|250||Max Horsepower (HP)||245|
|29/36 MPG||Fuel Economy (City/Hwy)||23/34 MPG|
While SUVs remain a popular choice for families, it’s hard to ignore what’s happening in the midsize sedan segment. And there are so many options in the segment that comparisons often arise, such as the 2020 Chevy Malibu vs 2020 Ford Fusion. These are two great options for people looking for a family car that handles well, one that gets excellent gas mileage and one that offers a variety of safety, convenience, and entertainment technology. The Ford Fusion, however, appears to be on its way out while the Chevy Malibu has been trusted by families since 1964 and has since proven itself as a stylish family-oriented sedan that will stand the test of time. While the Chevy Malibu has seen many different models and iterations over the years, the newest generation is the most stylish and well-built of all.
The 2020 Chevy Malibu is the largest sedan in its class, so you can expect to have plenty of room for your family and friends and gear. At an exceedingly affordable price, the base model comes nicely equipped with the basics every driver needs, as well as many high-trim-like extras. For the price, it’s hard to beat its combination of utility and convenience. It’s also one of the more stylish sedans in its class and has a roomy interior for your comfort and the comfort of those in the back seat. While SUVs are often cramped in the rear seat, the Malibu provides the old-school comfort recent crossovers often sacrifice. It’s also a joy to drive, with excellent handling and an available sporty engine if you really want to lean into the curves.
The 2020 Ford Fusion is also a competent sedan, with many engine options, but the options get pricey, while the Malibu keeps things practical and affordable, taking advantage of the latest advancements in technology to pass along the savings to the consumer.
While the 2020 Ford Fusion offers hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines, the Malibu keeps things simple with solid fuel efficiency and excellent power. Paying more for the hybrid models does not bring you enough in return as the Malibu keeps pace with its two engine choices and does it with style. There is a reason the Chevy Malibu has been around for as long as it has: it has remained among the best options in its class for decades and keeps getting better. The latest, ninth-generation Malibu employs two engines that offer the latest in modern engineering to provide excellent fuel efficiency—among the top in its class—and excellent power.
The base engine is a great example of this: a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4, standard on the L, LS, RS, and LT trims, that produces 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. That’s a decent amount of power for a midsize crossover SUV, but in a midsize sedan, with better handling and a more aerodynamic build, it’s more than enough for an enjoyable romp through the backroads. This engine also returns 29 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway. If you are looking for a fuel-sipping daily driver and do not want to pay the premium price, you’ll find attached to most hybrids; this is a base engine that is hard to turn down.
The other engine option for the 2020 Chevy Malibu is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4, standard on the Premier trim, that makes 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. That’s an incredible amount of power that ventures into high-performance territory. This is a family car for enthusiasts who really like to drive. Even with all of this power, however, the 2020 Chevy Malibu still returns excellent fuel economy with 22 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway. So you won’t have to sacrifice fuel efficiency for power with either engine as they both offer what everyone wants out of their engines.
The Ford Fusion offers three powertrain options, and while that sounds like a lot of options for everyone to choose from, the first two engine options are very similar. The first is a 2.5-liter inline-4 with 175 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. This engine returns 21 MPG in the city and 31 MPG highway. With less torque and with it not being as efficient as the Malibu’s base engine, the Malibu gets the edge for those looking not to have to spend extra to upgrade engines. This is important because most people will not have the budget for an expensive engine upgrade.
The second engine improves on fuel efficiency and increases power but only by a small degree, so it’s not a considerable upgrade, but it still requires you to spend more. The third option is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 with 245 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. This engine gets 21 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. Again, when set side by side, the Malibu offers more horsepower and better fuel efficiency. Overall, because of this, the Malibu is the better vehicle in terms of performance.
The 2020 Chevy Malibu’s interior is attractive and modern, with high-quality materials and numerous soft-touch surfaces. The Infotainment 3 system is easy to use and intuitive, and the driver visibility is excellent. It also comes standard with a rear-view camera for increased awareness and safety. You will also find the cabin spacious and roomy so that people of all sizes can ride comfortably. The legroom in both the front and rear seats is outstanding as well. Trunk space is deep and spacious, and you can fold the back seats (which are split 60/40) to haul extra-large items. Total cargo space in the trunk approaches 16 cu.ft.
Standard features on the 2020 Chevy Malibu are abundant, providing incredible value: air conditioning, cruise control, the rear-view camera, an 8-inch infotainment screen with Bluetooth audio streaming along with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. You can see why the Malibu is such a popular choice for families.
The 2020 Ford Fusion offers little in the way of standard convenience features. You have to move up to the SE model to find features like a power driver’s seat, Sirius satellite radio, Sync 3, and FordPass Connect. Moving up further brings heated front seats and dual-zone climate control.
While both the 2020 Chevy Malibu and 2020 Ford Fusion offer impressive tech and convenience features, the Malibu puts together an impressive package of standard equipment, meaning most people will be able to afford this advanced tech, while the Fusion does not include any standard tech. It does, however, include a tilt/telescope steering wheel, but other than that, the base model is stripped down and does not provide near the same value as the Malibu.
Chevy makes safety a priority with the 2020 Malibu as it comes standard with ten airbags, as well as stability control and OnStar, which will automatically dial for help in the event of an accident. It also features a rear-view camera as standard and an HD rear-view camera on the Premier trim.
Other features include forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane change alert with side blind zone alert and rear cross-traffic detection. Teen driver is another great option, which allows you to monitor where the car has been and even mute the radio until everyone has buckled their seatbelt.
One of the only features that come standard on the 2020 Ford Fusion is the Ford Co-Pilot 360 Protect safety suite, which features a blind-spot warning, lane-keep assist, and automatic emergency braking. Optional safety features include adaptive cruise control, voice-activated navigation and SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link. All Fusion models also come with eight airbags. Without the Teen Driver program, though, the Fusion falls a bit short in comparison to the Malibu.