With a slew of new models heading for the showrooms, the midsize passenger car segment has turned into the auto industry’s most fiercely contested battlegroud. Nobody’s knocked off the Camry yet but gone are the days when all Toyota – or rival Honda — had to do to win the contest for customers was show up with something new every few years.
Once dominant in the midsize market, General Motors has spent years several decades trying to crack the code without really scoring. But after driving the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu with a 2-liter turbocharged engine, capable of producing 259 horsepower and 260 foot pounds of torque, it’s pretty clear GM’s persistence is finally paying dividends.
For those who might be confused about Chevrolet’s strategy, the GM brand introduced an “Eco” version of the completely redesigned Malibu at the beginning of the year, adapting the eAssist mild hybrid technology first used on the Buick line, as well as aerodynamic tricks such as active grille shutters, to maximize mileage. As we get into the more traditional new model-year, Chevy is rolling out the rest of the Malibu line-up.