Chevrolet planned a staggered rollout of the 2013 Chevy Malibu, with the Eco model going first. It uses a carryover 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder from the previous-generation 2012 Malibu. That is because the new four-cylinder line of engines wasn’t ready yet.
Instead of waiting, they launched the 2013, leaving it to be sold alongside the old V-6 car. An interesting strategy to be sure, but now some light is being shed on the rest of the car’s engine options.
Like others in the segment, Chevy is moving over to exclusively four-cylinder engines in its midsize car for the first time. Lest you think power will suffer though, know this: the 2013 Malibu’s top-shelf engine will be powerful than any V-6 Malibu that came before it. Sounds like progress to us. There will be three Malibu guises available by this fall.
Naturally-aspirated models will include the Malibu Eco with a 2.4-liter Ecotec making 182 horsepower and paired with eAssist, along with the standard 2.5L Ecotec making 197 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. This engine also does duty in the 2013 Cadillac ATS as a base model engine, making the two aligned in terms of power options.
Turbocharged power comes from GM’s 2.0-liter Ecotec four making an impressive 259 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. This engine is a very advanced one for GM, and it hasn’t been put into mainstream applications up until this point.
The 2.0-liter Ecotec replaced the 252 hp 3.6-liter HF V-6 from last year’s Malibu. When equipped with this engine, the 2013 Malibu will offer a 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds. Hyundai, Ford and Chevrolet are moving over to four-cylinders and it remains to be see whether Nissan will do the same with the upcoming 2013 Altima.
For now, Toyota appears to be sticking by the V-6 engine in its 2013 Camry. Chevrolet says current Malibu sales are up 4.4-percent so far this year, making that a great starting place for 2013’s much-improved model to build on.