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
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
Injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Hip/thigh
Lower leg/foot
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.

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
Injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Leg/foot, left
Leg/foot, right
Restraints and dummy kinematics

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
Head protection
Rear passenger injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
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.

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

Head restraints & seats

Rating applies to 2013-15 models

Seat type: Manual power cloth seat

Overall evaluation
Dynamic rating
Seat/head restraint geometry

Front crash prevention

System details

  • Optional Forward Collision Alert

Package name

  • Optional Advanced Safety Package

Applies to 2013-15 models

Overall evaluation

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

How front crash prevention is evaluated