2013 Chevrolet Malibu vs. Its Competition

2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco
Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

The 2013 Chevy Malibu enters a dogfight with a host of family sedans that offer better interior space, quicker acceleration, higher fuel economy, or more dazzling infotainment features--sometimes all of those things combined.

The latest Toyota Camry really doesn't advance the argument that it should be the best-selling car in America, but it is, as much due to its reputation for longevity as for its smooth, unremarkable performance and its high-economy Hybrid companion.

The new Nissan Altima is a formidable piece of work, rated at 38 mpg highway in base trim, and offered with a powerful V-6.

Its CVT is better than ever, and so are its front seats and ride quality, though it's no longer the most sporty family sedan.

The Sonata and Optima are twins under the skin, with similar turbo and hybrid drivetrains on offer; they're the most audacious-looking vehicles in the segment, and have strong value in all versions but especially in base trim.

Finally, the Volkswagen Passat is now made in America, and it's taken on some local color; it's bigger than ever, with an immense back seat; the turbodiesel is by far the version we'd recommend for responsiveness and 43-mpg highway fuel economy, but some safety and infotainment features haven't made their way into the portfolio as of yet.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco2013 Chevrolet MalibuBrowse Used Listings2013 Hyundai Sonata 4-door Sedan 2.4L Auto Limited Angular Front Exterior View2013 Hyundai SonataBrowse Used Listings2013 Kia Optima Hybrid 4-door Sedan 2.4L Auto LX Angular Front Exterior View2013 Kia OptimaBrowse Used Listings2013 Nissan Altima 3.5SL2013 Nissan AltimaBrowse Used Listings2013 Toyota Camry2013 Toyota CamryBrowse Used Listings2013 Volkswagen Passat2013 Volkswagen PassatBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.8
Thinking small makes the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu a more sporty sedan, but doesn't help its rear-seat space at all.
8.6
With a standout design; perky performance; great gas mileage; and exceptional value for the money, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata is one of the best buys among mid-size sedans.
8.4
The 2013 Kia Optima adds generous dashes of style and sophistication to what's otherwise a sensible, frugal, and spacious mid-size sedan.
8.2
Briskly updated in the right ways, the 2013 Nissan Altima sedan promises good looks and great gas mileage for those who don't mind a CVT.
7.6
The 2013 Toyota Camry is no standout for design, but it's more than ever the sensible pick for those who value comfort, value, and frugality above all else.
7.8
Marginally less refined than the last version, today's VW Passat hits important marks with excellent diesel fuel economy, superior passenger space and top safety scores.
MSRP From     
$21,995$20,895$21,350$21,760$22,235$20,845
Gas Mileage     
21 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 43 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I5
EPA Class     
Midsize CarsLarge CarsMidsize CarsMidsizeMidsizeMid-Size
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan LS w/1LS4-Door Sedan 2.4L Automatic GLS *Ltd Avail*4-Door Sedan LX4-Door Sedan I4 2.54-Door Sedan I4 Automatic L (GS)4-Door Sedan 2.5L Manual S PZEV
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555555
Passenger Doors     
4N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
SedanSedanSedanSedanSedan4 Door Sdn
Transmission     
AutomaticAutomatic w/Manual ShiftAutomatic w/manual shiftContinuously Variable RatioAutomatic w/Manual ShiftManual