Chevrolet Malibu, the auto industry’s longest-running midsize nameplate, spanning 35 years and eight generations, continues to impress customers. Visvas Paul D Karra checks out the new 2013 Malibu 2.4L LT in a test drive.
The all new 2013 Malibu has been crafted with uncompromising care and attention to detail and breathes quality and refinement. The vehicle comes in three variations, the 1LT, 2LT and LTZ. About 8.5 million Malibus have been produced in the US since its debut in 1964.
The exterior of the new Malibu suggests tailored lines and fluid curves while the interior boasts a flowing dual cockpit emphasising harmonious and uninterrupted lines. With premium safety features as standard in all models, driving the new Malibu is a breeze. The vehicle is ideally suited for managers and businessmen who would love to add an American vehicle into their stable.
Precisely crafted exterior design and styling gives Malibu an utterly flawless beauty. Premium quality materials (including acoustic laminated glass) combined with meticulous fit and finish result in body gaps as tight as 1 mm and a remarkable quiet ride. Sleek crisp lines flow into perfect curves, while a distinctive sail panel is incorporated into the rear profile to further accentuate the roofline.
Malibu’s eminence in safety is amply illustrated by its five star frontal and side impact crash test rating, the highest possible. It is also a high achiever on the highway. The exterior design of the all-new Malibu carries DNA from its sister vehicles, the Camaro and Corvette, to bring a sporty sensibility to the family sedan segment.
Malibu’s dual-port grill, a signature of Chevrolet’s bold new look, is stylishly accented with chrome surrounds and a body colour bar. Other exterior design cues include Chevrolet’s projector HID headlamps, larger Chevrolet bow-tie badges front and rear, and new Camaro-inspired dual-element taillamps. The look is complemented by a range of large 16, 17 and 18-inch wheels.
A wide stance, broad shoulders enabled by best-in-class width of 1,855 mm, and an integrated rear spoiler give the new Malibu an athletic posture and assertive appearance. The new Malibu has a 114 mm shorter wheelbase and 1,574 mm front and rear tracks that are more than 51 mm wider than the model it replaces.
The new Malibu offers nearly 113 L of additional interior volume, along with more shoulder and hip room than previous models and more usable trunk. It offers the quietest ride in its segment through the use of components that prevent tire, wind and road noise from entering the cabin. Components such as noise-reducing outside rearview mirrors, acoustic laminated front glass and noise-absorption pads are strategically placed to make the cabin quiet and improve the overall quality inside.
Chassis control technologies include four-corner electronic stability control that incorporates full-function traction control, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, and corner brake control. The new Malibu features a fuel-efficient and powerful four cylinder engine that complements its European-inspired driving characteristics.
The Ecotec 2.4L dual overhead cam, four-cylinder engine with direct injection uses continuously variable valve timing to optimise performance, efficiency, and emissions. It produces 170 hp at 5800 rpm and 230 Nm of torque at 4600 rpm allowing it to reach 0-100 km/h in 10.2 seconds.
The 2.4L is mated to a Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic with features designed to enhance powertrain efficiency.