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Review (2/2)

2013 Malibu Evo: First Chevrolet with Fuel-Saving eAssist Technology

Source: Chevrolet | Published: Sat Dec 17, 2011

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Interior Design

The Malibu Eco features an all-new interior that is roomier, more comfortable and premium, and quieter than the previous generation Malibu. It features an all-new dual cockpit design that is three inches wider than the previous Malibu.

The increased width of the new Malibu means a more spacious cabin. Compared to the previous model, it has nearly four cubic feet (113 L) of additional interior volume, along with more than 1.5 inches (38 mm) of shoulder room in front, 3.5 inches (89 mm) more rear shoulder room and nearly three inches (76 mm) more hip room, front and rear. The trunk has 14.3 cubic feet (405 liters) of capacity, or one more cubic feet than the previous-generation Malibu.

The Malibu Eco's interior features metallic, chrome or wood accents located around the shifter, surrounding the center stack, around the instrument cluster and on doors and the steering wheel. Soft, ice blue ambient lighting reflects off of and complements chrome accents and ensures even, consistent illumination along the instrument panel. Ice blue lighting on the center stack dials, exposed ice blue French contrast stitching, soft-touch and textured surfaces, and strategic applications of noise-deadening materials add to Malibu's interior refinement. Seats are sport-sculpted and bolstered with firmer foam and frames made of high-strength steel for long-distance comfort and durability.

The Malibu Eco also has a number of storage areas, including a radio face that swivels up to reveal a six-inch-deep (152 mm) hidden storage area behind a seven-inch (178 mm) touch-screen radio display. Malibu also offers a full range of the latest infotainment options, including new color radio systems and an available navigation system.

Chevrolet's new MyLink infotainment package and OnStar are standard on the Malibu Eco. They build on the safety and security of OnStar and seamlessly integrate online services like Pandora internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio. MyLink integrates wireless connectivity through Bluetooth to enable hands-free use of selected smart phone apps while the device remains safely stowed.

eAssist Technology

Malibu Eco's eAssist system is mated to an Ecotec 2.4L direct-injection four-cylinder engine and next-generation six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.4L engine is efficient and lightweight, featuring dual-overhead cams, direct injection, continuously variable intake and exhaust timing and electronic throttle control, as well as a lightweight aluminum cylinder block and cylinder head. It is rated at an estimated 182 horsepower (134 kW) and is a variant of the same engine recognized as one of Ward's Ten Best Engines in 2010.

Along with the Ecotec 2.4L and six-speed transmission, the eAssist system uses power stored in the air-cooled, lithium-ion battery to provide needed electrical boost in various driving scenarios, optimizing engine and transmission operation. An advanced 115V lithium-ion battery and 15-kW motor-generator unit help increase fuel economy through:

* Regenerative braking, which provides up to 15 kW of electricity to charge the battery
* Enabling a more-efficient final drive ratio by providing up to 15 hp (11 kW) of electric power assistance during heavier acceleration
* Using electricity instead of gasoline when stopped, with automatic and smooth engine start-stop functionality
* Aggressive fuel cut-off during deceleration down to zero mph for added fuel savings
* Intelligent charge/discharge of the high-voltage battery.

The eAssist system captures up to 15kW of power that would be normally lost during braking and uses it to recharge the lithium-ion battery. The system also shuts down fuel delivery in certain deceleration conditions, further improving fuel economy. While in fuel shut-off mode, the motor-generator unit continues spinning along with the engine to provide immediate and smooth take-off power when the driver presses on the accelerator. As the vehicle comes to a stop, the motor-generator unit brings the engine to a controlled stop to position it properly for a smooth restart when the brake is released.

Thanks to eAssist technology, the Malibu Eco can travel 580 highway miles (965 km) between fill-ups with a 15.8-gallon (59.9 liters) fuel tank.

Driving Dynamics

Complementing Malibu Eco's sporty appearance are its European-inspired driving characteristics.

All 2013 Malibu models have been engineered to deliver ride and handling capabilities that are best-in-class and on par with more expensive sports sedans.


The new Malibu is the quietest Chevrolet ever and is expected to be one of the quietest cars in the midsize segment. To achieve that, interior engineers used road testing, sound evaluation tools and vehicle components to reduce, block and absorb noise from entering the cabin.

Chevrolet Malibu Eco: Photo Gallery, Review (1/2) and Specifications

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