2013 Chevrolet Malibu
The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu was officially unveiled this week, taking the stage in both China and the United States, with the latter introduction taking place at the New York auto show. The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu marks the first update of the Detroit-based brand's mid-size family sedan since the 2008 model year, and while the styling of the automobile might not have been dramatically changed, a long list of improvements help to keep the automobile competitive in its segment.
When first approaching the new Malibu, it is easy to see that the sedan looks more muscular than it the vehicle it is replacing, an impression that is driven home by its wider track and shorter wheelbase. Chevrolet badging is also more apparent on the car, and projector head lights, LED tail lights and available 19-inch provide an upscale touch to the Malibu's overall appearance.
In terms of functionality, the mid-size vehicle's body work borrows from the Chevrolet Cruze's playbook and adds active aerodynamics in the form of shutters that automatically block air from flowing through the sedan's lower intake at higher speeds, or when additional engine cooling is unneeded. The goal of this technology is to improve fuel efficiency on the highway.
Also helping to boost the Chevrolet Malibu's MPG rating is the decision to eliminate its V-6 engine option and instead go with a lineup that consists entirely of four-cylinder motors. The centerpiece of this four-cylinder strategy is an all-new 2.5-liter Ecotec unit that makes use of dual overhead cams and direct injection in order to produce in the neighborhood of 190 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. Exactly power figures, like the Malibu's EPA official fuel economy, have yet to be determined, but the inclusion of a six-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment is expected to also have a positive impact on both the acceleration and the miles per tank that can be squeezed out of the sedan.
The Malibu's new platform and chassis have been tuned to provide a comfortable and compliant ride while still offering a good degree of road feel and response through the steering wheel. Ventilated front disc brakes, an electric power steering system and corner brake control highlight some of the more impressive features that have been bundled along with the automobile. The sedan's interior provides close to four cubic feet of additional passenger space compared to the current edition of the car, offers a higher grade of materials throughout its design and incorporates the Chevrolet MyLink information and entertainment system that interacts with both OnStar and a number of different online services.
Chevrolet has enjoyed significant success with the Malibu since the 2008 redesign, with sales of the sedan jumping 55 percent since 2007. Much of that momentum has been generated as a result of the decision to give the Malibu attractive styling and the kind of power and comfort that buyers had previously been finding in competitors like the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord. The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu looks poised to continue this trend while avoiding the temptation to take features and pricing too far into premium territory.