2013 Malibu stands out from the crowd
By Eric Mathes
The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu

Upgrades prove that the new 2013 Chevy Malibu was truly redesigned from the ground up.

Before I could test drive the new Malibu I had to look twice to make sure it was the correct car. A complete redesigned exterior made for a sharp presentation on the lot.

“The overall look of the Malibu has been changed from previous years, which really makes the new model stand out,” explained Kelly Johnson, a salesman at Vogel Chevrolet in Kiel.

Johnson said that the new Malibu features a wider wheel base which results in softer suspension, a roomier interior, and an overall better ride. The sleek new design accompanied by a more muscular look really sets it apart from other cars when on display.

When you open the doors you can’t help but notice the spacious interior, which makes it very appealing for a range of customers. Johnson noticed the new size and style of the car has made it appeal to a number of different customers including business professionals and people with families. “I’ve been selling the new Malibu to people with all different lifestyles,” he said.

The model I was testing was a Malibu LS, their basic 2.4L model priced at $23,305, but the car is also available in LT, LTZ, and Eco models which are equipped with upgrades and style changes, respectively. This LS model in equipped with a sophisticated leather dashboard and interior paneling, instead of plastic, which doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re driving a basic floor model.

After starting the engine, it is hard not to be taken aback by the amazing lack of noise inside the car. I remember questioning whether or not I had even started it up. Chevy has clearly gone to great lengths in creating a ride that is not only smoother, but much quieter as well.

Johnson was very adamant in explaining that new Chevy vehicle features challenge and out-do their foreign competitors. He said, “The negative media hype over recent years has really forced the industry to take a new approach at creating a better vehicle.”

He wasn’t shy in showing me the foreign model sitting in the used lot that a customer recently traded for the new Malibu model. “She had her other car for only a year when her friend talked her into test driving the 2013 Malibu. Shortly after she drove one home,” Johnson said.

During the drive around Kiel, I made sure to test the car’s handling while going through the roundabouts on STH 57. I was impressed with how the shortened wheelbase of the car handled the quick turns with ease, leaving me comfortable rather than jerking my upper body to the side.

The new 2013 Malibu Eco option also features eAssist enabling the engine and transmission to operate more efficiently and use less fuel. eAssist features deliver an electric boost of up to 15 hp to the powertrain system during heavy acceleration. During deceleration, fuel is cut off and the motor-generator continues to spin along with the engine to provide smooth take-off power when the driver presses the accelerator. Eco features help to improve gas mileage to 25 city/37 highway mpg without changing the power output of the engine.

An additional feature that caught my eye was the rear storage of the new Malibu, with over 16.3 cubic feet of storage and split folding rear seatbacks for additional capacity.

Johnson said, “There are just a lot of little things that have made this car stand out and become a real hit with our customers.”

Overall, from the eye-catching exterior to the advanced and creative interior, the 2013 Chevy Malibu is, without a doubt, a standout.