2013 Chevrolet Malibu Overview
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Overview
The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is a four-door midsize sedan priced in the mid to low range. It seats five people with descent interior room for a midsize model, but may be crowded in the rear seats with three adults. 2013 Chevrolet Malibu models mark the first of the current generation with modest exterior changes to the grille area, below the grille, and the headlights. Three all-new powertrains were also added.
Areas where the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu receives positive reviews include a quite cabin, the Chevrolet MyLink multimedia system, comfortable front seats, and a roomy trunk. Criticisms have included cramped rear seats for adults and low-quality interior materials on base models.
The Malibu offers a fair number of features within its class, competing with models like the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Nissan Altima. It is available in eight different trims; 1LS, 1LT, 2LT, Eco, Eco Premium, 3LT, 1LZ, and 2LZ. A number of options are available at each trim level.
New for 2012
The Malibu was redesigned for 2013. Notable changes include:
- Shorter and wider body
- Minor exterior detail changes
- Dual exhaust tips and high-intensity discharge headlights are now optional
- Active shutters behind the front grille automatically in certain conditions for better aerodynamics and fuel efficiency
The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu has aggressive front features, including Chevrolet’s updated horizontal split grille, along with a common midsize sedan profile. 16-inch alloy wheels are standard, with 17 and 18-inch alloy wheels available. It has power adjustable side mirrors with an optional heating feature. Fog lights and a power sunroof are also optional.
Interior & Cargo
The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu interior is not very memorable or well equipped, and admittedly has a number of problems. The front seats are spacious, but Chevrolet seems to have gotten some proportions wrong when it comes to the rear seat and the trunk. The trunk has a class-leading 16.3 cubic feet of space, but this eats in to the available space in the back seat. In the back seat, the leg room is not adequate for an average adult, unlike most midsize sedans that pride themselves on enough seating space for four adults. The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is also not adequate for child safety seats when the front seats are positioned for an average sized adult. The fit and finish of the interior is poor as well, with ugly, bulky, cheap plastics that feel poorly integrated. The wrap-around dash further highlights these poor materials, and the instruments, while being easy to read, are rather ugly. One good thing the Malibu has going for it is the quiet ride.
The Malibu interior is not a complete bust though, as there are plenty of features that are standard or optional from the base model on up. Even the base LS gets full power accessories, air conditioning, cruise control, and a touchscreen infotainment interface that controls Bluetooth phone connectivity, the OnStar system, and a six-speaker sound system with CD player and satellite audio. Plenty of options are also available as parts of packages, new trim levels, or independently. This includes leather upholstery and leather wrapping for the steering wheel, eight-way power adjustable heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, an upgraded audio system, and iPod/USB interface. The MyLink system, which is similar to Toyota’s Entune, is available as an integrated method of controlling all audio and communication devices.
The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu shines when it comes to safety. An electronic stability control system with braking assist is standard, as are anti-lock brakes and a tire pressure monitor. 10 air bags are also standard, including knee and thorax airbags, and GM’s OnStar system with Automatic Crash Response is standard for the first six months. Forward collision warning and lane departure warning systems are available, but only as an option and only on the higher-end 2LT, 3LT, and LTZ trims. It is hard to understand why this feature isn’t available on the Eco trim. Rear Park Assist is available on the base model, while a rear-vision camera is available on all other trims.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Malibu five out of a five stars, including five out of five stars for front- and side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety agreed, giving the Malibu a score of “Good” in all tests and gave the Malibu the Top Safety Pick award.
Available engines for the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu include a 182-hp, 2.4-liter, four-cylinder; 197-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder; or a 259-hp, two-liter, four-cylinder premium gasoline engine. These are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and auto-manual. It is rated 21/30 to 25/37 mpg city/highway.
The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu incorporates electric power steering, which in this vehicle is ahead of much of the competition. Where many vehicles with electric steer feel light and detached, the Malibu has good response and feedback, while being precise. However, while the electric power steering is near the top of the class, the suspension clearly falls short, as the steering is felt throughout the entire car. There is a moderate amount of body roll, and it often loses composure, but braking is very good in the Malibu.
Key Competitors of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu
- Ford Fusion
- Honda Accord
- Toyota Camry
- Nissan Altima