The standard powertrain for most of the Malibu lineup in 2012 will be a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. The new engine has direct injection and overhead cams, with four valves per cylinder and makes 190 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque on regular-grade gas.
At a slightly higher price, the Malibu ECO will provide an option for those who want to maximize their fuel-efficiency. The ECO includes a 182-hp, 2.4L 4-cylinder engine combined with a 15-kW belt-driven motor/generator system that operates as a mild-hybrid system, boosting the powertrain during acceleration recapturing and storing some energy during coasting and braking. The system also allows the engine to shut off at stoplights, and then restart automatically when you lift your foot back off the brake pedal. The Malibu ECO also includes a small lithium-ion battery pack, stored just behind the rear seats. Altogether, the Malibu ECO achieves an EPA-rated 25 mpg city, 37 highway.
Also on Malibu ECO models, an active shutter system shuts off airflow at the lower air intake when it's not needed for cooling. And thanks to an aerodynamically optimized exterior, the new Malibu has the same coefficient of drag as the Chevrolet Volt.
Across the model line, the Malibu gets a swoopy new dual-cockpit interior design, with much-upgraded materials; its exterior design has also been refreshed to fit in with other Chevy models like the Camaro and Cruze. One of the design highlights of the interior is a radio face that swivels outward, then up and in, to reveal a large storage space behind.
The ECO comes standard with a lane-departure warning system, as well as rear parking sensors and a rearview camera system. There are eight standard airbags on all 2013 Malibu models, and separate rear thorax bags will also be optional.
Just as the previous version, the 2013 Malibu is expected to come in a full range of trims, including basic LS, mid-range LT and top-of-the-line LTZ. Remote keyless entry, cruise control and tilt/telescopic steering adjustment were among many standard features at the base LS level, while LT models included upgraded wheels and trim (plus in step-up packages, extras like heated seats and remote start). The LTZ last year included more luxurious dress-ups, plus a sunroof, heated side mirrors, power leather seats, and automatic climate control. Look for LED taillamps to be offered, with HID headlamps available on top trims.
All 2013 Malibu trims will include MyLink, a touch-screen-based system that serves as a hub for hands-free connectivity with smartphones, or media players connected by USB, and has integrated applications for Pandora and Stitcher internet radio services.
Brake, park, electronic push button powered located on center console
Brake lining, high-performance, noise and dust performance with FNC rotors
Braking control, ECM grade
Wheels, 16" (40.6 cm) alloy
Tires, P215/60R16, all-season blackwall
Tire and wheel, spare, not desired
Tire repair kit
Headlamps, halogen composite with automatic exterior lamp control
Headlamps, reflector/reflector type
Mirrors, outside power-adjustable, black
Glass, acoustic, laminated
Glass, solar absorbing
Wipers, front intermittent with structureless wiper blades
Audio system, AM/FM stereo with CD player and MP3 playback capability
SiriusXM Satellite Radio, delete
Audio system feature, 6-speaker system
Antenna, OnStar and SiriusXM Satellite Radio, fin type, body-color
Seats, front bucket
Seat adjuster, driver, 4-way manual, 2-way power vertical
Seat adjuster, front passenger, 4-way manual
Head restraints, 2-way adjustable (up/down), front
Seat, rear, 60/40 split-folding
Armrest, center, rear with storage
Steering wheel, 3-spoke
Steering column, tilt and telescopic
Steering wheel controls, mounted audio and cruise controls
Instrumentation, analog with speedometer, tachometer, engine temperature and fuel gauge with monochromatic Driver Information Center
Driver Information Center, monochromatic display
Windows, power with Express-Down on all
Door and window locks, rear child security, power
Remote Keyless Entry includes panic alarm button
Cruise control, electronic with set and resume speed
Trunk release, power located in CHMSL decklid, push button open on key fob
Theft-deterrent system, content theft alarm
Air conditioning, single-zone electronic
Power outlets, 2 auxiliary 1 in integrated center stack, 1 in center console
Mirror, inside rearview manual day/night
Visors, driver and front passenger illuminated vanity mirrors
Assist handles, driver, front passenger and rear outboard
Lighting, interior with theater dimming, delayed entry/exit, glovebox and trunk
Map pockets, driver and front passenger seatbacks
Coat hooks, driver- and passenger-side rear
Dead pedal, driver
Brake Assist, panic
Brake control, cornering
StabiliTrak, stability control system
Daytime Running Lamps
Air bags, 10 total, frontal and knee for driver and front passenger, side-impact seat-mounted and roof rail for front and rear outboard seating positions includes Passenger Sensing System (Always use safety belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner's Manual for more information.)
Safety belts, 3-point, all positions
Safety belt pretensioners, driver and front passenger
LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Top tethers for CHildren), for child safety seats