Childre Nissan Compares 2013 Nissan Maxima VS 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Near Warner Robins, GA

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2013 Nissan Maxima

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2013 Chevrolet Malibu

Safety Comparison

The Maxima has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Malibu doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Maxima and the Malibu have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Maxima is safer than the Chevrolet Malibu:



Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

51 G’s

68 G’s

Hip Force

743 lbs.

820 lbs.

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

52 G’s

Hip Force

729 lbs.

862 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

The Maxima’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Malibu’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Engine Comparison

The Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 108 more horsepower (290 vs. 182) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (261 vs. 172) than the Malibu Eco’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid. The Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 93 more horsepower (290 vs. 197) and 70 lbs.-ft. more torque (261 vs. 191) than the Malibu’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 31 more horsepower (290 vs. 259) and 1 lbs.-ft. more torque (261 vs. 260) than the Malibu’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Maxima is faster than the Malibu Eco 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid:



Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

8.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.4 sec

16.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.6 MPH

83.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Maxima has 4.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Malibu Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (20 vs. 15.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Maxima has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Malibu’s standard fuel tank (20 vs. 18.5 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Maxima’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Malibu:



Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.7 inches

Rear Rotors

12.13 inches

11.5 inches

The Maxima’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Malibu are solid, not vented.

The Maxima stops shorter than the Malibu:



60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

116 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Maxima has larger tires than the Malibu (245/45R18 vs. 215/60R16). The Maxima’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Malibu (245/45R18 vs. 235/50R18).

The Maxima’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Malibu’s standard 60 series tires. The Maxima 3.5 SV’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Malibu LTZ’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Maxima has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Malibu.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Maxima’s wheelbase is 1.5 inches longer than on the Malibu (109.3 inches vs. 107.8 inches).

The Maxima 3.5 SV handles at .88 G’s, while the Malibu Eco pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Maxima 3.5 SV executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Malibu Eco (27 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Maxima 3.5 SV is quieter than the Malibu Eco (38 vs. 43 dB).

Cargo Capacity Comparison

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Maxima offers cargo security. The Malibu’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Maxima. The Malibu doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Maxima’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Malibu’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. The Malibu’s optional front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

If the front windows are left down on the Maxima the driver can raise them using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Malibu can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Maxima has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Malibu doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Maxima’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Malibu’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the Maxima SV to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Malibu doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

When the Maxima SV with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Malibu’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Maxima SV offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors, which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Malibu offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Maxima SV’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Malibu doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

The Maxima has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Malibu and isn’t available on the Malibu LS.

The Maxima’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Malibu LS doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

Both the Maxima and the Malibu offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Maxima has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Malibu doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To help keep rear passengers entertained, the Maxima SV offers optional rear seat controls for the radio, which can play a separate audio source. The Malibu doesn’t offer rear seat audio controls.

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