2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco Priced at $25,235

2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco
When the redesigned 2013 Chevy Malibu goes on sale early next year, it will only be available as a high-efficiency trim called the Malibu Eco. Today, Chevy announced that trim level will start at $25,235, excluding a $760 destination fee. The Malibu Eco is estimated to get 26/38 mpg city/highway.

The Malibu Eco is about as expensive, but less fuel efficient, compared with the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid ($25,900 and 43/39 mpg) and the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid ($25,795 and 35/40 mpg). It is more affordable than the 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid but still not as fuel efficient ($28,700 and 41/36 mpg). The 2010 Chevy Malibu Hybrid cost $25,925 when it was on sale, but it only achieved 26/34 mpg.

What gives?

Chevrolet banished the “hybrid” descriptor from its mild-hybrid systems after poor consumer reception. Despite the rebranding, the Malibu Eco packs an upgraded version of the system found on the 2010 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid. It now has more power and better fuel efficiency; the Buick LaCrosse and Buick Regal also have trims using this second-gen system, which GM now calls “eAssist.” 

Unlike the Camry Hybrid or Fusion Hybrid, which can move on battery power alone, the capability of the eAssist technology in the Malibu Eco is more limited. It can capture kinetic energy when braking, and the gas engine shuts off automatically when the car comes to a stop and starts again immediately when the brake pedal is released.

We were impressed by how confidently and smoothly the 2012 Buick LaCrosse with eAssist accelerated and braked in initial testing.

Standard exterior features on the Malibu Eco include heated power mirrors, automatic headlights and 17-inch alloy wheels. Electric louvers (which close off the lower grille when conditions are right to manage airflow better), underbody covers and added use of lightweight aluminum also separate the Malibu Eco from the regular 2013 Malibu. The power pack for the hybrid system is installed behind the backseat, and it reduces trunk space from 16.3 cubic feet to 14.3 compared with the regular Malibu.

The Malibu Eco will be the first Chevy to get the carmaker’s MyLink multimedia system as standard equipment. MyLink is controlled with a 7-inch screen that can move up to reveal a hidden 6-inch-deep cubbyhole.

Other standard interior features include dual-zone automatic climate control, a USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and cruise control, and blue ambient lighting.

The Malibu Eco will go on sale in the first three months of 2012. A base four-cylinder Malibu will follow in summer 2012 along with the familiar LS, LT and LTZ trim levels, which don't yet have fuel economy estimates or pricing. 

Comments 

cody

ouch, this pricing is probably going to be bad news for chevy...they should have tried to come in a couple grand less than the hybrids already on the market.

@cars.com
when will you guys be doing a comparison test of all the current midsize hybrids available? it would be nice to see how the eAssist-equipped cars perform (in terms of both performance and economy) against the camry/fusion/sonata hybrids.

Cody,
We haven't had that on our radar instead focusing on the biggest sellers for the shootouts we've done in the past but we'll keep it on our radar for a future story.

cody

Dave T.,

thanks! since they're priced similarly, it would be nice to see them in a head to head comparison to sort out the numbers and see if they're actually worth the money.

i've read that the sonata hybrid has failed to meet fuel economy numbers in some comparisons and has iffy handling, and would like to see if these under perform, perform as advertised, or perhaps beat the epa estimates.

Derrick G

Re-read the presser. It says the price DOES the destination charge, which the prices for the other cars you mention do not. So the Malibu is slightly cheaper than any of them.

Derrick G

err, does include.

Carma

Still hard to swallow the fact that toyota can build a full hybrid for the same price at a time when the Yen has gone up sharply in value compared to the dollar.

Amuro Ray

Excellent textbook example on what's going to happen when a company has lost its marketing strategy (toward the midsize market).

How the once tout "Camry fighter" has fallen into, "well, we better have sthg in the midsize class, or we may as well just give up."

That's why the Malibu has always been in the top 10 hottest selling vehicle. ALWAYS! Now let's see, there's the Altima, Accord, and often, Fusion - 4 other vehicles that are outselling Mailbu at this point.

Camry fighter? What gives?

sheth

1. Its better equipped than camry.
2. You cant even equip the camry LE like the base Malibu so the XLE is actually a better match. Onstar, 17" wheels, 7" screen, myLink and color DIC are all standard for this price.
3. The Passat TDI is mentioned in the press release but cars.com omitted that car. Why? Probably because the Malibu stacks up favorably with the Passat TDI auto.
4. This mileage is better than Altima or Accord- which dont have hybrids.
5. This has larger trunk than other hybrids
6. I'd wager this car will handle better than Sonata or camry hybrids.
7. This car appears to have one of the best interiors in the class and it certainly LOOKS richer inside than 2012 Camry.

Amuro Ray

FYI - 26 mpg city / 38 mpg fwy = 30.8 mpg combined.

This on a brand new 2013 Hybrid vehicle.

2011 Nissan Altima: 33 mpg city / 33 mpg fwy = 33 mpg combined.

What gives?

2sk21

If you are talking about midsize hybrids, do not forget the new Prius v. I just bought one a couple of weeks ago. It replaced a minivan in my family and does a great job. Can't say enough good things about this car.

Paul

Makes about as much sense as a Vega Eco.

Derrick G

The Altima is a full hybrid. This is NOT a full hybrid. It's a mild hybrid. So yeah it won't get the same city MPG. Or even close to it.

jyd

I like the new front end refresh. Nice job.

Amuro Ray

@ DG,

And that's exactly my point. You compare hybrid with hybrid. Not what the hybrid has, or to a diesel vehicle as GM/liar wanted you to think. Otherwise, it may be even better to compare this vehicle with a regular 4 cylinder!

Gen II Prius technology, being obsolete at this point, is even better than a revised, improved eAssist hybrid system! No one "forces" GM to sell a half-a*$ hybrid system; in fact, it has the 2-mode that it's not even using!

Remember, the "reason" why GM developed the eAssist system is due to the high cost of a full hybrid system. By using a half-a*$ system, vehicle will be cheaper, as per GM. Yet, the Malibu ECO costs as much as the others full hybrids! Don't tell me that the savings have gone onto those "standard features" - something that is extremely cheap, and standards as well on many $10-15K vehicle too.

Anyhow, there is no point of marketing this vehicle, specifically on the hybrid version. If one wants to be green, and save money on fuel, then there are a lot of better choices out there, of course, unless you don't buy anything else other than GM. This, my friend, is called stupidity.

WTF

Sad that you can't disassociate your contempt for GM from your criticism and that you discredit what other people say because you think their motivation clouds what they say.

Amuro Ray

It's even sadder when your criticism is NOT toward the vehicle, but to the people who criticize it.

In the 29 words you wrote, NOT ONE word is on Malibu Eco. I guess that you either think "by attacking people who criticize GM vehicles, I help GM," or "I know this is a bad vehicle, but I'm all for GM, so let's just attack the truth."

I feel sorry for you, Mr. Expert.

WTF

No need to comment on the vehicle because I haven't seen it or driven it.

And I would respect your criticism if it was objective criticism untarnished by your overall contempt for GM.

sheth

The altima hybrid is no longer made. They had a version of the last gen camry hybrid system but there is no current hybrid. Even when it was on sale it was sold in a few states on the coasts only.

Nothing ar says is objective or logical. That's just the way it goes. He hates american cars and its reflected in every biased statement he makes.

sheth

Ps:

Its insane to suggest that you can ONLy compare this to hybrids. You can compare this to any 26k sedan you want to. The highest mileage passat is the tdi so that would be the logical competitor from vw. The idea that you can't compare them because the vw is a diesel is stupid. Vw expects customers to compare their tdi with hybrids. Accord has no hybrid and its the #2 seller. The maliu eco will be more efficient than any accord model. Don't tell me you can't include the accord just because its not a hybrid.

J

This MyLink is not the same as Spark or Sonic's, correct?

Amuro Ray

33 words - NOT ONE on Malibu Eco.

I think that you are in the wrong place, if you are here to comment about people who write comments, instead of the cars or the companies themselves...

This isn't Dr. Phil's, you know...

WTF

You needn't take some moral high ground as if you don't do the very same thing.

"...as GM/liar wanted you to think."

Should I dig up how many times you've used the term "digital ink waster"?

Or do these pertain to cars or the companies themselves?

You want a car comment? At first glance this price puts it in the same bracket as the Camry Hybrid LE and for those solely motivated by the fuel economy numbers then the Toyota wins but for those who look at more than just fuel economy then I can't comment as I have not seen or driven the Malibu. I did just attend the local auto show with the new Camry and came away unimpressed in every aspect of it. I also saw the new Passat and came away very impressed. In my opinion the Passat TDI is the most compelling package out there and the one I would buy at this point if I were in the midsize market, looking to maximize fuel economy and spend less than $27,000.

Rich

Does anyone know why it's not going to be avalible with a traditional all gas engine and when will a gas engine arrive?

sheth

"Should I dig up how many times you've used the term "digital ink waster"?"

Yes, he is hardly the paragon of maturity. Personal attacks and name calling are his forte. At least he's using real words instead of hard to decipher slang these days.

Rich:

Malibu will get a new 190+hp 2.5L engine in summer 2012. Once that engine comes on line there will be LT and LTZ trims available.

Amuro Ray

Finally, words on the Malibu Eco. At this point, it's the mpg # - at least that's what this post is about, so your comment is actually to the point.

As far as the liar/digital ink waster goes, well, that's not your business. No one is calling you that. The honor belongs to one and one person only, and I've proven to all the lies that this person has told numerous times.

Besides, if you don't comment on cars w/o actually seeing/driving/etc. the car, then what gives you the privilege on commenting other people's "arguments" or behaviors when you don't even know ANYTHING about the person? Double standard there? Don't you think that you are in the wrong place to post your own comments?

sheth

For the record you havent proven that I've lied about anything. I would never intentionally mislead anyone regarding the auto industry. You have not proven squat. You keep mentioning stuff you've proven without detailing what you're talking about.

And WTFs point is valid. Its ironic and hypocritical for someone like YOU to lecture people about remaining on topic and avoiding personal attacks. half of what you write isnt about cars and your facts are often dubious. As we all know.

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