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2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco 2SA

Updated on May 11, 2015
1964 Chevrolet Chevelle & Malibu
1964 Chevrolet Chevelle & Malibu | Source

The History

In 1964 Chevrolet released a higher end sub-series of the Chevelle. The car they released was the Malibu. The car was offered with a variety of body styles and lavish interiors compared to the Chevelle. The Malibu was offered in a Four-Door Sedan, Two-Door Sport Coupe Hardtop, Two-Door Convertible, and a Two-Seat Station Wagon. The Malibu was also offered as a SS or "Super Sport" and was only available as a Two-Door Sport Coupe Hardtop, or a Two-Door Convertible. Adding the SS package, would get you bucket seats, center console, option of either a Four-Speed Manual, or Powerglide automatic. You also would get engine guages, and special wheel covers.

1978 Chevrolet Malibu LS1 Engine Swap
1978 Chevrolet Malibu LS1 Engine Swap | Source

In 1978, Chevrolet released the fourth generation of the Malibu. The fourth generation was offered in three different body styles. The first body style was the Two-Door Coupe Hardtop. The next body style offered was the Four-Door Sedan. The final body style offering was the Four-Door Station Wagon. The fourth generation of Malibu was offered with three different transmission options. The first transmission option was a Three-Speed Manual. The second transmission option was a Three-Speed Automatic. The final transmission option was a Four Speed Manual transmission. The Malibu was only offered in two trims at this point, and completely replaced the Chevelle. The first trim that was offered was the regular Malibu. The final trim that was offered was the Malibu classic, which came with a two tone paint scheme.

2006 Chevrolet Malibu SS
2006 Chevrolet Malibu SS | Source
2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx SS
2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx SS | Source

After Four-Teen years, Chevrolet brought back the Malibu, and in 2004 released the sixth generation of the Malibu. There was three trim options for this generation of Malibu. The first trim was the Malibu Classic. The second trim was the Malibu Maxx. The final trim was the Malibu SS. The Malibu was offered with two different body options. The first one, was the Malibu Classic, which was a Four-Door Sedan. The other option was the Malibu Maxx, which was a Five-Door Hatchback. Both the sedan and hatchback version of the Malibu were offered with the SS package. The Malibu had one transmission offering, and that was the Four-Speed Automatic. There were four different engine options for the Malibu. The first option was a 2.2 Liter ecotech Inline 4-Cylinder engine. It put out 144 horsepower and 155 pounds/ft of torque. The next engine option was a 3.5 Liter V-form 6-Cylinder engine. This engine produced 200 horsepower and 220 pounds/ft of torque. The third option was another 3.5 Liter V-form 6-Cylinder. This engine put out 217 horsepower and 220 pounds/ft of torque. The final option was only offered with the Malibu SS. This engine was a 3.9 Liter V-form 6-Cylinder. This engine put out 240 horsepower and 240 pounds/ft of torque.

2011 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ
2011 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ | Source
2010 Chevrolet Malibu RK Sport Body Package
2010 Chevrolet Malibu RK Sport Body Package | Source
2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Gauges
2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Gauges | Source

In 2008 the Malibu was redesigned and the seventh generation was born. The redesign of this car was done under the eye of General Motors Vice Chairman Robert Lutz. Lutz had a goal for the Malibu name plate of making it a real competitor against the Japanese mid-size car segment. For 2008-2009 there was four trim packages or groupings. The base trim package was the LS trim level. The middle of the road trim was the LT trim level. The top of the line trim package was the LTZ. Finally the last package was the Hybrid trim that only was around the 2008 and 2009 model years. There was only one body style available for the 2008-2012 model years. The only body style that was available for purchase was the Four-Door Sedan. For 2008-2009 there was a hybrid engine option. The engine was a 2.4 Liter Hyrbrid Ecotec Inline 4-Cylinder Engine. It was good for 164 horsepower and 159 pounds/ft of torque. This hybrid engine was mated to a Four-Speed Automatic transmission. The mild hybrid system was good for an EPA estimated 26 MPG City and 35 MPG Highway. For 2008-2012 there was a 2.4 Liter Ecotec Inline 4-Cylinder. It was mated to a Four-Speed Automatic and achieved an EPA estimated 22 MPG City and 30 MPG Highway. The same engine was offered with an optional Six-Speed Automatic from 2008-2010. From 2011-2012 the Six-Speed Automatic was the only transmission option. The 4-Cylinder mated to the Six-Speed Automatic was good for an EPA estimated 22 MPG City and 33 MPG Highway. The final engine option was a 3.6 Liter High Feature V-Form 6-Cylinder. The 6-Cylinder was good for 252 horsepower and 251 pounds/ft of torque. The engine was mated to a Six-Speed Automatic and achieved an EPA estimated 17 MPG City and 26 MPG Highway.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco | Source
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco | Source
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco Instrument Cluster
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco Instrument Cluster | Source

In 2013 we saw the release of the eighth generation of Malibu. Like 2008-2012, this Malibu is only offered in the one body style, the Four-Door Sedan. The 2013 Malibu comes in a variety of different trim levels. The base model for the Malibu is the LS trim. Following the LS trim package is the 1LT trim package. After the 1LT trim is the Eco 1SA, followed by the Eco 2SA. After Eco 2SA is the 2LT. 2LT is then followed by the 3LT trim package. The next step up is the 1LTZ trim level. The final and most high end trim package is the 2LTZ. The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is offered with three different engine options. The first engine option is the 2.4 Liter Inline 4-Cylinder with eAssist. This is the only engine option for the "Hyrbrid" Malibu. It is mated to a Six-Speed Automatic, it achieves an EPA estimated 25 MPG City and 37 MPG highway. The engine produces 182 horsepower and 172 pounds/ft of torque. The next engine option is 2.5 Liter Inline 4-Cylinder. The engine is mated to a Six-Speed Automatic and produces 197 horsepower and 191 pounds/ft of torque. The engine is good for an EPA estimated 22 MPG City and 34 MPG Highway. The final engine options is a 2.0 Liter Turbo Charged Inline 4-Cylinder. Like the other two engines, this one is mated to a Six-Speed Automatic. The engine is good for 259 horsepower and 260 pound/ft of torque. The engine has an EPA estimated rating of 21 MPG City and 30 MPG Highway.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco w/ 17 inch Aluminum Wheels & Fog Lights
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco w/ 17 inch Aluminum Wheels & Fog Lights | Source
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco Rear Back Up Camera
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco Rear Back Up Camera | Source

The Tester

The vehicle that we have to look at is the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco 2SA. The 2SA Malibu is the top end of the "hybrid" or Eco Malibu. The car has a slew of different options that come standard, with very few optional add ons. When upgrading to the 2SA fog lights become standard. Other standard features on the Eco 2SA, are the Six-Speed Automatic transmission, 17-inch 5-spoke aluminum wheels, and 8-way power driver seat adjustment. The standard feature list gets even longer with items such as Dual Zone Climate Control, Back Up Camera, Remote Starter, Chevrolet MyLink, USB port with 9 speaker premium Pioneer sound system, and a 7 inch touch screen. The few options available are, Power Sunroof, Leather Appointed Seats, Heated Driver & Front Passenger seats, Driver Seat Memory, Molded Splash Guards, Envelope Trunk Net, and a Navigation package. The tester that we have comes fully loaded with all the add on options. The Malibu Eco comes standard with the only engine option of the 2.4 Liter Inline 4-Cylinder with eAssist.

                    2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco 2.4 LIter Inline 4-Cylinder with eAssist
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco 2.4 LIter Inline 4-Cylinder with eAssist | Source

The Engine

The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco as previously mentioned comes with the 2.4 Liter Ecotec Inline 4-Cylinder engine with eAssist. The engine produces a respectable 182 horsepower and 172 pounds/ft of torque. The engine holds an EPA estimated 25 MPG City and 37 MPG Highway.

For a vehicle that ways 3700 pounds, the Inline 4-Cylinder moves the car along quite nicely. Estimated 0-60 times are around the 8.3 second mark. The car has an estimated 0-100 time 23 seconds flat. The Malibu can then do a respectable 16.4 second quarter mile. Though that time does not seem fast for today's world, you have to look, and remember what kind of car you are driving. The Malibu will then blister it's way to a reported top speed of 118 MPH. (I can say with some confidence that 118 MPH is a low number for this car and it can do closer to the 127-130 MPH mark.)

2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco | Source
2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid
2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid | Source

The Size

To me, I thought the Malibu was a respectable size that made it comfortable to be a passenger. A lot of the auto magazines and reviewers didn't like the car. Saying that it was too small, and the quote "The interior was tight and cramped."

I guess for me, I can only have so much of an opinion, because I am the only one in the vehicle 99% of the time, so I am always in the driver seat which I find to be plenty room and quite comfortable. For someone like me, the biggest thing is interior comfort. By biggest gripe about most sedans is the size of their center consoles, I gripe because I hit my knee on them right were they hurt because there is not enough width. However on the Malibu I don't have this complaint! Hallelujah! The Malibu has plenty of width, and when I do use cruise control and put my leg to the side, the center consoler is high enough for me not to hit my knee.


2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco Interior
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco Interior | Source
2013 Ford Fusion Interior
2013 Ford Fusion Interior | Source
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco Rear Seat
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco Rear Seat | Source
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco Split Folding Rear Seat
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco Split Folding Rear Seat | Source

The overall length of the vehicle is 191.3 Inches. Compared to that enormous length, the wheelbase is only 107.8 inches. The Malibu has a width of 73 inches and a height of 57.6 inches.

In comparison, the cross town rival Ford Fusion has an overall length of 191.7 inches. The wheelbase on the Fusion is a good 5 inches longer than the Malibu coming in at 112.2 inches. Width of the Fusion is 72.9 inches, while the height of the Fusion is 58.1 inches.

Interior dimensions in terms of numbers on a piece of paper is where the Malibu starts to fall behind.... But just barely. (Which makes no sense given that it is nearly the same size as the Ford Fusion.) The front headroom on the Malibu is 39 inches compared to the Fusion at 39.2 inches. The Malibu and the Fusion both have a front hip room dimension of 55 inches. For the Malibu front leg room is at 42.1 inches and front shoulder room is at 57.5 inches. Fusion has a front leg room of 44.3 inches and front shoulder room of 57.8 inches.

In the rear of the car is where critics griped the most about the size, but when looking at the numbers very little separate the Malibu and the Fusion. With 37.5 inches of rear headroom, the Malibu falls just short of the Fusions 37.8 inches of rear headroom. When it comes to the biggest gripe people had, it was the leg room. Malibu has a rear leg room of 36.8 inches, falling by nearly two inches to the Fusion's 38.3 inches. Here we go Malibu, for rear shoulder room, the Malibu has 57.1 inches compared to the Fusion which has only 56.9 inches of rear shoulder room.

In terms of capacity, Malibu is no different then any other 4-Door Sedan. The place you lose is in the trunk. The hybrid batteries take up a good portion of useable trunk space. Still, the Malibu has a trunk size of 13.2 cubic feet. Interior volume of the Malibu is 111 cubic feet, while the fuel tank has a 15.8 gallon fuel capacity on Regular Unleaded Gasoline.


Malibu Eco Gauges
Malibu Eco Gauges | Source

The Interior

General Motors, has never been known for high quality interiors, even in their luxury brand Cadillac. In the last few years though General Motors has really stepped up their game on the quality of their interiors. Where you can see the biggest difference is here in the Malibu.

Previous years of the Malibu have had awful and low quality interiors, that sent them far behind Ford. Even now with the upgrade they still face some challenges in terms of interiors of Chevy vs. Ford. Previous years of the Malibu have had low quality materials, and very archaic technologies.

The 2008-2012 Malibu, was filled with many cheap plastics, and cheap feeling leathers in the higher end models. The gauges of the Malibu had very low quality feel, and had no high definition read out screen for fuel economy or any other vehicle information.

For the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu redesign, they have completely revamped the interior, and it is stellar. The gauges of the Malibu are very similar to the gauges that you would find in the Camaro. Between the Tachometer and the Speedometer is an LCD screen that cycles through for Digital Speedometer, Trip Meter, Instant/Average Fuel Economy, Average Speed, Driving Timer, and Navigation. The screen has beautiful colors and crisp clear pictures.

The quality of the interior has been so much improved its kinda hard to believe. The quality of the cloths and the leathers that are used in the vehicle depending on the trim is very high quality. The materials that are used on the dash and doors are soft and comfortable to touch.

One of the biggest improvements of the 2013 Chevy Malibu is the navigation system. The speed of Chevy MyLink is great, the music playback and navigation read out is even better. When equipped with XM Radio, you can receive weather right on your navigation screen.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco | Source

Exterior Styling

The exteriors of past Malibu cars have left a lot to be desired. While the last generation was not horrible, the look of the 2008-2012 Malibu was very blah and boring. It was shaped very round and had no sharp edges that would make people want to buy it. The last generation of Malibu had lost its way of sharp edges, and become round an a true old person's car.

As with the interior though, General Motors has done their best to make their cars have the looks to compete with the other companies. They have redesigned this new generation to appeal to a younger buyer.

The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, in my opinion has hit the mark for this generation of cars. They have sharpened the edges of the Malibu, and gave it a real European look. The Malibu receives European lines, while taking styling cues from the Chevrolet Camaro. When you take a look at the rear taillights, you can see the square theme that you would see in the Camaro taillights.

The problem with the Eco model and it appealing to a younger buyer, is that it misses part of something that is a big part of a younger generation. Younger people of car buyers, love the look of dual exhaust. The Eco doesn't offer dual exhaust, to get the dual exhaust, you have to get the LTZ with the Turbo Charged 2.0 Liter Inline 4-Cylinder engine.

Overall Thoughts

The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, does a lot of things well, while at the same thing it does some things not so well. As with every car it has its strengths and its weaknesses, that's what makes it human designed.

Though there are some bad things, it does a lot more things good. The redesign in general is just phenomenal! It loses the old persons round look to a more sleek and and sharp look. The interior of the Malibu has also been greatly improved to be more appealing to younger buyers and the technology is more appealing to the buyer who is looking for technology. The best part overall is the fantastic fuel economy.

The problems with the Malibu are small, and for a driver like me they don't bother me, and I don't care about these problems. The first problem is the battery in the trunk of the car. I don't use my trunk, so losing some trunk space to a battery doesn't bother me. The other problem is the rear leg room. This also doesn't bother me, because I prefer to not have people with me, so I say that lack of space in the back is not a problem.

Overall the car is amazing, and for the price that you pay, it is a great deal. The quality of the interior and the features that you get inside of it is amazing. Some of the features that you receive in the Malibu is something that you would get on a $50,000 car. The car is a great vehicle for a great price, and it has a fantastic fuel economy rating.

Three Generation Weight/Fuel Economy

Car
Curb weight (Pounds)
Fuel Economy
2004-2008 Malibu Ecotec
3,174 (Sedan)
21 MPG City / 31 MPG Highway
2008-2010 Malibu Hybrid
3,536
26 MPG City / 34 MPG Highway
2013 Chevy Malibu Eco
3,650
25 MPH City / 37 MPG Highway

Video Review

Picture can only capture so much. To see a video review of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, make sure to check out my YouTube channel to watch the video review. The link to the PirelliCarGuy YouTube channel is below.

What is your favorite generation Malibu?

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