2013 Chevrolet Malibu | first drive

Posted on Mar 25, 2012 by

The outgoing never really stood up in the face of the Japanese and to an extent, the Korean domination of the D segment. The cars from the east had something in them that always outweighed the Malibu’s appeal. However, the guys at have not sat by quietly, they have been taking notes and they have hit back with what they think will reinvigorate the sales figures for one of their longest selling nameplate.

The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu scores on its sportier and stylish looks

One look at the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu and you will be quick to deduce that the car appears much sportier and stylish than its predecessor. The grille is reminiscent of the outgoing version but the hood is more sculpted and boxy to give an impression of something rather powerful lurking beneath.

You will also notice some familiar Camaro design traits, especially the rear end. To us, rear of the Chevrolet Malibu also reminded of the older generation Lexus GS. Malibu’s sporty intent is further affirmed by the spoiler integrated into its boot lid which looks a bit like the ‘Bangle butts’ found on BMW’s. The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu has put on a cleaner, muscular and a more confident guise.

Chevrolet has pinned a lot of hope on the Malibu, this in a way is a ‘world car’ for GM as the company continues to refresh its products making them more competitive in the face of their rivals. Chevrolet calls this the most important launch for 2012. The Malibu shares underpinning with GM’s long-running Epsilon platform with modification to suit a stiffer structure, updated suspensions and more interior space. This platform also hosts the Buick Regal, Opel Insignia, and the late Saab 9-3.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu has put on a cleaner, muscular and a more confident guise

On the we drove the 2.4 LTZ variant that came with black leather interiors, a sunroof, rear camera and navigation. Bluetooth phone connectivity was present but audio streaming is not supported. Our car also had a 3.5mm AUX and a USB jack. The overall feel of the interior is what we can call decent. However, the quality of rubber on steering mounted audio/cruise control switches could have been better.

The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu surprised us with its quietness. Considering what was one of the worst days to drive out in the wilderness owing to the ongoing 4 days of sand storms, we were able to talk at civil vocal levels with ease inside the Malibu. The car felt sure footed in windy/dusty conditions and brakes did an assuring job when tackling those few sand mounts that has come to see black top as their now home.

Interior leg space is adequate but taller passengers will be bothered by the lack of ample headroom at the back. The user-friendliness of the interior layout and especially the infotainment screen impressed us and not to forget the storage compartment behind the flip-open infotainment screen is innovative.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu interior are well laid out and easy to operate with fairly large buttons

The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu will be available with two engine options, a 2.4-litre inline-4 and a 3-litre V6. The V6 will give this car a significant advantage and extend its reach to Ford Taurus and Toyota Aurion as indirect competitors. The 4-cylinder engine makes 170bhp at 5800rpm and 230Nm at 4600rpm while the V6 makes 260bhp at 6900rpm and 290Nm at 5600rpm. A six-speed transmission comes standard on both variants with power directed to the front wheels. You also get an optional manual gearshift via buttons placed on top of the gear knob. We think its not a particularly friendly way for shifting manually and traditional paddle shifters would have a been a better option.

The Malibu will go head on against the Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord. Some of these are the best selling cars for their respective brands. So how does the Malibu fare against these traditionally ‘better’ cars? In terms of features it stacks up pretty well. In terms of price too the Malibu puts up a brave face with a starting price of AED 73,000 going up to AED 99,500. Chevy is serious about making its presence felt in this ferociously competitive segment which has the potential to shoot up GM’s sales figures around the globe and if you are not particularly brainwashed towards buying a Japanese car, chances of you buying a Malibu once you give it a closer look are pretty high.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu's shares design cues from the Camaro, to us, the rear tail lights remind a bit of the old Lexus GS


Price: AED 73,000 to AED 99,500
Variants: LS, LT, LTZ
Engine: 2.4-litre inline-4; 170bhp 5800rpm, 230Nm at 4600rpm
3.0-Litre V6; 260bhp 6900rpm, 290Nm at 5600rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with optional manual shift.

One Response to 2013 Chevrolet Malibu | first drive

  1. Salar Reply

    November 12, 2015 at 9:46 am

    This is wonderful that GM sold 60,000 vhcieles (in India) so far this year as against around 35,000 units last year.It is even more wonderful that the Indians are purchasing cars given that sourcing of spare parts from India by General Motors should go up to $1 billion in the next three years. At present, GM sources spare parts worth $300 million from India.

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