You'll appreciate the redesigned Malibu if you prize a plush, comfortable ride and a very quiet cabin. That's where this solid, easygoing sedan excels. It also has simple controls, decent fuel economy and sound handling (although the Malibu is clearly no sports sedan). You'll probably come away disappointed, however, if you need a roomy rear seat.
Alerts
There are 8 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
NA
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2008. Head protection air bags available from 2004, standard from 2007. Side air bags available from 2005, standard from 2008. ESC available in 2008, standard from 2009.
Road Test

You'll appreciate the redesigned Malibu if you prize a plush, comfortable ride and a very quiet cabin. That's where this solid, easygoing sedan excels. It also has simple controls, decent fuel economy and sound handling (although the Malibu is clearly no sports sedan).

You'll probably come away disappointed, however, if you need a roomy rear seat. The Malibu's is relatively tight, with less space for legs and knees than most competitors.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (259 hp)
  • 2.4-liter 4 (182 hp)
  • 2.5-liter 4 (197 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2013 Chevrolet Malibu owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"The a/c. Would not get cold. The blower would blow hot air"

Anonymous, FL (2013 Chevrolet Malibu Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"My chevy Malibu is black. Which means it sokes up heat. When the temperature is higher than 88 degrees, the car doesn't get cool. The ac isn't strong enough to cool the car in high temperatures"

Brian M., IL (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"It totally failed"

Anonymous, TX (2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Automatic climate control

"When starting car at times instead of my A/C coming on, the heater comes on and is difficult to shut off unless I turn off car and air system then restart"

Anonymous, TX (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"A/C was not comping on Part replaced by silent recall"

Donald S., FL (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Noisy at times. Intermittent problem that the dealer fixed only after I taped it on my phone. They could never get it to act up"

Tim C., IN (2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Fan switch in any position fan goes to higher than high and intense heat comes out of ducts. shut car off and restart it resets itself! Works as it should!"

A S., IL (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Electrical failure

"recently, check engine light came on, followed by battery light and, rather quickly, a complete shut down-engine failure-twice-two weeks apart! Seems to be related to the e-assist feature on our '13 Malibu Eco. Into five dealers, two new batteries an"

Anonymous, FL (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Heater system

"Sometimes when selecting AC heater operates at full blast"

Anonymous, NY (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Had to have computer update after loss of heat"

Gregg B., IA (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Refrigerant leaks

"The system was low on refrigerant, however they could not find a leak"

Thomas J., IL (2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"It was in the shop twice in the last 5 months for leaking a lot of fluid. The first time it cost $250 and immediately after taking it home it was still leaking this time it cost $900 to fix. It was supposedly the coolant that was leaking from multiple places"

Keri F., NM (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"Sensor malfunction in rear wheel"

Todd H., NE (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Sensor went out while on snow covered icy roads"

Michael S., MI (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"sensor in passenger side rear hub failed"

Steven E., IA (2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO Unsure)

"left front end replaced shocks strut sway bar"

Anonymous, MO (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Something was causing the brakes to run every time the car made a turn. They said that the pads and rotors needed replaced to solve the problem"

Anonymous, OH (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Electric parking brake is, in my opinion foolish as it is either fully on or fully off. In my case the brake did not release and I drove for months while the calipers and discs slowly ate themselves to nothing"

Anonymous, NS (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Electric parking brake did not release and wore rear caliper out,...dealer fixed the problem...one year later problem returned"

Anonymous, NS (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"08/16/16 at 35,944 miles had to have the wheel bearing assembly replaced. Cost was 338.48"

Anonymous, VA (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"had a strange 'feeling' with the steering wheel in 'dead center position' when car was new, and in the last month it has come back. they have promised to look into it at next oil change"

Anonymous, IL (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Steering straight down the road you would have to tug slightly on the wheel to change lanes"

Anonymous, TN (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"the linkage was broken and needed to be repaired under warranty"

Bruce B., MA (2013 Chevrolet Malibu Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"it was part of the linkage problem"

Bruce B., MA (2013 Chevrolet Malibu Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Wheel bearings

"Heard a whining noise that became louder with time. Did not notice change in performance prior to repair"

Anonymous, MI (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"To replace the malfunctioning braking sensor you have to replace the wheel hub and bearing assembly. Almost $600"

Michael S., MI (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Right rear wheel bearing hub needed replaced"

Chris B., IN (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"I bought the car with 20,000 miles and have replaced 3 wheel bearings so far because the bearings where making noise. And 3 wheel bearings because the magnetic reluctor ring (which is needed to measure the wheel speed) had pieces fall off of it which in turn faults the abs, stabilitrak and the traction control systems. Very inconvenient and expensive"

Bjorn V., MI (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

"carbon build up had to be removed at 41204 miles. second time for this engine, 1st time was at 18,100 miles"

Anonymous, NY (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Engine rebuild or replacement

"warranty problem, not sure of everything done"

Anonymous, MO (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Engine failed and was replaced with only 400 miles on the car"

David L., PA (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"One piston broke inside cylinder casing. Took to dealership for warranty repair. Took 5 weeks to replace parts. Traded Malibu in on Toyota since I had no guarantee remaining pistons would hold and was offered no extended warrenty"

Anonymous, MI (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Two pistons cracked due to "recall" that I never got. A service bulletin was issued. I'd even asked Capitol Chevrolet(Montgomery, AL) about the symptoms which the SB addressed however they didn't bother to check and told me to clean the intake....a few months later we had cracked two pistons due to wrong spark plugs (factory plugs) and incorrect computer programing which the SB addressed, to include all of the symptoms I was experiencing"

Robert G., AL (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Timing belt or chain

"Timing belt was related to engine failure"

David L., PA (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Check engine light came on. Codes came up indicating timing change and oil pup failure. Waiting to check engine light to come on again for the Certified GM mechanic before repairs will be made. Will be covered under GM power train warranty"

Anonymous, IL (2013 Chevrolet Malibu Unsure Unsure)
Turbo or supercharger

"Turbo baffle stuck in open position and burn up the oil"

James T., KS (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Thermostat

"Experience an overheating situation where the car shuts itself down. took in for service and the finding was that the thermostat was bad. had to be replaced"

Anonymous, NY (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Had to have water pump replaced - leaking"

Gary L., MD (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Check engine light came on and after dealer service diagnostic coded bad water Pump. Repaired no charge due to manufacturer warranty. Estimated mileage at repair was about 53000 miles"

Jonathan S., MD (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Had to go back to dealership 4 times until water pump was fixed. Had to use an eye dropper and pictures to show them problem. Finally dealership saw and fixed problem but not after much aggravation"

Stan G., FL (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"leaking water pump had to be replaced"

Charles F., FL (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LS Unsure)

"Had a small leak that caused overheating when the air conditioner was used"

Anonymous, IN (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT Unsure)

"Started leaking on the floor. Took it to the dealer fixed under warranty"

Mike S., OH (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Interior lights

"The light highlighting which gear you are in is intermitant. The dealership has been unable to duplicate the problem - so can't fix it"

Anonymous, MI (2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO Unsure)
Warning lights

"Continuous charging problem that can't seem to get diagnosed properly"

Steve M., IL (2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Check engine light comes on every 2 or 3 months, for about 3 days, then goes out. When it is on, my remote start will not work"

Charles W., VA (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Oil Pressure Light"

Anonymous, PA (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

"condensation built up inside the headlights. Chevrolet resealed them and now they been good ever sense"

Stephen W., MO (2013 Chevrolet Malibu Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Remote engine starter

"Will not work when check engine light comes on"

Charles W., VA (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Under the front bumper is a guard that constantly breaks off because it sits too low and hits curbs and bump guards when stopping"

Anonymous, TX (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Chrome trim around the doors on passenger side kept snapping out of place. Especially on the rear door"

Tim C., IN (2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"There is a piece of plastic trim perpendicular to the ground along the underside of the front bumper. It is easily hit by parking blocks. Causes the bumper edges to shift"

Anonymous, NV (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Pin stripping pealing off"

Anonymous, KS (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The molding started to become loose between the back door and the front door. The front door would catch the molding making it difficult to open the front door"

Anonymous, NB (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LS Unsure)

"Paint is fading on hood with scrapes in the finish due to the car being washed in one of those Gas Station drive through car washes"

Jonathan S., MD (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"shifts hard a 1st gear to 2nd"

Anonymous, TX (2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO Unsure)

"Shifts poorly between 2-3"

Rex V., AR (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Gear selector or linkage

"key broke off in ignition and loose gear shift cable caused lock out. had to be towed to dealer to unlock and repair"

Anonymous, NY (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Slipping transmission

"Sometimes it shifts into neutral (car is an automatic) and when I try to use the manual shift feature it says on the screen readout, "gear not available". Problem is sporadic so repair shop has been able to replicate/fix it"

Alistair M., CA (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LS Unsure)
Transmission leaks

"transmission had to be removed to replace a leaking pump"

Charles F., FL (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LS Unsure)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveline vibration

"When average size adult or larger sits in the passenger seat and or the rear driver's seat, a vibration is felt in the front seats of the car. Had it checked by two different dealers and the diagnoses was that all seems to be normal. This is from da"

Anonymous, LA (2013 Chevrolet Malibu)
Electrical failure

"All related to issue already mentioned. The timing belt sheared after a bolt was bent apparently by rock debris from a quarry hauler on I-95~~this may have been the trigger for all following issues"

Anonymous, FL (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"I have the push button open and close on the door handles and trunk. After going to dealership six times, my trunk never can close and anyone can open it by just pressing the trunk button. I had problems with the door buttons but they were addressed"

Stan G., FL (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Traction control

"Check engine light showed & brake problem detected. Cost 500.00 to have worn parts replaced on traction control & sensors"

Anonymous, MI (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT Unsure)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"This car makes a clunking noise at slow speeds when turning to the left or right. Have had it in to dealership three different times. They cannot duplicate the noise and it is driving me crazy"

Anonymous, GA (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"A loud clunking noise from the rear of the car when driving rough roads. It has not been identified or fixed yet"

Steven E., IA (2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO Unsure)
Wind noise

"This car has a sunroof and there is a wind noise while driving down the highway have taken to dealer and told no fix available"

Bruce R., MN (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"heater hose leak at connection point to heater core"

Anonymous, IN (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Recalled, computer problem. Corrected computer"

Anonymous, MI (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Fuel pump

"High Pressure Fuel Pump failed; replaced under warranty"

M J., PA (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Had turbo issues just after fixed my fuel pump went bad. Dealer stated it was un related"

James T., KS (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

"This car has several computers montering/controlling it. twice it had to go to the dealer for fixing the problem. The first time it was $2300 and the second time $1800"

Terry H., CA (2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Coil

"ignition coil failure"

Anonymous, NY (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Spark plugs or wires failure

"recall to replace spark plug"

Anonymous, MO (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Accessory belts or pulleys

"drive belt failed twice during road trip"

Steve M., IL (2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Engine light kept coming on"

Anonymous, KS (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT Unsure)
Oil leaks

"Low oil light comes on frequently. Check oil and it is low. However it is not leaking on floor. Dealer unable to figure out what is happening. Per dealer we are monitoring car"

J E., NE (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Voice control commands

"had ongoing trouble with USB connections. must have had a beta version of the radio / usb . Chevy did an upgrade to the system and now works, most of the time"

Anonymous, IL (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"4th time this has been in shop"

Rex V., AR (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"The trim came off and was catching on the door. I took the car in because I have bumper to bumper insurance and they stop covering this issue. Not happy with the trim"

Brian M., IL (2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

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