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2013 Chevrolet Malibu Review

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2013 Chevrolet Malibu Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.2

For 2013, Chevrolet has remade its popular Malibu and Malibu Eco sedans, infusing them with more distinctive styling both inside and out. Complementing the new styling are improved technologies, such as the MyLink infotainment system that allows voice control of the phone, radio, navigation and iPod interface. In a nod to maximum fuel economy, the Malibu Eco sedan employs a small electric motor and lithium-ion battery to assist the gasoline engine for improved fuel economy and power. Although the Malibu Eco does not deliver the remarkable city fuel economy of pure hybrids like the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid, it does do well on the highway. The third and final member of the 2013 lineup is the Malibu Turbo, which sacrifices only a negligible amount of fuel economy in favor of an all-new 259-horsepower turbocharged engine.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you are looking for an American-built mid-size sedan with good fuel economy, excellent handling and a remarkably quiet cabin, the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu will fit the bill.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If outstanding fuel economy is at the top of your list, the Toyota Camry Hybrid (as high as 43 mpg in the city, 39 on the highway) might be worth a closer look. The Camry Hybrid offers 30-percent better fuel economy and more horsepower at a mere $700 premium over the Malibu Eco.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.2
  • 7.1
  • 8.1
  • 7.1
  • 5.9
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#35

out of 37

Fuel Economy

#3

out of 37

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.0 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Low/wide front photo What's New for 2013

The all-new-for-2013 Chevrolet Malibu features an evolutionary redesign with new drivetrains, fresh interior and exterior styling, and refined dynamics. Since the majority of leading mid-size sedans supplement their mainstream models with a more fuel-efficient version and a performance variant, the new Chevy Malibu is offered in three distinct flavors: Standard, Turbo and Eco.

Driving the Malibu
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions A composed, quiet ride characterizes the 2013 Malibu's on-road demeanor. Although fuel efficiency is one of its fundamental roles, the standard 4-cylinder's 197 horsepower is sufficient for any practical purpose....

... Unlike many of its performance-based rivals, the Malibu Turbo delivers strong acceleration, yet maintains the exceptional ride quality of the standard model. Instead of offering a full-hybrid option, the 2013 Chevy Malibu makes use of GM's new eAssist system, which consists of an air-cooled lithium-ion battery and an Auto-Stop feature that automatically shuts off the engine when the vehicle is stopped. Especially handy in stop-and-go traffic, the eAssist battery waits to restart the gasoline engine until the moment your foot lifts off the brake pedal. The transition is virtually imperceptible, and eAssist further improves fuel economy by utilizing a 15-horsepower electric motor under heavy acceleration. While we observed admirable highway fuel economy with our test vehicle, the Malibu Eco returned a rather mediocre 22 miles per gallon in the city under normal driving conditions.

MYLINK INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM
Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system features one of the most user-friendly multimedia interfaces on the market. MyLink's various features, including smartphone integration for Pandora and Stitcher applications, Bluetooth streaming audio for wireless MP3/WMA connectivity and a comprehensive Gracenote database for simple music related voice-commands, are clearly displayed on a large 7-inch touch-screen that flips open to reveal a hidden storage compartment.

AMBIENT INTERIOR LIGHTING
The Malibu's blue ambient lighting reflects off of strategically-located chrome accents throughout the cabin to create a modern, inviting ambiance.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu Details
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The 5-passenger Chevy Malibu provides an airy upscale cabin, where available leather-appointed seating surfaces and coordinating soft-touch materials are complemented by metallic silver trim and chrome accents. The front seats are adequately comfortable, with the driver's seat offering 8-way power adjustability and 4-way power-operated lumbar support. Despite their pleasant appearance, the placements of the chrome accents are not ideal, as they reflect a considerable amount of glare on sunshiny days. The rear seats feature a 60/40-split design, but legroom is average at best, thanks to bulky front seats and a shorter wheelbase than its predecessor.

Exterior
2013 Chevrolet Malibu photo

Chevrolet strived to give the 2013 Malibu mid-size sedan a sportier look by borrowing numerous styling cues from its close relatives, the Camaro and Corvette. The new exterior architecture, while stylish, is actually functional and provides the Malibu with one of the lowest coefficient of drag ratings in its class along with reduced wind noise. The Malibu Eco is an example of the notion that wider is truly better, boasting a broad, aggressive stance with front and rear tracks that are over two inches wider than those of the 2012 model. The Malibu Eco rides on standard 17-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels wrapped in low-rolling-resistance rubber to enhance fuel economy and reduce tire noise.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The generously-equipped 2013 Malibu Eco offers a broad array of standard features. Highlights include 17-inch alloy wheels, heated outside mirrors, fabric-trimmed seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth hands-free phone capability, a full-color driver-information display, MyLink infotainment system with a high-resolution 7-inch touch-screen, a USB port for your MP3/WMA player and blue ambient interior lighting. The Malibu 2LT is similarly-equipped as the Eco 2SA, while the LTZ offers such luxuries as an 8-way power passenger seat, leather seating and 18-inch wheels. Key standard safety features include 10 airbags and GM's OnStar emergency services with a complimentary 6-month trial subscription.

Optional Equipment

Most feature content varies by trim level and include Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch-screen display, a premium 9-speaker Pioneer audio system, a rear backup camera, 19-inch alloy wheels, an 8-way power driver's seat, a full-color driver information center, and a Homelink universal garage door opener. The 2SA trim offers a Navigation Package option, which includes an SD-based navigation system, leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats and a driver's-seat memory. These options are also available on the LT and LTZ trims.

Under the Hood
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Engine photo

The 2013 Chevy Malibu offers a trio of engine choices: the base 2.5-liter Ecotec 4-cylinder, 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, and the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder paired with GM's eAssist system found in the 2013 Malibu Eco. The Malibu's lone transmission offering is a 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode. On the Eco models, the compact eAssist battery resides behind the rear seats. The 15-horsepower electric motor assists the 182 horsepower engine, though it is not capable of independently driving the front wheels like a traditional hybrid.

2.4-liter inline-4
182 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
172 lb-ft of torque @ 4,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/37 mpg

2.5-liter inline-4
197 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
191 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/34 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
259 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 mpg

The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu mid-size sedan carries a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $23,000, while the 1LT model starts closer to $25,000. The Malibu Eco 1SA starts close to $26,000, with an additional $1,500 for the 2SA model. A fully-loaded turbocharged 2LTZ tops out around $34,000. To get a better idea of what people in your area are paying for the Malibu, check out Kelley Blue Book's Fair Purchase Price at the bottom of this page. Aside from fuel economy, the Malibu's significant competitive disadvantage, in comparison to its rivals the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata is projected residual value. Kelley Blue Book used-car residual values indicate that the majority of the Malibu's competitors will fare better down the road.

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2013 Chevrolet Malibu Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.0
Out of 10

Based on 93 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.0/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.2/10

Simple Luxury

By on Thursday, September 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,300

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fun to drive, smooth cruise control, storage space"

Cons: "auto stop, leatherette gets really hot"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love this car. It's not perfect, but I do enjoy driving it. To go 0-60...well it takes awhile. It's good on gas, but I drive a lot on the streets, like maybe 80% so it averages 20 mpg. The auto stop is convenient for all the stop and go traffic, but it's pretty rough. You can really feel the car rev up when you take your foot off the brake. I'd say that is the biggest flaw. I have a back up cam, which does not come with sensors or guide lines. It's hard to tell just how close you actually are to an object without those, especially since the camera sits so low. There are two cupholders per person, plenty of storage compartments, and cell phone holders for the front riders. Overall I'm pretty happy with my selection. I only gave low ratings for performance really."

8 people out of 16 found this review helpful

nice car but needs some improvements

By on Saturday, September 06, 2014

I don't own this car

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "good car for the price; good reviews from ratings"

Cons: "listed below"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Overall, a very nice vehicle. Just a few minor issues and one major issue that GM should examine. .... major issue.... no spare tire or jack provided; they supply an inflator device with a sealant that you pump into your tire to allow you to drive a short distance. Unfortunately it does no good for a blow out. Their response to this issue was that road service is provided. I actually purchased a spare and jack to protect myself and family. I was not aware of this when I leased the vehicle and only found out when I had a side wall failure. ....minor issues.... very low chassis; numerous scraping when hitting dips in roadways; small center console; cramped rear seat leg room; single tone horn; makes the vehicle sound like a golf cart"

12 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Malibu instead of Altima...Great Choice!

By on Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "remote start, touch screen, back up camera"

Cons: "No spare, trunk space, no temp gauge on Eco."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love almost everything about my 2013 Malibu Eco. I originally wanted a Nissan Altima, but after test driving both, Malibu was victorious. The color (White Diamond Tri-Coat) immediately grabbed my attention. I also liked the Atlantis Blue and Ashen Gray, but the White Diamond looked so elegant and luxurious. The exterior is beautiful, other cars in it's class pale in comparison. I've read many negative reviews about the exterior of the new Malibu, and I couldn't disagree more. In my opinion, my 2013 Malibu IS the best looking car on the road! I've had several people compliment my car. My Malibu is eye candy! Her rear end is very impressive. The interior is just as beautiful. I love the premium cloth/leatherette seats. The 7 inch touch screen and back up camera are nice. I love the sliding cover over the front cup holders. The convenience of making calls and tuning the stereo on the steering wheel is great. There's ample storage space. I ABSOLUTELY love the electric seat adjuster with lumbar support! She has a remote vehicle starter, which is very convenient. She has the Onstar and I'm able to lock/unlock or start/stop my vehicle using my iPhone. Mylink is cool as well. My Malibu also has the universal garage opener. The switchblade key is cool. And I have to mention how cool the ambient night light is! My Malibu drives smoothly. She gets up and go effortlessly. There's minimal outside noise when driving on the highway. She passes without a problem. The Eco took some time getting use to it, but it's impressive...when I come to a complete stop you can't tell the car is on. I've had people tell me my car cut off...nah, it's an Eco;-) I have a few gripes, but nothing major. I don't like that there isn't a temp. gauge on the Eco. I wish there was a spare tire. There's less trunk space because of the battery. Also, it's difficult to clean the inside of the rear mirror because of the angle. She's a wonderful midsize family car. A lot of cars nowadays have a sporty, oval like shape, which appeal to a lot of people. Many non-owners complain that the Malibu doesn't look sporty enough, but that's what I love about the Malibu...it looks more like a luxury car. My Malibu is awesome. I'm glad I bought her. I hope she doesn't disappoint and remains a reliable car."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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