Just Car Blog
|2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.0L Turbo First Drive||
All-new for 2013, Chevrolet brings their redesigned entry-level midsized Malibu sedan to the game eager to run with the competition. In most respects the all-new Chevrolet Malibu is a modest attempt to keep the segment on a level playing field with some added refinement, sports-appeal and luxury without inflating the price. In many ways Chevrolet has accomplished this task but has to face its tough and relentless competition head-on in a perpetual battle.
Completely redesigned inside and out, the new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu gets a new-found recognition from the re-sculpted front fascia to the Camaro-inspired tail lights. You cannot deny broadcasting Chevrolet’s aim to use the sporty appeal of the Camaro and trickle the design into the new Malibu. If the tail lights do not give it away then the new gauge cluster, similar to the Camaro’s also, will do the trick.
Most times it is a good thing to incorporate an automotive brand’s new, fresh look into many, if not all, of its vehicles. The Malibu shares many of those qualities with an added bonus of getting the sporty Camaro’s unique characteristics throughout. Still, the new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is an affordable sedan improved in just about every aspect over its predecessor.
I had the chance to drive the new 2013 Malibu LTZ trim equipped with the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine, producing a healthy 259 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 260 lb-ft of torque at a low 1700 rpm. The new turbo engine, same as found in the turbo version of the new Cadillac ATS and Buick Regal GS, only slightly less power in the Malibu, works exceptionally well for Chevy’s new cash-cow sedan. Although the EPA fuel numbers are a bit short from direct competition, the 2.0-liter turbo 4-banger is the better choice of powertrains for the Malibu compared to the 197 horsepower 2.5-liter engine as well as the Eco variant of the Malibu with the same 2.5-liter in addition to a 15-hp electric assist motor. You will surely get better EPA fuel consumption figures from the 2.5-liter mill and Eco version of the 2.5, but with slightly less power and low-end grunt.
All 2013 Malibu trim levels (LS, LT, Eco and LTZ – varying multiple number stages) get a 6-speed automatic transmission directing power to the front wheels. A manual shifting mode is somewhat of a novelty as it only offers rocker-buttons (up and down) atop of the shift knob. It is rather cumbersome to use the controls, which my thought would to completely eliminate them or at least offer shift paddles for the sportier LTZ trim or turbo engine-equipped Malibu. Aside from the quirky manual-shift control, GM’s 6T70 6-speed automatic transmission is up to the task for detecting driving styles and performing smooth shifts. During my time in the peppy 2.0-liter Turbo Malibu, the transmission quickly adapted to my heavy foot and held gears longer, similar somewhat of a sport mode. After driving in a more civilized fashion for about a half a mile, the transmission was back on its normal shifting duty.
EPA figures for my Malibu Ecotech Direct-Injection Turbo 2.0-liter engine come in at a 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. Those are not so thrilling figures for a 4-cylinder engine even with 259 horsepower. Possibly to make up for fuel efficiency, the new 2013 Malibu has decent performance taking only 6.3 seconds to make it to 60 mph from a dead stop and landing a respectable 0.86g skid pad lateral accel. Much of the new Malibu LTZ with the turbo engine’s handling abilities is due to a sport-tuned suspension and optional 19-inch aluminum wheels shod in 245/45R all-season tires at all four corners. The sport-tuned suspension follows traits of the Camaro, the rear end is a bit disturbed by some additional unwanted bounce. Basically, the rear shocks, in my opinion, are not dialed in like a front-wheel-drive sedan should be. Over-all ride quality of the new Malibu LTZ turbo is excellent giving the driver a sense of added stability at highway speeds.
Distinguishing the new 2013 Malibu from different trim levels is left to the wheels style, LED tail lights (standard on LTZ trims), and the exhaust pipes (dual exhaust on the Malibu Turbo). 18-inch wheels are standard on LTZ trims as well as leather appointed seats, front heated seats, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, chrome door handles and front grill with chrome and silver accents.
Chevrolet’s new MyLink system, standard on all trims except the LS, is a new infotainment system integrated into a color 7-inch touch-screen. The new MyLink system proved to be very responsive and mostly user-friendly. The MyLink system can be optioned out with a full-on navigation system. Though, most consumers will be happy to get turn-by-turn directions downloaded from GM’s OnStar system, which will give you a perception of having a navigation system in a MyLink configured Malibu only when specific directions are requested via OnStar. The MyLink also combines sync with your smartphone to access Pandora app or your own music library as well as Bluetooth integration, streaming audio and data services. Connecting my iPhone 4S proved to be a seamless integration with the MyLink system, something Chevrolet gets right. Remote keyless access and remote start found on my Malibu LTZ also prove to be quite the convent amenity, especially during those cold mornings when you need to pre-heat the cabin and defrost the windows.
Inside of the new 2013 Malibu all trim levels get a much-improved interior with many color accented materials, mostly plastics and padded vinyl, simulating a well-appointed cabin. The seating positions and comfort was also a step above its predecessor with just the right amount of bolstering in the front seats for a mid-sized sedan. The subtle color scheme of the interior was also perceived as a premium classification for the interior in addition to the soft leather seats with accented trim.
The cabin remains fairly quiet isolating the buzz and most of the turbo whistle from the direct-injection turbo 4-cylinder engine. Rear seating room is much wider than I remember in previous generations of the Malibu. However, rear leg room can quickly be cut short dependent on the front seating positions, which allow the front occupants to adjust aft almost until the front seat-back touches the rear seat bottom.
The automotive enthusiast appeal of the all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is alive and thrives much in its sporty driving characteristics and few Camaro-styling cues. Given the tough and relentless competition, much of which have received complete redesign this year, the 2013 Chevy Malibu has its work cut out. The new 2013 Malibu does, however, shine in the aspect of a powerful turbocharged engine and a premium-feel that you can get in a well-appointed package all for a competitive price.
My new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.0 Turbo was well-equipped with an Electronics and Entertainment Package (19-inch wheels, Pioneer premium audio system, rear vision camera, 120-volt power outlet and universal home remote), LTZ Premium Package (HID headlights, keyless push button start, EZ key passive entry system and memory driver’s seat & outside mirrors settings) , Advanced Safety Package (forward collision alert and lane departure warning) and Cocoa Fashion Trim brings home a $33,820 as-tested price tag including a $760 destination charge. At the entry level, a new 2013 Malibu LS can be had at a starting price of just $22,390.
Copyright: 2012 AutomotiveAddicts.com
- Price: Base Malibu LS MSRP $22,390 / Base Malibu LTZ $27,830 / As-Tested Malibu LTZ $33,820
- Engine: 2.0-liter Turbocharged inline 4-cylinder 259 horsepower @ 5500 rpm / 260 ft-lbs. torque @ 1700 rpm
- Turning circle: 37.4 ft.
- Track: f/r-62.2/62 ft.
- Legroom: f/r-42.1/36.8 inches
- Headroom: f/r-39.0/37.5 inches
- Fuel tank: 18.5 gallons
- EPA Fuel Estimates: 21 mpg city / 30 mpg highway
- Curb weight: 3,500 lbs. est.
- 0-60 mph: 6.3 seconds
|2013 Chevrolet Malibu Revealed Ahead of Shanghai Motor Show||
General Motors has taken the covers off of the new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu just before its official introduction at the Shanghai Motor Show. The new 2013 Malibu has a totally new design to appease global markets, more than 100, and offer more efficient engine choices.
The new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is aimed at doubling sales in China by 2015. The aggressive approach in the 2013 Malibu’s design will offer more legroom and trunk space than the outgoing model and a direct injection 190 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Ecotec engine mated to a 6-speed automatic. MPG figures have not been released but we expect it to be an improvement over the previous-generation model’s 4-cyl.
Hit the full press release below for additional information before the unveiling at the Shanghai Motor Show later this week.
All-New 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Gives Customers More
Chevrolet’s First Global Midsize for Customers in Nearly 100 Markets on Six Continents
All-new exterior designed to stand out around the world
All-new, dual-cockpit interior with more room, more quietness, more premium materials and content, and greater craftsmanship
All-new, fuel-efficient, 2.5L four-cylinder Ecotec engine with next-generation six-speed automatic powertrain
All-new ride and handling package engineered for best-in-class performance
All-new, aerodynamically efficient shape and active shutter system save fuel and reduce wind noise
All-new Chevrolet MyLink in-car infotainment system integrates online services like Pandora® Internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio®
New radio face that articulates up and down revealing a six-inch-deep hidden storage compartment, a first for a U.S. midsize sedan
New safety features including 10 air bags, lane departure/forward collision warning system and a rearview camera system
On sale in the U.S. in 2012
DETROIT and SHANGHAI – The all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu made its global debut today, with simultaneous introductions in the United States and China – two of the nearly 100 countries on six continents where it will be sold. Chevrolet’s first global midsize sedan will provide customers from Shanghai to New York and Sydney to Sao Paulo with expressive design, advanced technologies, ride performance and fuel-efficient powertrains.
“The current Malibu has left an award-winning impression and changed the way people think about Chevrolet. It redefined what an American midsize car could be,” said Rick Scheidt, vice president, Chevrolet Marketing. “This all-new Malibu delivers on the intangibles of today’s Malibu but gives customers even more: more style, fuel efficiency, content and features, craftsmanship, and dynamic capabilities rivaling high-end sedans.”
Product highlights for North American models include:
All-new, fuel-efficient and powerful 2.5L four-cylinder engine and next-generation six-speed automatic that lead Malibu’s powertrain lineup
Expressive exterior design with a wide, athletic stance
Segment-best aerodynamics – close to those of the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car – that enhance fuel efficiency and reduce wind noise, including active electronic shutters on select models
All-new, Chevrolet-signature dual-cockpit interior that is more spacious, features premium materials and is engineered to be the quietest in the midsize segment
New Chevrolet MyLink connectivity seamlessly integrates online services like Pandora® internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio®
European-influenced ride and handling traits
New safety features and technologies including 10 air bags, ultra-high-strength steel, lane departure warning/forward collision warning and rearview camera system
Expressive and efficient exterior
“The exterior design of the all-new Malibu carries DNA from its sister vehicles, the Camaro and Corvette, to bring a sporty sensibility to the family sedan segment,” said Bryan Nesbitt, executive director for GM exterior design and Chevrolet Brand Champion.
A wider stance, broad shoulders and an integrated rear spoiler bring a new athleticism to Malibu and give it a more aggressive appearance. The new Malibu has a 4.5-inch (114 mm) shorter wheelbase and 62-inch (1,574 mm) front and rear tracks that are more than 2 inches (51 mm) wider than the model it replaces.
Other exterior design cues include Chevrolet’s dual-port grille, projector HID headlamps, larger Chevrolet bow-tie badges front and rear, and new Camaro-inspired LED dual-element taillamps. The look is complemented by a range of large 17-, 18- and 19-inch wheels.
The new Malibu exterior is anticipated to be SAE-certified as one of the most aerodynamically efficient cars in the segment, with a coefficient of drag (Cd) rating near Chevrolet Volt’s Cd of .280. Because of Malibu’s new shape and design, engineers were able to remove 60 counts of wind drag compared to the model it replaces.
Malibu also has electronically controlled and integrated active aero shutters (select models in North American markets) to improve aerodynamics and enhance fuel economy without sacrificing the exterior design.
Malibu’s active shutter system automatically closes airflow through the lower intake opening when air intake is least needed. When closed, the shutter system enhances aerodynamic performance by redirecting airflow around the front of the vehicle and down the sides, rather than through it. Whether the shutter is open or closed depends on engine coolant temperature and speed – for example, the shutters open when the car is traveling up a hill, pulling a trailer, or in hot city driving; the shutters close at highway speeds when less engine cooling is required.
Roomier, more refined interior
The new Malibu interior was designed to bring an element of sophistication to everyday driving, featuring an all-new dual cockpit design that creates an inviting, roomy and comfortable environment.
The increased width of the new Malibu means a more spacious cabin. Compared to the previous model, it has nearly 4 cubic feet (113 L) of additional interior volume, along with more shoulder and hip room.
The Malibu interior features metallic, chrome or wood accents located around the shifter, surrounding the center stack, around the instrument cluster and on doors and the steering wheel. Soft, ice blue ambient lighting reflects off of and complements chrome accents and ensures even, consistent illumination along the instrument panel and in storage pockets. Ice blue lighting on the center stack dials, exposed ice blue French contrast stitching, soft-touch and textured surfaces, and strategic applications of noise-deadening materials add to Malibu’s interior refinement.
The Malibu also has a number of storage areas, including a radio face that articulates up and down to reveal a six-inch deep storage area behind its seven-inch touch-screen radio display – a U.S. first in a midsize car. Malibu will also offer a full range of the latest infotainment options, including new color radio systems and an available navigation system.
Malibu will include Chevrolet’s new MyLink infotainment package at launch. It builds on the safety and security of OnStar and seamlessly integrates online services like Pandora® internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio®. MyLink integrates wireless connectivity through Bluetooth to enable hands-free use of selected smart phone apps while the device remains safely stowed.
MyLink features a high-resolution, full-color touch screen display designed to manage the number of steps required to complete a task. MyLink also adds stereo audio streaming and wireless control of smart phones, building on the Bluetooth hands-free calling capability already offered in most Chevrolet vehicles.
All-new 2.5L powertrain
The 2013 Malibu features a global lineup of fuel-efficient and powerful four-cylinder engines that complements its European-inspired driving characteristics.
An all-new Ecotec 2.5L dual overhead cam, four-cylinder engine with direct injection leads Malibu’s engine lineup in North America. It is expected to be one of the most efficient of its size in the market. New features include enhanced authority continuously variable valve timing, variable-displacement oil pump and electronic thermostat that save fuel, while delivering V-6-like performance. It is estimated the engine will be SAE-certified at more than 190 horsepower (141 kW) and 180 lb.-ft. of torque (245 Nm). The new engine has noise-reducing features such as a cast exhaust manifold, steel crank, low-noise timing chain and direct mount accessories that contribute to a quiet-cabin experience.
The 2.5L is mated to a Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic with features designed to enhance powertrain efficiency. They include changes to clutch controls and hardware that improves shift response and time. These changes enabled engineers to specify higher gearing to improve cruising efficiency while maintaining acceleration performance and driveability.
The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu delivers precise ride and handling. It has been engineered to be best-in-class and on par with more expensive sports sedans.
Benefiting from continuous refinement of an award-winning global architecture, engineers have tested, tuned and calibrated the Malibu on rural roads, highways, freeways and GM validation facilities around the world.
Contributing to the Malibu’s ride and handling characteristics are:
A solid body structure as stiff as any in the global midsize sedan market, allowing for precise tuning and dynamic vehicle control
A premium steering gear for smooth, precise responsiveness and on-center feel
Proven and continuously refined MacPherson strut front and mutli-link rear suspensions
Large, ventilated front disc and solid rear disc brakes, clamped on by dual-piston front and single-piston rear aluminum calipers, which are expected to deliver segment-best stopping distance
An isolated engine cradle for tuned, refined feedback, without noise or vibration
Fuel-saving electric power rack-and-pinion variable-effort power steering, resulting in effortless low-speed maneuvers and a higher degree of steering feel at higher speeds
Chassis control technologies include four-channel anti-lock brakes, full-function traction control, four-corner electronic stability control, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist system, corner brake control, hydraulic brake fade assist and drag torque control.
When it comes to safety features, the new Malibu will be one of the best-equipped in the segment. The Malibu will also be pedestrian protection-compliant in all markets where it is sold, and for the first time in North America. Pedestrian protection design in the front of the vehicle reduces the chance of secondary collision between the pedestrian and engine block in car-pedestrian accidents.
The Malibu will also offer these standard and available safety features:
Dual-stage driver and front passenger air bags
Driver and front passenger pelvic/thorax side-impact air bags
Driver and passenger knee air bags
Roof rail air bags with rollover protection
Available second-row head/thorax side-impact air bags
Available lane departure warning system with forward collision alert
Available rearview camera system
OnStar is also included in Malibu’s safety features and includes Automatic Crash Response, as well as improved voice recognition technology, remote diagnostics, remote door unlock, Stolen Vehicle Slowdown and six months of uplevel Directions and Connections service that includes Turn-By-Turn Navigation.
The new Malibu comes in LS, LT and LTZ trim levels, with 10 exterior colors and four interior color combination choices in North America, depending on the model. Malibu production in the United States begins in early 2012. It will be built in multiple locations around the globe, including the Fairfax, Kan. and Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plants in the United States. Pricing will be announced later this year.
[source: General Motors]