The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is the forth generation of redesign since they brought back the Malibu nameplate in 1997. This rendition has changed from previous versions. It has gone away from the the formal look and feel, to a more sporty type of car. Some of the changes include taillights similar to the popular Chevy Camaro, it has a shorter wheelbase- yet more interior room, the roof line is a little taller and extended further back and the car is wider than the previous model year.
There is only one engine for this model. That is the 2.4L four cylinder E-assist. This is a mild Hybrid system that Chevrolet expects to get about 38 M.P.H. on the highway. This is basically an auto start/stop system. You can hardly notice the function of this system when it is active. It is only active under certain driving situations. Mid way through the release, there is expected to be an option for a 2.5L all gas non Hybrid engine. It is said to be an all new engine not at all related to the base engine. Either engine will be connected to GM’s widely used 6 speed automatic transmission with a manual mode. The estimated purchase price $25,995, which is right in the middle of price ranges for similar equipped mid-size cars that have the same options and base features. Although this car seems to have more standard options.
The touch screen information and control system right ion the center of the dash is am amazing piece of work- especially to all you techie types out there. This controls all the major functions of the radio and climate control. You can get an available USB port for you media devices so you can listen to your MP3 music, and even view pictures you have on that device. Other audio features include a button for the Pandora radio app. There is also a port for your Ipod. There is also Bluetooth standard. The navigation system is really something. The map is much easier to read and program your destination. The voice feedback is much better than that of the popular Garmin systems. After programming in a destination, the Malibu will even tell you in a calm voice that you have past your your next turn. It asks if you would like to recalculate the destination from you current location. We went past our next turn on purpose just to see what it would do. This feature of course requires an Onstar subscription, which you get free for 6 months.
The 2013 Chevy Malibu is in direct competion with the Honda Accord, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata and Volkswagon Passat. As compared, the Malibu feels more substancial and responsive than these. The suspension is more responsive and handles much better. The electric power steering has great feedback and you would never know it was electric. This has become standard on most vehicles coming out these days. The problems of that past that many manufactures had have seem to all been corrected.
The 2013 Malibu comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front airbags, side and curtain airbags. The Trunk space is a little different than previous model years, mostly due to the lithium-ion battery location. The battery also causes the trunk space to be a little less. There is still access to the interior cabin via fold down rear seat. Front seats are very comfortable. Color combinations just seem to look better than earlier years. You do not feel cramped in even for a not so small guy like myself. All of the interior controls are easy to get to and the symbols that tell you what the switch controls is easier to understand, even if you do not read the owners manual. The interior is very quite, even on the highway. This is exactly what you would expect from a new Chevy Malibu. Much better than the it’s import competition.
Although most any new car has a great feel to it, and that new car smell, this one just feels like it will keep that for the long term. Many cars loose this after a few thousand miles, but the Chevrolet Malibu seems to be solid enough and well designed to that it will retain the feel for many miles to come.
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