Can Chevy’s 2013 Malibu Meet the Competition?

2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco

Based on published figures, reading lots of reviews and my own biased opinions, Chevy is in for a tough ride if it expects its new Malibu to do well in the very competitive midsize field.

Here’s why: The new car is probably better than the present Malibu, but it’s not up to its competitors in either mileage or performance. It does have a better interior cabin and better steering and handling.

Chevy released the car in its mild-hybrid Eco form first, probably because the other two promised engines weren’t ready. These will likely be a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder (190 hp), due next summer, and a 2-liter turbo similar to what’s in Buick’s Regal (220-270 hp).

So the new Malibu Eco gets something called eAssist, a mild hybrid wherein an electric motor (15 hp) replaces the alternator to assist the gas engine (182 hp) and permit it to run slower, thus getting better mileage. But, “even with all its fancy hardware, the Malibu Eco’s estimated 25/37 mpg city/highway rating gets trampled in a segment chock full of hybrids.” The new Camry Hybrid gets 43/39 mpg for about the same price. See our take on that car here.

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Shanghai Motor Show Previews New Cars Destined for America

Buick Envision concept

It’s finally safe to say that China has climbed to the top tier of auto shows. During the previous Shanghai Motor Show, in 2009, the United States was the world’s largest auto market. Since then, China has overtaken the U.S. and is now getting the auto-show attention it deserves.

World premieres at this year’s show include Volkswagen’s new retro-styled Beetle, General Motors’ new Chevrolet Malibu, and the Buick Envision concept.

The fact that these U.S.-bound cars were revealed a world away should give some insight into how important automakers believe the Chinese market has become.

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