Grinding Gears Garage welcomes 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo

Grinding Gears Garage welcomes 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo

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This past summer I reviewed the new Chevrolet Malibu Eco with the e-Assist start/stop technology. While I liked what the automaker did with the new Malibu overall I was not impressed with my experience with that powertrain.

Fast forward to the release of the new Turbo model Malibu and all that changes. I love this new turbocharged direct-injected Ecotec 2.0-liter four-cylinder powerplant and all of its enjoyable 259 horsepower and 260 lb. ft. of torque.

Grinding Gears Garage welcomes 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo  Grinding Gears Garage welcomes 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo

That’s quite a punch for a four in a midsize sedan and the new Malibu feels like it is at the top end of the midsize segment with some asking me if it was the new large sedan from Chevy. No, that’s Impala and it’s coming next.

For now, the division sporting the bowtie is happy to have all new 2013 Malibu models on the road with the lineup offering something for everyone. While this newest edition pales in comparison to the competition when it comes to looking at the fuel economy rating (21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway with the turbo), one needs to do little more than drive it and those concerns flitter off to obscurity.

During my week behind the wheel of the 2013 Malibu Turbo I came to the realization that I might actually buy one of these and that is a conclusion I don’t come to often. Yes, my family was a Chevy family and yes, I did drive a couple in my early days behind the wheel but given the overall offerings of the new ‘Bu I would definitely consider it at vehicle purchase time.

Grinding Gears Garage welcomes 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo  Grinding Gears Garage welcomes 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo  Grinding Gears Garage welcomes 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo

The car is comfortable, safe, stable, easy to drive and the new turbo brings a bit of life to the accelerator (along with an itty, bitty amount of high-pitched turbo wheeze) that has been missing from Chevrolet sedans for quite some time.

I would not call this new powertrain arrangement as significant as the rollout of the small-block V-8 on the ‘50s but in the scheme of the automaker’s timeline I think it worthy of mention (and that first 265 cu. in. engine generated only 162hp at the low end and a max of 240 ponies).

Our test model 2013 Chevrolet Malibu arrived in 2LZ trim so this dressed to the nines and at the top end of the pricing segment with a base MSRP of $30,165 (LS models begin at $23,150) and showing $33,820 on the monroney provided with our vehicle.

Grinding Gears Garage welcomes 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo  Grinding Gears Garage welcomes 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo  Grinding Gears Garage welcomes 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo  Grinding Gears Garage welcomes 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo

Image courtesy Chevrolet

The advanced safety package included forward collision alert and lane departure warning. We enjoyed the Pioneer premium sound system as well as two-tone leather interior package and stylish 19-inch wheels and tires.

Chevy got it right with this Malibu. I am surprised the turbo cars don’t arrive with Super Sport badging on the fenders and I cannot wait to see if the automaker does release an SS model down the road. Hmmm, replace the six-speed auto gearbox with a manual perhaps? AWD? Shift paddles? Cold air intake and a bit more boost? BRING IT!

About the Author

David Goodspeed
David was editor of AutoworldToday at Today Newspapers in the Dallas suburbs until its closing in 2009. He was also webmaster and photographer/videographer. He got started doing photography for the newspaper while working as a firefighter/paramedic in one of his towns, and began working for the newspaper group full-time in 1992. David entered automotive journalism in 1998 and became AutoworldToday editor in 2002. On the average, he drives some 100 new vehicles each year. He enjoys the great outdoors and as an avid fly fisherman, as is his spouse Tish. He especially enjoys nature photography and is inspired by the works of Ansel Adams.

1 Comment on "Grinding Gears Garage welcomes 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo"

  1. they need to give this to the Lingenfelter crew for the SS. SLP does a good job but LPE dominates the 4cyl GM crowd. Nice write up, I may to do a test drive.