Greene Ford Compares 2014 Ford Fusion VS 2014 Chevrolet Malibu Near Flowery Branch, GA

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2014 Ford Fusion

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VS

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

Safety Comparison

The rear seatbelts optional on the Fusion inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Malibu doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

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 Reverse Sensing System 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/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, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

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

Fusion

Malibu

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

125

134

Neck Injury Risk

28%

29%

Neck Stress

200 lbs.

206 lbs.

Neck Compression

24 lbs.

54 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

254

315

Chest Compression

.3 inches

.4 inches

Neck Compression

50 lbs.

62 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

14/11 lbs.

114/137 lbs.

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

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:

Fusion

Malibu

Overall Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Restraints

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0

0

Steering Column Movement Rearward

3 cm

5 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

14 cm

18 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

4%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Tibia index R/L

.67/.44

.83/.4

Tibia forces R/L

1.3/.5 kN

2.8/1.2 kN

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 Ford Fusion is safer than the Chevrolet Malibu:

Fusion

Malibu

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

268

408

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

For its top level performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal impact, side impact, rear impact, roof-crush crash tests, an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Fusion its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2014, a rating granted to only 28 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Malibu is not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2014.

The Ford Fusion has a better fatality history. The Fusion was involved in fatal accidents at a rate 44% lower per vehicle registered than the Malibu, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Warranty Comparison

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

Reliability Comparison

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Ford Fusion 2.5’s reliability will be 10% better than the Malibu with the best reliability rating.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Fusion 2.0 ECOBoost FWD gets better fuel mileage than the Malibu Turbo (22 city/33 hwy vs. 21 city/30 hwy).

The Fusion FWD’s standard fuel tank has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Malibu LS’ standard fuel tank (16.5 vs. 15.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 much shorter than the Malibu:

Fusion

Malibu

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 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 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Malibu’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

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

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, .3 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear hip room 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/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.

Intelligent Access optional on the Fusion (except S) allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Chevrolet Malibu’s available Keyless Access doesn’t unlock the trunk.

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/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/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.

The Fusion Titanium’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Malibu doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

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/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/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.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Fusion will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the Fusion will retain 47.06% to 50.22% of its original price after five years, while the Malibu only retains 42.15% to 46.83%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Fusion is less expensive to operate than the Malibu because it costs $434 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Fusion than the Malibu, including $143 less for a water pump, $60 less for an alternator, $83 less for front brake pads, $34 less for a starter, $33 less for fuel injection, $114 less for a fuel pump and $268 less for a power steering pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Fusion will be $241 to $670 less than for the Chevrolet Malibu.

Recommendations Comparison

The Ford Fusion has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

Fusion

Malibu

Consumer Reports® Recommends

FALSE

TRUE

Kiplinger’s Awards

2

1

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its December 2012 issue and they ranked the Ford Fusion SE three places higher than the Chevrolet Malibu LTZ.

The Fusion Hybrid was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2010. The Malibu has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Fusion as their 2010 Car of the Year. The Malibu has never been chosen.

The Fusion Hybrid was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2010. The Malibu has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Fusion Hybrid as the 2010 North American Car of the Year. The Malibu has never been chosen.

The Ford Fusion outsold the Chevrolet Malibu by 47% during 2013.

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