Advertising

Automotive

/

Home & Leisure

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2013 Chevy Malibu hybrid

Eric Peters on

The 2013 Chevy Malibu is the first "normal" car to come standard as a hybrid car. Two non-hybrid versions will be arriving later this summer, but for the moment, if you want a Malibu, you're looking at a hybrid Malibu Eco. It's an interesting strategy. But is it sound policy?

One of the Malibu's target competitors - the Hyundai Sonata - gets almost the same gas mileage (24 city, 35 highway vs. 25 city, 37 highway) without the hybrid technology - or the hybrid price tag. The $25,235 Malibu hybrid starts out about $5,000 more than its $19,795 to start Hyundai adversary - a tall stack of bills.

And the comparably priced Toyota Camry hybrid ($25,900) gets 43 city, 39 highway - a tall stack of MPGs.

Like the Chevy Volt electric car, the Malibu Eco hybrid is a neat piece of engineering - and a nice car, too. But ultimately, its success or failure will depend on whether enough buyers think it's worth the coin.

WHAT IT IS

The Malibu is a mid-sized, FWD sedan that - for now - is sold only in hybrid Eco form. The Malibu Eco is a so-called "mild" hybrid, meaning the gas engine turns itself off when the car is stationary - and an electric motor/battery pack provides an assist when it is accelerating . But unlike full hybrids such as the Toyota Prius (or the new Camry hybrid) the Malibu Eco doesn't have the ability to move down the road solely powered by electricity - and you can't plug it in to recharge its batteries.

Base price is $25,235. As summer rolls on, Chevy will add a lower cost base trim (non-hybrid) to the lineup as well as a sporty turbocharged version. Competition includes the Hyundai Sonata, its cousin the Kia Optima, the Toyota Camry and the Ford Fusion.

WHAT'S NEW for 2013

Everything. The '13 Malibu is all-new

WHAT'S GOOD

...continued

swipe to next page

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Social Connections

Comics

Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee Pearls Before Swine The Barn Dilbert Steve Breen Mother Goose & Grimm