Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...#ixzz224xkPdiGThe range-topping LTZ trim level, which includes lane depart warning and collision avoidance, offers Buick-overlap interior plushness and quality though some of the chromed plastic parts, especially around the gearshift and power window controls, stand out for the wrong reasons in an otherwise elegant interior. The non-eAssist Malibus are distinguished from the Eco models by the wheels and taillamps. Ecos have rectangular backup lights at the bottom of the taillamp lenses, while the others have square backup lights in the center of the taillamps.
Handling at Milford felt like a nice compromise between ride and handling, with good body control and moderate understeer. There’s a bit too much front-rear rebound coming off of big road dips, though. In the real world, some sharp bumps in the road made the Malibu’s chassis feel a bit stiff for a midsize family sedan, giving up some comfort for handling. We’ll need a full instrument test to sort this out.
Taylor’s story noted that the other big criticism is that the 2013 Malibu has a tight rear seat. Motor Trend, for one, has warned Chevrolet about its sedan strategy. The Cruze that’s been out a couple of years is on the large side of the compact category and the new Malibu’s wheelbase is shorter than the old model’s. That said, the Malibu’s back seat is sufficiently roomy. It’s wider, and there’s good knee room, though Chevy achieved this by raising the rear seat, which means headroom for a sub-six footer is marginal and his/her knees will be slightly up in the air. It’s no airy, roomy Volkswagen Passat/
http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...-drive-reviewsDrive it straight down the road, however, and things are fairly pleasant. Its ride is smooth, and the car seems to prefer highway work. In that recent six-way comparo, the Malibu Eco’s interior was the quietest at a 70-mph cruise, and that doesn’t seem to have changed here. The 2.5-liter is remarkably hushed under normal circumstances, using disturbance-minimizing components such as a low-noise timing chain and direct-mounted accessories. And it all works, right up until you push the long pedal to the floor and watch the tach pass 4000 rpm. At that point, the drone of every four-cylinder you’ve ever flogged washes over you.
The interior of the Malibu—like those of other new GM products—shows a conscious effort to deliver style and improved material quality. There’s a certain similarity to an Ikea showroom—shapes, sizes, and colors that are unique and unexpected. But unlike most Ikea furniture, the driver’s seat in the Malibu actually is comfortable.
But other aspects of the interior let the Malibu down. Chevy’s dual-cockpit approach can make front occupants feel isolated and restricted. A reduction in wheelbase from the last generation sees rear legroom decrease by 0.8 inch; knee- and shoulder room see notable gains, but a lack of space for your stems makes the back seat feel cramped on anything longer than a quick jaunt.
As expected, not the "gloom and doom" of the Malibu Eco reviews (altho there are a no. of Eco reviews which like it quite a bit), but we'll see if this is enough as the competition gets even tougher in the coming months.