2013 Chevrolet Malibu | Long Term Review | Part 1
Ups: Almost quiet enough to put a baby to sleep, Massive boot to service airport runs.
Downs: Typical FWD understeer means spirited driving must take a break.
Having recently driven the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the folks at Chevrolet insisted we drive something less insane for a few weeks to show us the PG friendly side of the golden bowtie. Enter the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, which we will be driving over the next 3 weeks and find out what it is like to live with.
Our test Malibu came in LTZ trim with all the goodies including the sweet V6 motor putting out 260 hp and 290 Nm of Torque mated to a 6 speed transmission. Initial impressions are good. The car barely had 5722 kms when delivered. With the front inspired by the outgoing caprice and a Camaro inspired rear this is definitely a smart looking car. I reckon it would look better in clean white or a darker shade as opposed to the silver colour we’ve got. Anyway moving on to more important things, having a fully loaded model was nice as it came with ipod/usb integration, steering controls, rear view camera, dual zone climate control, sunroof, leather and memory seats with lumbar support (even for the passenger seat!).
My first week with the Malibu and I’ve managed to squeeze in 2 trips to the capital and one trip to the airport in between doing the usual work and grocery runs. The first thing I noticed was how quiet the cabin felt. Apparently Chevrolet used a head that mimcs a human’s head, stuck some highly accurate digital microphones in place of its ears and used those readings to measure sound levels in the cabin. Engine noise and road noise is kept to a minimum making the cabin feel extremely premium at low speeds with just a hint of wind noise above 100kph. On the highway the car was extremely stable. The ride isn’t typical American but instead it drove more like an Accord with stiff handling and a slightly bouncy ride. Not enough to make it uncomfortable though. Being a front wheel drive car, understeer comes naturally but unless driven enthusiastically, the understeer doesn’t really come into play. The trip to the airport was an interesting one when the Malibu surprised me by easily swallowing 2 massive check-in baggages and had space for more!
Chevrolet seems to have got it right so far. More on this, next week.
Price: AED 73,000
As Tested: AED 99,464
Mileage this week: 1162 kms
Total Mileage: 6884
Average fuel consumption: 13 L/100km
Fuel Costs this week: AED 260
*Average fuel consumption is over the whole 6884 kms. For some funny reason the trip computer did not have an option to compute it over a trip.