July 24, 2024

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text and photos by Cor Steenstra

The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is by far the most interesting design development within Chevrolet sedans that we’ve seen of late. It finally integrates some of the characteristic features Chevy has been using for the Corvette and Camaro into the “normal” every man’s car segment, and rightly so, for it is a very strong heritage, and why not use it?[singlepic id=12811 w=640 h=480 float=center]

I think we can all agree that the front end that Chevrolet has sculpted on the most recent “normal” cars is there, works, is recognizable, but is getting a bit long in the tooth, simply because it seems slapped on each and every car without any distinction for size of category, without any differentiating parts. So too on this Malibu, but… the way the rear end was done, and integrated into the rear 3/4 lets me hope that there is room to work on the fron as well.

Wouldn’t it be cool if there were 3 or 4 variations of Chevy front ends, where you would have one version for the smaller cars, one for the medium sized ones and then the sportier ones, where it would not hurt to put a more Camaro hinting front on the Malibu, to enhance the character and style, and differentiate it from its smaller siblings?

The Eco part of the Malibu was a bit underwhelming, in the sense that it clearly cut down the performance of the car, which is no issue with an Eco version, but I did not detect an improvement in the fuel consumption because of it. I don’t have any problem being one of the slowest cars away from the traffic light, taking my good time to get up to speed on the freeway, but all of that ONLY if there was a return on investment with a very nice low fuel consumption reading… I didn’t get that.. I had all the disadvantages of the Eco, and none of the advantages.. What gives..?

Aside from that part, I did enjoy the Chevrolet Malibu. It seems like a big improvement over the previous generation, The interior was well done, gives a good sense of quality, the right feel and touch, and good choice of materials, though I was a bit surprised how little leg room was left behind me when I had the drivers’ seat in my ideal position. It was easy to find other positions that worked well which did allow for more legroom in the rear, but those were not the ideal one.

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