2013 Chevy Malibu: First Look


Sometimes when you plan a global debut in Shanghai and New York simultaneously, certain things will slip through the cracks. Like, say, the above image of the very car you wanted to keep under wraps until Monday.

The 2013 Chevy Malibu was supposed to be teased a bit more today, showing a nifty LCD display that flips up to reveal a hidden cubby for a smartphone. That image is below.

The only details we can share today are from the announcement of Monday’s reveal: “The all-new Malibu will feature a global family of fuel-efficient and powerful four-cylinder engines, along with six-speed transmissions that also contribute to efficient performance.” Yes, that means no V-6 is planned for this Malibu, at least when it hits the U.S. market early next year.

A larger version of the above image is also below.

2013 Chevy Malibu

2013 Chevy Malibu



Nice Buick.




should have found a way to get eAssist in there without compromising trunk space.


That is one sweet and luxurious looking exterior....


Looks really good. Chevy is starting to make good looking cars. I currently drive an old Jeep Grand Cherokee but will be looking at this car or a Ford Fusion in a year or two.


The article used the phrase "six-speed transmissions". Does this mean automatic AND manual?

we'll be able to say more next week. Six-speed auto definitely.


Looks like a blend between a Buick and the current Malibu.


Is this going to be a re-badge vehicle?



Troy S.

A larger Cruze..... GM's way of saving design and development costs. Let's hope the didn't use the same steering wheel attachment technique.


It's a shame that Chevy insists on sticking with that ugly front-end. You'd think they would get the hint given they don't have one single segment leader. Just more of the same old same old.


i think it looks pretty good. it did remind me of the regal, so i opened up a pic and looked at them side-by-side.

the shape and character lines of the malibu are actually quite different from the regal, but the shape of the headlights seem similar...chevy should've changed that up a bit.


troy s.,

i really don't see much of the cruze in this car at all, so i'm not sure where you get that from.

if you feel that strongly about design cues across a brand, then you must hate what hyundai, kia, ford, bmw, mercedes, volvo, etc. have done.


Looks good from the front but I like the current version too. I hope the rear is better than the current. A usable trunk opening would be nice too.


Reminds me a little of the new Maxima ie. coke bottle shape and witdth/stance. I know the Max has ultra designed headlight housings but shape is similar. IMO a pretty decent look.

Not like the Cruze at all. I've seen pictures of the potential tailights and they are completely different than the Cruze as well.

Troy S.


Not to offend you in any way but you seem to be contradicting a bit by saying you don't see the Cruze in the new Malibu when you commented on my dislike of shared design cues across automobile maker designs. It seems you actually see what I'm talking about. I don't find fault in that though as people see things in different ways.

You're right. I don't care for shared design cues across brands. I feel the same way about re-badging. They both show a lack of design capability of the auto makers engineers and a clear way of cutting costs by everyone except the marketing department.

I think GM simply took a picture of a Cruze and used Photoshop to make the Malibu look proportionally larger.

They then designed parts like headlights and tail lights to be able to call it a "new" design. It's simply cheaper to design the little things than the car itself.

I guess we can call the Cruze Mini-Me Malibu. In this case the egg came before the chicken....yet both are chickens.


troy s.,

i'm not offended at all, but i don't see what you see. if you actually compare photos of the cruze and the malibu (like i'm doing right now) you'll see that they're quite different.

the cruze has harder, straighter lines down the profile and around the front, almost like it's been pulled tight. the malibu has smoother, more flowing lines down the profile and across the front.

the only thing i can see that the malibu and the cruze have in common is the grill, although the shape is a little different.

as i said in my previous post, i think the headlights on the malibu make it look more like a regal than anything else, and honestly should have been changed to create more visual seperation between the two platform mates and avoid criticism of 'badge engineering'.

sharing design cues across a brand, on the other hand, is good for marketing as it builds recognition.

Troy S.


I'm enjoying and appreciating your conversation.

You know something, "sharing design cues" sounds like a very politically correct way of saying "looks similar" to me. Again, people do see things differently. Similar to how several witnesses will describe what they saw during an auto accident. There's no mistaking the "shared design cues" between the Cruze and Malibu. Even..dare I say some similarities to Toyota's Avalon...and as others have mentioned the Buick.

I "actually" compared (with my old eyes) photos before coming to my conclusion of the Malibu looking like a larger Cruze..save for some conservative cosmetics and a larger overall package....kinda like a son looking like his father if you will.

The mirrors on the Malibu and Cruze look similar save the Malibu's mirror indicator lights, the hood crease is similar, and the side profile of the Malibu looks very much like a stretched version of the Cruze...all the way down to the window angles and same location roof mounted antenna (small potatoes.... I know).

This same technique has been played by Toyota with the Corolla and Camry and Hyundai's new Elantra and Sonata to name a couple. Honda is even bringing some design cues from the Accord coupe to the 2012 Civic coupe.

When I buy a car I don't want it to look simmilar it's smaller stable mate....especially when both cars have a totally different model name and significant price difference.

There just seems to be a severe lack of design originality in the Malibu as compared to the Cruze. It's simply not enough to lure me into a GM dealeship. It smells like cost cutting...and I wonder where else cost cutting is being done...I guess I'm picky. :)

This "sharing" GM theme can also be seen in the Colorado and rebadged Canyon and Silverado and rebadged GMC as well as the rebadging that happened between the now defunct Pontiac brand....as well as Pontiact's Vibe and Toyota's Matrix during the NUMMI joint venture. I thought re-badging was excess baggage that GM unloaded during its bankruptcy and shedding of brands... oh well... some old tricks seemed to have resurfaced from the "old" GM.

I'm actually in the market for a mid sized car and was anticipating a better package with the redesigned Malibu. Before seeing one in real life and test driving one, I'm either disappointed in the lack of effort or simply expected too much.


troy s.,

thanks for not taking offense. it's difficult to input tone in a post, and i assure you i was not trying to be condescending in my responses.

i still don't see as much similarity as you see, but as you said people see things differently. i think the recent and future hyundai line (sonata, elantra, accent, tucson) are better examples of copy-cat styling.

if you can wait, you might want to hold out for the next fusion, but it'll probably have several of the design cues from the focus and fiesta.

Troy S.


I think I'm going to hold out for something along the hybrid line. We may see some altogether new models that will fit my picky design need. LOL!


There is no resemblance between this new Malibu and the cruz, besides the grille, as far as calling this a Buick, i do not agree, but, this a elegant and successful evolution of the current Malibu.


besides how can anyone judge this car by one angle photo?


I see a little of the old Malibu in this and a little of the cruze. But what is wrong with that? All car company's make their cars somewhat look alike and I always thought that was on purpose so you would instantly know what brand it was even if you couldn't see the badging. This looks nice to me. I like the current Malibu okay but for some reason the hood bugs me - it looks like a toy diecast car - like if you could pick the car up and flip it upside down the hood would flap open. This new design looks much better to me.


To an extent, you could argue the whole "looks to much like another product by the same company" argument could be used many places.

#1: Apple. Macbook Pro versus Macbook. One can cost hundreds of dollars more, and maybe even twice as much depending on the model, but their exterior design is almost identical. Now I know it's not the same, but you get the idea I'm pushing here.

Like others have said, it's all brand recognition. You see a grill separated by a cross in the middle and you get Dodge. You see a grill separated by the bowtie and you get Chevy. The new thin grill that has a small cutout for the badge is Kia. The list goes on and on.


introducing the 2018 Chevy Classic for fleets! ;o)


The car remains uninspiring and bland but I believe that's what Chevy's goal was. I only hope they've improved the reliability.

Wow an updated Malibu. . .Get on the Impala GM!!!! Its been six years with nothing in sight!! Give me a six speed with a 3.5 or put the next gen mild hybrid in it and dont put a malibu face on it!

Mark of Excellence

A facelifted Impala with the 3.6 litre v6 and six speed auto is on the way. It's supposed to have updated front and rear styling. I have a feeling we're going to see the corporate grille too.


about as 'new' as the 2012 Civic....almost hard 2 tell the difference!


If you're educated the difference is easy to spot. The Civic is the one that's been a perennial best seller for over a decade and is often referred to as a segment leader.
The Malibu, AKA Rent-a-bu, has been a dismal failure from day one. How much longer until GM requires another tax-payer funded bail-out? The stock has been nose diving since they issued an IPO.

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