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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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
182 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
172 lb-ft of torque @ 4,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/37 mpg
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.
By Chuck M. (MO) on Wednesday, May 08, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,400overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I own the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco (2SA equipment package) and couldn't be happier. This Malibu is the quietest interior of any vehicle I've owned. The new Chevrolet MyLink radio is fantastic and I use the hidden compartment behind the radio all the time. I'm currently getting right at 36 MPG on the highway and have an overall average of 27 MPG. If you are in the market for a midsize car and want the latest technology, luxury features like a sunroof, back-up camera, and heated leather seating, and great fuel efficiency, then you should consider the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu."
By brock6051 (MA) on Friday, May 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 300overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Handling, quietness of ride"
Cons: "Backseat legroom"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The new 2013 Chevy Malibu is an attractive, comfortable mid-sized four door sedan. This car features a lot of impressive technology under the Chevrolet "MyLink" banner which displays the car's stereo and Bluetooth smartphone functions, among other things, on a large 7-inch screen in the center of the dashboard. Chevrolet's OnStar system is featured as well, something that is little more than a cell-phone subscription for your car. There's a backup camera as well, which The view from the rear view camera is displayed here. It's fortunate that this car includes a rear view camera because the rear view from the driver's seat is very poor. Those who prefer a more firm feel and much lumbar support will appreciate the seats in this car. This driver finds them comfortable, even on long trips. Others who prefer a softer surface may consider the seating hard and uncomfortable. Interior fit and finish is good on the LT trim. Some might find the two-toned seat color schemes on higher trim levels a bit gaudy and unrefined. All seats are quite firm regardless of whether they're leather or cloth. This car is very, very quiet, possibly the most quiet cabin this driver has ever been in. Wind noise is virtually non-existent at any speed. Handling and especially steering are excellent, but may take some getting used to depending upon the driver's experience with previous vehicles. This driver transitioned into the Malibu from a GMC Envoy, which has completely different handling characteristics. This driver also owns a classic, 1971 Chevy Impala which stands in sharp contrast to the 2013 Malibu in many ways. The Malibu demonstrates how far automotive technology has come over the years. The 2013 Malibu is a sure-footed, nimble and responsive car but offers minimal road feel. This is like the best of both worlds in that the driver enjoys many of the characteristics of a larger car without every road imperfection being transmitted to the driver. It's no exaggeration to say that on the highway, the spirit of land yachts like my 1971 Chevy lives on in the 2013 Malibu. Like it's ancestors, this is a car to just point and cruise down the highway! But unlike them, this is a thoroughly modern, refined car and delivers a ride that is remarkably responsive and handles as well if not better than a much smaller car. One of the factors at play behind the the Malibu's handling is electrically assisted power steering which is very light and sensitive for this driver's tastes. This is where the transition from another vehicle really comes into play. Driving a car with steering that is as sensitive as the Malibu's does take some getting used to, but its worth it. The payback comes in the form of a car which handles like a sports sedan on a winding country road, and is an almost effortless cruiser on on a long highway drive. Again, the best of both worlds. The 2.5 liter engine - which is the same as that found in the Cadillac ATS - is smooth and competent most of the time, however, there have been other times where it seems lacking in confidence and torque. However, the 6-speed transmission is smooth and delivers a consistently refined performance whether on the freeway or driving at slower speeds. Fuel economy averages around 26 MPG, which is just about average for it's segment. This driver doesn't have any problem with the roominess of this sedan (except for back seat leg room) and the mileage is impressive for a car of this size. This car's styling, which has taken cues from the Camaro, is a very handsome car. The overall build quality is quite good, the paint and fit and finish on the exterior are are outstanding. The sticker price for the LT trim level is in the mid twenties, but a good deal can save you thousands of dollars. In this driver's case, the sticker price was $25.5K which was negotiated to $21.5K with another $5.5 shaved off from that for my 2003 GMC Envoy with 112K miles. $16,000 plus a 10 year old SUV for a brand new car that looks great and is fun to drive. This driver is very happy with this deal and the value, and looks forward to many miles of driving in the years ahead."
By Yabun (MI) on Thursday, April 25, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great value, quiet and comfortable ride."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"So far, I love this car. Great ride, plenty of power and very quiet cabin. A few flaws from the factory but the dealer is correcting them."
By Bob (CA) on Monday, April 22, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price, comfortable, good gas milage"
Cons: "Can't find any."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I had a deal going on a 2013 Accord until I checked the internet and found the new Malibu.I did not buy the eco and got into the turbo for under $19,000.00. It's comfortable, gets great gas milage, has all the good stuff that you want in a car, plus it is easy to get in and out of with the electric adjustable seats.This car has amazing power for a 4 cylinder. Also you get on-star and XM radio free for a trial period then a discounted price for extending the service. We love this car!!"
By Danny (FL) on Sunday, April 07, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"MPG is less than promised. Engine and transmission feel sluggish. Back seat is so small. The engine eats oil (dealer believes this is normal). A/C turns on by it self when the engine is started. I didn't expect this from this car. This has been a disappointing/horrible experience. I would never have bought this car with what I now know."
5 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By Joe (CT) on Thursday, April 04, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 600overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Value, economy, appearance, handling"
Cons: "None !"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car should be a game-changer for GM. I shopped for 6 months and drove many local dealers nuts. End of the day, The Malibu LT was my final pick. Style, comfort, drivability, value , safety...it is the total package. I cannot say enough how pleased I am not to mention the many compliments and looks I am getting from mid-sized foreign car owners (...that's a Chevy ? !). This is my first Chevy product... go USA !!!"
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful