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    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.

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    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.

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    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......

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    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.....

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      2018 CHEVROLET EQUINOX PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS 
      (NORTH AMERICA)
      Overview

      Models: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox
      Body style / driveline:
      five-passenger, four-door SUV, front-engine, front- or all-wheel drive
      EPA vehicle class:
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      Powertrains

      Engine / Type: 1.5L turbo DOHC DI
      2.0L turbo DOHC DI
      1.6L turbo-diesel
      Block material:
      cast aluminum
      cast aluminum
      cast aluminum
      Cylinder head material:
      cast aluminum
      cast aluminum
      cast aluminum
      Fuel delivery:
      direct injection
      direct injection
      direct injection
      Horsepower (hp / kW):
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      252 / 188 (GM-estimated)
      136 / 101 (GM-estimated)
      Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm):
      203 / 275 (GM-estimated)
      260 / 353 (GM-estimated)
      236 / 320 (GM-estimated)
      GM-est. fuel economy:
      31 hwy
      28 hwy
      40 hwy
      Transmission:
      Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic
      Hydra-Matic 9T50 nine-speed automatic
      Hydra-Matic 6T45 six-speed automatic
      Chassis / Suspension

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      Suspension (rear): 
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      Steering type:
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      Turning circle (ft / m):
      37.4 / 11.4 (17-inch wheels)
      Brakes & Wheels

      Brake type: four-wheel disc with ABS and ESC; Duralife rotors and low-drag calipers (US)
      Wheel size and type:
      17-, 18- and 19-inch aluminum
      Exterior Dimensions

      Wheelbase (in / mm): 107.3 / 2725
      Overall length (in / mm):
      183.1 / 4652
      Overall width (in / mm):
      72.6 / 1843
      Overall height (in / mm):
      65.4 / 1661
      Track (in / mm):
      front: 62.2 / 1580
      rear: 62.2 / 1581
      Interior Dimensions

      Seating capacity: 2 / 3
      Headroom (in / mm):
      Front - 40.0/1015 (w/o SR), 38.2/970 (w/ Sunroof)
      Rear - 38.5/977 (w/o SR), 36.9/936 (w/ Sunroof)
      Legroom (in / mm):
      40.9 / 1040 (front)
      39.7 / 1008 (rear)
      Shoulder room (in / mm):
      57.2 / 1452 (front)
      55.5 / 1410 (rear)
      Hip room (in / mm):
      54.2 / 1377 (front)
      51.7 / 1314 (rear)
      Weights & Capacities

      Base curb weight (lb / kg): 3327 / 1509 (1.5L w/ FWD)
      Fuel capacity (gal / L):
      14.7 / 55 (FWD)
      TBD (AWD)
      15.5 / 58 (1.6L diesel)
      Max cargo room (cu ft / L):
      29.9 / 846 (behind rear seat)
      63.5 / 1798 (rear seat folded)
      Max trailering (lb / kg):
      3500 / 1585 (2.0L turbo)
      Previous Page Next Page
      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Previous Page Next Page We weren't expecting this, but Chevrolet has revealed the all-new 2018 Equinox tonight in Chicago. 
      The exterior borrows heavily from the Cruze and Malibu designs. Up front is a revised grille (similar to the one seen on the Cruze) with new headlights and LED daytime running lights. Around the side is a character line that swoops down and 'Equinox' name on the front doors. The back features a restyled tailgate, blacked-out pillars to give the impression of wrap-around glass, and horizontal taillights. The interior matches up with newer Chevrolet models with a floating screen (either seven or eight-inches) and either cloth or leather covering bits of the dash. One key item Chevrolet is quick to point is the dashboard is lower to provide better visibility.
      There will be three turbocharged four-cylinders on offer; a 1.5L, 2.0L, and a 1.6L diesel. The 2.0L turbo will come paired with GM's new nine-speed automatic. We're guessing the 1.5 and 1.6 will get a six-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive will come standard and an all-wheel drive system with a disconnecting rear axle when not in use will be optional. One item we're glad to see is Chevrolet dropping 400 pounds out of the Equinox.
      On the safety front, the Equinox will feature the options of surround-view camera system, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert. Two new features will be Teen Driver (can set limits on speed and volume for your young driver) and Rear Seat Reminder (reminds you to check the back seat to prevent kids from overheating on a hot day).
      No word on pricing, but Chevrolet says the 2018 Equinox will arrive at dealers in the first quarter of 2017.
      Source: Chevrolet
      Press Release is on Page 2
      CHEVROLET INTRODUCES ALL-NEW 2018 EQUINOX
      The perfect balance of design and technology DETROIT — Call it the right balance. On the autumnal equinox today, Chevrolet introduced the all-new 2018 Equinox, a fresh and modern SUV sized and designed to meet the needs of the compact SUV customer.
      “We’ve got the strongest truck business in the industry and we’ve reinvigorated our car lineup with Volt, Cruze and Malibu,” said Alan Batey, Global Chevrolet president. “We’re applying the same customer focus to grow our crossover/SUV business — starting with the Chevrolet Equinox.”
      Today’s compact SUV customers want a vehicle that meets all of their needs, from design, connectivity and safety perspectives. The Equinox delivers on all fronts, starting with its fresh new design and all-new propulsion systems.
      Fresh, new design
      The new Equinox’s expressive exterior has a lean, muscular skin echoing the global Chevrolet design cues and sculpted shapes seen in the Volt, Malibu and Cruze. Extensive aero development in the wind tunnel influenced the sleek shape.
      It is a richer, more detailed design featuring chrome trim on all models and Malibu-inspired styling. Projector-beam headlamps are standard, along with LED daytime running lamps. At the rear, horizontal taillamps emphasize the Equinox’s wide stance, while uplevel models feature LED taillamps. 
      “Customers who previewed the vehicle early on had a strong emotional response to the sleek and sophisticated exterior design,” said John Cafaro, executive director, GM Design. “Those same themes are carried through to the interior, making the space beautifully intuitive.”
      The interior takes advantage of the Equinox’s all-new architecture to offer a down-and-away instrument panel, while a low windshield base provides a commanding outward view. New elements such as available denim-style seat fabric blend high style with high durability, while a new “kneeling” rear seat enhances functionality. With it, the bottom cushions tilt forward when the split-folding seatbacks are lowered, allowing a flat floor for easier loading.
      Connectivity
      The 2018 Equinox offers purposeful technology that helps keep passengers safe, comfortable and connected.
      Chevrolet’s latest connectivity technologies are front and center, including 7- and 8-inch-diagonal MyLink infotainment systems designed to support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as an available OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is subject to their terms, privacy statements and data plan rates, as well as a compatible smartphone.)
      Safety
      The Equinox offers a comprehensive suite of available active safety technologies and adaptive crash-avoidance features that provide ease of use and peace of mind on the road.
      Teen Driver is also offered, allowing parents to set controls and review an in-vehicle report card in order to encourage safer driving habits, even when they are not in the vehicle.  
      Available advanced active safety features to enhance driver awareness on the road include radar- and camera-based adaptive technologies that can provide alerts to potential crash threats, allowing the driver to react and make changes to avoid them, including:
      New Safety Alert Seat New Surround Vision New Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator New Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking New Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning New Rear Seat Reminder Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert  Rear Cross Traffic Alert Turbocharged engines and more 
      A range of three turbocharged engines — including the compact SUV segment’s first turbo-diesel in North America — provides customers more choices when it comes to performance, efficiency and capability in the all-new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox.
      They include a 1.5L turbo, a 2.0L turbo — matched with GM’s new nine-speed automatic transmission — and a 1.6L turbo-diesel.
      “With three choices, customers can select an engine that offers more of the attributes that are important to them: efficiency, performance and capability,” said Dan Nicholson, vice president, Global Propulsion Systems. “The advantage for each is the power of a larger engine and the efficiency of a smaller engine.”
      The new Equinox is the first Chevrolet model in North America to use an all-turbocharged, multi-engine powertrain lineup. That includes the expected segment-exclusive 1.6L turbo-diesel that will offer customers excellent efficiency and capability.
      “It is an all-new SUV from the ground up and one that takes on the industry’s biggest competitors with a stronger architecture, greater efficiency and more technology,” said Rick Spina, executive chief engineer. “And it looks great doing it.”
      Additional vehicle highlights:
      Approximately 400 pounds (180 kg) lighter than the current model — a 10 percent weight reduction Switchable AWD system that enhances efficiency by disconnecting from the rear axle when not needed  Unique kneeling rear seat that enables a flat rear load floor and up to 63.5 cubic feet (1,798 liters) of maximum cargo space Equinox sales have reached more than 2 million since its launch and it is Chevrolet’s second-best retail selling vehicle, after the Silverado.
      The 2018 Equinox goes on sale in the first quarter of 2017 in North America. It rolls out to approximately 115 additional global markets later in the year.
      2018 CHEVROLET EQUINOX PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS 
      (NORTH AMERICA)
      Overview

      Models: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox
      Body style / driveline:
      five-passenger, four-door SUV, front-engine, front- or all-wheel drive
      EPA vehicle class:
      compact SUV
      Powertrains

      Engine / Type: 1.5L turbo DOHC DI
      2.0L turbo DOHC DI
      1.6L turbo-diesel
      Block material:
      cast aluminum
      cast aluminum
      cast aluminum
      Cylinder head material:
      cast aluminum
      cast aluminum
      cast aluminum
      Fuel delivery:
      direct injection
      direct injection
      direct injection
      Horsepower (hp / kW):
      170 / 127 (GM-estimated)
      252 / 188 (GM-estimated)
      136 / 101 (GM-estimated)
      Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm):
      203 / 275 (GM-estimated)
      260 / 353 (GM-estimated)
      236 / 320 (GM-estimated)
      GM-est. fuel economy:
      31 hwy
      28 hwy
      40 hwy
      Transmission:
      Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic
      Hydra-Matic 9T50 nine-speed automatic
      Hydra-Matic 6T45 six-speed automatic
      Chassis / Suspension

      Suspension (front): MacPherson strut with side-loaded modules, specifically tuned coil springs, direct-acting stabilizer bar
      Suspension (rear): 
      4 Link Independent Rear Suspension
      Steering type:
      Dual Rack and Pinion Electric Power Steering
      Turning circle (ft / m):
      37.4 / 11.4 (17-inch wheels)
      Brakes & Wheels

      Brake type: four-wheel disc with ABS and ESC; Duralife rotors and low-drag calipers (US)
      Wheel size and type:
      17-, 18- and 19-inch aluminum
      Exterior Dimensions

      Wheelbase (in / mm): 107.3 / 2725
      Overall length (in / mm):
      183.1 / 4652
      Overall width (in / mm):
      72.6 / 1843
      Overall height (in / mm):
      65.4 / 1661
      Track (in / mm):
      front: 62.2 / 1580
      rear: 62.2 / 1581
      Interior Dimensions

      Seating capacity: 2 / 3
      Headroom (in / mm):
      Front - 40.0/1015 (w/o SR), 38.2/970 (w/ Sunroof)
      Rear - 38.5/977 (w/o SR), 36.9/936 (w/ Sunroof)
      Legroom (in / mm):
      40.9 / 1040 (front)
      39.7 / 1008 (rear)
      Shoulder room (in / mm):
      57.2 / 1452 (front)
      55.5 / 1410 (rear)
      Hip room (in / mm):
      54.2 / 1377 (front)
      51.7 / 1314 (rear)
      Weights & Capacities

      Base curb weight (lb / kg): 3327 / 1509 (1.5L w/ FWD)
      Fuel capacity (gal / L):
      14.7 / 55 (FWD)
      TBD (AWD)
      15.5 / 58 (1.6L diesel)
      Max cargo room (cu ft / L):
      29.9 / 846 (behind rear seat)
      63.5 / 1798 (rear seat folded)
      Max trailering (lb / kg):
      3500 / 1585 (2.0L turbo)
      Previous Page Next Page
    • By dfelt
      G. David Felt
      Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com
       
      2016 J.D. Powers VDS SUVs

      JD powers has their 2016 vehicle dependability study out. VDS Study
       You can review it for all other segments, but being a dedicated SUV / CUV buyer, I was curious to know after 3 years who was top dog.
      Small SUV - Buick Encore Compact SUV - Chevrolet Equinox Compact Premium SUV - Mercedes-Benz GLK Midsize SUV - Nissan Murano Midsize Premium SUV - Lexus GX Large SUV - GMC Yukon I have to say that having 3 of the 6 segments covered by a GM product is pretty damn impressive!
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