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2013 Chevrolet Malibu review by

2013 Chevrolet Malibu

Rob Olsson
Review Guide:
5=Perfect; 3=Good; 1=Poor

Pros: What do you like about your 2013 Chevrolet Malibu?
Exterior styling, the car's electronics.

Cons: How would you improve your 2013 Chevrolet Malibu?
Increase back seat legroom, improve upon the extremely light steering.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu Review:
My new 2013 Chevy Malibu is an attractive, moderately comfortable mid-sized four door sedan. Fuel economy at 26 MPG is average for its segment. The car features many impressive bells and whistles including XM radio and Bluetooth smartphone integration. Chevrolet's OnStar system - basically a glorified pre-paid cell-phone subscription - is offered. The car features a large 7-inch screen which tends to wash out on sunny days. The view from the rear view camera is displayed here. It's fortunate that this car includes a rear view camera because the rear view from the driver's seat is very poor.

Those who prefer a more firm feel and much lumbar support will appreciate the seats in this car. Others will consider the seating hard and uncomfortable, especially on longer trips. Interior fit and finish is good on the LT trim. Some might find the two-toned seat color schemes on higher trim levels a bit gaudy and unrefined. All seats are quite firm regardless of whether they're leather or cloth. This car is very, very quiet. Wind noise is virtually non-existent at any speed.

Handling and especially steering are this car's Achilles heel. Handling is fair with a rather floaty ride with minimal road feel. But the electrically assisted power steering is far too light and sensitive for this driver's tastes. While it's adequate and borders on nimble on a winding country road, a long drive down a highway is like a tug of war with a very determined opponent who wants to lean right or left but never center. Minimal corrective driver inputs cause the car to veer ever so slightly in the opposite direction. The end result of this is not so much steering as it is a process of constant correction. As this is a new car with less than 200 miles it is possible that this driver is simply unaccustomed to the performance characteristics of this car. Or, it may work itself out as the car is broken in.

The 2.5 liter engine seems neurotic as it is smooth and competent at some points and at others seems lacking in confidence and torque. However, the 6-speed transmission is smooth and delivers a consistently refined performance whether on the freeway or driving at slower speeds.

This car's styling and overall build quality seem quite good, the paint and fit and finish on the exterior are are outstanding. Another strong point is the extremely quiet ride. But I do have other concerns: The uncertain feel of the engine, the steering, road-handling, and interior comfort quality all leave much to be desired. The electronics are great but as usual, OnStar falls short of delivering a competitive navigation system without charging a monthly fee which is disappointing. This car has potential but I don't see it fully realized this year. Therefore I give the 2013 Chevy Malibu a "C."

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2013 Chevrolet Model Lineup:
2013 Avalanche
2013 Camaro
2013 Corvette
2013 Cruze
2013 Equinox
2013 Express
2013 Impala
2013 Malibu
2013 Silverado
2013 Silverado HD
2013 Sonic
2013 Spark
2013 Suburban
2013 Tahoe
2013 Traverse
2013 Volt
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