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 |  Jun 11 2009, 11:54 AM

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Chevrolet has decided to cancel production of its Malibu Hybrid. As shocking as this might seem for a company that claims it is now dedicated to building environmentally-friendly cars, it actually makes a lot of sense.

For starters, while the Malibu itself continues to sell well and has received critical acclaim from auto journos, the hybrid version has never been a popular model – and its about to get less so.

Rated at 24/32 mpg (city/highway) the numbers aren’t all that impressive, due mostly to the car’s “mild” hybrid system. Those numbers aren’t as good as the 33/34 mpg rating for the Toyota Camry Hybrid and are nowhere close to the 41/36 mpg rating of the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid.

The 24/32 rating is even less impressive when you consider the four-cylinder Malibu with a six-speed automatic transmission gets 22/33 mpg and costs significantly less.

General Motors has not commented on if or when a new and improved hybrid system will find its way into the Malibu.