Chevy Malibu and 2018 Kia Optima come with an impressive suite of onboard technology, made up of both standard and available features. The 2018 Chevy Malibu includes enough standard features to please even the pickiest of drivers including:

  • Chevrolet myLink Infotainment System with 7-Inch Touchscreen Display
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Compatibility
  • Bluetooth
  • Onstar 4G LTE/WIFI Hotspot
  • USB Port
  • 6-Speaker Sound System

While these standard features offer plenty of entertainment features for most drivers, you can still upgrade to the Malibu’s available features such as:

  • 8-Inch Touchscreen Display
  • Additional USB Ports
  • Bose Premium Sound System
  • Wireless Charging
  • GPS Navigation

Meanwhile, the 2018 Kia Optima doesn’t offer as many standard features as the 2018 Chevy Malibu but still pleases most drivers. The standard entertainment technology onboard this midsize sedan includes a 7-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

For the entertainment round, we have to give the win to the 2018 Chevy Malibu for its impressive abundance of standard and available technology.


Winner: The 2018 Chevy Malibu!


The Hybrid Champion

After comparing the 2018 Chevy Malibu vs 2018 Kia Optima in four important rounds, it is clear that the 2018 Chevy Malibu is the overall winner. The 2018 Kia Optima offers drivers plenty in terms of available technology and even comes in quite close behind the Chevy Malibu in fuel efficiency, but fails in giving drivers the comfort, convenience, and luxury they crave for in the interior. But when it comes to fuel efficiency, interior comfort, and entertainment technology, the Malibu simply can’t be bested. So, if you’re looking for an incredible value for a hybrid vehicle that will offers top-of-the-line technology, efficiency, and comfort, look no further than the 2018 Chevy Malibu.