Who will want to buy a brand-new, nicely equipped 2013 Chevy Malibu Eco for $25,995? If you peruse General Motors' press release, then you may think it's people who are cross-shopping a Volkswagen Passat TDI or a Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, a Toyota Camry Hybrid or a Ford Fusion Hybrid. These are the vehicles that GM helpfully points out cost more than the new Malibu, and the green competition is completely intentional. The Eco trim level, coming in the first quarter of 2012, will be the first 2013 Malibu released and gets 26 miles per gallon in the city and 38 mpg on the highway (GM estimates). The other trim levels for the 2013 model year – LS, LT and LTZ – are not coming until the summer. Until then, the 2012 model will still be produced.

As it was getting the new Malibu Eco ready, GM looked at who buys green cars, and they found are people who tend to like a little bit of fancy technology inside. That's why, Russ Clark, GM's Director of Marketing, Midsize and Performance cars, told AutoblogGreen, the main marketing message will be that the Malibu Eco offers a compete technological package, combining good fuel economy (thanks to eAssist) and an infotainment system that is more commonly found in higher-end models. "It really is an outstanding package of fuel economy and price," Clark said.

Nonetheless, even with the Eco label, the 2013 Malibu Eco certainly doesn't have the same green cred that a car with the hybrid label does. Clark said that "Someone who is dead-set in their mind that they have to have a hybrid," will be difficult to persuade, but that, "this kind of technology [eAssist] will continue to grow over time. It's something that people will become more familiar with."

This is similar to how the Chevrolet Volt is being received. People don't necessarily know everything about the Volt's powertrain, but they may come into the dealership to find out. Once there, they may purchase a Volt or a Cruze or, soon, a Malibu Eco. "With new technology, you will attract people to your products," Clark said.

*Pricing includes a $760 destination charge.
Show full PR text
2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco Priced Under $26,000

Hybrid-like fuel efficiency for a non-hybrid-like price

DETROIT – The all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco midsize sedan will start at $25,995 when it arrives in dealerships in the first quarter next year, reinforcing the value proposition of the midsize segment's longest-running nameplate.

The suggested retail price includes a $760 destination charge – but excludes tax, title, license and dealer fees.

The 2013 Malibu Eco is Chevrolet's most fuel-efficient Malibu ever. It is the first Chevrolet to feature General Motors' eAssist battery electric/gas propulsion system, which uses a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery and an electric motor-generator to enable regenerative braking, electric assist and start-stop functionality. That helps deliver a GM-estimated 26 mpg in city driving and 38 mpg on the highway.

Malibu Eco's highway efficiency is comparable the segment's popular full hybrids and diesels, but delivered at a lower price:
2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid – $29,395 / 36 mpg
2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SE Diesel (with automatic) – $27,895 / 40 mpg
2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid – $26,660 / 39 mpg
2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – $26,545 / 40 mpg

Malibu Eco is part of the all-new, 2013 Malibu lineup – Chevrolet's first global midsize sedan – designed to give customers more style, fuel efficiency, content and features, along with the craftsmanship and dynamic capabilities rivaling high-end sedans. It has a more powerful engine – 182 hp / 134 kW – than the Fusion (156 hp / 116 kW), Camry (178 hp / 132 kW) or Passat (140 hp / 104 kW).

Product highlights for North American models include:
Expressive exterior designed to stand out, with a wide, athletic stance
Aerodynamically optimized exterior, including underbody aero enhancements and electronically controlled shutters in the lower grille that close at higher speeds to push more air over and around the vehicle
All-new, Chevrolet-signature dual-cockpit interior that is more spacious, features premium materials and is engineered to be the quietest in the midsize segment
First Chevrolet car to offer new Chevrolet MyLink connectivity, which integrates online services such as Pandora® Internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio®
European-influenced ride and handling traits
More safety features and technologies, including eight standard air bags, ultra-high-strength steel and rearview camera system.

Additional fuel-saving features include:
Eco-specific lightweight components and systems, including an aluminum hood, aluminum rear bumper beam, low-mass carpet and dash mat and more, which save approximately 130 pounds (58 kg) over a comparably equipped non-ECO model
An Eco gauge in the cluster that continuously responds to driving behavior, encouraging fuel-efficient driving. An Auto Stop Indicator on the tachometer informs the driver when the engine is in start-stop mode
Seventeen-inch low-rolling-resistance all-season Goodyear tires
The eAssist system mated to a fuel-efficient 2.4L Ecotec direct-injection four-cylinder engine and next-generation six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.4L engine, a variant of the same engine that was recognized as one of Ward's Ten Best Engines in 2010, is lightweight and features dual-overhead cams, direct injection, continuously variable intake and exhaust timing and electronic throttle control. It also has a lightweight aluminum cylinder block and cylinder head.

A five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, as well as a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty is standard on the Malibu Eco. Certain eAssist components are covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty, including the electric motor generator, three-phase electric power cables and high-voltage lithium-ion battery.

The Malibu Eco is offered with cloth or leather seats in eight exterior and three interior color choices. It is well-equipped in standard form and available with four equipment packages: Package 1 – Power Convenience; Package 2 – Premium Audio; Package 3 – Leather; and Package 4 – Navigation.

Standard powertrain and chassis content:
Ecotec 2.4L direct injection with continuously variable valve timing and eAssist technology, rated at 182 horsepower (135 kW)
Six-speed automatic transmission with tap-shift control
2.64:1 axle ratio
Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS
Regenerative braking
Grade braking control
Panic brake assist
Electronic park brake with push button
StabiliTrak electronic stability control system
Electric power steering (rack-mounted)
MacPherson strut front suspension
Four-link rear suspension
Seventeen-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels
P225/55R17 all-season low-rolling-resistance Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max tires

Standard exterior content:
Active front lower grille aero shutters and aerodynamic underbody panels
Projector-beam headlamps with automatic exterior lamp control
Heated, power-adjustable outside mirrors (body color)
Fin-type combined OnStar/SiriusXM Satellite Radio antenna (body color)
Acoustic-laminated, solar-absorbing glass
Intermittent windshield wipers with structureless blades

Standard interior content:
Chevrolet MyLink
Six-inch-deep illuminated (when headlamps are on) hidden storage behind articulating touch screen radio face
Air conditioning – dual zone automatic climate control with odor filter
Audio system: AM/FM stereo with CD with MP3 playback and auxiliary input jack
Seven-inch-diagonal color touch screen for the audio system
USB port for the audio system
SiriusXM Satellite Radio
Six-speaker sound system
Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity
Cruise control
Remote keyless entry
Power windows with express down feature
Power door and window locks
Driver information center
Tilt and telescopic steering column
Steering wheel audio and cruise controls
Ice blue ambient lighting
Driver's footrest
Overhead console
Compass display
Two auxiliary power outlets
Rear center armrest with storage

Standard safety content:
OnStar with six months of Directions and Connections plan, including Automatic Crash Response, Crisis Assist, Stolen Vehicle Assistance, Remote Door Unlock, and more.
Dual-stage frontal air bags
Driver and front passenger thorax side-impact air bags
Driver and front passenger knee air bags
Head curtain side-impact air bags (front and rear outboard seating positions)
Safety belt pretensioners
Tire pressure monitoring system

Package 1 – Power Convenience includes all standard equipment plus:
Eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar control
Rearview backup camera system
Remote start
Auto-dimming inside rearview mirror
Universal garage door opener

Package 2 – Premium Audio includes all content in Package 1 plus:
Pioneer nine-speaker audio system with high-output amplifier
Fog lamps
Leather-wrapped shifter knob and steering wheel

Package 3 – Leather includes all content in Package 2 plus:
Leather-trimmed seating
Eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat with lumbar control
Heated front seats

Package 4 – Navigation includes all content in Package 3 plus:
Navigation system
Memory seats and mirrors
Auto-up driver's window

A power-operated sunroof is available on Packages 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Exterior Color Choices:
Silver Ice Metallic
Black Granite Metallic
Summit White
Crystal Red Tintcoat
White Diamond Tricoat
Taupe Gray Metallic
Steel Blue Metallic (late availability)
Champagne Silver Metallic (late availability)

Interior Color/Trim Choices:
Jet Black
Jet Black/Titanium
Cocoa/Light Neutral

The Eco is the first trim level of an all-new Malibu lineup to launch in the United States. Other Malibu trim levels including LS, LT and LTZ are scheduled to begin production next summer in Fairfax, Kan. and Detroit-Hamtramck. The 2013 Malibu will be sold in nearly 100 countries on six continents and will serve as a flagship Chevrolet midsize in many parts of the world. The Malibu is built in multiple locations including the United States, China and Korea.

About Chevrolet
Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles in more than 120 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. The Chevrolet portfolio includes iconic performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long-lasting pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers such as Sonic, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers "gas-friendly solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric, gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended gasoline range, according to EPA estimates. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models, fuel solutions, and OnStar availability can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      What is teh combined rating? That is what matters since the new EPA stickers will focus on combined fuel economy, not hwy.
        • 3 Years Ago
        26/38 combined rating would be 32 MPG at 50% city/50% highway. Not bad, not bad at all. :)
        Gordon Chen
        • 3 Years Ago
        Can't you do the math yourself? 26 city, 38 highway. (26+38)/2 = 32 MPG
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Gordon Chen
          Doesn't work like that. Here's a car: 1 mpg city, 100 mpg highway. 1 mile in the city = 1 gallons. 1 mile in on the highway = 0.01 gallons. 2 miles on 1.01 gallons of gas = 2 mpg != (1+100)/2 = 50.5 In reality its 1/((1/1 + 1/100)/2) = 2 mpg. You have to use the inverse because fuel is measured in gallons not miles.
      • 3 Years Ago
      So after discount, maybe $24,500? Not bad. So the future non-Eco version can come in around $21-22,000 to start?
      • 3 Years Ago
      i might be dyslexic but i'm reading Mailbu. Other than that, I kinda like where GM is heading with these fuel efficient car. Although, why sell the new one exclusive for the efficient model while the regular offerings are stuck with the current Malibu?
        • 3 Years Ago
        The base malibu is going to have a brand new motor rolled out with it (a 190hp 2.5L inline 4 w/ VVT & DI), and that motor wasn't finished in time. They decided to push the ECO out ahead of the rest of the lineup to increase awareness of the new car.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Typo in the title? Mailbu
      Ernie Mccracken
      • 3 Years Ago
      They need to fix the trunk lid.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This thing handsome but desperate for an overhaul!
      • 3 Years Ago
        • 3 Years Ago
        With less than 3% of the market being hybrids and half of that one car, the Prius, there just isn't much money in Hybrids except as a a type of Halo car. Outside Japan, Hybrids are not catching on. Further, converted cars, like the Camry Hybrid, Fusion Hybrid, etc, are barely foot notes. once unveiled no one really cares they exist until they finally see one on the road. The last converted Hybrid I know I saw was almost a year ago. Lastly, in recent consumer studies, "hybrid" is considered an undesirable word. Having it on your car, making a big deal of it, is a bad move. Americans with ever more fuel efficient technology and soon diesel, don't care to own one. The Europeans have Diesel now so they don't care. Even most Asian countries don't care outside of Japan. You can bash GENERAL MOTORS all you like, but in the face of great cars with even better ideas that make more sense to more people, you are just a tool. Crying "Government Motors" only marks you as someone who does not know what they are talking about. That was two years ago, and no one who matters for squat gives a flip.
          emperor koku
          • 3 Years Ago
          Where are these "recent consumer studies"? I'd like to check them out.
        • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ladies & Gentleman - Your next rental car!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wait, what? GM says it is less expensive? The Sonata Hybrid starts at $25,795 and the Passat TDI is the exact same price. The TDI and Sonata Hybrid would trounce this thing. Also, if past GM models are ANY indication, this thing will get nothing near what they are claiming or what it is rated at. Seriously, their most efficient models like the Equinox and Cruze usually do very poorly in real life. Check all of the comparison tests, or if you want real owner data check fuelly.com. GM tunes their vehicles to do very well in the EPA test, but in the real world it can't hit those targets.
        • 3 Years Ago
        • 3 Years Ago
        Passat TDI comes with a manual transmission. True with the Sonata Hybrid's price, but if you've been watching the reviews, it has had very poor mileage -- no better than the base I4.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I hate this about GM as well, but even if it was really 26/38, most people just see the 38MPG from marketing and think that will be their avg without realizing that city driving is what kills mpg. Worse they think actually believe the line "Hybrid-like fuel efficiency for a non-hybrid-like price".
        • 3 Years Ago
        Re the "GM doesn't get EPA rating", you're actually very wrong with the Cruze. Look on Fuelly, EPA.gov, and TrueDelta yourself -- the Cruze ECO has been getting 5 mpg above EPA average, and the other Cruze models have been doing better than EPA as well.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I'd take a TDI anything over a non TDI anything, but that bias aside, the Passat isn't as attractive as... much of any other vehicle it competes with, unless bland and boring looks that are reminiscent of 2001 are what you're going for, and my guess the feature-set will also fall behind this new Malibu. Unfortunately, the sad true is that when shopping for a mid-sized car, getting the "latest and greatest" is often times how you get the best car, as the features and aesthetic of these things often leap-frog one another.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Have you driven a Sonata Hybrid?? They drive like sh!t. Very poorly integrated hybrid system. And there are lots of people who don't want a diesel, or a VW. And this car is considerably cheaper than any other midsize hybrid out there. As for your claims of GM vehicles not getting the mileage claimed, what are you basing this on?? Do you own one of the vehicles in question?? I drive both of the vehicles you mentioned on a regular basis and have no trouble getting the advertised milege out of them. The linnk you provided actually reflects good mileage for both models you are attempting to criticize. The Cruze's average are right in line w/ the Honda Civic, which Honda's are well-known to net very good real-world mileage, despite sometimes comparitively low ratings. Same w/ the Equinox, which has similar average as the CR-V. And the Equinox's is artificially low because the V6 models averages are included. How about actually comparing them to their competition, rather than pointing out individual numbers on their own. Everyone's driving habits are different. The primary determining factor of the mileage you get in a vehicle is how YOU drive it. The fact of the matter is, that if driven properly, just about any new car should exceed it's advertised mileage, and when driven equally, just about every car, when similarly equipped, w/in it's respective segment will get about the same mileage. I have a 2011 Sonata SE and I average about 29.6 MPG combined. And I don't drive to preserve fuel or anything. I just drive normal, as I would drive if I were in anything else. It's rated at 35mpg highway, yet I averaged 36.9 over a roughly 500 mile trip to New Orleans in summer heat w/ the AC on. I never drove les than 75 mph aside from a few work zones I got caught up in, that would actually lower the average.
        Gordon Chen
        • 3 Years Ago
        Hyundai sonata hybrid isn't a good car like its non-hybrid sibling
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Gordon Chen
          You can say that again. I currently have an '11 Sonata SE and was massively disappointed w/ the Hybrid model. And in terms of content, the Optima now outdoes the Sonata at it's own game. Not sure what they're are going to do to distinguish the Sonata while keeping it competitive in the marketplace. And I like my car overall, but as Alfonso said, it is a rather noisy car. The engine noise especially, although tire and wind noise could be better as well. Overall, I would say that is a problem of note w/ most of Hyudais newer offerings. They just don't feel as solid and refined as many of the competitors. They have great value from an equipment standpoint, but that only goes so far.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I never thought I would see the day when I said this - I really like the look of the upcoming Malibu inside and out! I think this strikes a perfect balance between looking good but not being too stylized and frightening away a more mainstream consumer. Great job GM!
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think they are pricing this car very competitively. It really strikes a nice balance of full hybrids, w/out their cost increases and wierd driving characteristics, and regular gas engined cars that cost significantly less than hybrids, but don't get the mileage, especially in town. The approach GM is taking w/ this is really great, as it appeals to both buyers w/out really alienating either group. And I can tell you, the LaCrosse E-Assist drives really well. 26 in town, and 38 hwy, for just a few thousand more than a base model midsizer?? How can you lose??
    • Load More Comments