Friday, January 04, 2013
It’s affordable, redesigned for 2013 and available with a gas/electric powertrain (Eco model) to get even more mpg. It’s the 2013 Chevy Malibu, the mid-sized sedan that is GM’s answer to keeping up with Ford’s Fusion, Toyota’s Camry and Nissan’s Altima models. So does the new Malibu live up to the hype and expectations, especially considering how successful the model was from 2008-2012? There’s arguably no model that GM is paying closer attention to, from a sales perspective at least, than the Malibu. It’s been designed and priced to move models off the lot and with much more of a production run than say, the Volt, so poor sales figures will be considered a failure for the automaker.
Let’s take a look:
- Design: Previous models of the Malibu were sharp, and the 2013 redesigned model is no exception. In fact, it even caught the eye of noted fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi, inspiring him to unveil a “Malibu Collection.” The Malibu has a new exterior, making it a tad shorter than its predecessor, but is 3 inches wider than previous models. It’s designed with aerodynamics in mind, which helps the vehicle achieve up to 37 mpg on the highway (Eco model, standard model achieves up to 34 mpg highway).
- Interior: It’s often said that it’s the exterior that attracts them and the interior that keeps them. Well, we surely doubt that anyone will be turned off by the style and look of the new Malibu and the interior might just close the deal if the old adage holds true. The 2013 Malibu offers a dual-cockpit front seat and sits up to five passengers overall. It’s also said to be the “quietest vehicle” ever made by Chevy, which is credited to noise-cancelling glass and advanced materials that help stifle outside noises. Blue ambient lighting is also found throughout the vehicle interior. New to the model is a touch-screen center console, which can adjust to double as a storage area for your mobile devices.
- Under the hood: The Malibu comes with two different powertrains: A 197-hp, 2.5-liter, four cylinder engine and a turbocharged 259-hp, 2-liter, four cylinder for better on-road performance. And then there’s the Malibu Eco, a mild hybrid model of the 2013 vehicle. Specifically, it features “eAssist,” which combines a 2.4-liter, four cylinder engine with an electric motor to improve fuel economy. Additional fuel-saving features include regenerative braking and engine stop-start, both of which are becoming more of a regular offering on new vehicles.
- Price: The 2013 Malibu’s MSRP starts at just under $22,000, which keeps the pricing affordable and competitive with comparable models by competing automakers. The Eco model starts at just under $26,000.