In the GMI (Canada) Garage: 2013 Malibu Eco 1LT

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Thread: In the GMI (Canada) Garage: 2013 Malibu Eco 1LT

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    GMI Canada Editor Premium Member ne_one's Avatar
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    In the GMI (Canada) Garage: 2013 Malibu Eco 1LT


    Having witnessed the reveal of the next generation Malibu as far back as the 2011 Shanghai auto show and read through innumerable reviews, this week we welcomed its appearance at our little garage located north of the 49th parallel. After all of the contentious banter we were anxious to take the car for a spin and get an opportunity to do a hands-on evaluation.

    Exterior colour is Silver Ice Metallic and the interior is Jet Black/Light Titanium.

    Price of this vehicle, including 1SE preferred equipment group options (sunroof, rear vision camera, 8-way seating adjustments) and destination fee: $31,740 (Canadian currency).

    Noteworthy initial impressions:

    Likes
    • Fuel economy estimates can be readily attained with judicious driving habits. We experienced mileage numbers of 8.3L/100km (28 mpg) in the city and 5.7L/100 km (41 mpg) on the highway.
    • Steering and handling is excellent for a vehicle of this heft, resulting in a solid if not particularly engaging driving experience.
    • The MyLink infotainment system and driver console display are a significant upgrade over the outgoing model.

    Dislikes
    • The (optional) premium cloth seat fabric is a certifiable butt grater: it's like riding with an S.O.S pad inserted into your posterior.
    • Interior appointments are a bit of a bric-a-brac, with hard plastic surfaces, insufferable faux wood grain inserts and walleyed center console dials that are positioned more for symmetry than ease of access.
    • The exterior design is at times both incongruous and staid. If you're an aft man (or woman), the rear end is particularly inoffensive. Cues are clearly inspired by the Camaro but appear reluctantly diluted, in sharp contrast to the more aggressive front end of the car.

    Stay tuned as we'll also be driving the 2.5L and 2.0L turbo versions of the Malibu and compiling a complete review.

    Questions? Ask away and we'll do our best to oblige.
    Last edited by ne_one; 11-10-2012 at 10:29 PM.

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    Re: In the GMI (Canada) Garage: 2013 Malibu Eco 1LT

    41mpg? Nice. Is that U.S or Imperial?

    EDIT: I did the math, that is U.S. Very nice. How frugal were you trying to be?


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    Re: In the GMI (Canada) Garage: 2013 Malibu Eco 1LT

    What's your opinion on acceleration? Back seat room as bad as they say?

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    Re: In the GMI (Canada) Garage: 2013 Malibu Eco 1LT

    Look forward to the review.

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    Re: In the GMI (Canada) Garage: 2013 Malibu Eco 1LT

    Having seen a few on the road I must admit they look better in person, but I still dislike the rear lights. Sure the Camaro-esque lights are a nice idea but they just don't work on the car. I fear that some folks at GM are still afraid to simply state that something is either ugly or doesn't work.

    But you are getting reasonable mileage, which is nice to see. The highway numbers are especially good.
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    GMI Canada Editor Premium Member ne_one's Avatar
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    Re: In the GMI (Canada) Garage: 2013 Malibu Eco 1LT

    Quote Originally Posted by hrcslam View Post
    41mpg? Nice. Is that U.S or Imperial?

    EDIT: I did the math, that is U.S. Very nice. How frugal were you trying to be?
    Whenever possible, for highway driving I set the cruise control to a reasonable speed. In the city I generally try not to adjust my driving habits to affect the mileage.

    The one thing that all GM Eco models could benefit from is more detailed driver efficiency feedback. The analog Eco gauge is basically ornamental, while the feedback in the Volt is terrific.

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    GMI Canada Editor Premium Member ne_one's Avatar
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    Re: In the GMI (Canada) Garage: 2013 Malibu Eco 1LT

    Quote Originally Posted by CheetahDC View Post
    What's your opinion on acceleration? Back seat room as bad as they say?
    The 2.4L engine definitely lumbers along from a full stop but it's more than adequate for passing on the highway.

    In terms of interior space, I'm 5'9" and 180 lbs and I find the back seat area to be surprisingly roomy. If you're carrying larger passengers around regularly I'm not sure that any mid-size vehicle would be comfortable, even with a few extra cubic feet of space.

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    Re: In the GMI (Canada) Garage: 2013 Malibu Eco 1LT

    We recently purchased a LTZ with the 2.5 engine. Very responsive, IMHO, and with only 1600 miles on the clock, it's getting 27-28 in mixed driving. Four average-sized adults have plenty of room to ride in this car, and the trunk is quite spacious in the non-Eco model. It definitely looks much better in person and appears to look larger than it feels.
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    Re: In the GMI (Canada) Garage: 2013 Malibu Eco 1LT

    28MPG mixed is damn good. Heck, my Cobalt only averages 24MPG.

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    Re: In the GMI (Canada) Garage: 2013 Malibu Eco 1LT

    Car is a bit nondescript and lower trim wheels look cheap.

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    Re: In the GMI (Canada) Garage: 2013 Malibu Eco 1LT

    my cobalt averages like 25-27 in city concentration. i recently started work where my trip is one way over 40 miles and mostly at 70+ mph. My Cobalt (5 speed) won't exceed 30 overall unless i put small engine gas in it. that is why i have interest in the malibu. I would imagine I may get almost the same mpg.

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    Re: In the GMI (Canada) Garage: 2013 Malibu Eco 1LT

    Is the optional cloth like that on the Terrain and Equinox? If so, that stuff might not be the softest but its freaking amazingling easy to clean.


    I saw a white Eco today on my bike ride and it looks pretty dang good. Not Optima in blue good but one of the better looking sedans.
    Just that time again to ignore certain people. I'm certain they will continue to try and instigate and antagonize while throwing up their arms saying they did nothing but are here on a civil basis. Not worth the time seeing how some just seem to know all.

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    Re: In the GMI (Canada) Garage: 2013 Malibu Eco 1LT

    Good one! The highway mpg numbers you have gotten is in line with what mpgomatic got with his Malibu Eco review, which means that 37 mpg estimate from GM is pretty conservative.

    I notice you didnt have a big issue with the back seat, maybe taller people will find it tight around there, but all this noise about rear seat legroom is way over the top.

    GM might look into those cloth seat textures, seems they are a bit too rough.

    I notice you didnt mention the really bad manual shift control position on the top of the shifter. GM should reposition the manual shifter control back on the steering wheel like the previous Malibu.

    Got to disagree with you on the exterior styling though. The car looks very good without going to extremes and cannot be described as boring.
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    Re: In the GMI (Canada) Garage: 2013 Malibu Eco 1LT

    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    Is the optional cloth like that on the Terrain and Equinox?
    I haven't been in either for a while but here is the closeup from the brochure:



    The raised fabric is in the interior of the seats between the bolsters.

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    GMI Canada Editor Premium Member ne_one's Avatar
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    Re: In the GMI (Canada) Garage: 2013 Malibu Eco 1LT

    Quote Originally Posted by Evo69 View Post
    I notice you didnt mention the really bad manual shift control position on the top of the shifter. GM should reposition the manual shifter control back on the steering wheel like the previous Malibu.
    I find the manual shift feature lacks any real purpose so the positioning is pretty arbitrary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evo69 View Post
    Got to disagree with you on the exterior styling though. The car looks very good without going to extremes and cannot be described as boring.
    Definitely a subjective call - and a divisive one. The leaders in this segment have traditionally been conservative so we'll see if the understated approach prevails over the swoopier designs of Ford and HK.

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