By Mauricio Lezcano / carsntravel.com
The all new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ is designed and engineered to provide customers with expressive design, advanced technologies, ride performance and a new Ecotec 2.0L turbo engine.
Malibu LTZ exterior design carries DNA from its sister vehicles, the Camaro and Corvette, to bring a sporty sensibility to the family sedan segment. A wider stance, broad shoulders and an integrated rear spoiler bring a new athleticism and give it a more aggressive appearance.
Other exterior design cues include Chevrolet’s dual-port grille, projector-beam headlamps, larger Chevrolet bow-tie badges front and rear, and a new Camaro inspired dual element taillamps. Malibu LTZ adds LED taillamps, chrome-tipped dual exhaust outlets, 18-inch alloy wheels and available high-intensity discharge headlamps.
The interior features chrome accents located around the shifter, surrounding the center stack, around the instrument cluster and on doors and the steering wheel. Soft, ice blue ambient lighting reflects off and complements the chrome accents and ensures even, consistent illumination along the instrument panel and in storage pockets. Ice blue lighting on the center stack dials, exposed ice blue French contrast stitching, soft-touch and textured surfaces, and strategic applications of noise-deadening materials add to the interior refinement.
In addition Malibu LTZ offers the new Chevrolet MyLink, which seamlessly integrates online services such as Pandora internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio using hands-free voice and touch-screen controls via Bluetooth-enable phones. Mylink adds stereo audio streaming and wireless control of smartphones, building on the voice-activated Bluetooth hands-free calling capability already offered in most Chevy vehicles.
Mylink features a high-resolution, full color touch screen display designed to manage the number of steps required to complete a task. It also retains all the capabilities of conventional entertainment features, including AM/FM/Sirius XM tuners, CD player with MP3 playback, auxiliary and USB inputs.
For customers who enjoy style and performance, Chevrolet will offer its first ever Turbo on a Malibu with an all new Ecotec 2.0L turbo engine rated at 259 horsepower (193kW) and 260 lb.-ft. of torque (353Nm) between 1,700 and 5,200 rpm. It is the most powerful midsize sedan from a domestic automaker, and more powerful than the previous V6 engines. It will be available on the LT and LTZ models.
Malibu LTZ’s electronic chassis controls are designed to enhance overall ride and handling qualities of the car, and also help make for a safer journey. All are part of the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, which also incorporates full-function traction control.
When a situation requires a higher level of electronic intervention signaled by inputs detected by a yaw sensor mounted in the center of the vehicle – StabiliTrak modulates the brakes at the individual wheels, reduces power or does both to help the driver remain in control. The system incorporates advanced braking features to assist in a variety of conditions.
The brake system consists of four wheel discs, featuring 11.7-inch (296mm) vented front discs and aluminum calipers in the rear. A four channel anti-lock system is tied in with StabiliTrak to provide more control in wet and icy conditions.
Six months of OnStar Directions and Connections service is standard on the Malibu LTZ, OnStar RemoteLink Mobile App allows Smartphone users to control vehicle functions, access vehicle information and send directions directly to the vehicle. A new opt-in service called FamilyLink allows subscribers to stay connected by checking the location of their vehicle online or by signing up for vehicle location alerts.
My driving impression of the 2013 Malibu LTZ, you feel connected to the road, while also being isolated from wind noise and imperfections in the pavement, behind the wheel, the new Ecotec 2.0L turbo engine feels responsive. The steering is precise on center with a confident steering effort built up as the driver turns into a curve. The chassis feels great in the corners with outstanding body motion control.
The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ will have a starting price of $30,925.00. The EPA fuel economy estimates 21 MPG city and 30 MPG highway; key competitors Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima.