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2013 Chevrolet Malibu

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2013 Chevrolet Malibu Review

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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.

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
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 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

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

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2013 Chevrolet Malibu Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 149 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Best of the 4 I have owned !

By on Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "it's simply a bad-a** car !!"

Cons: "no complaints"

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

"The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited LT1 has made many technological advancements since I purchased my first 1998 Malibu and then a second 1999 Malibu and then a third 2014 Malibu LS I still have my 1998 Malibu and yes it still runs. I mainly use it in the winter due to the high milage. I have made it safe to my destination in blizzard conditions including many ice storms. My 2016 is over the top and I love it!! Thank you Chevrolet!! > A lifetime customer . I have also made many recommendations to friends, family, and colleagues !!"

Ignore the naysayers!

By on Monday, June 6, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Styling, Power, Comfort, Pioneer Stereo,Mood Light"

Cons: "Plasticy interior, hard door armrests, keyless sta"

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

"I went into the Malibu with very low expectations after reading disaster reviews like Motor Trend's. I left scratching my head over what they were thinking. Is the car a bit on the smaller side of midsize sedans? Sure, but it's not awful like journalists are making it out to be. Anyone under 5'10" would be perfectly comfortable in the back seat, which is extremely comfortable on the road with the sporty yet smooth ride. The 2.0 Turbo has lots of power and throws you back in your seat with a small touch of the gas. The Pioneer 9-Speaker stereo with MyLink infotainment sounds amazing, with LOTS of bass and good midrange and treble. The car also looks amazing, and a lot of people have been shocked when they see the Chevy logo on the front. I also like the Camaro-inspired gages and taillights. This is a great car!"

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Good Value Vehicle

By on Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great Price, mpg, quiet,"

Cons: "smallish backseat, sits very low to the ground,"

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

"I bought this car new for around 16K off the lot, what value, compared to much smaller cars. The vehicle gets good gas mileage, rides nice. My only complaints would be smallish back seat and it sits a little low. For the price it is a great value car that is comfortable to drive."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

A Great Price for a Great Car

By on Monday, May 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,900

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "It is a luxury car in disguise. Beautiful design."

Cons: "Sluggish tranmission, complexity in the car"

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

"I have just recently purchased this car from a dealer trading in my 2001 Pontiac Sunfire. Looking for cars I could find no better deals then those being offered by Chevy in the way of the Malibu, Cruze, and the Spark. Two of those are just a little too tiny. So far the Malibu has been a real dream to drive. The features offered go above and beyond from lane assist, to myLink, to heated seats and a very classy interior. I love what the car has to offer so far! There are only two items that I am not absolutely in love with and that is the transmission can be somewhat sluggish at times, especially noticeable on deceleration surprisingly. Additionally it can take a bit of getting used to trying to manage the cluster of buttons and features at times. Otherwise this car has been a real dream come true. I started off looking for an SUV for additional storage space to help me move my things around, but i was able to compromise when I found all that the car had to offer."

Good car. no problems from day 1. Enjoyed driving.

By on Friday, May 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Enjoy driving, good info screen, good deal"

Cons: "No cons - make a convertible!"

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

"LT2 package. All the bells & whistles I could want. Sunroof screen kept it quieter than most. Good steering response. I was used to my 4-wheel drive pick-up, so snow driving left a little to be desired, but that was understood going in. All-in-all, I've enjoyed driving the car. It's a lease, so now it's time to move on."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

2013 Malibu

By on Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Huge trunk space"

Cons: "Poor back seat legroom"

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

"Happy with purchase. Feels like driving a more expensive car. Was able to get all the options I wanted at a reasonable price. Recently had an issue with a wheel bearing, which is becoming common with this model at the mileage I'm at. Gas mileage is what I expected. Average between 23-26mpg with a combination of city and highway."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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