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2013 Chevrolet Malibu

Research, photos, specs, and expertise

Chevrolet Malibu highlights

Customer rating

Pros

  • Upscale interior
  • Comfortable ride and quiet cabin
  • Eco model’s impressive fuel economy

Cons

  • Less rear legroom than competitors
  • Transmission makes the Eco model feel sluggish
  • Eco model’s trunk is oddly shaped and lacks room

Mileage (EPA estimate)

21 city, 30 highway, 24 combined

Pricing for current inventory

(no current inventory)

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2013 Chevrolet Malibu closes gap on competitors

The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu answers the call for an American midsize sedan comparable to rival heavyweights such as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Chevy redesigned the Malibu for 2013, sprucing up the interior, enlarging the cabin, and offering new engine choices. These changes closed the gap between several emerging competitors, including the sophisticated Hyundai Sonata.

An optional turbocharged four-cylinder replaced its predecessor’s stout V6, although most models came with a regular four-cylinder that makes nearly 200 horsepower. Buyers focused on fuel economy can opt for the Eco model, which pairs a small electric motor to a four-cylinder engine for an EPA-estimated 29 mpg combined. That’s a respectable result today, but not much better than a Sonata or Toyota Camry of the same vintage.

The 2013 Malibu also includes a configurable touchscreen similar to a smartphone’s home screen, a USB audio interface, voice controls, and even integrated Internet music streaming. So while the redesigned Malibu arrived into a more crowded and competitive group of midsize sedans, its upgrades helped it hold its own against its contemporary competitors.

All Chevrolet Malibu years

What is new for the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu?

  • The Malibu is available in a new trim called the ECO.
  • Malibu trims have been upgraded with Rear View Camera, Leatherette & Cloth, Turbo Charged Engine, and Pioneer Sound System as standard equipment this year.
  • Memory Seat(s), Parking Sensors, Lane Departure Warning, Smart Key, Rear Spoiler, and Navigation System features are now available as options on select trims.
  • The LT trim now comes with Power Seat(s), Remote Start, and Bluetooth Technology as standard equipment.
  • The LS trim now comes with Alloy Wheels and Bluetooth Technology as standard equipment.

5 reasons to buy the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu

What We Like

Driving: The 2013 Malibu comes with an optional turbocharged engine available for the 3LT and 2LZ upper trims. With 259 horsepower, it replaces the V6 available for the Malibu’s earlier seventh-generation. Relative to the V6, the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder develops more rapid, low-end power for punchier acceleration, all with better fuel economy. The Eco model, meanwhile, delivers fuel economy that’s still impressive by today’s standards, with an EPA-estimated 37 mpg on the highway and 29 mpg combined.

It’s even pretty swift for an early-2010s four-cylinder family sedan, dashing from zero to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds.

Interior: Inside, the 2013 Malibu has a more modern, streamlined look, with nicer materials and controls than its predecessor. It’s also loaded with more sound insulation for a quieter ride. The upgrade in quality and sophistication makes this Malibu more competitive with other midsize family sedans such as the Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion and Honda Accord. The Malibu grew slightly wider for 2013, making it more spacious, especially in the rear seat.

Storage: Except for the Eco model, the Malibu offers ample trunk space, among the best in its class. Granted, the Malibu is only about a grocery bag bigger than its primary rivals, but it can still lay claim to a 16.3 cu-ft trunk, bested only by the Hyundai Sonata (16.4 cu ft). That kind of space is more typical of full-size sedans like the Toyota Avalon or Chrysler 300. The Eco model is an exception, as a portion of its trunk is consumed by the battery pack that powers its mild-hybrid system.

What Needs Improvement

2.4-Liter Eco Engine and Transmission: While we like the power and fuel economy, the Eco model is hampered by an overly active six-speed automatic transmission. It’s programmed for maximum fuel efficiency, causing it to change gears quickly in an effort to reach its top cruising gear. It’s similarly reluctant to downshift to a lower gear, delaying much of the engine’s power when you need a quick surge in passing power, for example. It does it — eventually — but not without a firm, authoritative stomp on the gas pedal.

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

Based on customer reviews, the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is a great car for driving around town. It has a lot of driver-assistance features and has minimal road noise.
4
Excellent

RepairPal gave the Chevrolet Malibu an overall reliability rating of 4 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Excellent. This rating ranks Chevrolet Malibu 10th out of 28 among Midsize Cars.

View RepairPal's full rating of the Chevrolet Malibu

Chevrolet Malibu features and specs

LTZ 2WD 4D Sedan

Standard Features

  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • CD Audio
  • Cruise Control
  • Front Seat Heaters
  • Leather Seats
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Seat(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Remote Start
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Side Airbags
  • Sunroof(s)
  • Traction Control
  • Turbo Charged Engine
  • Alloy Wheels
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Leather Seats
  • Memory Seat(s)
  • Navigation System
  • Parking Sensors
  • Pioneer Sound System
  • Rear Spoiler
  • Rear Sunshade
  • Rear View Camera
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Smart Key
  • Sunroof(s)

2013 Chevrolet Malibu FAQ

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