• Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0

    2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    June 10, 2013

    Monday: Chevrolet Malibu Turbo

    Wednesday: GMC Acadia Denali

    Friday: Chevrolet Avalanche LTZ Black Diamond

    The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu hasn't gotten off to the best of starts. When it was introduced last year, the only model you could get for the first few months was mild-hybrid Eco model. This was Chevrolet's attempt to gain a slight edge over the mid-size competition. A decision that sadly backfired on the company as reviews of the Malibu Eco leaned towards the negative.

    gallery_10485_661_942547.jpg

    Since that time, Chevrolet has launched the other models in the Malibu lineup; the 2.5L and Turbo. Can these models help people forget the milquetoast reputation the Malibu currently has? I spent some time with a 2013 Malibu LTZ Turbo and here is what I found.

    gallery_10485_661_548307.jpg

    The Malibu LTZ Turbo gets off to a good start with its visual appearance. The LTZ’s exterior gets small details such as new grille insert with a chrome strip running around and optional nineteen-inch alloy wheels that set off the distinctive design even more. Inside, the Malibu LTZ is much the same as the Eco I drove last year. Design is very much a love it or hate it mantra with a mishmash of a Camaro-esque gauge cluster, organic curves, and the veins running along the dash. Build quality was very good in my low mileage example.

    gallery_10485_661_72505.jpg

    Installed in my vehicle was Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system with the optional Navigation system. Much like my experience in the Malibu Eco, MyLink was easy to use and quick to respond. The navigation system provided good information and the maps were easy to read at a quick glance.

    Of course the real story lies under the hood: A 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that is shared Cadillac ATS. In the Malibu LTZ, it produces 259 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The engine can quickly put a smile on your face thanks to broad range of power. Build-up of power is very smooth, feeling like a V6 and not a turbo-four. Turbo lag was kept a minimum. The EPA rates the Malibu LTZ Turbo at 21 City/30 Highway/24 Combined. My fuel economy during the week was somewhat disappointing during the six days I had Malibu LTZ Turbo, returning an average of 21 MPG. I’m mostly blaming my somewhat heavy right foot on this. The highway run saw fuel economy increase to 28.1 MPG.

    gallery_10485_661_2823.jpg

    My only concern in the Malibu Turbo’s powertrain was the six-speed automatic. Most of the time, the automatic was very competent with its shifts. But there were times when you would notice the transmission go into the ‘hunting for gears’ mode, especially when the transmission downshifts. I’m hoping this is a programming issue and not something else.

    In the handling department, the Malibu LTZ Turbo trades some of the comfort from the Eco model for a bit of sport. It's very noticeable when heading down your favorite road as the Malibu Turbo shows a bit of athleticism with the steering tightened up and the suspension not feeling like its made out of marshmallow fluff. Even with this added sportiness, Chevrolet made sure to balance the Malibu Turbo with some comfort. Driving on the expressway or in the city, the Malibu Turbo was very stable and able to soak up the bumps with no problem.

    However, not everything is perfect with Malibu LTZ Turbo. First is the claustrophobic-feeling back seat. Much like the Malibu Eco, the LTZ Turbo features the smallish back seat. This isn’t a good thing to have in a class where backseat space is one of the key criteria.

    gallery_10485_661_192350.jpg

    The other problem point with the Malibu LTZ Turbo is the pricetag. The base price for the LTZ Turbo starts at $29,700, very reasonable for the top model. Its only when you start adding options that the price and value equation gets thrown out of whack. My tester with most, if not all options ticked comes to as tested price of $34,595. Two problems with this: One; certain items on the options list should be standard equipment on the top trim. Those items include push-button start, HID headlights, and a backup camera (note: the Malibu Eco I had last year had the backup camera as standard.) Two; most of competition when comparably equipped to the Malibu LTZ Turbo cost one to two thousand dollars less.

    The Malibu LTZ Turbo helps remove some of the milquetoast reputation of the Malibu by building upon the good stuff. However, the poor value for money and backseat space negates the improvements. There is a very good car here, but it is a hard sell.

    GM has announced a revised Malibu will be coming later this year and will address exterior and interior designs. Let’s hope it’s the shot in the arm the Malibu desperately needs.

    gallery_10485_661_654843.jpg

    Cheers

    Turbo-Four engine

    Exterior Design

    Chevrolet MyLink

    Balance between comfort and sport

    Jeers

    Back seat space

    Pricetag

    Disclaimer: General Motors provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of gasoline.

    Year - 2013

    Make – Chevrolet

    Model – Malibu

    Trim – 2LZ

    Engine – Ecotec 2.0L DOHC Turbocharged Four-Cylinder

    Driveline – Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic

    Horsepower @ RPM – 259 @ 5,500 RPM

    Torque @ RPM – 260 @ 1,700 - 5,500 RPM

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/30/24

    Curb Weight – 3,600 lbs

    Location of Manufacture – Kansas City, KS

    Base Price - $29,700.00

    As Tested Price - $34,595.00 (Includes $810.00 destination charge)

    Options:

    Electronics & Entertainment Package - $1,350.00

    LTZ Premium Package - $1,000.00

    Audio System w/Navigation, AM/FM CD Player w/7" Color Touchscreen - $795.00

    Crystal Red Tintcoat - $395.00

    Advance Safety Package - $395.00

    Cocoa Fashion Trim - $150.00

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    0


    Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0


    User Feedback


    The value part of the equation is quite the deal breaker... Chevrolet is a value for money brand. Period.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I agree with ZL-1, they seem to have forgotten that Chevy is a value brand get your foot in the door not a luxury brand. Personally I think this vehicle as packaged right now is about $5000 too much. Yes I know some would say everyone else is in this price point, but still I think these mid size sedans are over priced for what you get.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    nice photos and write up.

    i've driven the 2.5 and the turbo and like them both. they both perform well and are nice to drive. problem is, is the drive enough to overcome the other flaws (backseat, busy interior, price, slightly less mpg, some would say styling).

    the front end fix is welcome, and even as paltry as it is, carving a tish more rear room helps. both engines get updates.

    the interior fix is a partial success (handbrake? wtf). still has problems, a little more mpg, not sure if its enough (although the 2.5 fusion sells nicely with about the same mpg). 8 speed auto may be on the horizon.

    I think a lot of people still think bits of the car look clumsy. To me, the Fusion looks a bit faddish, but no doubt it is selling like hot cakes. Problem is there is just not much else now they can do with it until a brand new design with an all new platform.

    Chevy always has packaging problems with its models. I think now that the Impala is here (i saw an LTZ on the open road this weekend and it looks so badass!) to steal the limelight, Chevy needs to really determine how many of these they want to sell. If they want volume, then they need to lay it all on the table and do some things to make it move. One is lease deals (which to some degree they are doing).

    But they really need to load up the LS, LT1, LT2 with popular options, reduce the markup, sell with fewer incentives, or they will have to do what Chrysler and Dodge did with the avenger and 200. Give them away. Chevy will make coin on the Impala, so to do this with the Malibu.....they need to say 'every malibu we sell is one less car the competition sells'.

    They could stand to do little things like make heated seats with cloth a cheap option. Or, make an attractive sport package with sweet wheels and less chrome....none of the family haulers really play as a sports sedan anymore except maybe the mazda. Leverage the remote start and mylink in the marketing and really make those packages a screaming deal.

    of course, they also have Buick to compete with......

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I agree with ZL-1, they seem to have forgotten that Chevy is a value brand get your foot in the door not a luxury brand. Personally I think this vehicle as packaged right now is about $5000 too much. Yes I know some would say everyone else is in this price point, but still I think these mid size sedans are over priced for what you get.

    that's fairly spot on. people who routinely say 'that is what stuff goes for', um, apparently not according to sales. the malibu hasn't been a retail giant, and the 13+ model is down even more. Korea and camrys+accords+altimas give away their cars.

    I think if GM added 17" and better seats to the mylink, the MSRP may be believable. All the next steps need to keep the prices in check.

    Maybe if they did cool stuff like make the turbo a standalone option on the LT1........or make a sport package available for the LT1.....

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

      Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor




  • Popular Stories

  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      When I last reviewed the Acura MDX back in 2014, I mentioned that it and the RDX crossover made up a majority of the brand’s sales. That’s still true in 2017 as both models currently make up 63.8 percent of Acura’s sales through the end of March. In closing my review, I said Acura focused on fixing the issues that hurt the MDX before and left other things well alone, creating a balanced luxury crossover. But does that still hold up in a field that has become very competitive in the past couple of years? It seemed a revisit was in order.
      Acura did a significant refresh for the 2017 MDX with the biggest change being the design. Up front, Acura has swapped the shield grille for a larger pentagonal grille from the 2016 Precision Concept. While the shield was considered by many to a bit polarizing and a turn-off, I find the new grille to be a bit cartoonish. It doesn’t really work with the rest of the MDX’s design. At least certain traits such as the ‘Jewel Eye’ headlights and sloping roofline are still here and still work. The interior hasn’t changed much since our last test and that’s both a good and bad thing. The good is the MDX’s material quality is towards the top of the class with a fair amount of leather and wood trim used throughout. Although considering the price tag of just over $59,000, it would have been nice if Acura added some more luxury touches. Those sitting up front or in the second-row will find plenty of room and a set of supportive seats. The MDX is one of the few models in the class that offers a third-row as standard, but it is best reserved for small kids or being folded into the floor to increase cargo space. The bad mostly deals with the AcuraLink infotainment system. This dual screen setup brings more headaches than any other system I have used. A perfect example is when you want to switch from music to a podcast on your USB device. You need to use the top screen and a control knob to go through the various menus to find the show you want to listen to. Not only is this pain, but it also creates a distraction when driving as your eyes are taken off from the road. I wish Acura would scrap this system and start back from square one. Power still comes from a 3.5L V6 offering 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic routes power to either the front-wheels or all four-wheels via Acura’s super-handling all-wheel drive (SH-AWD). Advanced models like ours come standard with a stop-start system.  The V6 in the MDX is such an impressive motor. Power delivery is quite strong throughout the rev band and the engine doesn’t make much noise during acceleration. However, the stop-start is a bit of a mess. It takes a few seconds for the system to realize that you took your foot off the brake before it restarts the engine. The system can be turned off which we recommend doing. The nine-speed automatic needs a bit work as well as we found shifts to be somewhat clunky at low speeds. Also, the transmission is slow to downshift when you need to make a pass. At least paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel solves this issue somewhat as you can do it yourself. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 19 City/26 Highway/22 Combined when the MDX is equipped with SH-AWD. I got none too shabby 23 MPG average for the week. One area we’re glad to see Acura not messing with the MDX refresh is the suspension tuning. The MDX has stuck the right balance of comfort and handling. Some of this is credited to the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) that alters various settings for the suspension, steering, and a few other items. This means the MDX can be tailored to deliver a sporty ride when driving down a curvy road and ironing out road imperfections when commuting. There is one big issue for the MDX, price. Our MDX Advance & Entertainment tester came with an as-tested price of $59,475 with destination. Considering what you get for the price and compare against other models, the MDX is a bit of a poor value. Stick with one of the lower trims. The Acura MDX stands in a bit of an odd middle ground, where it is above the mainstream, but below luxury competitors. It remains a very competent crossover that seems to do most things right. But we can’t help but wonder if Acura was given a bit more time to mess with the stop-start system and automatic transmission, along with making it slightly more luxurious, it could take it a bit further from the middle ground the MDX currently sits in. Disclaimer: Acura Provided the MDX, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Acura
      Model: MDX
      Trim: Advanced Entertainment SH-AWD
      Engine: 3.5L 24-Valve SOHC i-VTEC V6
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,200
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/26/22
      Curb Weight: 4,292 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, AL
      Base Price: $58,500
      As Tested Price: $59,475 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      When I last reviewed the Acura MDX back in 2014, I mentioned that it and the RDX crossover made up a majority of the brand’s sales. That’s still true in 2017 as both models currently make up 63.8 percent of Acura’s sales through the end of March. In closing my review, I said Acura focused on fixing the issues that hurt the MDX before and left other things well alone, creating a balanced luxury crossover. But does that still hold up in a field that has become very competitive in the past couple of years? It seemed a revisit was in order.
      Acura did a significant refresh for the 2017 MDX with the biggest change being the design. Up front, Acura has swapped the shield grille for a larger pentagonal grille from the 2016 Precision Concept. While the shield was considered by many to a bit polarizing and a turn-off, I find the new grille to be a bit cartoonish. It doesn’t really work with the rest of the MDX’s design. At least certain traits such as the ‘Jewel Eye’ headlights and sloping roofline are still here and still work. The interior hasn’t changed much since our last test and that’s both a good and bad thing. The good is the MDX’s material quality is towards the top of the class with a fair amount of leather and wood trim used throughout. Although considering the price tag of just over $59,000, it would have been nice if Acura added some more luxury touches. Those sitting up front or in the second-row will find plenty of room and a set of supportive seats. The MDX is one of the few models in the class that offers a third-row as standard, but it is best reserved for small kids or being folded into the floor to increase cargo space. The bad mostly deals with the AcuraLink infotainment system. This dual screen setup brings more headaches than any other system I have used. A perfect example is when you want to switch from music to a podcast on your USB device. You need to use the top screen and a control knob to go through the various menus to find the show you want to listen to. Not only is this pain, but it also creates a distraction when driving as your eyes are taken off from the road. I wish Acura would scrap this system and start back from square one. Power still comes from a 3.5L V6 offering 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic routes power to either the front-wheels or all four-wheels via Acura’s super-handling all-wheel drive (SH-AWD). Advanced models like ours come standard with a stop-start system.  The V6 in the MDX is such an impressive motor. Power delivery is quite strong throughout the rev band and the engine doesn’t make much noise during acceleration. However, the stop-start is a bit of a mess. It takes a few seconds for the system to realize that you took your foot off the brake before it restarts the engine. The system can be turned off which we recommend doing. The nine-speed automatic needs a bit work as well as we found shifts to be somewhat clunky at low speeds. Also, the transmission is slow to downshift when you need to make a pass. At least paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel solves this issue somewhat as you can do it yourself. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 19 City/26 Highway/22 Combined when the MDX is equipped with SH-AWD. I got none too shabby 23 MPG average for the week. One area we’re glad to see Acura not messing with the MDX refresh is the suspension tuning. The MDX has stuck the right balance of comfort and handling. Some of this is credited to the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) that alters various settings for the suspension, steering, and a few other items. This means the MDX can be tailored to deliver a sporty ride when driving down a curvy road and ironing out road imperfections when commuting. There is one big issue for the MDX, price. Our MDX Advance & Entertainment tester came with an as-tested price of $59,475 with destination. Considering what you get for the price and compare against other models, the MDX is a bit of a poor value. Stick with one of the lower trims. The Acura MDX stands in a bit of an odd middle ground, where it is above the mainstream, but below luxury competitors. It remains a very competent crossover that seems to do most things right. But we can’t help but wonder if Acura was given a bit more time to mess with the stop-start system and automatic transmission, along with making it slightly more luxurious, it could take it a bit further from the middle ground the MDX currently sits in. Disclaimer: Acura Provided the MDX, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Acura
      Model: MDX
      Trim: Advanced Entertainment SH-AWD
      Engine: 3.5L 24-Valve SOHC i-VTEC V6
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,200
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/26/22
      Curb Weight: 4,292 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, AL
      Base Price: $58,500
      As Tested Price: $59,475 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A
    • By William Maley
      The rivalry of the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang has been going for ages in the U.S. But now this fight has expanded into China.
      Automotive News reports that a growing group of Chinese buyers are being drawn towards to these models as the exude the no-apologies Americana attitude.
      "We're seeing the beginning of a muscle car culture here. Something that is uniquely American appeals to the Chinese consumer. The image that it relays to the automotive public is very positive," said James Chao, a China market auto analyst with IHS Markit.
      Sales of both models are small with Chevrolet only moving 2,000 Camaros since its launch 2011. Ford is doing slightly better with 6,200 Mustangs sold since its launch in 2015. In the first quarter, Mustang sales saw a 90 percent increase to 963 vehicles. Part of the reason for the slow sales comes down to the price. The Camaro starts about 399,900 yuan (about $58,000) - more than double of the base price of $26,900 in the U.S. The Mustang isn't that far behind, costing about $15 dollars less. Prices are increased due to a 25 percent import tariff on U.S. made vehicles, homologation and shipping fees, and Chinese buyers trending to splurge on higher-time models.
      But despite the low sales, the Camaro and Mustang are bringing buyers to dealers. These models act as eye candy to help draw shoppers into showrooms with the hope they'll purchase a vehicle, where it be the eye candy or something a little less exciting.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The rivalry of the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang has been going for ages in the U.S. But now this fight has expanded into China.
      Automotive News reports that a growing group of Chinese buyers are being drawn towards to these models as the exude the no-apologies Americana attitude.
      "We're seeing the beginning of a muscle car culture here. Something that is uniquely American appeals to the Chinese consumer. The image that it relays to the automotive public is very positive," said James Chao, a China market auto analyst with IHS Markit.
      Sales of both models are small with Chevrolet only moving 2,000 Camaros since its launch 2011. Ford is doing slightly better with 6,200 Mustangs sold since its launch in 2015. In the first quarter, Mustang sales saw a 90 percent increase to 963 vehicles. Part of the reason for the slow sales comes down to the price. The Camaro starts about 399,900 yuan (about $58,000) - more than double of the base price of $26,900 in the U.S. The Mustang isn't that far behind, costing about $15 dollars less. Prices are increased due to a 25 percent import tariff on U.S. made vehicles, homologation and shipping fees, and Chinese buyers trending to splurge on higher-time models.
      But despite the low sales, the Camaro and Mustang are bringing buyers to dealers. These models act as eye candy to help draw shoppers into showrooms with the hope they'll purchase a vehicle, where it be the eye candy or something a little less exciting.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    • By William Maley
      In the past two years, I have driven three variations of the Volkswagen Golf; the GTI, SportWagen, and R. But I never had the chance to drive the standard Golf. That is until a couple of months ago when a Golf Wolfsburg Edition rolled up. For 2017, the Wolfsburg is one of the two trims on offer (the base S being the other) and comes with lots of equipment for a surprising price. But this is only the cherry on top of an impressive compact hatchback as I would find out.
      Let’s begin with that surprising price. Our Golf Wolfsburg tester came with an as-tested price of $23,515 and that includes a sunroof, push-button start, heated seats, backup camera, pre-collision braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rain-sensing wipers. Considering the amount of equipment on offer, this might be one of the best values in the compact class. I know that I’m beating a dead horse here, but I wished the Golf was just a little bit more exciting to look at. The clean lines and minimal brightwork make the Golf have a handsome profile. But park it next to something like a Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback, and you kind of wish that Volkswagen did something to make it standout. You could level the same complaint at the Golf’s interior as doesn’t have the same panache or sharpness as some competitors. But I can overlook it as the Golf has one the most functional and well-built interiors in the class. Controls are within easy reach and have a solid feel that is lacking in other compact models. It doesn’t hurt the Golf has a spacious interior for passengers and cargo. I’m 5’8” and found to have plenty of head and legroom sitting in the back. For cargo, the Golf offers up 22.8 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 52.7 cubic feet with them folded, putting it at the top of the class. Like the larger SportWagen and Alltrack, the regular Golf sports a turbocharged 1.8L four-cylinder producing 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. My tester came with the optional six-speed automatic. A five-speed manual comes standard. This engine is such a sweetheart as it punches well above its weight. Power comes on a quick and smooth rate, meaning you’ll not be wanting for power when trying to make a pass. The automatic transmission is smart, knowing when it needs to up or downshift and doing so at a quick rate. One item that I gave the Golf SportWagen a lot of praise was the pleasant balance between a smooth ride and sharp handling. The regular Golf is much the same. Taking a corner, the vehicle shows little body roll and the steering provides a linear and quick response. It would be nice if the steering had some more weight, but otherwise, it is a fun car to hustle around. For the daily commute, the Golf offers up a comfortable ride where potholes and other imperfections are ironed out. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels. If I do have one complaint, it has to deal with the lack of adaptive cruise control. There is already a radar module up front for the pre-collision braking that can monitor vehicles ahead and bring the vehicle to a stop. So why isn’t there the ability to use that module to provide adaptive cruise control? Is it a technical issue or something dealing with the cost? (I'm thinking its the latter). That issue aside, I’m really impressed with the regular Golf. This is one of the vehicles that can deliver on being an all arounder without falling on its face due to one or many things. Plus, the Wolfsburg Edition might be the steal for the 2017 Golf lineup considering what you get. Disclaimer: Volkswagen Provided the Golf, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Volkswagen
      Model: Golf
      Trim: Wolfsburg Edition
      Engine: 1.8L TSI Turbocharged Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 170 @ 4,500
      Torque @ RPM: 199 @ 1,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/35/29
      Curb Weight: 3,023 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Wolfsburg, Germany
      Base Price: $22,695
      As Tested Price: $23,515 (Includes $820.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A

      View full article
  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)