I had the opportunity to test drive the 2013 Chevy Malibu. I brought along my friend Barbara and the two of us took a three hour trip to the Winvian in Morris, Connecticut. We had a chance to sit down with the Malibu Moms – four mom engineers responsible for the design and functionality of the new car. Tracy Mack-Askew, Suzanne Cody, Kara Gordon and Julie Kleinert walked us through every aspect / thought that went into the Malibu’s creation and I can never look at the car the same way again. Their expertise and unique perspectives helped make the Malibu fuel-efficient, safe, and extremely quiet for customers around the world.
The walkthrough was pretty comprehensive. Each engineer allowed us the opportunity to hear their vision, their process and then fielded the group’s questions regarding their expertise.
The Malibu is a beautiful ride – inside and out – and that is by no accident. Every feature was placed with the driver in mind. The ride was smooth and quiet. You don’t realize how much work goes into making a car quiet! It’s a hard task to make a safe, quiet, fast car that is also …. beautiful. To have this combination (and to be able to start selling it at around $23K) is a rarity – that’s for sure.
With gas prices skyrocketing and with no sign of relief, it’s good to know that the 2013 Chevy Malibu has an estimated MPG of 37 on the highway! That’s amazing!
This was my favorite conversation – all about safety. The 2013 Chevy Malibu even has a release from the inside of your trunk – just in case your child find him/herself stuck in their after playing with friends. It glows in the dark too!
Here are some great child protection safety tips that we learned from their expert:
Common Child Seat Mistakes
1. Loose installation – check for proper tightness – the child seat base should have less than 1” of movement side to side or front to back.
2. Loose harness on child – the webbing on the child seat harnessshould not be twisted and should not be loose enough to be able to pinch the webbing. The chest clip should be at armpit level.
3. Not attaching the top tether for forward facing child seats – Based on data from Safe Kids car seat checks, top tethers are only being used 30% of the time. The top tether is important because helps to reduce forward head motion in a crash, reducing the risk of head injury.
4. Moving children to the next step too soon –
- The latest recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and NHTSA are to keep children rear facing until age 2 or until they reach the limits of their child seat.
- Keep kids in boosters seat until the vehicle safety belt fits them correctly – this typically is when they reach a height of 4’9” and are between the age of 8 to 12.
5. Make sure the child seat is appropriate for and fits your child – Always follow the child seat manufacturer instructions, including the height and weight limits for the child seat.
Step Seat Belt Fit Test: To determine if a child is ready to move out of their Booster Seat:
1. Have the child sit in a back seat with their bottom and back against the vehicle’s seat back. Do the child’s knees bend at the seat’s edge? If yes, go on. If not, the child must stay in a booster seat.
2. Buckle the seat belt. Does the lap belt stay low on the hips? If yes, go on. If it rests on the soft part of the stomach, the child must stay in a booster seat.
3. Look at the shoulder belt. Does it lay on the collarbone and shoulder? If yes, go on. If it is on the face or neck, the child must remain in a booster seat. — Never put the shoulder belt under the child’s arm or behind the child’s back!
4. Can the child maintain the correct seating position with the shoulder belt on the shoulder and the lap belt low across the hips? If yes, the child has passed the Safety Belt Fit Test. If no, the child should return to a booster seat.
If you are in the market for a new car that is both efficient and stylish – be sure to check out the 2013 Chevy Malibu.
(Photo by Julie Bidwell for Chevrolet)