We don't just talk cars ... we teach how to buy them.
2013 Chevy Malibu Sedan's Pros, Cons,
Prices And How To Get The
Best Out-The-Door Deal
(See Also: "The Ultimate Chevy Malibu Negotiation Secret")
The Chevrolet Malibu has long been a "pretty good" choice in the family sedan market. But with its total redesign this year, including significant improvements in overall refinement, available features and fuel economy, the new Malibu is now right up there with the segment leaders.
All you need to do is sit inside to notice the more attractive and upscale cabin, a host of standard features and plenty of soft-touch surfaces and high quality materials. An optional navigation system is also now offered on the Malibu for the first time.
2013 Chevy Malibu
Also new is the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 197 horsepower which, combined with direct injection and variable valve timing, boosts both the power and fuel economy over its predecessor. And also available this year is an optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that pumps out a very healthy 259 horses.
But before making a final buying decision, it's best to review both its strong attributes as well as its weaker potential problem areas. And if one decides to proceed with a purchase, it's also best to have a rock-solid plan for getting the absolute lowest price possible.
Before going into more detail below, the Malibu's overall positives can be summarized to include its composed and comfortable drive, upscale cabin, advanced high-tech features and very good Eco model gas mileage performance. On the downside, its overall negatives would include its below average rear legroom, somewhat sluggish Eco model performance and odd Eco model trunk shape.
Composed and Comfortable Drive:
The new Malibu has been outfitted with abundant noise insulation and offers an extremely quiet cabin which will be especially appreciated on long highway trips. It's handling is also confident without sacrificing a smooth and overall well-composed driving experience.
And while we're still waiting for the EPA-estimates, Chevrolet estimates the gas mileage performance for the standard 2.5-liter at a solid 22 mpg city and 34 mpg on the highway.
2013 Chevy Malibu LTZ Interior
The Malibu's new cabin is attractive and solidly constructed with higher grade materials while sporting plenty of soft-touch surfaces. Overall, it's actually close to entry-level luxury quality.
Standard on all but the base LS model is a touchscreen display that offers Chevy's new MyLink system which integrates your smartphone for hands-free calling, audio connectivity and Internet music streaming. The seating is also comfortable and supportive, while even the lower trims are loaded with generous noise insulation materials which adds to the vehicles near luxury interior experience as well.
Advanced High Tech Features:
The Chevrolet MyLink system and the now optionally available navigation system makes for a technology level not consistently offered in this segment.
Eco Model Gas Mileage:
The Malibu Eco model is a "mild-hybrid", as opposed to a "full-hybrid", because it never runs on electricity alone. It's equipped with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and a small electric motor. These motors are coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission to produce 182 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque.
The electric motor adds only a small hand to acceleration, but powers the accessories. In addition, its most important contribution is to help fuel economy with its enabling of the automatic stop/start system that turns off the engine when you come to a stop (at a traffic light, for example).
This combination of motors means the Eco is quicker than most traditional hybrids, but also doesn't get their kind gas mileage. In performance tests, the Malibu Eco was timed from a standstill to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, a better than average time for even the typical gas-powered four-cylinder family sedan. At the same time, its EPA-estimated gas mileage is also a better than average 25 mpg city and 37 mpg highway.
Below Average Rear Legroom:
On the plus side, the new Malibu is actually wider than the previous version, making for additional hip and shoulder room. On the downside, the wheelbase has decreased, resulting in slightly less rear legroom than most other midsize family sedans. That said, this is not a glaring, or usually even noticeable, deficiency because the overall dimensions are larger. However, it's possible that tall drivers could take away enough space to make it uncomfortable for rear passengers.
Somewhat Sluggish Eco Model:
The Eco's semi-hybrid system is barely noticeable and runs smoothly and efficiently. But because most of the power is supplied by the 2.4-liter with little help from the electric motor, it can sound on the loud side and also feel sluggish in some situations, despite its strong acceleration for the class. The reason is its transmission which has been specially tuned to increase fuel efficiency. The result is a transmission that wants to get into its higher gears quickly as well as downshift slowly.
Odd Eco Model Trunk Shape:
While other Malibus have a trunk with a generous cargo capacity of 16.3 cubic feet, the Eco's also accommodates the car's compact lithium-ion battery and comes in at 14.3 cubic feet. And while even this is an adequate number, the battery gives the trunk an usual shape for storing some items.
With its additional refinement, comfortable drive and improved fuel economy, the 2013 Malibu now ranks among the segment's top choices. Other contenders worthy of consideration would also include the Ford Fusion, the Honda Accord, the Kia Optima, the Hyundai Sonata, the Mazda 6 and the Volkswagen Passat.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Here's the details on exactly how to get the best price on a new Chevy Malibu.
Good luck and all the best,