DALLAS, April 2, 2012 — The Chevy Malibu is redesigned for 2013, a family sedan that still has a wide-ranging sex appeal. The Eco is the first of the lineup for the all-new Malibu and you won’t be disappointed when looking at this one.
Upscale, yes, and should you decide to bypass the eco-version and wait for the regular trims this summer, there will be a 2.0-liter turbocharged option coming out of the gate. Its competition is as diverse as the Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion and Volkswagen Passat.
This Malibu mutation is also bigger than in years past with a nicer interior translating into more touchy-feely materials and an overall better look.
You also get the Chevrolet’s big deal MyLink, which works to connect smartphones with a USB jack or your Bluetooth devise so there is hands-free calling for safety and you get a navigation system on this one too.
Available in the eco-trim now, there will be an additional three options this summer, the LS, LT and LTZ. On the Eco trim you get 17-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, automatic headlights, keyless entry, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat.
Optional goodies include a sunroof and there is a Power Convenience Package with remote ignition, an eight-way power driver seat, a rearview camera, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. For sound junkies, the Premium Audio package offers everything from the Power Convenience package as well as fog lamps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an upgraded Pioneer sound system.
There is also a Leather Package with everything from the Power Convenience and Premium Audio Packages and leather upholstery with heated front seats. The Navigation Package will give you everything from the three packages and a navigation system.
Under the hood, the Eco trim has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic transmission and an electric motor. You get 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque, and a bit different from other hybrids, the motor is always in use to help with acceleration and power. There is also a stop and start feature so when idling the engine will shut off for better fuel efficiency.
For safety features the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu comes with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front knee, front side and side curtain airbags, and OnStar.
Inside, the Malibu is a comfortable ride and easy to intuit. The knobs and dials are well-placed plus easy to use and understand.
Comfortable for the most part, the Malibu is larger in the back seat too for shoulders and hips, but legs will still take a beating for those back seat passengers who are taller than average.
Trunk space is doable with 14.3 cubic feet and that is even with the battery back there taking up space as well.
The Chevy Malibu is an easy drive, giving the feeling of gliding along the road with a quiet cabin even during highway driving. Hands down, it is a sexy car, and eco-friendly makes it even more appealing.
Should You Need to Know: When the additional trims come out this summer, expect either 2.5-liter four-cylinder or the optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.
Miles Per Gallon: I drove the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco 2SA and the miles per gallon came in at roughly at 29 miles per gallon combined city and highway; broken down that is 25 miles per gallon in the city and 37 miles per gallon on the highway.
Cost: The Eco model I drove had a price tag of $29,380.
Rita Cook is a writer/editor with has over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 13-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a radio show in Los Angeles called Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings. She also contributes travel and auto to the Anthony Duva show, which can be heard live from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST every Sunday at www.unregularradio.com.
Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association, writes for the Dallas Morning News Green Living Section as well as artist profiles and www.greensourceDFW and spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books. Her latest book releases are both “Haunted Dallas” and “Haunted Fort Worth” from www.historypress.net. You can also follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.
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