Launching the greenest model of a car first isn't all that common. Often carmakers want to get their high-end luxury variants out in front to draw attention to a new car.
While the 2013 Chevy Malibu Eco has been out for several months, Chevrolet has just now priced the standard 2013 Malibu model, which will go on sale in August.
The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu starts at $23,150 (including a mandatory $760 destination fee).
That's $280 more than the old 2012 Malibu, but a whopping $2,845 less than the 2013 Malibu Eco now on sale.
The standard Malibu is fitted with a new 197-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Unlike the previous model, no V-6 option is offered, though there will be a 259-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter version later this fall, starting at $27,710.
It was the development time needed to get that all-new 2.5-liter engine into production that led Chevy to launch the Malibu Eco first.
The Eco version uses an existing 2.4-liter four fitted with GM's mild-hybrid system, which is labeled eAssist when used in the 2012 Buick Lacrosse and 2013 Buick Regal. It is rated at 25 mpg city, 37 mpg highway, for a combined rating of 29 mpg.
2013 Chevrolet Malibu 4-door Sedan ECO w/1SA Dashboard
EPA ratings for the standard 2013 Chevy Malibu haven't been released, but it is expected to get around 35 mpg on the highway. Combined ratings for four-cylinder mid-size sedans currently average 26 to 28 mpg.
Trim levels on the 2013 Malibu start with the base LS, then an intermediate LT--starting at $24,765--and top out with the high-end LTZ, which provides 18-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, and remote starting, among other amenities.
The 2013 Chevy Malibu LTZ starts at $28,590 with destination charges.
A new option for the 2013 Malibu is a safety package that includes forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning; it's offered on the LTZ model and certain LT models.
Later this year, the price of the 2013 Malibu Eco will jump $100 as Chevy adds additional standard features.