The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu earns an average Total Car Score for the Midsize Sedans & Wagons segment.
Chevrolet rolled out its all-new Malibu starting with the gas-electric Eco Malibu Hybrid model (reviewed separately) and then followed that up with the conventionally powered car seen here.
Malibu is Chevy’s first midsize sedan that will be sold around the world, and as such its designers played with its exterior dimensions a bit to make it a better fit -- literally -- in those countries where roads are smaller than they are in the U.S. The new Malibu is wider than the outgoing car, but its wheelbase is 4.5 inches shorter. That has to take space from somewhere, and technically there’s less rear-seat legroom in the new car than the old. But the extra width adds to its total interior volume, so the new ’Bu feels as spacious as before.
Fuel efficiency played a major role in the car’s redesign, too. For 2013 only four-cylinder engines are available, though one, a 2.0-liter turbo motor available later in the year, puts out more horsepower and torque than the previous V6.
Chevy stylists also paid particular attention to the Malibu’s aerodynamics, smoothing its lines and fitting it with grille shutters to control airflow around the car’s nose.
Early reports say the new Malibu is a comfortable, easy-to-drive car with good road manners and a smooth, quiet ride, all key ingredients for a good family hauler, no matter where in the world you are.
The Chevrolet Malibu is all-new for the 2013 model year, so no major changes are expected in the near future.
The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is a four-door, five-passenger midsize sedan available in LS, LT and LTZ trim levels. (A gas-electric hybrid version, the Malibu Hybrid, is reviewed separately).
While the Malibu was available with a choice of four- or six-cylinder engines in previous years, the 2013 model is powered by four-cylinder engines only. The base engine is a 2.5-liter Ecotec that sends 197 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission to the front wheels. Replacing the V6 in the lineup is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 259 hp and 260 lb-ft, output that’s higher than the V6.
Chevrolet has not yet released detailed information about the Malibu’s various trim levels, saying only that it will be equipped with a range of 17-, 18- and 19-inch wheels; a 7-inch touch screen display that controls infotainment systems (including online services like Pandora and Stitcher SmartRadio) and an optional navigation system; Bluetooth; an optional backup camera; and an optional lane departure warning system.
If the new Malibu is equipped similarly to the outgoing car, you can expect the higher-end models to feature a sunroof, automatic climate control, a premium sound system and leather-trimmed upholstery.
The EPA has not yet released the fuel economy numbers for the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu.
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