Car review: 2013 Malibu Eco
- Written by Wilson Calvert
What it is: The Malibu is Chevy’s midsized sedan that is all-new for the 2013 year model. The exterior of the car is definitely a progression of the previous model with a similar looking front-end that appears more refined now. The big changes come inside the car and under the hood. Chevy has kept it simple offering only one engine and two interior trims. Fortunately for consumers, the one engine choice is a great one. The Malibu is powered by an ECOTEC 2.4 liter four cylinder engine with eAssist technology. It is rated at 182 horsepower, but it gets a bump from the 20hp/79lb-ft torque electric motor that is hooked up to a battery pack in the trunk. The battery pack is recharged using regenerative braking like almost all other hybrid cars. The result is a sedan that doesn’t feel lethargic at all and even sporty that gets a great 25 city / 37 highway. I was also extremely impressed by the interior of the new Malibu. General Motors has devoted lots of time on the interiors of their new cars, and the Malibu is no exception. The dash has a nice fluidic shape that extends into the front doors and the center stack console provides easy access to all car functions at an easy reach. The new stereo is great, and you get a full color info screen even without the $1,020 navigation package. The previous generation of GM audio control units was definitely getting a little long in the tooth, and the new one in the Malibu is excellent. I had no issues pairing my phone and the Bluetooth audio streaming worked great. Upsides: Great gas mileage, fun to drive and highly refined and functional interior. Downsides: Not much room for customization in options from the manufacturer. Wrap-up: Once you pair all of the great new features with the handsome exterior it becomes easy to see that Chevy has put together a great car. With an MSRP starting at $25,235, the Malibu brings lots on the value front as well. My test vehicle with just about every option but navigation clocked in at $29,380. My test model also had the optional crystal red tintcoat exterior, which was beautiful and highly recommended for the extra $325 Chevy charges for it. I loved the last generation Malibu, and the current model is definitely continuing the legacy.