2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco Priced From $25,995

Chevrolet has released pricing for the all-new 2013 Malibu Eco hybrid sedan, and it looks like the fuel-sipping mid-size will come in at $25,995 (including destination) when it goes on sale early next year. That $25,995 will bring home the 2013 Malibu Eco, which features a 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and an eAssist hybrid system, which combines stop-start functionality, acceleration assistance, and regenerative braking. All told, the system produces 182 horsepower, and 172 pound-feet of torque. GM estimates the system is good for 26 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. Standard equipment on the Malibu Eco includes Chevrolet’s new MyLink infotainment system with seven-inch touchscreen display, an AM/FM/CD/USB stereo system with SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth phone connectivity, 17-inch alloy wheels, eight airbags, and OnStar telematics. From there, Chevrolet offers four options packages: Power Convenience, Premium Audio, Leather, and Navigation. Power Convenience adds an eight-way power driver’s seat and remote start, Premium Audio adds a Pioneer nine-speaker sound system and a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, Leather adds heated front seats and leather upholstery, and Navigation adds a navigation system and memory seats and mirrors. At a shade under $26,000, the Malibu ekes out a victory as the least expensive hybrid variant of a midsize sedan. But when it comes to other metrics, the Malibu may not lead its competitors, including the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Kia Optima Hybrid, and the Ford Fusion Hybrid. The least expensive of the Malibu’s competitors, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, costs an additional $560 but is rated at 206 horsepower and earns a 35/40 mpg (city/highway) rating from the EPA. That means the car is blessed with an additional 24 horsepower, 9 mpg in the city, and 2 mpg on the highway. The story is similar for the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid, which provides an extra 18 horsepower, 17 mpg in the city, and 1 mpg on the highway for an additional $665. The Malibu does undercut its American competitor -- the Ford Fusion Hybrid -- by a whopping $3500. Although the Malibu and Fusion offer roughly the same power and highway fuel economy figures, the Fusion has a 15-mpg lead on the Chevy’s city rating. That the Malibu Eco falls short of its competitors in terms of fuel economy ratings can be attributed to the fact that the Malibu’s eAssist system isn’t capable of propelling the car for long distances on electricity alone. Conversely, it is a less complicated and less expensive driveline, which is reflected in the Eco’s sticker price. Whether or not that rock-bottom price tag will lure buyers away from other midsize hybrid offerings remains to be seen. Source: General Motors

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