Overall, the Malibu Eco test car rode with a compliant, rather than firm, sporty ride, and the suspension kept most road bumps away from passengers. The car wasn’t wallowy, but there was noticeable body motion in turns and curves taken at a good speed. The electric, rack-and-pinion power steering felt a bit numb on center.
But the soft-touch, nicely grained plastics inside on the dashboard and doors was nice. There was stitching here and there as well as silver-colored trim pieces and all gave an unexpected upscale feel. The ceiling material texture added to the richer feel, as did the optional leather seat trim.
Be aware, though, that the Malibu Eco’s trunk has just 13.2 cubic feet of space, and it’s cut up around the battery pack back there. A non-hybrid has 16.3 cubic feet of trunk room.
Standard safety equipment includes plentiful air bags, electronic stability control and traction control.
Some 4,300 Malibus from the 2013 model year were recalled in May because a faulty sensor module could cause air bags to deploy without cause and seat belt pre-tensioners might not work during a crash.