2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, with a starting price of $25,995, achieved the highest possible score from both the NHTSA and the IIHS, making it the safest mid-size sedan out there. This is an amazing achievement, especially when you consider that it is the only vehicle of its kind to get on the top safety list of both organizations.
Occupant safety is tested by these two groups, using a variety of collision situations such as front impact, rear impact, roof strength, head restraints and side impact testing. What Chevrolet did with the Malibu Eco was design it to meet crash test ratings. It is designed to have 65% high strength and ultra-high strength steels, four-channel disk brakes with ABS and traction control, front safety belt pre-tensioners.
It comes with rollover sensors to activate the head curtain side air bags if sensors detect an impending rollover. It also features GM’s OnStar system. “We are now seeing the results from our commitment to design the highest-rated vehicles in the world in safety performance,” said Gay Kent, GM executive director of Vehicle Safety.
“Earning these top safety ratings demonstrates the strength of the Malibu’s advanced structure, overall crashworthiness and effectiveness of the vehicle’s state-of-the-art safety technologies.”
The exterior of the new Chevrolet Malibu has a more aggressive look and this is owed to having broad shoulders, a wider stance, and a spoiler integrated in the rear. Compared to the previous generation, the wheelbase is shorter by 4.5 inches (114 mm). The tracks however, both the front and the rear, now measure 62 inches (1,574 mm), an increase of at least 2 inches (51 mm).
According to Bryan Nesbitt, who is the Executive Director for GM exterior design and Chevrolet Brand Champion, the design language used on the Malibu’s exterior is similar to that of its siblings, the Corvette and the Camaro.
With this, he added, it is able to introduce a more athletic feel to the family sedan class. Indeed, Chevrolet projects that the exterior of this newest offering will be certified by the SAE as one of the segment’s most aerodynamic models. The brand believes that the Malibu’s coefficient of drag would be near that of the Volt’s rating which is at 0.280.
One reason why this is possible is because since the Malibu has a new design and comes in a new shape, the engineering team was able to remove around 60 instances of wind drag when compared to the prior model.
Additional features on the exterior include the well-known dual-port grille of the brand and the bow-tie badges placed on the front and the rear being made larger. There are also the projector HID headlamps and the LED dual-element taillamps, with the latter clearly having the Camaro as an inspiration. The brand will be offering a selection of wheels measuring 17 inches, 18 inches, and even one at 19 inches.
For those who want their Malibu to have better aerodynamics while improving fuel economy but not at the expense of the exterior design, the brand is offering active aero shutters to be integrated to the Malibu with the shutters being electronically controlled. This offer though will only be available in the North American market for selected models.