Chevrolet Malibu Review
The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu ranks 18 out of 20 Affordable Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 16 published reviews and test drives of the Chevrolet Malibu, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
Reviewers think the redesigned 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is better than the outgoing model, but it ranks below most competitors that reviewers think stand out with better all-around packages.
A mild hybrid four-cylinder Eco model joins the Malibu lineup for 2013, and it uses GM’s eAssist system. Test drivers are impressed with the smoothness of the start-stop function and its strong brakes. They’re disappointed with its fuel economy ratings of 25/37 mpg city/highway though, and suggest shoppers look at full hybrids if fuel economy is a top priority. A new turbocharged four-cylinder engine has also been added to the Malibu lineup for 2013, and a 197-horsepower four-cylinder engine is found on the base model. Many reviewers like that the Malibu’s handling is a bit sportier than rivals, and several are impressed with the electric power steering, saying it’s among the best they’ve experienced. The Malibu also has one of the highest reliability ratings in its class.
Most reviewers like the look and feel of the redesigned interior on the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. Many are impressed with the quality materials and easy-to-use infotainment system. Critics think the Malibu’s seats are roomy and comfortable, and cargo space is better than many competitors. The Malibu has 10 standard airbags and an infotainment system that integrates Bluetooth phone and audio, satellite radio and Internet audio apps, like Pandora.
- "In certain aspects, and for undiscerning buyers, the Malibu 2.5 can satisfy. It's quiet in everyday use and offers decent power, but its handling doesn't inspire driver confidence, and the interior packaging is disappointing." -- Car and Driver
- "It's hardly a stretch to call the 2013 Malibu the best modern Chevy. Styling is crisp and restrained. Interior is roomy and quiet, outfitted with classy trim. Engine's strong. But that combo is almost the price of entry, rather than standout attributes." -- USA Today
- "'Close but no cigar.' This saying could be applied pretty easily to the previous generation of the Chevy Malibu, a family sedan that was pretty good in most respects but not good enough to earn 'best-in-class' status. The fully redesigned 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, however, with its added refinement, feature content and efficiency, finally makes this model a top-tier choice." -- Edmunds
- "On its own merits, the Malibu is a solid sedan with a quiet, comfortable ride, cool technology and a huge trunk. Commuters and empty nesters might find it a perfect fit. But it's the competition that weighs so heavily on the Malibu with better all-around products that are more efficient with more space and better interiors." -- Cars.com
Other Cars to Consider
Like the Malibu, the Nissan Altima sedan is redesigned for 2013, and Nissan boosted fuel economy to the point where the Altima gets the best gas mileage of any gas-only car in the class. According to the EPA, the base Altima gets 27/38 mpg city/highway, which tops even the Malibu Eco’s 25/37 mpg fuel economy estimates. Plus, reviewers like the Altima’s strong performance, especially its smooth continuously variable transmission and athletic handling.
Auto critics say the 2013 Hyundai Sonata’s base four-cylinder engine is one of the best in the class, and its turbo four has more horsepower than the Malibu’s turbo four. Even though the current generation Sonata has been around for a couple years, auto critics still praise its standout styling and modern look.
Details: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu
The Chevrolet Malibu has been completely redesigned for 2013 and is available in six trims: LS, 1LT, 2LT, 1LTZ, Eco 1SA and Eco 2SA. There are three engines: the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and 2.4-liter four-cylinder with eAssist found on the mild hybrid Eco model.
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