A sleeker, more svelte mid-size sedan.
The 2013 Malibu began its slow rollout in early 2012 and now, almost nine months later, is finally a fully launched new model that Chevy plans to sell in 100 markets worldwide. Its exterior design is largely evolutionary, but it’s noticeably sleeker — minus the questionable Camaro-inspired rear fascia — with cleaner lines and a wider stance. Chevy designers would probably like to take all the credit, but the Malibu’s more svelte profile was also influenced by engineers who logged hundreds of hours in the wind tunnel in an effort to improve the vehicle’s aerodynamics. Fresh hardware is under the hood, too, with an all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder mated to a more-efficient six-speed automatic. There’s also the Malibu Eco with GM’s eAssist system — a lithium-ion battery provides supplemental power — hooked to a smaller 2.4-liter four. Its 37-mpg highway rating is decent but doesn’t come close to that of its hybrid competitors. A 2.0-liter turbo that produces 259 hp rounds out the engine roster. The cabin received an update as well and, although its dual-cockpit style might not be to everyone’s taste, high quality materials abound. On the road, the new Malibu is not a revelation, but its supple ride, confident handling, and well-crafted interior help keep it competitive in the tough mid-size-sedan segment.
new for 2013
The all-new 2013 Malibu, initially available only in Eco hybrid form, can now be had with a base 2.5-liter four-cylinder or an as-yet-untested 2.0-liter turbo four. The base engine is offered across all trim levels; the availability of the turbo had not been announced as of our publication date.
Knee, head, side, and front air bags are standard, as are ABS, traction and stability control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system. Options include a lane-departure warning system with a forward-collision sensor and a backup camera. OnStar with crash response is free for six months.
More cohesive interior design
Newly available turbo four
Eco economy doesn’t match competitors’ hybrids
Base Price Range: $23,150–$28,590
TRIM LEVELS: Eco, LS, LT, LTZ
BODY STYLE: Sedan, 5-passenger
ENGINES: 2.0L turbo I-4, 259 hp, 260 lb-ft
2.4L I-4/electric hybrid, 182 hp, 172 lb-ft
2.5L I-4, 197 hp, 191 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
PASSENGER VOLUME: 100.0 cu ft
CARGO SPACE: 16.3 cu ft