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Drive Diary: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ Turbo - Day 1

William Maley

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I'm trying something new here with the blog portion on Cheers & Gears with the vehicles I get the chance to review. I going to keep up a diary of sorts for every vehicle that I get in. This will not be taking the place of the interactive review, nor the full/quick reviews. Instead, this will be addendum of sorts; some of my thoughts, behind the scenes look at what goes on, or a number of other things.

With that out of the way, it's time to introduce the first vehicle that will take part in this; the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ Turbo. Anyone who remembers the last time I had 2013 Malibu knows I wasn't really impressed. Most of it comes from the Malibu being the Eco model, the launch model for the new Malibu. I found the powertrain to be lacking in fuel economy and the stop/start system only started. There was also the problem of rear seat space in the Eco, something GM will be fixing in the 2014 model.

Now I'm in the other extreme of the Malibu lineup, the new Turbo model. The Turbo engine in question is the 2.0L EcoTech four-cylinder producing 259 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. All of that power goes through six-speed automatic down to the front wheels.

Much like the Malibu Eco, the LTZ Turbo has almost the same positive and negative points as the Eco.

Plus:

Good Looking Exterior

Handsome Interior

Minus:

Back Seat Space

Rear Viability

There's another minus that I discovered when the Malibu LTZ Turbo was dropped off on Friday morning: the pricetag. The base LTZ Turbo starts at $29,700. The test car I have is loaded with such things as navigation, nine-speaker Pioneer sound system, push-button start, nineteen-inch alloy wheels, lane departure warning, and a few other features stickers at $34,595* (includes $810.00 destination charge). My eyes popped out my head when seeing that.

I'll be writing more about the Malibu Turbo as my time goes on, so stay tuned.

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$34K for a Malibu? What is GM thinking!?

I'm not quite sure what they are thinking. There's a post in the works looking at the value of the Malibu to some of its competitors.

How is the interior build quality?

Build quality is very good. I have no loose pieces, shakes, rattles, or apparent gaps in my tester. A good thing considering that when it arrived, it only had 946 miles.

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when i drove the turbo Malibu I thought the engine was kick ass, and elevated the rest of the car. With the 2.5 it was, nice, decent, ok, etc.... the turbo made it a much more interesting car all around.

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when i drove the turbo Malibu I thought the engine was kick ass, and elevated the rest of the car. With the 2.5 it was, nice, decent, ok, etc.... the turbo made it a much more interesting car all around.

Oh I like Turbo and it does make more interesting.. Not sure if its $34,595 interesting though.

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Yikes! My 2012 Charger R/T stickered for less than that! I could not see picking this over the Charger. The only thing I could see it doing better at is fuel economy and the V6 Charger is right there in that category. Hell, even my R/T averages 18.5 mpg in my daily commute (50 mile round trip, only 6 on the Interstate). I just couldn't see picking this over the Ecoboost Fusion, let alone a V6 Charger.

Edit: Upon further thought, I think I would even rather have a Buick Verano Turbo or Regal Turbo over this. Is there really that much size difference passenger space wise, even with the Verano? Both are much better looking IMHO.

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