Top Safety Pick

2013 Chevrolet Malibu

midsize car / 4-door sedan

2013 Chevrolet Malibu 4-door sedan

Crashworthiness

Rating overview
Small overlap front: driver-side
Moderate overlap front
Side
Roof strength
Head restraints & seats

Crash avoidance & mitigation

Front crash prevention: vehicle-to-vehicle
Optional system
Basic

Other available safety features

  • Standard daytime running lights
  • Optional lane departure warning

Key

  • G
    Good
  • A
    Acceptable
  • M
    Marginal
  • P
    Poor
  • Superior
  • Advanced
  • Basic

Some ratings use a scale of Poor to Good. Others range from Basic to Superior.

Small overlap front: driver-side

Rating applies to 2013 models

Tested vehicle: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco 4-door

The Chevrolet Malibu was redesigned for the 2013 model year.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Hip/thigh
Lower leg/foot
Driver restraints and dummy kinematics
The dummy’s head barely contacted the frontal airbag before sliding off the left side as the steering column moved 14 cm to the right, leaving the head vulnerable to contact with forward structure. Additionally, the seat belt allowed excessive forward excursion of the dummy’s head and torso. The side curtain airbag deployed and had sufficient forward coverage to protect the head from contact with side structure and outside objects.

Action shot taken during the small overlap frontal crash test.

The dummy's position in relation to the door frame, steering wheel, and instrument panel after the crash test indicates that the driver's survival space was not maintained well.

During the crash, the dummy's head barely contacted the frontal airbag before sliding off to the left as the steering column moved to the right. The seat belt allowed the dummy to move too far forward, as is evident from the gap between the seat back and the dummy's torso.

Door hinge pillar and instrument panel intrusion contributed to a significant risk of injury to the left knee and a moderate risk to the left lower leg.

Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID CEN1218
Lower occupant compartment
Lower hinge pillar max (cm) 21
Footrest (cm) 15
Left toepan (cm) 7
Brake pedal (cm) 4
Parking brake (cm) 0
Rocker panel lateral average (cm) 3
Upper occupant compartment
Steering column 5
Upper hinge pillar max (cm) 15
Upper dash (cm) 18
Lower instrument panel (cm) 16

Driver injury measures

Test ID CEN1218
Head
HIC-15 41
Peak gs at hard contact no contact
Neck
Tension (kN) 1.5
Extension bending moment (Nm) 21
Maximum Nij 0.37
Chest maximum compression (mm) 18
Femur (kN)
Left 5.5
Right 0.3
Knee displacement (mm)
Left 17
Right 1
Knee-thigh-hip injury risk (%)
Left 4
Right 0
Maximum tibia index
Left 0.83
Right 0.40
Tibia axial force (kN)
Left 2.8
Right 1.2
Foot acceleration (g)
Left 79
Right 43

How the driver-side small overlap front test is conducted

Moderate overlap front

Rating applies to 2013-15 models

Tested vehicle: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco 4-door

The Chevrolet Malibu was redesigned for the 2013 model year. For the 2016 model year only, the Malibu was renamed the Malibu Limited and sold when new only to fleets. The Malibu Limited shares no ratings with the redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Malibu.

Moderate overlap frontal ratings are assigned by the Institute based on a test conducted by General Motors as part of frontal crash test verification.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Leg/foot, left
Leg/foot, right
Driver restraints and dummy kinematics
Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID VTF1114
Footwell intrusion
Footrest (cm) 3
Left (cm) 5
Center (cm) 6
Right (cm) 5
Brake pedal (cm) 2
Instrument panel rearward movement
Left (cm) 0
Right (cm) 0
Steering column movement
Upward (cm) 0
Rearward (cm) -6
A-pillar rearward movement (cm) 1

Driver injury measures

Test ID VTF1114
Head
HIC-15 327
Peak gs at hard contact no contact
Neck
Tension (kN) 0.8
Extension bending moment (Nm) 25
Maximum Nij 0.26
Chest maximum compression (mm) 26
Legs
Femur force - left (kN) 0.5
Femur force - right (kN) 0.9
Knee displacement - left (mm) 1
Knee displacement - right (mm) 1
Maximum tibia index - left 0.33
Maximum tibia index - right 0.31
Tibia axial force - left (kN) 2.2
Tibia axial force - right (kN) 2.6
Foot acceleration (g)
Left 51
Right 58

How the moderate overlap front test is conducted

Side

Rating applies to 2013-15 models

Tested vehicle: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco 4-door with standard front and rear head curtain airbags and standard front seat-mounted torso airbags

The Chevrolet Malibu was redesigned for the 2013 model year. Initially, only the Eco model (a hybrid with a gasoline engine and an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery) was available in the new design. Other Malibu models with conventional powertrains were introduced later, when side torso airbags for rear seat occupants were made standard (they had been optional earlier). All Malibu models built after July 2012 have the standard rear side torso airbags. (Information about when a specific vehicle was manufactured is on the certification label typically affixed to the car on the driver door or adjacent B-pillar.)

Two side tests of the Malibu Eco were initially conducted, one by the Institute and one by General Motors as part of side crash test verification. Neither car had the optional rear side torso airbags. A third test, this time of a Malibu LTZ with the standard rear side torso airbags, was then conducted by General Motors. Rear seat dummy torso injury measures improved for the third car, but each of the three tests produced good injury ratings for the rear seat dummies. Therefore, the ratings below are based on all three tests. Photos and videos are provided for the Institute test car.

For the 2016 model year only, the Malibu was renamed the Malibu Limited and sold when new only to fleets. The Malibu Limited shares no ratings with the redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Malibu.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Driver head protection
Rear passenger injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Rear passenger head protection

View of the vehicle and barrier just after the Institute's crash test.

View of the vehicle after the crash with doors removed, showing the side airbags and damage to the occupant compartment.

Smeared greasepaint shows where the driver dummy's head was protected from being hit by hard structures by the side curtain airbag in the Institute's test.

Smeared greasepaint shows where the rear passenger dummy’s head was protected by the side airbag.

Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID VTS1116 CES1205 VTS1204
B-pillar to longitudinal centerline of driver's seat (cm) -15.5 -16.5 -18.0
Negative numbers indicate the amount by which the crush stopped short of the seat centerline.

Driver injury measures

Test ID VTS1116 CES1205 VTS1204
Head HIC-15 440 310 390
Neck
Tension (kN) 1.4 1.3 1.2
Compression (kN) 0.2 0.2 0.2
Shoulder
Lateral deflection (mm) 50 40 43
Lateral force (kN) 1.6 1.6 1.8
Torso
Maximum deflection (mm) 41 44 45
Average deflection (mm) 36 35 40
Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 4.21 3.65 5.24
Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.66 0.68 0.79
Pelvis
Iliac force (kN) 2.2 1.8 1.2
Acetabulum force (kN) 3.3 2.1 2.7
Combined force (kN) 4.9 3.5 3.7
Left femur
L-M force (kN) 1.0 0.9 0.7
L-M moment (Nm) 31 58 22
A-P moment (Nm) 126 -33 99

Passenger injury measures

Test ID VTS1116 CES1205 VTS1204
Head HIC-15 330 310 140
Neck
Tension (kN) 0.4 0.2 0.2
Compression (kN) 0.6 0.8 0.7
Shoulder
Lateral deflection (mm) 44 32 13
Lateral force (kN) 1.6 1.1 0.8
Torso
Maximum deflection (mm) 41 30 20
Average deflection (mm) 32 23 16
Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 3.64 3.48 2.39
Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.64 0.32 0.18
Pelvis
Iliac force (kN) 0.4 0.2 0.2
Acetabulum force (kN) 2.1 1.8 1.7
Combined force (kN) 2.4 1.9 1.9
Left femur
L-M force (kN) 0.7 0.4 0.5
L-M moment (Nm) 18 128 50
A-P moment (Nm) 68 -92 98

How the side crash test is conducted

Roof strength

Rating applies to 2013-15 models

Tested vehicle: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco 4-door

Overall evaluation
Curb weight 3,583 lbs
Peak force 18,721 lbs
Strength-to-weight ratio 5.22

How the roof strength test is conducted

Head restraints & seats

Seat type: Manual power cloth seat

Overall evaluation
Dynamic rating
Seat/head restraint geometry
Technical measurements for this test
Seat type Manual power cloth seat
Geometry
Backset (mm) 26
Distance below top of head (mm) 9
Seat design parameters
Pass/fail Pass
Max T1 acceleration (g) 12.3
Head contact time (ms) 56
Force rating 1
Neck forces
Max neck shear force (N) 0
Max neck tension (N) 300

How the head restraint & seat test is conducted

Front crash prevention: vehicle-to-vehicle

System details

  • Optional Forward Collision Alert

Package name

  • Optional Advanced Safety Package

Overall evaluation

Applies to 2013-15 models

Basic
Basic
with optional equipment
  • This system meets the requirements for forward collision warning.
  • Autobrake not available.

How front crash prevention is evaluated